Things You'll Need
Fine grit sand paper
Lint free cloth
Polycrylic is a brand name from the Minwax company, a company well known for polyurethanes. Polyurethane is an oil-based covering used for top coating stained and painted wood. As it is oil based, clean up is generally considered a hassle, as one must use solvents to clean brushes, hands and anything else. Polycrylic is a combination of the words Polyurethane and Acrylic. This covering, made by Minwax, is water-based, which means it washes up with plain water. The ease of using this product is slightly tarnished by the fact that it is less durable than standard polyurethane, but for most applications, Polycrylic can be substituted for polyurethane with sound results.
Lightly sand your previously stained or painted wood to ensure that any air bubbles or other minor imperfections have been smoothed out.
Wipe the surfaces of your project with the lint free cloth to remove any sanding dust.
Apply a thin, even coat of Polycrylic with the paint brush.
Allow the Polycrylic to dry for several hours. Its dry time is similar to water-based paint, as opposed to the dry time of many days for standard polyurethane.
Sand your project lightly again, and re-coat with Polycrylic. Repeat steps one through four as many times as desired to apply as many coats of Polycrylic as you want.
Allow the Polycrylic to dry for several days before using your finished piece.