Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Wood – [Step by Step Guide]

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Everyone loves furniture either in their home or office, and this love has been passed over generations through the use of wooden furniture pieces that make our places look beautiful. Adding colour to wooden pieces has been made simple, thanks to the introduction of acrylic wood paint. If you do not add a layer of quality sealer on your acrylic finish, water, scratches, and dirt may degrade it within a short period and further destroy the wood.

In this article, well give you a step-by-step guide on how to seal acrylic paint on wood to make it more attractive and durable.

Is Sealing Painted Wood Necessary?

Sealing acrylic painted wood is crucial for its durability. Without sealing your acrylic paint leaves it vulnerable to peeling, dirt and wear. Being a water-based paint, if wiped using a wet rag, it leaves colour residue on the rag. It’s essential to seal your acrylic painted wood to protect it from dirt, water or chemicals that may rip off the paint. Nobody would want to ruin a craft quickly they have invested so much time to build; this is enough reason why sealing acrylic paint is really necessary.

Is Sealing Painted Wood Necessary

What Do You Use To Seal Paint On Wood?

However beautiful acrylic paints are, they dry up so dull and often appear disappointing compared to other oil-based paints. By adding a layer of sealant on top of your painting can make your colours brighten up and shine again.

What Do You Use To Seal Paint On Wood

So, what do you use to seal paint on wood? There are several wood paint sealers available in the market today. They include water-based, varnish and Polycrylic sealants. If you want a glossy and smooth water-resistant finish, then Polycrylic would be your best pick. For matte finish lovers, Ployclyric offers a range of options from semi-gloss, satin, matte and gloss.

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Wood

Whether you are refurbishing your most loved furniture or just working on a new piece of craft, the end product matters; if you want to give your wood that ‘wow’ finish, you have to know how to play around with your paint and sealant.To achieve the best results, here are a few crucial steps to guide you on how to seal acrylic paint on wood:

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Wood

Step – 1: Smooth Sand

The foundation of getting a beautiful paint result is wood preparation. This step makes all the difference. You need to obtain a clean and smooth surface by sanding your wood. Use a sanding sponge or 140-180 grit sandpaper to obtain a perfectly smooth surface.

Step – 2: Wipe Clean

Once youre done with sanding, its time to clean your craft. Using a piece of cloth or sponge, dust off excess wood grains from the surface. If the surface is not adequately cleaned, the leftover dirt and grain will prevent the wood from absorbing the primer as well as the paint and sealant. If the wood is not satisfactory smooth, you can sand it again. Keep in mind the cloth or sponge has to be dry. Do not use a dump piece.

Step – 3: Apply Wood Sealant

As mentioned above, sealing your acrylic paint is critical since it will protect it from pealing, dirt, damage and more so makes it durable. There is a range of options in the market when it comes to sealant finishes. They include and are not limited to gloss, matte, satin etc. It all boils down to personal preference. Using a brush or spray, apply a thin coat of your preferred sealant and allow it dry. You can add a second layer if you feel it’s not enough.

Step – 4: Prime the Wood

You first have to apply a primer for your acrylic paint to be perfectly absorbed by the wood you’re painting. This could take a few hours to dry. Allow the wood to absorb the primer and dry completely before applying your acrylic paint. Primer helps seal the tiny holes on the wood, thus letting the acrylic paint apply smoothly and uniformly. On a primer, lighter colours will be more vibrant.

Step – 5: Paint the Wood

After applying primer to the wood, it’s time to add some colour. Make sure your paint is correctly mixed. Use a clean brush, sponge or spray. Apply gently two to three coats giving time to completely dry before applying a new coat. This improves paint adherence. After the final coat, give the wood enough time to cure; this could take several hours or a couple of days.

Step – 6: Seal the Acrylic Paint

Once your paint is well dried, overnight recommended to allow the wood to absorb the paint and cure.Use a brush-on or spray-on acrylic sealant to apply a thin coat layer on your wood. Allow the sealer to dry as per the manufacturer recommendation before applying a second coat. Before applying acrylic paint sealer, remember to clean wipe your surface.

Is This Process the Same for All Types of Wood?

No, not really. There is an assortment of methods by which you can protect your acrylic paint on wood. This depends on the type of wood you’reworking on.

Wood is porous but not on the same level. Different woods have different levels of porosity. Sealing is only recommended but not compulsory. Some types of wood do well with paint only, yet others will require sealing to bring out a beautiful finish. This process will vary depending on the type of wood you have used, either finished or unfinished. Usually, finished wood does not require sealing since they have already been waxed.

Tips for sealing painted wood

It’s nowhere close to rocket science, and you do not need any expertise. How to seal acrylic paint on wood is relatively simple and easy to do. Use a paintbrush, sponge, or cloth to apply the sealant. Dip it in the sealant and apply a thin coat to the wood. Allow it to dry before you touch or apply another layer.

When sealing painted wood, it’s recommended that you use wax or oil-based sealants. These types of sealants give your surface a more durable finish. Remember to thoroughly clean, sand and wipe clean your wood before sealing.

Types Of Acrylic Paint Sealer

As aforementioned, there are three main types of acrylic paint sealants which are:

  1. Wax-based This is an ancient form of sealing method. It is made of oil, solvents and alkyd resin. It’s not recommended; however, some people love this type of finish.
  2. Water-based As the name suggests, this type of sealant has no chemical solvent but water. It is not as durable as solvent-based sealants.
  3. Polycrylic This is an oil-based finish. It is glossy and provides an exceptionally smooth water-resistant type of seal. It is very durable.

Other acrylic paint sealers are polyurethane, varnish, clear wood sealant, glaze, mode podge, gel medium etc.

Polyurethane is mainly used on stained surfaces. It is durable however may appear yellowish with time.

A clear wood sealant is a perfect option for those who love a glossy finish. It prevents your wood from scratching easily. It also works well on a wide range of paint types.

What Is The Best Sealer For Painted Wood?

There are several sealers for painted wood varying from different manufacturers and qualities; thus, picking the best can sometimes be overwhelming. You should not let your valued craft get ruined by using the wrong sealant on it. Instead, always protect it by using the best sealer available. Each sealer has its pros and cons and is suitable for different weather and conditions.

What Is The Best Sealer For Painted Wood

For example, for a thick and robust glossy finish, you might prefer gloss varnish/gloss medium. Whereas if you want your colours to ‘pop” with an ultra-high gloss finish, the resin is the way to go.

Be sure to check out our review on the best sealer for painted wood here.


If youve been reading this article, youarefamiliar with how to seal acrylic paint on wood. With a wide variety of sealants available in the market today, you cannot afford to let your wood stay unprotected. When shopping for an acrylic paint seal, remember the glossy ones are more durable; however, its your personal preference. Even though sealants offer adequate wood protection on painted surfaces, it is not a guaranteed wood preservation method.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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