Can You Paint Over Polyurethane In 3 Easy steps

In this article we are going to discuss about the topic can you paint over polyurethane. What is polyurethane? What are the types of polyurethanes? Where can we use polyurethane? On what type of surfaces can polyurethane used? What is the durability of the polyurethane?

What type of paints can you use over polyurethane? What are the steps required to paint over polyurethane? How can you apply paint over polyurethane? What are the precautions we have to take to paint over polyurethane?

Let’s discuss the topic in detailed manner with the help of images relevant to the topic and in the form of video to know easily in practical way.

Things need for can you paint over polyurethane

  • Mineral spirits
  • Wood filler
  • Protective face mask
  • Gloves
  • Protective eye wear
  • Fine grade sandpaper
  • Liquid sandpaper
  • Paintbrushes
  • Oil based primer
  • Oil based paint

Can You Paint Over Polyurethane

Can you paint over polyurethane in this topic have an idea in the form of a video. Later that we will discuss in a step wise manner.

What Is Polyurethane?

It is derived from the plastic product which is petroleum based liquid one. It is used for coating and adhesion to include and prolonged the durability to wood works.

Can you put polyurethane over the acrylic paint in this topic polyurethane mainly used for the protection of the surface in the form of an extra layer.

What Is Polyurethane

There are two types of polyurethanes. They are.

  1. Oil based polyurethanes.
  2. Water based polyurethanes.

What Is Polyurethane

1. Oil based polyurethanes: Which will takes a more time for coloring on the surface and even doesn’t dry and harden on the surface and gives a slight smell after it dries is called oil based polyurethanes.

It has long durability nature. It can withstand any extreme conditions. It atleast takes 6 to 24 hrs.

For example: Ethylene is most commonly used chemical for preparation of the polyurethanes. It will assist you if you clearly mix it for preservation process.

2. Water based polyurethanes: Which will dries quickly. And doesn’t give any amber coloring to the surface is called oil based polyurethanes. It takes 24 hrs.

Can You Paint Over Polyurethane?

Yes, you can paint over polyurethane, so long as you need to prepare the surface in right way. Paint won’t stick to polyurethane directly, so if you skip this step, the paint can peel off.

Where Can You Paint Over Polyurethane

However, proper surface preparation is vital in ensuring the paint sticks and stays on the poly.

How To Prepare The Polyurethane Surface For Painting?

To prepare the polyurethane surface for painting. There are three steps. They are.


Just roughing up the surface with fine grit sandpaper is enough to get the paint to stick to polyurethane. With a little elbow grease you can also prepare the polyurethane surface.


The stain can’t be absorbed into the wood if there’s a layer of protective finish on it.


The chemical acts like fine grade sandpaper, and will etch the polyurethane coating and allow paint to stick.


To apply, just saturate a clean rag with the solution and wipe it over the entire surface.

Bonding Primer

For the best finish, give the primer a quick sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and clean off the dust with a tack cloth before starting to paint.

Bonding Primer

This will remove any brush strokes and give you the flawless look you want.

How To Paint Over Polyurethane?

What Type Of Paint Should I Use Over Polyurethane?

  • Oil based paints are the most durable, but can have strong fumes and dries slowly.
  • Latex paint, which is typically used as wall paint, is less durable and is better suited to low traffic areas.
  • Enamel paint, such incredibly durable like oil paint, but with low VOCs and faster drying time like water based paints.

To Paint Over polyurethane the steps are.

How To Paint Over Polyurethane

Step 1: Make sure clean the surface.

Wipe down all the areas to be painted with a clean cloth and mineral spirits to remove dirt and dust and use damp cloth to dry and do not retain moisture.

Step 2: Apply Primer.

Allow the primer to dry, then give it a light sanding to remove rough spots. Water based primer will raise the grain of the wood, and a quick sand with fine grade sandpaper will knock down those raised fibers.

Oil based paints are using add required amount of the primer.

Step 3: Paint.

Paint on the surface for once over polyurethane. Allow the paint to completely dry before applying a second coat. Check the can for recommended re-coat times. These are the steps to paint over polyurethane.

Frequently Asked Questions On Can You Paint Over Polyurethane

1. What Paint Will Stick to Polyurethane?

Any type of paint will stick to a primed polyurethane wood. The important thing is to prepare the surface by cleaning and sanding before applying a good quality primer to enable the new paint to stick.

No paint will stick to polyurethane without these crucial preliminary steps.

2. Can You Use Acrylic Paint Over Polyurethane?

Absolutely. Acrylic paint is one of the preferred paint types for use over polyurethane coatings. Once you prepare the surface properly, acrylic paint will stick and form a durable finish that is also non-toxic.

3. What is the Best primer for painting over polyurethane?

The best paint primer over polyurethane is oil-based. While polyurethane can be water-based or oil-based, non-oil-based primers never seem to do a good job when used over polyurethane-treated surfaces.

They never form a durable coat, which will affect your paint job’s overall quality. We have tried a few different options and found INSL-X Prime Lock Plus Alkyd Primer our leading choice.

It is fast-drying, with an excellent ability to adhere to glossy surfaces. This property makes it ideal for polyurethane surfaces.

4. What happens if you paint over polyurethane?

Polyurethane forms a glossy finish, so the paint will peel off if you apply it directly over the poly.

You could also experience issues like cracking, bubbling and chipping if you paint directly over the glossy polyurethane surface.

However, you can sand the polyurethane and prime it to promote adhesion and make the paint stick.

5. What is the best way to paint over polyurethane?

If the polyurethane is water-based, a water-based primer is your best bet. You can apply an oil-based paint over a water-based primer, so you won’t have to worry about adhering issues.

If you have oil-based polyurethane, you’ll need an oil-based primer.

Also Read Here: Can you put polyurethane over acrylic paint.


In this article you will know the steps and uses of the paint over polyurethane in the topic can you paint over polyurethane. I hope you may enjoy the topic in this broad sense.