Can I Put A Clear Coat Over Painted Cabinets? (Find Out Now!)

Can I Put a Clear Coat Over Painted Cabinets

When remodeling your kitchen, you may have considered painting the cabinets. Painting the cabinets in your home can be a large undertaking. When you get near the end you may wonder if you can put a clear coat on the cabinet. 

Yes, you can put a clear coat over painted cabinets. After you have painted the cabinets, it is recommended to add several layers of clear coat. The clear coat, usually polyurethane, helps the cabinets look new for longer. Additionally, a clear coat will protect the surface of the cabinet. This will increase the longevity and durability of the cabinet. 

Putting a clear coat over painted cabinets is not difficult. However, it is important to understand why you should do it. Understanding the ins and outs of painted cabinets is crucial. 

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Why a Clear Coat is Is Important

Many people skip putting a clear coat on their painted cabinets. For one reason another, they feel it is not important. Possibly, they believe they should not apply a clear coat. 

However, not only is okay to apply a clear coat to a painted cabinet, it is recommended! Consider all the pros to applying a clear coat to a painted cabinet. 

  • Clear coat can help a cabinet seem “brighter,” which can add to the overall feeling of the kitchen. 
  • Clear coat will protect a cabinet from dust. 
  • Clear coat will protect a cabinet from scratches.
  • Clear coat will protect a cabinet from chipping. 
  • Clear coats are usually made with UV blockers, which will protect your cabinets’ paint from fading due to sunlight exposure. 

Therefore, using a good clear coat is important if you want your cabinets to look vibrant after they are painted. There are many options for clear coat, just like there are options for paint. 

Choosing the right clear coat will help with increasing the longevity and durability of your cabinets. This will help you cut down on maintenance, too. 

Is a Clear Coat Necessary?

Now that you know you can apply a clear coat to painted cabinets, you may wonder if you have to. For many, they skip using clear coat because they do not think they need it. 

While it is not necessary to use clear coat, it is highly recommended. Not using clear coat on a painted cabinet can lead to several issues. 

  • Not using clear coat can lead to the color of the cabinet fading over time. 
  • Avoiding using clear coat can lead to the paint on the cabinets chipping. 
  • Not using clear coat can lead to cabinets getting dirtier quicker. 

The benefits of clear coat are clear, and they show why it should be used. If you do not use clear coat, your cabinets will suffer. 

However, this does mean you absolutely have to use clear coat. Yet, if you want to maintain a vibrant finish to your cabinets, it is a good practice to finish with a clear coat. 

Painting Your Cabinets First

There are instances when your cabinets have already been painted. When they have already been painted, you wonder if there is clear coat on them. 

You can always add clear coat to cabinets that have already been painted. You may also decide to give the cabinets a fresh coat of paint. Afterward, you can add a clear coat. 

However, if your cabinets are not painted, you may decide you want a new color. You want to remodel your kitchen, so you decide to paint them. 

Before you can add the clear coat, you need to paint the cabinets. You can hire someone, though this can get quite expensive. You can also paint the cabinets yourself. 

Consider these elements before you paint your cabinets:

  • What color you want should depend on the other colors in the kitchen.
  • Try to pick a color that matches the flooring. 
  • Consider using spray paint rather than a paintbrush. 

Once you have the color you want, it will be time to start painting the cabinets. 

Tips on Painting Cabinets

Painting your cabinets can feel like a daunting task. This is especially true if you have never done it before. Knowing a few tips can go a long way in ensuring a good job is done with the cabinets. 

  • Remove the cabinet doors. Many people try painting them while they are attached. This can lead to issues, however. Paint can get into the hinges. 
  • Remove the hinges, too. By removing the hinges and latches, you can paint the area more professionally without worrying about using tape.
  • Prime the cabinets first. It is easy to forget to use a primer, but it is very important. 
  • Paint the cabinet doors on the floor. It is much easier to paint them when they are laying down than if they are propped up. 

You will also want to pick the right paint. Make sure that you pick a paint that will work on your cabinets’ material. 

Additionally, you may find the job is too big for you. That is okay! There are professionals who can paint your cabinets for you. 

However, if you hire these professionals, the price point can become expensive. So, if you think he can paint them yourself, it can be preferable. 

Apply a Clear Coat Over Painted Cabinets

Once you have painted the cabinets, the job is not over. While, as mentioned, you can skip using a clear coat, this is not recommended. 

Instead, opt for using a quality clear coat over the painted cabinets. There are a few tips to follow before applying the clear coat. 

  • Make sure the paint is completely dry. 
  • If you used a stainer, make sure that is dry as well. 
  • Make sure the clear coat you buy is a highly rated and durable one. 
  • Apply the clear coat with a brush or lint-free cloth. 

Applying clear coat is easy and quick. It will–essentially–seal the surface of the cabinet to keep it looking fresh. Once you have the clear coat you want, simply apply it using a paintbrush or lint-free cloth. 

There are also lambs-woold applicators you can use. No matter how you apply it, make sure to apply it evenly and do not use too much. 

Remember, clear coats can come water-based or oil-based. However, both are applied the same way. 

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Related Questions

Are You Supposed to Sand Cabinets as You Paint?

Yes, it is important to sand in between coats of paint on a cabinet. It is important, however, to lightly sand the cabinets. Use extra-fine sandpaper. Sanding will help remove dust particles that settle as you paint. The finish of the paint will come out smoother this way.  

What Types of Cabinet Material Should Not Be Painted?

If your cabinet is made of wood, it can be painted. However, if your cabinets are made of vinyl, stainless steel, or other non-wood materials, painting could prove troublesome. The paint will not stick properly to these materials. The result will be excessive chipping. 

How Many Layers of Clear Coat are Needed?

Generally, you want to have at least two coats of clear coat on your painted cabinets. The first coat acts as a sort of primer. However, you can always add a third coat to your painted cabinets. This will ensure a solidly coated painted cabinet. 

Hannah DeMoss

Hannah DeMoss has been a writer for nearly a decade. Her passion for writing began years ago has continued to grow. Her expertise at home involves furniture restoration and other small DIY tasks. When not writing, Hannah enjoys the outdoors with her husband and pups, as well as traveling.

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