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Sealing the Deal: Protecting Your Furniture Finish with Clear Coat

Sealing furniture is an important step in protecting the surface and enhancing its durability. If you are using an all-in-one type of paint you should be fine skipping this step unless it is a high traffic piece. Sealing pieces gives it protection from any harm and keeps your paint intact. Here are step I take for sealing chalk painted furniture with a water based clear coat:

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Clear coating is the final touch that seals the deal for your freshly painted furniture. It's like hitting the save button on an important word document. Matte, Satin, and Glossy are the finish types that you can use to transform your paint. Matte is all about that subtle charm and rustic allure, satin adds a touch of sheen and sophistication without going overboard, and glossy is your showstopper, reflecting light and stealing the spotlight. Clear coating is an important step to protect your piece from scratches, spills, and the hustle of everyday life.

Adding a clear coat enhances the look of the chalk paint. Check out the photo below. The right side has clear coat while the left is still untouched after painting. It really makes the colors pop!

Just a note: I only use water based clear coats when sealing my pieces. I never use polyurethane as i find it is too much for the types of finishes I create. It is oil based, it stinks, it yellows, and it just is all around hard to work with.



Step 1: Prepare the Furniture:

Ensure the furniture is clean, dry, and free of dust. If the furniture has been painted, make sure the paint is cured.

2. Stir the Sealer:

If the sealer requires stirring, use a stir stick to ensure it is well-mixed before application. Lift from the bottom as you stir. Important particles of the products sometimes settle to the bottom.

3. Sand the Surface (if necessary):

Sometimes paint will have little rough patches or things that need to be knocked down. If the furniture has these or any imperfections, you may want to lightly sand the surface with the fine-grit sandpaper listed above. This helps smooth out any rough areas and promotes better adhesion of the sealer and better feel in the end.

4. Apply the Sealer:

1. Use a paintbrush or applicator sponge to apply the sealer evenly over the furniture surface. Follow the grain of the wood if applicable. I try to keep the brush or sponge wet with the sealer and go from one end to the other. Starting in the middle helps unload majority of the sealer to allow this.

2. Apply the sealer in thin, even coats, avoiding drips and excess pooling. Realign your brush or sponge with the wet edge of your last swipe and continue until the surface is covered. Try not to go and retouch anything/ overwork the already painted areas as it may cause streaking.

3. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

5. Sand Between Coats (if necessary):

Depending on the sealer used, you may choose to lightly sand between coats for a smoother finish. Use fine-grit sandpaper and wipe away the dust with a clean, dry cloth before applying additional coats.

6. Follow the Manufacturer's Instructions:

Pay close attention to the drying times and recommended number of coats specified by the sealer manufacturer. Some sealers may require more than one coat for optimal protection.

7. Allow Final Drying and Curing Time:

Allow the final coat of sealer to dry completely. Drying and curing times can vary based on the product used, so refer to the manufacturer's instructions.

8. Inspect and Maintain:

Once the sealer is fully dry, inspect the furniture for any areas that may need touch-ups. Regular maintenance may involve reapplying the sealer over time, depending on the level of use and wear. If you need to clean the surface avoid using harsh cleaners such as: Windex, Pledge, etc. Use a lightly damp cloth or add a mild detergent like gentle Dawn dish soap.

Always follow the specific instructions provided by the sealer manufacturer for the best results.

Sealing can take some time to get right. Even as an experienced refinisher, I often make mistakes, but fixing those mistakes are not too difficult with this type of sealant. Drop any questions I can answer below. I will be posting about how to keep these pieces safely cleaned once they are finished very soon.




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