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Use the correct type of clear coat finish. For most furniture paint projects, use Polycrylic as your top coat. It will give you the durable finish you're looking for, but won't yellow over time like Polyurethane will. Also, Polycrylic cleans up with water. You'll have to use mineral spirits for Polyurethane.

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Faux wood garage door. I just did our garage door this spring. Only $40 for a quart of mustard-yellow paint and 2 quarts gel stain (2 different colors) . Sealed with polyurethane so it would gradually patina/golden over time. Looks amazing!! Beats a couple thousand for a real wood door.

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from Centsational Girl

PB Kids Inspired Dresser

I painted over it using Annie Sloan’s ‘Napoleonic Blue’ Chalk Paint then added two coats coat of clear water-based satin Varathane on top. It’s for an active boy so I wanted to reinforce the paint with extra protection!

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Polycrylic claims to be a “protective topcoat which resists damage from abrasion, scuffing, chipping, and water” AND does NOT turn yellow over time (as Polyurethane does).

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Water based topcoats for painted furniture. When your paint has dried for at least 24 hours, apply a water based polyurethane to protect your surface. Do not use an oil based polyurethane, it will amber or yellow over time.

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from SF Gate

How to Use Polyurethane Over Latex Paint

Polyurethane is a clear varnish that dries to a hard, solid finish. It protects your wooden surfaces from scratches and prevents paint from peeling, and it's easy to clean. These qualities make ...

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Minwax™ Wipe-On Poly to use over chalk or milk paint instead of wax. It is more hard wearing and better when using on a often used item like a bed or table.

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