Ask a question

The Bunnings Workshop community can help with your home improvement projects.

Top coat / sealer for painted wooden furniture

Finding My Feet

Top coat / sealer for painted wooden furniture

I have recently upcycled an old wooden cabinet. I've sanded it back, then applied a coat of Taubman's 3 in 1 prep, followed by a few coats of a Taubman's low sheen water based paint (sanding in between coats).


I am looking to coat it with something now, to give it some protection from scratches etc. I'm not sure whether to use a polyurethane like this one, or a wax or spray of some kind. Can you please advise? Ideally I would like something easy to apply that doesn't leave streaks etc. so I am left with a nice smooth surface and that has a matt or low sheen finish.


Thanks in advance for your help :smile:


IMG_7187.jpg IMG_7186.jpg

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Top coat / sealer for painted wooden furniture

Hello @ljsarg


Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. Thank you so much for joining us and sharing your question about a topcoat/sealer for painted wooden furniture.


What a beautiful upcycled project. Putting a protective coat on your furniture depends on what finish you are after. If you are after a streak-free finish you can use a Paint Roller. However, you will have to use a brush in the more fiddly bits of your cabinet such as the doors. I recommend using a Paint Brush of the highest quality to give you a superior finish. Please remember that the rollers are designed with specific finishes in mind.


I recommend having a look at Cabot's 250ml Water Based Satin Cabothane Clear Interior Varnish. It is water-based and does not turn yellow like oil-based varnishes. I suggest testing it on a hidden area of the cabinet to make sure it does not affect the colour. Satin has a nice lustre finish to it and is not as shiny as a full-on gloss finish. What colour did you put on your cabinet? Did you buy the cabinet or did you rescue it from the curb? Any details you can share about your project would be much appreciated.


Let me tag our experienced members @DanaR and @craftyhopper for their recommendations.


If you need more advice or information, please let us know  




See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!

Re: Top coat / sealer for painted wooden furniture

Thanks for your reply @EricL 


The longer I leave it the more it is drying out and becoming less tacky and I am wondering whether I even need to coat/seal.


To answer your question I rescued this from the curb. I am also planning on applying a cane type texture within the frames, so will upload more pics when completed. Here are the before pics:


IMG_6917.jpg  IMG_6916.jpg

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Top coat / sealer for painted wooden furniture

Hi @ljsarg,


If it was the Taubmans 1L White Low Sheen Water Based Enamel, then you don't necessarily need the topcoat. However, for surfaces likely to scratch like tabletops, it is always a good investment. If it wasn't the enamel paint, then I would highly suggest the clear coat.


Great project, by the way, I love the colour you've chosen.




See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!

Why join the Bunnings Workshop community?

Workshop is a friendly place to learn, get ideas and find inspiration for your home improvement projects