Help...polycrylic finish is crackling!

brystersmomOctober 4, 2009

Yesterday I applied my first coat of minwax semi-gloss polycrylic over 2 coats of Ace cabinet,door and trim paint on several cabinet doors. This afternoon I went to lightly sand and then apply the second coat and was shocked to find that the poly finish was completely "crackled." I have used the polycrilic over the same paint on all of my baseboards, window & door trim, built-ins, etc and have never had this problem. Any suggestions on what went wrong? I applied the poly in my barn and the temp outside was cool (in the 60's) with moderate humidity. The can of poly was not "brand new"--I had used about 1/3 of the can last week when coating some builtins and didn't have any problems. The olny thing different was that I applied the poly in the barn and not inside the house. I just finished sanding one cabinet door and applied a third coat of Ace paint and am waiting for that to dry until tomorrow. Should I get a new can of poly? I would greatly appreciate any suggestions!

Thanks :)

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How long did you let the paint dry before you applied the poly? Off hand it sounds like the paint wasn't completely dry. Remember any dry times on the can are under ideal conditions which aren't what one is lucky enough to find in the field.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 9:21PM
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This is a really old thread but I just wanted to say that I had the same thing happen to me. The first time (both were on test pieces) I had large crackles (almost as though I had applied a crackle medium). I suspected I may not have let the paint dry thoroughly enough (it was probably about an 8-hour dry time). I tried it again after a 36-hour dry time and again had crackling, but this time they were very fine and small. I sanded the area lightly, reapplied the polycrylic and it was a perfect finish.

I don't know what happened, but I have to suspect it had something to do with the paint's dry time or perhaps the conditions (I was doing this in the basement, which is cool but not cold).

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 8:22AM
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This is just another reason why we don't like to mix and match products....compatability. The polycrylic is not going to add any durability that the paint itself can't provide.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 8:44AM
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So, if I painted a desk then there is no need to apply a varnish over it? The varnish would add no further protection?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 10:31AM
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PG is dead-on here...

Good "regular" paints & "Cabinet-type" paints...

DO NOT NEED additional coatings!!!

Cabinet-paints typically have Polyurethane resins in them, and don't need additional clear topcoats.
Once the paint itself is dry, CURING is still ongoing...and it CAN take 3-4 weeks to considered hardened-off.

If you absolutely have to clear-coat something...WAIT AT LEAST 2 WEEKS for paint to more completely cure.
>>> Some moisture is still releasing from new paintcoats...that's why subsequent coatings fail/crack.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 10:54AM
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