Can You Use Emulsion Paint On Wood? & How To Seal It

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Sealing emulsion paint on wood might have you scratching your head with what exactly you need to do to ensure that your surface is well protected. For that reason, we decided to write this small guide on how to seal emulsion on wood.

What You Need

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Polyvine Decorators Varnish

The Polyvine Decorators Varnish is a light water-based varnish that’s suitable for a large range of surfaces. Suitable for emulsion, wallpaper, fabric and plasterwork, the Polyvine Decorators Varnish as a multitude of uses around the home and can be used for a number of home improvement projects that will require a clear, dead flat protective finish.

Quite often during a home improvement project or decorating you might have emulsion leftover that you’re thinking will suit some wooden furniture such as a bedside cabinet or table.

While it is certainly not the best way to give you’re wooden furniture or skirting boards a new look especially in areas that are prone to moist or condensation it can be a cost-saving step and will use up any leftover paint, therefore eliminating waste.

Can You Seal It On Wood?

Oil-based paints such as a gloss or a specialised wood paint are usually the best choices to apply to wood as they offer built-in protections that emulsion cannot provide. A solution for wood is applying a sealer after the painting process that can offer protection to the newly painted surface.

A sealer for emulsion on wood will offer protection from moisture and knocks by creating a protective film over the paint. So yes, you can seal emulsion paint on wood but there are some important steps you will need to take.

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Why Use Emulsion Paint On Wood?

It could be a number of reasons, sometimes you find a great colour that it’s hard to find the same shade in a harder-wearing paint finish designed especially for wood.

Or, it could just be a matter of leftover paint that you need to use before you think about disposing of the paint and there’s something that you want to paint or spruce up.

While many professionals will tell you that it’s not the best to use emulsion on wood it doesn’t mean that it’s not possible. It just means that there are better ways to paint wood surfaces other than emulsion.

There are some problems you may encounter during the painting process with painting wood, that is that the coverage of the paint will not be optimal. You will likely need to apply several coats to get a good finish. Some paint will be absorbed by the wood so let it dry thoroughly before you apply an additional coat.

What Product Should You Use?

To seal emulsion paint on the wood you will need to select and apply a clear varnish or decorators varnish that will offer the protection you need for the paint to last. You could get away without applying any sealer if the wooden object is not used in a heavy traffic area or within a damp room within the home.

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If the object needs to be sealed then the perfect choice is the Polyvine Water Base Decorator’s Dead Flat Varnish 500ml available from Amazon.

You should not use PVA to seal emulsion on wood as it makes repainting or reapplying paint in the future a small task now into a massive task as you will need to remove the PVA to allow any additional coast of paint or touchups to adhere.

The Polyvine Decorators Varnish mentioned above is a light water-based varnish that’s suitable for a large range of surfaces. Suitable for emulsion, wallpaper, fabric and plasterwork, the Polyvine Decorators Varnish as a multitude of uses around the home and can be used for a number of home improvement projects that will require a clear, dead flat protective finish.

Before you apply the varnish the painted surface needs to wiped clean from dust, dirt and grime. Mix the product well and apply thinly the first coat, wait till the varnish is dry – which should take between 15minutes and 1hour and then apply the second coat of varnish for the best protection.

The varnish will protect against water, absorption, knocks and bumps. You can expect coverage of around 20m2/L of the Polyvine Decorators Varnish so it’s great value for money.

The only downside to the Polyvine Decorators Varnish is that if it’s used on surfaces that will require heavy-duty cleaning such as harsh household cleaners then you may see a stain or thin of the varnish. So only use on objects that will occasionally be cleaned.

Common Questions

How To Seal Emulsion Paint On Wood?

1. Paint the wood with emulsion paint and let the first coat dry.
2. Add an additional coat for full coverage.
3. Clean the surfaces of the wood down and ready it for sealing.
4. Apply Polyvine Decorators Varnish (here) Thinly
5. After 15minutes-1hour drytime apply a second varnish coat
6. Your emulsion paint should now be sealed on wood.

Can You Put Emulsion Paint On Wood?

While it’s not the best type of paint for wood, yes you can infact put emulsion paint onto wood. You just need to ensure it’s sealed if it’s in a moisture prone area.

Can You Varnish Over Emulsion Paint?

Yes you can varnish over emulsion paint. You need to use a water-based sealing varnish such as the Polyvine Decorators Varnish for the best protection.

Can You Use Wall Paints On Wood?

As wall paints are specifically designed for walls, they are not the best option for wood. Specialised wood paint provides better all round protection compared to a wall paint.

If you’re looking for emulsion then why not check out our best emulsion paint list here.

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1 thought on “Can You Use Emulsion Paint On Wood? & How To Seal It”

  1. Can i paint emulsion over wood paint, cabin has been oiled, 1 coat of wood paint, wanted to see if i can emulsion ontop of that then or does a 2nd coat of wood paint be necessary

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