Polycrylic can protect your woodwork, furniture, and floors from scratches and blemishes. It can beautify your interiors and offer you high gloss and satin finishes.
However, how do you apply polycrylic? Is spraying polycrylic or brushing the better method? Can you spray polycrylic? You may have numerous questions like these.
Brushing can take a lot of time and be pretty hard to do, especially if you’re a novice like me. Although Minwax Company recommends using a bristle brush, spraying is efficient.
In this article, we’ll see how to spray polycrylic and get a smooth finish. Here is everything you need to know.
Can You Spray Polycrylic?
You can spray polycrylic to enhance your woodwork using HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) guns. Remember to clean your sprayer, thin the polycrylic with 10% water, test spray on a piece of cardboard, and then begin spraying.
Should You Spray Or Brush Polycrylic?
What is the best way to apply polycrylic? Is it by brushing or spraying?
The easiest way to apply Polycrylic is to spray it on wooden surfaces. It is way more convenient than using a brush.
Using a spray eliminates repeatedly soaking a brush into the paint and painstaking efforts to avoid brush strokes and brush marks. Spraying, undoubtedly, speeds up the process and makes it hassle-free.
If you’re an amateur looking to give your wooden floor an even finish, spraying Polycrylic is the way to go. Polycrylic is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and odor-free. This makes it a lot safer than other chemicals and sprays.
Apart from being non-toxic, is polycrylic food safe? Find out in our comprehensive guide.
Spraying Polycrylic Using HVLP Spray Guns
Spraying Polycrylic using HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) guns requires little air pressure, resulting in fewer oversprays and a smooth finish.
Another advantage of spraying polycrylic using an HVLP spray gun is it does not turn your white and light-painted furniture or surfaces yellow.
Be warned, though. Getting familiar with spraying polycrylic may take some practice. Before starting on the actual piece, you may want to trial spray a few test pieces.
To prevent the spray gun from spurting out thick amounts of polycrylic, add water to it before adding the polycrylic. But how much water do you add? About 10% would be the right amount.
4 Simple Steps to Spray Minwax Polycrylic
Clean your sprayer
Before getting ready to spray Minwax polycrylic on the desired surface, the first thing you should do is clean your sprayer.
Cleaning your sprayer after each use will prevent the leftover dirt from ruining your spraying experience and the finish.
Even a few dust particles can lead to the polycrylic clumping on the surface, destroying the fine finish you worked hard to achieve.
Stir 10% water into strained polycrylic
As mentioned earlier, thinning the polycrylic or diluting it can give you magical results. Your spray gun may spit up if you don’t thin the polycrylic.
Thinning is the best practice for those who aren’t sure about the consistency of their product and want it to look good.
Adding water (10%) to your strained polycrylic can solve many problems and save you hundreds of dollars. However, don’t forget to keep stirring the solution while adding the water.
Add Polycrylic to the well-set spray gun and test
Once you have thinned out your polycrylic, it is time to prepare the spraying gun for the perfect spray. If you have a Wagner Flexi 590, you’ll need to adjust the settings to get a good spray.
Set the airflow setting on your spray gun to 5. This setting will ensure a medium flow and a low trigger. This means the spray gun will spray a minimal amount of polycrylic.
To test the gun, get cardboard and a plastic cloth. You can fix the cardboard to the wall using tape and begin testing. Once you do, you’ll know what to expect when spraying the polycrylic on your wall or wood furniture.
Look for any drip marks. Since drips are tough to remove, you need to spray thin coats. Read the product manual and adjust the spray gun’s setting accordingly.
Once you get the hang of applying a thin coat without drips, you can move on to the actual object you need to spray.
How To Get A Smooth Finish With Polycrylic
Grain and dust particles that settle on the polycrylic are the biggest enemies of a smooth finish. You don’t need to sand a polycrylic finish if it is thin and applied correctly.
But to obtain a smooth finish with polycrylic, you need to sand the surfaces lightly. Make sure the polycrylic finish is dry before sanding.
Sanding will also allow you to strip the finish lightly and improve adhesion. If you do not sand between coats of polycrylic, the topcoats will not adhere to the base coats due to dust and grain particles.
The Best HVLP Spray Gun For Polycrylic
1. Wagner Spraytech Flexio 590 Handheld HVLP Paint Sprayer
- PERFECT FOR A VARIETY OF PROJECTS: The Flexio 590 paint sprayer is great for applying a superior finish on furniture, walls, ceilings, exterior siding, fences, cabinets, trim and more
- TWO NOZZLES INCLUDED: iSpray nozzle is ideal for spraying larger jobs and Detail Finish Nozzle is great for small projects and fine finishing
- SPRAY MOST UNTHINNED MATERIALS: X-Boost turbine delivers the power to spray most unthinned interior and exterior paints and stains. Adjustable paint flow to match covering speed and project size
This flexo 590 paint spray is a fantastic choice if you hope for a superior finish on the ceilings, walls, cabinets, fences, and furniture.
The box will include two nozzles—an iSpray Nozzle for larger jobs) and a detail finish nozzle for smaller jobs and fine finishing.
The box will also include unthinned spray materials that allow you to use unthinned exterior and interior paints and stains.
This spray can cover an 8’ x 10’ surface in 1 minute for stains and 5 minutes for latex paints. It can spray up to 8.0 gallons per hour. It will let you work 10x faster than you would with a brush and save you time.
2. YATTICH Paint Sprayer
- 【3 Spray Patterns & 5 All-copper Nozzle Sizes】Do you want to repaint the furniture or cabinets to make the family more beautiful? YATTICH upgraded version 700W paint sprayer, can be adjusted to 3 different spray patterns: horizontal, vertical and circular, and equipped with 5 size nozzles(1.2mm/ 1.5mm/ 1.8mm/ 2.5mm/ 3.0mm) for any painting projects, such as furniture, cars, fences, interior walls, garage doors, garden tables and chairs etc. Owning a paint sprayer costs less than hire a worker!
- 【3 Perfect Designs for User Needs】(1) Simple disassembly, easy and convenient to clean! (2) Simple and Flexible Flow Control Button - the paint output can be controled by adjusting the flow control knob on the sprayer to obtain different paint output, save paint for you, achieve the effect you want. (3)The 6.5Ft power cord is long enough to allow you to move freely within a larger work area, make your spraying project more extensive.
- 【High-Quality and Safe Materials】For nozzles, our spray gun uses all-copper nozzles, the purpose is to withstand the impact of super 700W power, avoid damage caused by falling or breaking, and is less prone to clogging. For paint sprayer body, we use of double-layer insulation materials allows you to avoid worrying about any safety issues during operation, and will not cause any harm to the human body. It can also make the spraying surface more concentrated and more uniform.
YATTICH Paint Sprayer will help you achieve more color and less overspray for a smooth and crisp finish. Its variable pressure trigger will give you total control over feathering and mixing.
The advanced HVLP nozzle will spray high volumes for a high-quality finish with minimal overspray. The spray is easy to clean up and has high efficient turbine spray that can spray up to 8.4 gallons per hour.
The product box also contains two paint guns—one for maximum coverage and one for fine details.
3. Central Pneumatic HVLP Gravity Feed Air Spray Gun with Regulator
- Adjustable fan pattern and fluid control for superior finish
- Sprays enamels, lacquers, metallic, and urethanes
- High versatility for automotive and hobby projects
With the air-powered Central Pneumatic HVLP air spray gun, you can decide how much pressure and fluid you need to apply to achieve a superior finish.
This spray gun can spray enamels, urethanes, metallic, and lacquers. Its high versatility makes it an excellent choice for automotive and hobby projects and spraying base coats and primers.
Ensure you thin the paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions and strain it before using the spray gun.
Can You Use A Sprayer To Apply Polyurethane?
Yes, you can use a spray polyurethane for wood if you desire a smooth, streak-free, clean finish, spraying polyurethane is always better than brushing it on.
Make sure you use an HVLP spray gun to apply the polyurethane to ensure a precise spray pattern and even coating.
Can You Spray Minwax Polyurethane?
Yes, it is possible to spray the Minwax Polyurethane. Use an HVLP spray and reduce the thinness of the Minwax polyurethane product by 10% of its volume to get the best spray finish.
You may see some drips or bubbles at the top of the Minwax when it is in the standard thinned volume. For this reason, try spraying many coats of Minwax polyurethane.
After the first coat has dried, sand the surface with sandpaper before applying the next coat.
How do you apply Minwax Polycrylic over paint?
Here are the steps to apply Minwax polycrylic over paint.
Can one spray Polycrylic indoors?
You can spray polycrylic indoors since it is a water-based clear topcoat made using organic elements and is safe for humans and the environment. Polycrylic is odorless, unlike polyurethane, so it won’t emit a foul smell. Additionally, uncured polycrylic cleans up with soap and water. The advantage of spraying indoors is that no dust will adhere to the paint, giving you a glossy, clean finish.
Is Minwax Polycrylic waterproof?
No. Minwax doesn’t offer the best results when applied as a waterproof coating. In addition, Minwax is water-soluble and is not as durable as oil based polyurethane. You should only use it for interior surfaces like furniture, cabinets, and trim. Do not use it in a moist environment. People often refer to finishes that are clean with water as water-based, but that can be misleading. Technically, you would call it a waterborne finish.
When can one apply Polycrylic after painting?
You do not need to wait for a specific period after painting to apply polycrylic. However, you must wait as long as it takes for the paint to dry completely.
What do you thin Polycrylic with?
You can use mineral spirit, paint thinner, water, or turpentine to thin polycrylic. However, it is ideal to use just a little water to thin the polycrylic. Too much or too little water or thinner will alter the properties of the polycrylic and produce poor results.
Can you apply polyurethane over Polycrylic?
You can apply polyurethane over polycrylic, but you need to be sure that the polycrylic is completely dry first. If it is not dry, the polyurethane will not adhere properly and will eventually peel off. Another thing to keep in mind is that polyurethane will slightly darken the color of the wood.
Spraying polycrylic is more efficient than using a brush and will give you better results. Coating a surface with polycrylic using an HVLP spray will make it appear even and glossy.
Always remember to dilute your polycrylic before application.