can you put polyurethane over paint

Do you have any items coated with polyurethane? Can you paint over polyurethane then? You may be like many other people who just have the same problems. These days, home décor has a lot of new trends and changes quickly, especially when it comes to this material.

However, that’s not likely to be the kind of material that couldn’t be painted. But people still have no idea about the right process of painting a polymer. Sometimes they don’t take any basic steps like sanding.

Wondering about the right way to bring different looks over their items, but can it be really done perfectly? Below we’re going to show you any facts about this material and how to bring new color over it correctly.

What Is Polyurethane?

What Is Polyurethane

Before trying to get the answer like “can you paint over polyurethane”, it’s good to know what this material actually is. Polyurethane or mostly people called polymer or enamel is a kind of varnish formulated.

As it dries, there will be a bond of microscopic chains of resin molecules. Due to this chemical bond, it will be more resistant to any kind of things and conditions like water, abrasion, solvent, and any impact caused by traditional varnishes.

Types of Polyurethane Based on Their Composition

Types of Polyurethane

Maybe you need to paint over polyurethane floor, so these are several types of polymer you need to clearly consider because they contain different characteristics.

1. Oil-based

Oil-based material can probably warm up a wood’s color and turn slightly amber. Oil-based poly however will dry slower than any other types like water based polys. So, can you paint over polyurethane that is oil-based? It may take longer to dry after the process of coating.

2. Water-based

There are also questions like “can you paint over water-based polyurethane?” However, water-based poly is easy to dry. It looks like milk, but appears crystal clear when it dries. It’s a good choice for those who try to preserve a wood’s tone.

It has a watery characteristic so you need to put on more coats. To clean water-based poly, just clean up with water and soap. Just avoid ammonia-based cleaners on the cured film.

3. Water-based oil-modified

This type of poly looks cloudier and becomes tough as it dries. It appears in amber-color film as much as oil. This material is the most compatible to be applied with all woods as it dries quickly. Just use water to clean it up.

Read Also : How to Store Paint? Here’s the Best Solution

Can You Paint Over Polyurethane?

can you put polyurethane over paint

Well, can this material be painted easily? However, the answer may be no if you’re going to colorize it directly. But if you know how to put new color over it in the right way, you’ll find your furniture standing amazingly.

So, the conclusion is, as long as you know what things to do, it can be easy to repaint polymers. Though it won’t work as you use standard paint, there should be preparation of what tools, supplies, paints, or methods you have to prepare first.

Colorizing without prepping also makes the color peeling off. Some options like acrylic paint over polyurethane may not be that working in this process.

Check it by scraping the surface or drag fingernail across the surface and you will find it slides right off. Another problem will also come from imperfect appearance on the surface. As it contains resins, it will influence the color appearance over this material.

The answer to a question like “can you paint over polyurethane?” will be a huge conversation between those who own furniture covered by polymer. Hence, it’s essential to know the right primer and color to avoid any kind of problems.

How to Paint Over This Material?

How to Paint Over This Material

Due to its complexities, you need to avoid risks by preparing everything in the process of polymer painting. Here are things need to be prepared:

1. Preparing Tools and Supplies

So, can you paint over polyurethane? Would it be that hard? Let’s begin by preparing tools and supplies. There are several tools and supplies that functionalized in the process of painting, such as:

  • Lint-free cloths
  • Mineral spirits
  • Wood filler
  • Face mask for protect your face
  • Gloves for hand protection
  • Protective eyewear
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Liquid sandpaper
  • Brushes
  • Oil-based primer
  • Oil-based paint

2. Take Anything Off

The next step is, removing all the cabinets of the drawers, doors, or hardware that will be used. If there are only a few cabinets, just leave them in place. The most important step is taking off all cabinet knobs and removing the cabinet doors.

3. Clean the Surface

After you take everything off, now you need to make sure that the surface is well cleaned. To make it clean, use liquid like mineral spirits and wipe the surface in a circular motion. Make sure you use a clean rag or cloth.

Liquid minerals will make the surface clean by removing dirt, grime, or stains. However, can you paint over polyurethane exactly? It depends on how well you clean the surface.

4. Sand the Surface

After it’s all cleaned, you still need to sand the surface. Use fine-grade sandpaper to remove the material. You don’t need to remove the entire surface, just make sure that the new color will adhere to the wood. Use clean cloth and mineral spirits to remove any dust and do it continually.

5. Prime the Surface

The end of the question “can you paint over polyurethane” will count on how precise you do the finishing process before colorizing. In this final process, you need to prime the surface very well. Just use oil-based primer to make sure that the color will be well-adhered on the surface.

It will also keep off any stains from coming through the wood and ruin the color. For best results, just keep it dries overnight. Primer for polyurethane paint will also be necessary if wood grain shows through it.

6. Paint the Surface

When it comes to the painting process, just paint the first coat and let it dry overnight. The second coat can be applied after it dried well. Second coat however will ensure that the wood is fully painted.

The process of drying may take up to 72 hours before you can put it back on the earlier place, or add any hardware. When people find their furniture sitting on the corner for quite a long time, maybe they want to give it a little different touch over it.

To get a refreshing look, most of them will take the option of repainting. But maybe they will be curious about the answer of “can you paint over polyurethane?” As you’ve understood how actually it’s, now you can do it with no worries.


I am the owner in one of the digital marketing companies and author agencies. I began writing since 2010, starting to pioneer book publishing businesses in 2015, and start a business in the field of marketing a few ago.

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