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OVer Latex paint - poly or wax?

tucsonbarb's picture

We are completing a kitchen project and have open shelves to hold heavy cooking pans.  I have painted them (latex paint) but am wondering if using a wax or poly on top would be a good idea (for a longer and stronger finish)  I understand that if I use poly I need a barrier coat of a shellac?  And also that the paint should dry for a couple days.  Suggestion?

SteveSchoene's picture

Yes, you can use a (post #150456, reply #1 of 1)

Yes, you can use a shellac/varnish topcoat over your latex paint.  I would recommend a alkyd/soya varnish, such as Pratt & 'Lambert 38 instead of a polyurethane varnish, since it will be a bit lighter in color, and yellow less over time. 

But, latex paint was a bad choice in the beginning.  (The resin for "latex" paint is typically vinyl, or acyrlic styrene)  Such latex paints often experience "blocking"  where objects, and they don't have to be as heavy as cooking pots, stick to the paint surface.  The only waterborne paint appropriate for furniture or shelves is 100% acyrlic resin, which is typically found in the top of the line enamels.  Oil based enamel is much more durable as well as being easier to apply (except for clean-up) 

If your top coating shows problems down the road--and it might since latex paint doesn't make the best base for top coating, you will have to strip off everything and start over with a more appropriate paint.  The right paint won't need a top coat for added durability.

Test your finish on scrap, FIRST, or risk having to scrap your finish.