Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: I went back to my private Idaho
I don't know how I missed this one, sorry.
I made a b-ball court table for my self a couple of years ago. I used those hardwood craft sticks to give it the look of a maple floor. After sanding, I used auto pinstripe decals for the lines. I then finished it with gloss poly from a spray can, about 4-5 coats, until the stripes felt smooth. Auto pinstripe can be used under clear coat finishes.
Acrylic paint, fully dry will be ok under poly. I don't think varnish would be needed. I would use gloss. If it's to shiny, you can dull it up with 0000 steel wool.
The decal...that could be problematic. If it's fairly large, the solvents in the poly might cause it to lift, or wrinkle. Applying it after finishing, it could get scuffed and start peeling. Water based poly won't work over a vinyl decal. You might want to make a test piece and see how it works.