Making an Ugly Table Pretty (and useable)
April 17, 2008 7:23 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to seal a repainted coffee table?

Recently I found a sturdy little coffee table for $4 with one heck of an ugly paint job. I sanded down the paint speckles and the boyfriend and I went to pick out a new color for it. Neither of us really know what we are doing. He likes the matte look and we ended up choosing a red/orange satin paint.

The paint job turned out pretty good, but I am worried about wear and tear, not only from glasses and water marks but also because boyfriend likes to put his feet up on coffee tables.

What kind of sealant or protectorant I can use for this? Ease of application and low cost are important. Boyfriend would like to keep the matte look, but I am ambivalent.

Glidden Evermore Satin Premium Interior Paint meant for Casual Spaces. (From what I understand, this is aimed more at painting walls, not necessarily furniture).

Analysis: water(7732-18-5), acrylic resin(CAS unknown), amonia salt of polycarboxylic acid(CAS unknown), Propanic acid, 2-methyl-, monoester with 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-Pentanediol (25265-77-4), Nepheline Syenite (37244-96-5), Contents partially unknown
posted by silkygreenbelly to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Clear matte (or, recommended: satin, since real matte looks unnatural) polyurethane.

(Varathane is a common brand name but it's all the same.)

Get a water-based one.

Spray (easy) or bush (better for environment and your lungs). Couple of coats, heavier on the top where you'll have the wear and tear.
posted by rokusan at 7:39 PM on April 17, 2008

Like rokusan, I was going to recommend a satin matte polyurethane, although I've always applied this to finished wood and never on top of paint. I'm not sure of the implications of the paint (will oil-based or water-based impact adhesion?; does the surface need to be "roughed-up" with sandpaper or steel wool prior to the first coat?)

Assuming that a satin polyurethane will stick, it's a great barrier to water, and you can generally abuse it to little or no effect. I generally treat with three light coats, sanding with triple-aught or steel wool between coats (with a cheesecloth cleanup in a generally dust-free environment after each sanding).
posted by F Mackenzie at 8:41 PM on April 17, 2008

Benjamine Moore makes a product called Stays Clear that I always use. I've used it on painted furniture, painted switch plates and on painted floors. I was told by the person who recommended it to me that it's used on gym floors. It's water based so it's easy to clean up. I prefer it because it actually stays clear, everything else I've tried has yellowed which is really ugly on switch plates that are supposed to be matching the wall. Use a FOAM brush or a FOAM roller to avoid leaving brush hairs or bits of roller fiber in your finish. I usually use the low lustre, the higher gloss shows scratches and scrapes more easily.
posted by BoscosMom at 10:00 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

I have used Zar water based polyurethane, but only on walls. It seems pretty durable, applies easily with a sponge brush, and cleans up with soap and water.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:22 PM on April 17, 2008

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