Hey guys! Welcome back to the 4 part series. This is number 4 – the sealing part! Last time we used BB Frosch powder mixed with Behr Premium Plus Paint & Primer in One + Benjamin Moore’s Color Revere Pewter mixed at Home Depot to paint up my customer’s cute antique desk. This is where we left off last time, it’s all painted up and ready to be sealed!
We seal our items because the paint on its own, while durable – isn’t waterproof or life proof. We want to put that barrier of protection over top of our paint to seal in our work, but to also make it durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of life – scratches, kids throwing things against it, knocking it with the vacuum, setting keys and groceries down onto it when you come home, someone setting down a water glass and not knowing to use a coaster. It all wouldn’t be durable enough to withstand these elements without poly. Poly is nice and durable and once dry is useable in about 2 days to full capacity. There is a learning curve with applying it though – it dries really fast so it takes some practice.
If you’re working on a smaller item like this desk, using a good quality Purdy brush is imperative to a nice finish. My favorite poly is Varathane Diamond Wood Finish crystal clear polyurethane in Canada – I know in the States it’s called Varathane Ultimate water based polyurethane. If you’re concerned about your poly yellowing, I have a fantastic blog post that talks about this – and it’s usually nothing to do with the actual poly itself. You can find that blog post by clicking here.
If you’re painting say, a 6 drawer dresser, you could opt to use a sponge instead of brushing.
I like the Frank all purpose sponges from Canadian Tire for applying my poly to areas that are just large enough that I may not want to use a brush since I won’t be quick enough. You simply just dip your sponge in say, a pie plate full of poly, and sponge it on. It goes on nice and smooth. It goes on a lot thinner than with a brush though, so just know that you’ll have to double up on the amount of poly you apply if you’re using the sponge.
Another way of applying your poly is by sprayer. This is probably my favorite way. My favorite sprayer for spraying poly is the Homeright Super Finish Max sprayer, it gives such a fine mist when using the blue tip attachment. I show using this in my e-course, I’ll tell you more about it below. You’ll never be able to get into intricate small areas, and getting inside of any sort of cubby is useless since most of it sprays out as overspray anyways, but for large scale items, it’s MUCH faster! Spraying poly over black has been a huge game changer too (for the small amount of times that I’ve done black recently, haha).
Applying poly via brush and sponge is great for the beginner and for smaller items. It can take a learning curve to get used to it but it’s so nice and durable. All of my poly’d items it’s like they have a nice factory finish on them. It’s like liquid plastic! Of course, with life and with painted furniture – nothing is bulletproof. You have to be delicate with your items no matter what. But sealing them with poly gives them the most durable chance at life and long lastedness.
Both methods – brushing and sponging on poly, I go in depth into these methods in my “Beginner’s Guide to Painting Furniture” E-Course. My e-courses are for those who like what I’m saying here, and you’re ready to take it to the next level with your learning for a pro result!
As for spraying, if you’d like to learn how to do that from me, check out my E-Course called “How to Use HVLP Sprayers to Paint and Seal Your Furniture“. With all of my e-courses, you can go back to them as many times as you’d like and will have access to them down the road too if you ever forget something.
I did 2 coats of brushed poly on the top of this antique desk using the largest Purdy brush in the 3 brush pack to seal the paint in, and 1 brushed coat everywhere else since they’re not as high traffic as the top is. Tops will always get more coats.
Look how gorgeous it is now that it’s all painted and sealed! Thanks so much for joining in for this “How to Paint Furniture” series, I hope you loved it!
Want a video version of this post? Head to my YouTube video here: