When it comes to renovating or changing the appearance of wooden surfaces in the kitchen, we have to be extremely careful about the products we use.

Some paints and varnishes are poisonous if you ingest them, so avoid using them on surfaces where you may directly place food.

Using a food-grade varnish or finish on your hardwood kitchen surfaces will ensure the safety of everyone at home. Polycrylic is food safe, as long as you let it dry for 25 to 30 days after applying three coats.

Are you one of those people wondering, “Is Polycrylic Food Safe?” Here is everything you need to know.

What Is Polycrylic?

Polycrylic is a water-based protective coating that protects your wood while also giving it a high-gloss and satin finish. Depending on the type you choose for your wood, polycrylic can provide it with a beautiful sheen or a shiny finish.

Due to its less smelly and less toxic nature, Polycrylic is easier to work with than other types of finishes such as Polyurethane. This type of finish is ideal for doors, cabinets, furniture, and other interior wood items.

Is Polycrylic Food Safe?

Yes. Polycrylic is food safe. Once the finish is completely cured, it becomes completely safe for food. So, once you apply the polycrylic finish, you should leave it to dry for 20 to 25 days at room temperature.

Is Polycrylic Food Safe For Infants?

Yes. Polycrylic food is safe for infants if you have dried it at room temperature for 25 days. When it is in liquid form, keep children and babies away from the treated surface as it can be harmful to them.

Types of Polycrylic

There are two types of polycrylic. You can pick one of them based on the purpose and application:

1. Spray-on Polycrylic

When you need to apply Polycrylic quickly and in a thin layer, using spray on polycrylic is the best option. The spray technique allows it to dry quickly.

But you may find it challenging to apply an even coating using the spray-on polycrylic, as it tends to leave air pressure marks.

2. Roll-on Polycrylic

You may use roll-on polycrylic if you want to achieve the perfect results and have more time. However, roll-on polycrylic is challenging to apply without the inevitable brush strokes.

As it dries fast, you will need to work quickly with a brush to get the desired look.

What Is Polycrylic Made Of?

Polycrylic has a water-based composition of copolymers of acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, and their simple esters. Due to its unique chemical makeup, it is resistant to solvents and water.

Due to its water-based formula, polycrylic is more environmentally friendly. You can clean it easily with soap and water.

Additionally, its VOC (Volatile Organic Compound), which determines the number of toxic fumes a product emits, is much lower than that of other solvent-based finishes./

While it is not that toxic, you need to provide enough ventilation for the fumes to dissipate.

Is Polycrylic A Good Finish?

Yes, many professionals recommend polycrylic. It is great if you want to give your new furniture a protective coating. Polycrylic forms a solid layer over wood, protecting it from damage by heat, moisture, and light.

Here are some advantages of polycrylic finish:

Dries Fast

Once you have applied the final coating of polycrylic, you will need to wait for 24 hours for it to cure fully. Polycrylic takes less time than polyurethane, which takes 21 to 30 days to cure.

Ideal Protector Of Wood

For years, polycrylic has been used as an ideal protector for wood. It helps protect the color underneath and keeps the colors vibrant and intact for much longer. It also protects the wood from water and light damage.

Cleans Up Easily

As mentioned earlier, polycrylic is easy to clean. All it takes is a little soap and water.

It Doesn’t Yellow Over Time

You may have observed that polyurethane turns yellow when used for finishing. Polycrylic, on the other hand, is one of the non-yellowing wood finish. As a result, lighter wood looks better for a longer time.

Doesn’t Smell

A finish like polyurethane leaves a smell in the house for days, but polycrylic does not smell as much as polyurethane.

Ideal For Small Projects

If you have just a couple of pieces of furniture, polycrylic can help maintain their beauty and prevent water damage.

How Long Does It Take For The Polycrylic Finish To Be Food-Safe After Application?

Polycrylic dries faster than most of the other finishes or varnishes. However, professionals usually recommend three coats to protect the wood, so you need to apply them step by step.

After application, allow the polycrylic to dry. You can then handle it after 1 hour. You will need to apply the next coat after two hours.

Continue the same procedure for the third coat, and wait at least 24 hours for it to cure fully. It should take about 24 hours to apply all three coats of polycrylic and allow them to dry.

What Surfaces Can You Use Polycrylic On?

You can apply polycrylic on all the interior surfaces of the house. It is not as durable as polyurethane for exterior use. Since it gives a protective finish and a nice appearance, you can use it on any wood surface in your house.

You may also consider other surfaces that come into contact with food here—cabinets, furniture, cups, wooden bowls, cutting boards, flatware, tables, and high chairs.

Ensure you apply it to light-colored surfaces as it may appear milky on dark surfaces. In addition to kitchen surfaces, you may use polycrylic small side tables, decorative trays, and home decor made with wood.

Read: Is polyurethane food safe?

Food Safe Polycrylic Review

Many polycrylic products with different compositions and formulas are available on the market, but very few produce good results consistently. Here are a few examples.

1. Best Food-Safe Clear Coat Spray – Miniwax Polycrylic Protective Finish Spray

Minwax 34444000 Polycrylic Protective Finish Spray for Wood,...
25,331 Reviews
Minwax 34444000 Polycrylic Protective Finish Spray for Wood,...
  • PROTECT WOOD SURFACES – Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish Spray protects even hard to reach spaces and adds beauty to interior wood projects. The clear top coat spray can is easy to use and protects against scratches, dirt and more.
  • CRYSTAL CLEAR FINISH THAT LASTS – The crystal clear finish offered in this wood protection spray is ideal for use over all Minwax Oil-Based and Water-Based Stains and colors, as well as all wood species including light woods like maple, ash and birch.
  • SEMI-GLOSS SHEEN – Give your wood projects a sleek finish with this semi-gloss clear varnish. It protects the natural beauty of the wood and offers a semi-shiny, sleek sheen for a bright, modern look. It’s non-yellowing, non-ambering and low odor.

This easy-to-use protective finish spray by Minimax can protect even hard-to-reach places in your house from scratches and dirt. It can also give your other interior wood furniture a beautiful crystal clear finish.

This is the best pick for you if you are looking for a finish that will leave a semi-gloss sheen on your furniture and give it a modern look. Due to its ultra-fast drying nature, you won’t have to wait long to apply other coats and finish your project.

Also, since it is a water-based finish, you can easily clean it with soap and water without worrying about spills.

2. Best Minwax Water Based Polycrylic – Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish Satin

qt Minwax 63333 Clear Polycrylic Water-Based Protective...
  • Protects and adds beauty to interior wood surfaces including woodwork, furniture, doors and cabinets
  • Crystal clear finish is ideal for use over light woods like maple, ash and birch as well as over Minwax Water Based Wood Stains
  • Dries quickly

This protective finish satin product from Minwax has become a go-to for those who prefer DIY (Do It Yourself) projects. A polycrylic coating combined with clear satin can create a protective finish and enhance the look of your furniture.

It is sure to give them a clean and classic sheen and last a long time. This polycrylic finish works best on light woods such as maple, birch, and ash.

With its ultra-fast drying, you will be able to complete all three coats in 24 hours. You may apply this low odor and non-yellowing finish perfectly with a high-quality synthetic bristle brush.

Read Also: Is Wood Stain Suitable for Vegetable Garden


Is Minwax polycrylic food safe?

Yes, Minwax Polycrylic is food safe if you let it dry for the recommended time of 25 to 30 days after applying all three coats. You need to clean the surface thoroughly before using it for food.

Is polycrylic toxic?

If polycrylic gets ingested in its liquid form, it can be dangerous and can cause lung irritation. Nonetheless, it has fewer VOCs than polyurethane. This means it won’t cause as many problems as polyurethane. You can prevent health issues by using respiratory protection while applying polycrylic. Also, let it dry for a minimum of 30 days before use.

Can you use polycrylic on tumblers?

Yes, you can use polycrylic on tumblers. You can get a beautiful design if you stroke your tumbler with polycrylic in an up-and-down motion. You will need to coat it at least three or four times for a smooth finish. Allow the tumbler to air dry for 24 hours after the final coat.

Is polycrylic good for the kitchen table?

Yes, polycrylic is suitable for use on kitchen tables because it protects and prolongs the life of the wood. Polycrylic will also give a perfect natural wood look. By combining it with dye or the best food safe paint for wood, you can enhance the look.

Is polycrylic dishwasher safe?

No, polycrylic mugs and other items are not dishwasher safe. You need to apply the sealer and let it dry for 28 days. You also need to ensure that you set the dishwasher on either safe mod podge, outdoor mod podge, or polycrylic since these options are dishwasher-safe and food-safe.

Related read: Is Danish Oil Approved for Food Contact?

Read also: Is epoxy food safe?


It is safe to conclude that polycrylic is food safe so long as you let it dry thoroughly. So you can use polycrylic on kitchen surfaces to give them a lustrous sheen and make them durable.

Also, read our article on polyurethane vs polycrylic for a detailed understanding of their characterestics.

Leave a Comment