From original questioner:

I built a small dresser for one of my customers and she provided the paint ( acrylic latex ) by Sherwin Williams. I put two coats on and I am fear full the finish is two soft. My question is can I spray lacquer over it to give a more durable finish?

From contributor Le

The enamel finish should be hard enough. need to let it cure for at least 30 days in temps above 70F degrees. Above 75F would be better.

From contributor Pa

One of the general rules of finishing is to never apply a harder finish over a softer one. Otherwise the topcoat will crack.

Acrylic paints can often give a good finish. I've never used that particular one, but I've used others with decent results. The acrylic paints tend to dry harder than typical latex.

From contributor Ad

Those Sherwin boys have made life more confusing. The original product labeled Proclassic which they've made for at least 10-15 years was a 100% acrylic enamel. Very good product rock hard after about 2 weeks.

They seem to have created 2 new products. One called latex and one called alkyd. The Sherwin guys aren't smart enough to mix oil and water so the alkyd is just a marketing term. I believe that is the original product.

The latex stuff sounds more like a softer version more like house paint. There is no latex in any paint. It refers to how the chemistry works not the latex in gloves.

Give it at least 2 weeks to see its full hardness. If you want to clear coat with a harder product I would go with a wb acrylic/poly. Any brand will be harder than the paint.

From contributor Bi

The picture posted is Sherwin-Williams' standard water borne Proclassic enamel. It gets very hard and it shouldn't take two weeks to get that way unless your shop is cold. If it's soft, something has gone wrong somewhere and lacquer isn't going to help.

From contributor Ti

I've experimented with WB coatings (Target 9000) over paint (BM Advance) and have found that the paint alone is harder and more durable than the WB poly.

I think the WB looks nicer. But, pretty much any cleanser rubs right through the poly but not the paint.

Your mileage may vary.

From contributor Mi

I use both the Proclassic Alkyd and Proclassic Latex Enamel several times each week. I find that in our shop, the oil based dries over night to touch, is hardening within 2 days and is satisfactory for transporting and installing on the 3rd day. Plenty hard and durable for window shutters. The other, the water based enamel is dry to touch in hours, but retains a stickiness and soft feel. Even after several days, hard to load and ship, but after curing, it is plenty hard for our uses. It just takes too long to cure for e to really like using it on our products, but still do when customers spec that finish.

From contributor Ji

Thanks for posting! After 3 or 4 weeks which is harder and more durable, alkyd or latex?

From contributor Mi

I know for a fact that the Alkyd oil based paint gets plenty hard, in the Proclassic line. I have been using it for however long it has been available, maybe 15 years? Anyway, I have opportunity to see shutters after years of sitting in the and I am always pleased with how it holds up. When I say hard, I mean for use on my products, I can't say it is going to stand up to the treatment of a furniture top, but I would not be afraid to use it on a dresser. The water base seems to get almost as hard, eventually. I have sample panels that get hauled around and get roughed up a bit, really no problems there. But I do have a bias and don't like the problem caused by slower cure times. I have painted (with the latex) and delivered shutters that I thought were plenty dry. But found where the paint surface contacted paint, as it does on hundreds of louvers, they stick to one another and cause the surface to pull or peel. Not a happy moment for sure. The other down side is the extremely fast dry time. We spray shutter panels from both sides, two times each. The overspray causes a dusty feel to the surface. Not very bad, but noticeable and not as smooth as oil based. With no additives available to retard dry time on latex, I often just avoid using it.