That water based acrylic paint is intended for art projects - it will never be very smooth and certainly isn't very durable. I'd use some sort of poly clear coat to protect it. Krylon is fine for that. If using water based stuff in the future, you might want to wet the wood with water, let it dry and then sand it smooth before painting or finishing. You'll get much smoother results.
For smooth paint jobs, I'd use something that has the word enamel in it's description. Lots of rattle can options for that. You'd need to prime and sand between coats. I've gotten some pretty good results with a sanding sealer and 3 coats from a rattle can. Sanded progressively down to 1000 grit. For small jobs, it's not too bad but gets expensive when you do bigger projects.
There's huge number of options when you look at dyes and stains. I've stayed away from them simply because of the complexity (plus, I like to let the wood speak for itself). Though, if you get skilled in their use you can produce some pretty amazing stuff.