The Ultimate Guide – How To Choose A Topcoat

topcoats water-based, oil-based which is best?

The Ultimate Guide - How To Choose A Topcoat


So you find the perfect piece, you followed the ultimate guide to prep, you find your Fusion Mineral Paint in your favourite colour and check out our Ultimate application guide.  So do you need a top coat? The ultimate guide – How to choose a topcoat will cover that and if water-based or oil-based is best for your project. Let’s dive in and find out which topcoats are best for your project.

Do I need a topcoat?

After applying Fusion on most projects that you complete around your home, you will not need an additional topcoat. There are a few exceptions, for high traffic areas such as kitchen or dining tables, dressing table tops and coffee tables too. Anywhere you think will get extra wear and tear adding a top coat will give your paint finish longevity. Jennylyn uses the analogy of when you get your nails painted. The polish will last just a little longer and give your manicure some added protection when you apply a topcoat.


Paiting Glass with Fusion Mineral Paint



Fusion topcoats

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing your topcoat. What the projects will be used for and what sort of look do you want? Answering these questions will give you a much better idea of the topcoat best suited to your project. Your paint colour will also have to be taken into consideration when choosing. Below is a graph showing you the different types of topcoats we have and their properties.




Tough Coat Topcoat over Light Colours


The best topcoats for lighter colours are our water-based non-yellowing Tough Coat in Matte or Glossy. Our formulation will not yellow your whites. It is not recommended to use our Gel Stain & Topcoat or our Stain & Finishing Oil over whites as they will slightly yellow over time. Our furniture waxes are also an option over lighter colours and are perfect for antiquing our lighter paint colours.

See this video on the best way to apply Tough Coat.



SFO Top Coat over Dark Colours

Stain & Finishing Oil All in One Wood Finish is Eco Friendly and easy to use. It is the perfect finish over medium to dark colours.  We recommend avoiding using this over light paint colours as it may slightly yellow. This oil-based stain & topcoat combo offers exceptional durability in high traffic areas like table tops, kitchen cabinets, and even flooring. It works wonderfully over wood to refresh and protect.

Watch Jennylyn show you how to apply SFO over paint



SFO can be used on bare wood, or over previously painted surfaces for a faux effect. We recommend the Natural colour over Fusion Mineral Paint darker colours to increase the sheen and offer superior durability.
Very easy to use, low odour, and Eco Friendly! Apply it with a brush, or rag, and wipe away the excess.
Driftwood Stain and Finishing Oil - Fusion Mineral Paint

This faux effect is simple with a couple of colours of SFO see the complete how – to here

Waxes for decorative effects

Our waxes can be used as a protective topcoat but they are mostly used for decorative purposes as Fusion has that built-in topcoat. A little goes a very long way and can be applied with a brush or rag. Our waxes are made to an old family recipe and have virtually no odour making them very eco friendly.
brushing on more wax
Black wax being applied to Champness
Everything you need to know about furniture wax - Fusion Mineral Paint
Our entire range of waxes will work great over our paint or straight onto Raw wood. We have 8 colours in our range including some luscious shimmery metallics. See this post that shows off the collection. Lovely to work with just apply and buff for a sheen.
Fusion waxes - Fusion Mineral Paint

How to use our waxes


Hemp Oil

A 100% natural wood finish our Hemp Oil has been processed for wood finishing and is not the same as the health food store kind.  Hemp Oil is great at hydrating old tired wood and as it is a pure drying penetrating oil it doesn’t leave a film that can be chipped. It also works great over Fusion in a very thin layer almost buffed on and off for added sheen. Just apply let it soak in and remove the excess.  Some of the benefits of Hemp oil is that is food safe so perfect for reviving your butcher blocks and wooden utensils. It also has no chemicals, no VOC’s and no additives. It is biodegradable and made of sustainable pressed Hemp Seeds.



Hemp Oil being poured on a wooden surface.


Hemp Oil can also be used over Fusion as a lubricant to ‘wet’ sand. Apply liberally and use a soft sanding sponge to gently sand. After sanding, remove all the excess Hemp Oil for the smoothest, buttery feeling paint finish! A little added protection and a little added sheen. It doe not change the colour of your paint even on lighter colours, an exception to the rule as far as oil-based topcoats are concerned.


All about topcoats



Gel Stain and Topcoat

The Gel Stain and Top Coat is an oil-based coating available in 4 gorgeous colours. This coating is good for floors and other high traffic areas as it is our most hard-wearing finish. Gel Stain can be applied to virtually any surface with no prep ( other than cleaning off the cobwebs!) to a surface that has been previously finished, scratched, painted etc. This is NOT a wipe back product, you brush it on and watch it level! Think of it more as a hardwearing top coat with pigment. This is not the product you need to stain wood that would be our Stain and Finishing Oil.

It can be used on lots of surfaces including

  • Laminate, Lacquered, previously painted or coated surfaces.
  • Damaged or Scratched surfaces
  • Almost a no prep product- just clean and remove any wax or grease. No sanding or de-glossing required to apply this.
  • Extremely durable. Excellent for Flooring and heavy use kitchen table tops etc.
  • Works on Bare Wood surfaces for a beautiful matte/satin finish.



espresso gel stain



Gel Stain can be applied with a brush or roller, it dries to the touch in approx 4 hours. It has a thick gel-like consistency and has a long open time, making it easy to get the desired result. You can build the colour with each coat, the first coat looks like a stain over wood and the second much more opaque. This product comes in quart size only


Watch Loree apply Gel Stain & Topcoat to a previously finished table top


As you can see depending on your desired outcome, the colour you choose, the choice of topcoat changes, with this handy information you will be able to choose the right one every time!


Click here to get a FREE downloadable PDF of our Top Coat Guide.



Simple makeover using Fusions Liming wax -Fusion Mineral Paint

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