Best Clear Coat Over Latex Paint – Lets Prevent Scratches and Yellowing

by James Antony | Last Updated: 27th January 2020

Do you know that Latex paints wear out with time? To prevent this occurrence, you need a clear coating that will give your surface a protective finish. Your best take of any clear coating is the Water-based variety that gives your Latex surface a transparent-like appearance, unlike the oil-based, which is prone to yellowing.

Furthermore, the use of a clear coating over your latex painted surface shines prevents scratch and yellowing of such surface. For a good advantage, these coatings should be quite easy to apply and dry/cure fast.

Let’s take a clear look at some of the best clear coatings you can use for your interior and exterior latex paint surfaces. They are coatings majorly from Minwax and Rust-Oleum brands.

Review of the 3 Best Clear Coat Over Latex Paint

Minwax 1555 5000 Polycrylic Protective Finish Water BasedCrystal Clear Finish

Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish Water Based Gloss Review - Best Clear Coat Over Latex Paint

Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish


If you are looking for the right quality coating that can add beauty to your home interior, then the Minwax 1555 5000 Polycrylic protective coating is the right choice for you. This model of clear coating comes in a package container with size dimensions around 6.9 x 7.5 x 8 inches and weighs no less than 8.33 pounds.

It is a polycrylic water-based coating that is less toxic and dries fast upon application. It is often used as a wood finish for light woods like maple, birch, and ash, which makes up many of your household furniture. This clear coating gives the wood a semi-gloss finish. Applying this coating over latex is quite easy; all that is required is a bristle brush for soft application.

On the best stake, the coating provides a strong resistance to scratches, dirt, and dust for long. Cleaning the coat is easy with the use of warm water. However, it is only suited for interior use.

Rust-Oleum 260164 Ultimate PolyurethaneUltra-fast Dry Time

Rust-Oleum Ultimate Polyurethane Semi-Gloss Review - Best Clear Coat Over Latex Paint

Rust-Oleum 260164 Ultimate Polyurethane


Rust-Oleum 260164 is entirely a water-based polyurethane coating suited for both interior and exterior finishing of your home. The model comes packed in a container with size dimensions around 5 x 5 x 5 inches and weighs no more than 3.2 ounces. It features a semi-gloss transparent-like color that provides the base of attraction for any finished material. It comes with the capabilities of protecting your latex painted surfaces.

It is highly suited for use by any home DIYer or professional painter who wants a fast coating job. Also, this clear coating comes with a fast-drying ability, which does not take more than 2 hours for every 125 sq ft quart. Cleaning the coated surface is quite easy with the use of soap and water.

Minwax 7105 10000 Water Based Helmsman Spar UrethaneBest for Outdoor

Minwax Water Based Helmsman Spar Urethane Semi-Gloss Review - Best Clear Coat Over Latex Paint

Minwax Water Based Helmsman Spar Urethane


The Minwax Helmsman spar urethane is an exceptional coat for both interior and exterior use. This owns to the fact that the coating comes with UV blockers, which is quite resistant to heavy rays of sunlight. As a good advantage, the Helmsman can hold well for a lifetime in areas where the temperature change is imminent.

Its use in temperature changing areas owes to the presence of some special oils, which makes it expand and contract on seasonal changes. Asides its ability to block sunlight’s fading effects, whenever the coating is used over latex paint, it also forms a protective barrier against rain and moisture.

On the overall, this coating comes packaged in a container of size dimensions around 6.5 x 6.5 x 7.6 inches and weighs 8.5 pounds. It is a water-based coating meaning that it is less toxic and would dry faster open applications on any latex or wood surface. On the last note, this transparent coating comes with a semi-gloss color.

Best Clear Coat Over Latex Paint

Best Clear Coat Over Latex Paint – Frequently Asked Questions

Can you seal Latex paint?

Sealing a latex paint with a clear topcoat may not be necessary. However, the use of a clear coating for latex paint provides a protective layer over the paint and makes it resistant to stains, marks, and moisture. Therefore, if you wish to seal your Latex paint, there are available coating materials for your use today. This could give whatever surface you choose to apply coating on an impressive, lustrous, and protective finish.

Should I use Polyurethane over paint?

With Polyurethane, you get a more diverse option as it comes as a water-based or oil-based variety. While the oil-based type may be durable and more resistant to tough conditions of heat and moisture, it often takes a long time to cure and could add extra yellow color over any paint you coat on.

The other type, which is water-based, will be the best as it gives it a transparent look and dries over paint faster. But in all, you can always opt to apply Polyurethane over any paint, all you have to do is ensure the paint surface is clean and dry.

How long should paint dry before applying polycrylic?

Applying a polyurethane over an undried paint will cause the paint to mix uniformly with the clear coating and could end been non-transparent. Therefore it is best to apply Polycrylic coating no less than 24 hours after painting. If you want to be extra cautious and be well certified, you can wait up to 48 hours.

How can I make a paint cure faster?

In a situation where you need to apply your clear coatings fast, you will need to look for a fast way to cure your painted surfaces. This is most important if you are a professional painter having a huge job ahead and can’t wait for the painting to dry before applying the coat. There are, however, two important ways to ensure your paint cure faster.

Open ventilation: most paintings at the exterior dry faster due to air pressure. However, if you want an interior painting to cure faster, you might need to open a window or door to allow open ventilation over the paint, so it dries faster.

Use of Dryer or heater: If you want to do a quick-dry job, you might consider using a hair-dryer which supplies heat and air. Its use involves focusing the nozzle of the wet surface you need to dry. However, this technique must be done slowly at less air pressure to prevent latex paint from chipping off.

By the way, here you can check Paint Shop Safety requirements.

What is the best clear coat over latex paint for outdoor use?

The best clear coating you can use for coating your exterior latex paint should be a spar polyurethane clear coating. Although, its water-based, it is resistant to defects, which could be caused by moisture and air.

How to apply a clear coat over Latex paint?

Apply a clear coat over latex paint comes in the following easy steps;
Ensure paint surfaces are free from dust, grease, or dirt. Also, ensure it is dry. A Polyurethane coat may require you to first sand for it to adhere. Use a lint-free cloth to clean the sand dust.

You can then carefully make use of a bristle brush to apply the coating.

What makes clear water-based polyurethane better than oil-based?

If you desire a truly clear coating over your latex painted surfaces and wood, the use of water-based poly will be better than oil-based. The water-based coating comes with a clear transparent coating while oil-based have amber hue, which yellows and will continually dry with time.

Another fact is that water-based poly saves you a lot of time on a painting job as it dries faster than oil-based poly. Nevertheless, both coatings have almost the same level of durability on painted surfaces.

Factors to Consider When Choosing A Clear Coating For Latex Paint

1. Toxicity:

Most coatings are usually toxic based on their chemical make-up. To get the best definition of a clear coating, always go for the type which does not come with a pungent smell. A water-based polycrylic or polyurethane is a feasible option. This is because they come with microscopic amounts of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

2. Drying time:

There is a need to consider the amount of time for a clear coating to dry fast. As a painter, the type of coating you use will determine your expertise in that. A home DIYer should consider going for a clear coating that can cure fast to use over latex paint.

Best Clear Coat Over Latex Paint – Conclusion

Keeping a Latex painted surface fresh entails a lot of things, which include the use of Water-based clear coatings. You can be assured of their ease of applicability and their long-lasting effect. The coatings reviewed in this article are either one of Polyurethane or Polycyclic based, compare their features, and choose which one is the best fit for your use today.

And don’t forget to check our Best Brush Review

for the best result!

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