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I'm building a headphone amp - I've opted to go for a patchy paint job on top because I like the pattern it introduces. Having said that, the paint is uneven as a result.

If I kept this as is and sealed it with polyurethane would it post any challenges? Or would you recommend this be sanded down?

Wood with uneven textured paint

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  • Hi, welcome to StackExchange. You can varnish texture like this as-is, same as with canvas paintings that have various kinds of texture (although they don't use polyurethane it is still essentially the same). One challenge is that varnish will settle more thickly into the valleys, and with this type of texture specifically it will also crawl away from the peak, leaving them relatively lightly protected. Also you have to dry the item flat which maximises the chance of dust settling into the finish, so arranging for as close to a dust-free environment as possible is important.
    – Graphus
    Sep 30 '20 at 10:15
  • P.S. Also bear in mind that oil-based poly is decidedly yellow. While waterbased poly is generally completely clear or "water white" when dry (they're milky in the tin) it will be difficult to apply this type of finish by brush or roller without getting bubbles.
    – Graphus
    Sep 30 '20 at 10:16
  • To add to the comment by @Graphus, you can try a spray top-coat, using many light coats to maximize even coverage.
    – jdv
    Sep 30 '20 at 12:42

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