Get a Beautiful and Durable Finish by Applying Polyurethane

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Polyurethane

Polyurethane has been hailed to be an easy-to-apply yet durable wood finish. These two qualities make applying polyurethane a smart choice if you’d like to protect your woodworking projects.

There are two kinds of polyurethanes: the oil-based and water’ based varieties. These two types have different uses, as well as application methods which you’d have to learn to give it protection.

However, take note that the projects that are expected to have a lot of wear and tear will need to have it finished routinely as maintenance.

Which type of Polyurethane Base Should You Use?

The decision to use either an oil or water based polyurethane will entirely depend on the project you’re working on. Using an oil-based polyurethane will definitely be easier because it is less temperamental compared to water-based polyurethanes.

To prove this point, normally it will be enough to coat your project twice or thrice when using an oil-based product and give it great protection.

Although this sounds great, an oil-based polyurethane finish is usually susceptible to getting brush marks and may even take more time to dry, which may make it vulnerable to get bugs and dust on it.

Water-based polyurethanes dry faster and will have less odor too. However, if you’re applying a polyurethane coat it may raise the wood’s grain and is susceptible to getting water marks and makes the wood temperamental when staining.

Don’t be surprised when you see the coat having a milky-white look because it will become transparent as it dries.

A good thing to remember is to stir, but never shake a container with polyurethane because it creates a lot of air bubbles which will affect the final finish.

Applying Oil-Based Polyurethane

You can apply this using a brush with fine bristles, a foam brush, but just avoid using those really inexpensive ones because they can leave obvious brush strokes.

If you’re using a foam brush, these can be great because they don’t cost as much and don’t leave brush strokes behind.

Be sure you’re brushing with the grain when applying polyurethane and use long strokes to avoid and brush out bubbles. If you do things right, the remaining bubbles will just disappear after a while.

Applying a Water-Based Polyurethane

A water-based polyurethane won’t mix properly with an oil-based stain so you might want to make the surface a bit rough by using a synthetic steel wool.

Because oil and water never mix, it helps prevent beading of the polyurethane on the surface. Start with a really thin polyurethane coat using a fine brush, cloth, or foam pad and slowly work with the grain.

Don’t put too much to avoid raising the grain.

When applying polyurethane on a vertical surface be sure to start from the top as you may encounter having a few drips or have it running a bit.

Always be careful and observant when applying a thinner coat and should you get a run, you need to be alert and remove it carefully.

Finally, look at the wood’s surface from different angles. Be sure to have a bright light close to you to see the areas which need more sanding.

By following these really basic steps, you’ll have yourself consistent coverage and protect your project from damage.

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