Top coat - need advice

Good afternoon!

A little while ago I made this frame for a spray-painted picture that I got as a gift.

I finally got around to mix some acrylic paint and gave it a ‘used’ look after my first few attempts.

Now I want to give it a satin finish but I can’t seem to find a very low VOC spray coat and I’m wondering if my paint just comes off if I try to roll on some finish.

Does anyone have experience with this? I’m new to painting and have no idea! :grin:



If you’ve let the finish dry completely you shouldn’t have a problem with applying a clear coat.


Thanks Malissa,

One of these days I’ll try it out on a piece of painted scrap wood first and see what happens. I was just worried cause acrylic paint wipes of fairly easy…


I’d recommend painting a scrap piece the same as your frame. Then whatever top coat you end up with I’d test it on the scrap before your actual picture frame. Regarding top coats I’ve heard good things about OSMO finishes. I think they’re natural/low VOC.


I would recommend a water based spar urethane, several brands are available at Menards. It’s easy to work with and typically lower VOC than oil based urethanes. I think that the water based does not hold up to direct sunlight as well over time but for an interior picture frame it’s fine. I think you’ll get a better result if you brush the frame keeping a wet edge on your brush and moving with the grain. The foam brushes work great too. It’s very easy when spraying finish to over spray and end up with a bubbly finish. I’ve attached a picture of the brand I’ve used the most.