Polycrylic – The New Polyurethane

When I redid my crappy $5 table late last year I finished it with polyurethane. I wanted a solid finish that would hold up to kids and water rings, and that’s just what you use, right? Well, about a week after I finished it started to turn yellow. Now four months later the table looks terrible….it seriously looks like my toddler didn’t drink water for a week and then peed all over it. That’s a nasty description, I know, but that’s what I thought everytime I walked by.

 

I sanded off the finish, but the yellow seemed to have seeped into the paint. This stuff doesn’t mess around. So I slapped on a quick coat of white, redistressed, and then pulled out a can of my new favorite thing.

Ladies and Gentleman, meet polycrylic. Polycrylic and polyurethane are like twin brothers…they pretty much look the same, but somehow one of them is always hotter.

 Polycrylic is definitely the hot twin. It holds up well, doesn’t turn yellow, and goes on smooth. I’ll still use polyurethane on the certain stuff (like our dining table), but for everything else I’m totally converted.

Ahh, so much better!

Anyone else have any new favorite products or tips and tricks to make DIYing a little easier? Do tell!



Comments

  1. I looove polycrylic :-) We just redid our dining table white and, with three coats of it, that sucker better withstand every bump and knick from the kids.

    (Love the new digs!)

  2. Hello! I’m visiting from the Ultimate Blog Party. It’s great to visit your blog – I love the look of it!! I’m excited to look around more. I’m now following you on BlogLovin’, Fb, Twitter, and Pinterest.

    This is a great post. It’s nice to learn from others’ mistakes. Your table looks so lovely now!! Great job!

  3. Congrats on your “creative bloggers got talent” win. You totally deserve it, because of that contest I found your blog and I love it! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I had to comment because my kitchen cabinets were sealed with polyurethane by our painter and I always say it looks like a cat peed all over them!! LOL! So glad you were able to save your table – my cabinets are on hold for now… boo!
    Rhonda recently posted..Hydrangea SuccessMy Profile

  5. We were just going to polyurethane my desk tonight, but I wasn’t crazy about the finish on the test wood. So glad I found this site for an alternative! Thanks!!

  6. I used polycrylic on my brand new faux granite counter top that it took a lot of work and time to do with paint and it still turned yellow. Now minwax polyurethane says “if you require a gloss finish without ambering use polycrylic, so I went and got the polycrylic, I had a beautiful beige and mocha and white granite finish it looked really nice and very realistic when I was done, I was so happy with the results, until I put the polycrylic on it and it turned yellowish. I am wondering if that’s maybe just the minwax brand? Are there others which are better? I still wanted to do my kitchen counters but not if they will turn out yellowish too. BTW wonderful job on your table :)

    • I’m so sorry they turned yellow! So frustrating when you spend forever on a project and the last step ruins it. I’ve used polycrylic on quite a few things now and it has never yellowed, so I haven’t tried any other brands. Minwax is just a cheap/non-professional brand, so I’m sure a high quality brand would be better to you…though unfortunately I have no idea what that is. There is a store here in San Antonio called Woodcraft that sells stuff like that and could help, you might want see if there is one in your area.

  7. Thank you so much for your kind reply. I am in CT. We only have Home Depot. We used to have Lowes but they kept closing their stores until the last one was gone. I was raised in Chicago, we had plenty of home improvement stores there and art and craft stores, I loved it there, since I am very crafty, then I had to fall in love with a guy in CT, lol. They have only one arts and crafts store here in CT and it’s half the size of the many in Chicago. Home depot on the other hand is almost in every single shopping plaza, lol.

    I am thinking maybe of ordering a different brand on amazon, but I don’t want to be disappointed again and waste money, that’s why I asked. I don’t want to make another mistake and get another crappy brand, because I didn’t know. I do thank you :)

  8. I used polycrylic on my kitchen cabinets and the wood trim around the countertops when we redid our kitchen several years ago. I also used it on the door and window casings throughout the house. We had so much wood to finish that the shorter drying time was a big bonus. The cabinets are…ok. The wood looks flat–no depth to the grain & no shine, but that’s not a big deal. The finish on the trim around the countertops didn’t hold up well at all. It was tacky and dull within a year. The door and window trim still looks good everywhere except in the one bathroom where I used the polycrylic and the window sills. It doesn’t hold up to the sun, moisture, and heavy use that the oil-based does. If I were to do it again I would still use the polycrylic, but probably just on the door & window trim (except in the bathroom). I was really pretty disappointed in Minwax for claiming that it holds up the same as polyurethane. So…that’s my two cents. Do with it what you will!
    Michele recently posted..It Just Looks Like I Live Deep In The SouthMy Profile

    • Hmmm, good to know. Everything I’ve used Polycrilic on is holding up well so far, but I have been using Polyurathane on stuff that I know will be getting a lot of abuse (and it doens’t matter if it yellows), like our farmhouse table Adam built. Polyurathane does seem like it would hold up better just because it’s thicker…which is also why it’s a pain to apply.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Hello! I am literally in the process of redoing my kitchen cabinets. I have applied the polycrylic to a couple of drawers and it looks awful. Can you tell me how you applied your polycrylic? I’ve tried an expensive synthetic brush, a foam brush and in desperation I tried applying it with a cloth as you would when applying a stain. I cannot seem to get a smooth look. Any suggestions?

    • Hmmm, I have no idea why it is looking bad. I’ve only ever applied the polycrylic to furniture and craft projects and usually I use a cloth simply because I hate washing brushes. I have used a brush though and it turned out great. I use the satin poly, perhaps that makes a difference. I don’t know! I’m sorry it’s turning out terrible…I know how frustrating that can be! You know, when we painted our kitchen cabinets we didn’t put any finish on them at all…perhaps you could just skip the entire process?

      • Jennifer says:

        Thanks so much! Think I will try the satin finish and pray that it turns out the way I want. :)

  10. Jennifer says:

    Also, do you think the “finish” of the polycrylic could make a difference in the “streakiness”? Wondering if the “high-gloss” may show the streaks and brush marks more.

  11. I love Varathane’s water-based polyurethane, but the oil-based one is not my favorite due to yellowing. I wonder if this is a water-based vs. oil based issue. I’ve only been refinishing for a year, and I always love a good recommendation. I’ve posted all my water-based polyurethane projects on my site and none has yellowed yet…crossing fingers.

  12. Polycrylic comes in Flat, Satin, Low Gloss and High Gloss. Your results will be radically different depending on the selection. Also, you can base coat with other chemically compatible finishes to heighten the grain and then use the poly.

  13. wow my adblock blocked 17 ads on this page.. geez girl

    • Okay, I have to admit something…this comment has been bugging me all night. I’ve worked pretty hard to make my site look clean and have the ads not be too in your face while still allowing myself to make an income…but heck, maybe I’m just blind because I’m used to them. Did you look at it without the ad blocker? I can’t seem to come up with 17 no matter how I count.

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  1. […] finished off the table turned dog house with a coat of of polycrylic and tossed her pups bed inside.  Voila, here is her stenciled dog […]

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