Painted floor: is polycrylic really enough protection, long term?
I rent, and I was inspired by many posts here and elsewhere of stenciled floors on, among other things, vinyl remnants. Typically, they are primed and then painted with chalk paint and finished with a water-based polyurethane.
I spoke with a very knowledgeable guy at Ace Hardware, who was very doubtful that even two or three coats of poly alone would protect a floor, especially in the case of a vinyl remnant that might be subject to some bending. He suggested Varathane Floor Finish or something like it that is designed for floors. He said that polyurethane couldn't possibly hold up under the feet, and with cleaning, it was just a bad idea.
Does anyone have actual experience with this? Using polyurethane--e.g., Minwax or another cheap brand--over, say, chalk paint? Has anyone done a project like this and seen how it has held up in the longer term, say 3 to 5 years?
I really want to do this, but that floor finish is really, really expensive. When you're factoring in the cost of the color paint, primer, and then stencils, it gets crazy expensive.
Thanks! Appreciate any help anyone can offer.