I am painting cabinet doors using Dulux waterbased satinwood. It does seem to remain in a state where things touching it tend to stick. I have found this to be the case on other doors even after many months. I also find that it's quite easy to mark or scratch. However, painted doors from a factory seem hard to scratch and don't stick. I'm wondering how I can achieve this?

Would lacquer or polyurethane over the top of the water based Dulux satinwood help? Would this make it tougher? Or is it a daft idea to finish something using a satinwood paint then a different finish that also applies a slight sheen?

  • "[seems to] remain in a state where things touching it tend to stick.... even after many months." yeah this can be a problem with a lot of waterbased finishes it seems. It shouldn't be, and paints are generally much better than they once were, but this still seems to be a fairly common issue (and occasionally only sometimes, without any clear reason for the difference). Anyway, your idea is perfectly sound — it's now not rare to overcoat paints with something tougher to e.g. improve wear resistance. Your difficulty will be in finding a waterbased clear that doesn't have the same issue!
    – Graphus
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 18:19
  • @Graphus excellent thanks for the input. Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


In general it's fine to overcoat paints with a clear coat. After all this how cars are painted, with a clear coat as the final layer to protect the paint and ensure the best long-term performance.

The paint and clear coat don't need to be of the same type, or "share the same chemistry" as it's often put. You can overcoat with anything that won't cause the paint to craze or wrinkle, but I presume you'll want to keep the colour unchanged as much as possible and have application be similar to the paint's so you're limited to only waterbased finishes. Waterbased clear finishes are mostly absolutely colourless1 and if you match sheen fairly closely will minimally change the colour of what they're applied to2.

As I say in my Comment above, your real challenge will be in finding a clear waterbased finish that doesn't share the same characteristic as the Dulux paint you've used! You'll need to rely on good feedback from consumers and/or a finish comparison test done by a magazine or website to find one that has zero problems with remaining tacky. And while you're at it you might as well pick something that tops the charts in as many other respects as well, aiming for the best durability in the long term. With luck you'll far exceed the lifespan of the Dulux paint by itself, possibly adding years.

1 AKA "water-white". But do note because the finish is a suspension in water they are milky in the container.

2 Changes in gloss change apparent colour. If you gloss coat a matt paint in a pale colour expect that the colour will become slightly 'deeper', i.e. darker and more saturated.

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