We’ve had some discussion in our Facebook group lately about Minwax Polycrylic, one of the most popular sealants used in the acrylic pouring community. I know—I use it myself! It’s been my go-to product for a long time, so when I saw a recent post claiming that Minwax had told one of our group members that it isn’t safe, I decided to do some digging of my own.
I contacted Minwax through their Facebook page, and received a reply about six days later (not a wonderful turnaround).
Here’s what I asked:
There has been a lot of misinformation spread about your products, and I’d like someone to clarify for us since we’re getting different answers from everyone we speak to at your company.
One of our authors reached out to you about your product, Polycrylic, some time ago. They were told that it was perfectly safe to seal acrylic paintings with Polycrylic, and I can safely say that at least half of our community has used Polycrylic at least once for this purpose.
However, now a member of our group has let us know that she reached out to Minwax and was told that you don’t make any products that can be used for sealing acrylic paint.
Can you please clarify this so we can provide the correct information to the 91k + members in our group?
Polycrylic can be applied over latex paint. Other types of paint would have to be tested on your own for compatibility. Having said that, it is best to allow the paint to be cured for 30 days, if new.
Also, it needs to be sanded with 220 grit sandpaper and the dust needs to be removed completely before application. Also, our protective finishes are for use on hardwood surfaces only. Finally, there is a small chance that it will yellow over light or white paint. We hope this information is helpful.
I sat on this response for a few days, because quite frankly, it confused me.
First, as you all probably know, there really isn’t a difference between latex and acrylic paints. “Latex” has become a generic term for really any commercially used water-based paint—there’s no latex rubber in the paint anymore. Depending on what the paints are being used for, they’re mixed with acrylic resins or vinyl. Vinyl is cheaper, and that’s what you’ll find in most commercially used water-based paint.
This is where my confusion came in, along with a sentence in the second paragraph about how the product should only be used over hardwood floors.
Again, I responded and asked for clarification. Does this mean that Polycrylic can only be used over commercial paints like house paint? Furthermore, I asked for clarification about the hardwood surfaces—can it be used over paint, or not?
Sadly, Minwax has been completely silent since I questioned them again about the products, even after having reached out to their corporate office with no luck. So, here’s the deal with Polycrylic.
Have artists used Polycrylic with good results? Yes. Have some artists experienced yellowing? Also yes. In this case, it can’t really be determined if Polycrylic is or is not safe for use over acrylic paintings—there are too many variables when it comes to what brand of paint you’re using, what your medium is, if you’re adding silicone, or where the piece will be placed/how the piece will be used. What we can say is, test the product first. If you want to use Polycrylic but you’re not willing to find out the hard way that it isn’t safe for your particular painting, the best advice we can give you is to test it out on a smaller piece using the same paint mixture you’re using on a bigger piece. Apply the Polycrylic as directed and try it in the same conditions you anticipate that piece will encounter; full sunlight, shade, humidity, etc.
Testing out any product is the absolute best way to know if it will work for you!
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