Whether you experimented with chalk paint or glue paint or you stuck with tried-and-true latex paint to upgrade your table, you want to consider how to protect the finish. You want a paint that will adhere well without altering the appearance of the fresh paint job, and unless you’re a painting pro, you want a paint that’s simple to apply. A coat of paste wax is all you want to guard a fully cured latex paint finish, but chalk paint and glue paint usually need the excess protection of a water-based polyurethane-acrylic finish. A hard, clear finish can also gain latex paint.
Give the painted finish plenty of time to cure before you apply a protective coating. Healing is a slow process during which exposure to the atmosphere cross-links the molecules at the finish. It’s best to allow at least a week for curing to be complete.
Wash the surface with a solution of 1 oz dish soap per gallon of water to get rid of any dirt or oils that might have accumulated. This creates a weak cleanser that’s safe for most paint finishes, like oats and chalk paint.
Protect gloss and semi-gloss latex ends with a coat of paste wax. Apply the wax with a pad of very fine steel wool, rubbing the paste in a circular motion. Buff it with a lambs-wool buffer.
Offer your chalk or milk paint finish lasting protection with two or three coats of water-based acrylic polyurethane finish. This low-VOC merchandise is stronger than water-based polyurethane, and it’s simple to apply. You might even wish to use it on your latex-finished table if you expect it to be subjected to extreme wear.
Put on the finish with a high-quality synthetic-bristle paintbrush. Brush along the grain of the wood. Put on the item generously and consistently stroke toward the wet edge of their former stroke to ensure an even, smooth application.
Apply one coat, allow it to dry overnight; then sand lightly with 220-grit seams and then apply another coat. Repeat if necessary.