How to Protect Painted Surfaces

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Let's face it: painting just about any surface is a lot of work. It is also time-consuming and it always comes with a price tag. Protecting painted surfaces is as simple as adding at least one coat of a clear finish. Adding a clear finish will also lengthen the life of the painted surface because it adds a hard and durable top layer that wears well.

Things You'll Need

  • Foam brushes Clear finish (polyurethane or lacquer) Cloth rags Rubber gloves
  • Allow the painted surface to dry completely according to the instructions on the paint label. Drying time ranges from 2 to 8 hours depending on atmospheric conditions and the location of the painted surface.

  • Put on a pair of rubber gloves. Latex or blue nitrile gloves will work, too. Open the can of finish and dip the tip of a foam brush into the can to pick up some finish.

  • Begin spreading the finish over the painted surface. If drips form, immediately wipe them away with either the foam brush or a cloth rag.

  • Allow the finish to dry according to the instructions on the label. Reapply additional coats of finish according to manufacturer specifications. It is a good idea to lightly sand the finished surface in between coats with a 220-grit buffing or sanding pad to create a smooth-as-glass finish.

  • Dispose of the foam brush and soiled rags according to local laws and regulations.

Tips & Warnings

  • Read the warning label on the can of finish. Some finishes are flammable or combustible. Keep these away from open flames and ignition sources.

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