How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Wood: Does It Really Work?

Acrylic paint is the top choice for painting jobs. Painting with acrylic paint is also a flexible, time-saving, and pleasant task. The longevity, finish, fast-drying, non-toxic nature, and affordable price have made the paint popular.

Throwing the old painted, stained stuff into a garbage can is a common idea. But once you do a few more things, you will not prefer throwing the items. Sealing acrylic paint of wood can increase the lifespan.

How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Wood – Does It Really Work?

It also helps to renew the old, lost color when you bought or made it. Again, a paint makeover can make new wood furniture or tool attractive, vibrantly colorful, and sturdy.

There is no loss if you use sealant or varnish on the acrylic paint. You will not require a huge plan or a lot of tools to DIY seal acrylic paint. We have figured out how to seal acrylic paint of wood in some easy steps. Stay with us!

Why Should You Seal Acrylic Paint on Wood?

Sealer is not a mandatory item in painting wood with acrylic paints. But it works as a booster and protector of the paint. It protects the color from any chipping, fading, or scratch-off.

The following are some motives why you should not avoid sealing acrylic paint:

  • It can give the painted wood surface a unique look and dimension.
  • It can give various types of finish like glossy, semi-glossy, matte as you wish.
  • It can prevent deterioration caused by water, versatile chemicals, wear and tear, and sun UV rays.
  • It has no solvents except the pigments in a water base.
  • It can cover the wood pores before you start painting.
  • It can reduce the chances of painted wood discoloration due to the suck-up of chemical oils and fluids.

You will need several tools to complete sealing acrylic paint on wood. Once you have them, you can move forward to fulfill the project.

Tools Needed

Sandpaper (preferably 220-grit)Paintbrush
A wood sealant or varnishSponge brush
Wood primerMicrofiber or tack cloths
Acrylic paintsPaint trays

Sealing Acrylic Paint on Wood in 7 Effective Ways

Remind that you are not required to spend a whole day in sealing, just a few hours, mostly in drying the covers. After arranging all stuff, start following what we suggest sealing acrylic paint on wood:

First Step – Preparation

In any painting, removal of painting, sealing paint job, you will need to prepare the workspace first. Remove other things from the work area. Our suggestion would be a well-ventilated space or garage with open doors and windows would be a good choice for doing these jobs.

Acrylic paints leave a strong smell on the wood surface. So, an open area is always friendly. Anyway, pour the paint, primer, and sealant (or varnish) into different paint trays. Dry and clean the old paintbrush or arrange newer ones. Cover yourself too with a mask, long-sleeve dress, and goggles.

Second Step – Sand the Wood

We have used 220-grit sandpaper to sand the exterior of making it smooth. You may use lower coarse sandpaper such as 140 or 180 grits if the surface is not so older or totally new. Basically, high grit sandpapers smoothen the surface faster.

It is always better to start with medium-grit sandpaper. Then, you can choose higher grit like we did. You can use the back-and-forth method to sand the wood thing.

Third Step – Clean the Surface

We are thinking that you are satisfied with sanding the wood. Now, it is time to clean the residues like dust and debris. We suggest you dampen a cloth and wipe it with it to collect all the residue particles.

After wiping the entire area, leave it for drying. If you don’t want to use a damp cloth, a tack cloth will be a good idea. However, do not use a lot of water to soak the wood. It will turn the good thing into evil. You will need to wait for a long time to dry, or water damages the surface.

Fourth Step – Apply Wood Sealant

Wait! This is not the final step. We have more steps to complete the job. Many people avoid this step, instead, they do prime and paint on the wood. But here we are suggesting applying sealant first.

Wood sealant is a requirement for making the wood exterior ready for applying the acrylic paint. Again, do not get confuses, even if you are a beginner artist. You will need both sealant and primer to apply acrylic paint.

Pick a paintbrush to submerge in the sealer. Then, shake the brush a bit to remove excess sealant. Use the brush gently with the same pressure and seal the whole surface properly. After the first coat, take time to dry the surface. Then, give a second coat of sealant for superior protection. Therefore, the drying time is always mentioned in the container of sealant.

Fifth Step – Prime the Wood

Look out for any smallest cracks or holes on the surface. The sealant may have already filled the gap. Otherwise, fill them before using primer. After using sealant primarily, now you can prime the cover to start painting it. You can use a spray or brush-on primer to prime the area.

Use a brush or spray directly on wood to give the first coat of primer. Then, leave it to dry and do the second coat. You may find some sealers which work as both sealant and primer. If you have sealant like this 2-in-1 product, you can skip this fifth step.

Sixth Step – Apply the Paint

Once you have done priming the wood, it is now time to play with paints. We hope you have your favorite colored acrylic paint. There are various colors, branded acrylic paints available at the market. You can choose from your preferences.

Take the paintbrush and dip in the acrylic paint tray. Shake off the excess paint and apply the first coat using the back and forth method. Wait for drying and then, scuff the layer lightly. It will help in improvements of adherence to the subsequent layer.

After the first coat is done, do the next coats (one or two) using the same methods. Lastly, you will need to wait for a full curing time. Usually, this curing time (24 hours average) is noted on the paint container. It can be different relevant to the weather and other factors.

Final Step – Apply the Varnish or Sealant

After the paint drying, the wood surface is ready to be sealed. Use a tack cloth to clean any residues left on the layer otherwise, they will stay trapped under the sealer.

We suggest you use a transparent sealant on the acrylic paint. It helps to maintain the color vividness. Like the fourth step, you can spray the sealant or use a brush to have full coverage. A sponge brush may help to seal the hard-to-reach areas, tight corners. But you should be careful if any bristle is broken from the brush. Clean the bristle if you see any of them.

Have several coats of varnish on the wood surface. Always wait for drying after each coat—however, thin coats of sealant helps to dry faster while preventing unsightly brush strokes.


You can also use PVA glue with water to use as a sealer on the wood too. But it is not a praiseworthy solution to seal the acrylic paint on wood. The method we described is the most viable option for doing the job, even if you are alone.

If you follow each step correctly, we think your paint sealing job would be a successful one. Have a fantastic working day!

2 thoughts on “How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Wood: Does It Really Work?”

  1. Thank you for sharing this informative article! All the information provided by you is really very helpful for all. I agreed that by using tack cloth you can keep your project dust-free and it is useful for cleaning fine dust off a surface and gives you a smooth finish. Everyone should follow the tips provided by you, it will make their work easier. Keep Posting! Keep Sharing!


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