Polyurethane is a magical chemical compound that gives a new life to wooden furniture, floorings, and all types of wood surfaces. It forms a protective layer over the wood surface with a glossy finish. Industrial manufacturers and local carpenters use the finest polyurethanes in 2022 for their professional projects. DIYers can also use this magical compound domestically to give a shiny new look to old wooden furnishings at home.
Today, a wide variety of brands are selling polyurethane products with different names. And all brands claim that their products provide ultimate protection and a glossy look to all types of wood surfaces. It may not be possible that all brands are so exceptionally good, but we're pretty sure about the authenticity of the claim of the brands listed below.
This is an oil-based polyurethane that gives a semi-gloss finish on all types of wood. If you’re not a fan of the too shiny wooden finish, it is perfect for you to use. You can apply it easily over wooden surfaces using a brush, spray, or paint roller. The fast-drying feature makes it easy to use indoors as well as outdoors.
Moreover, it also removes most of the stains on unfinished woods and creates a smooth and glossy protective layer. The product is good for both unfinished and finished woods, and you can use it at your home or workshop to make your wood furnishings appealing. The products’ longevity and durability also stand out from competitors. You can count on it!
Easy-to-apply using paintbrushes, paint rollers, and sprays
Long-lasting shine with enhanced durability
Comes in a handy steel gallon
Due to low volatility, the solvent smell remains for a few days
Varathane produces high-quality polyurethane using advanced chemical compounding to offer super gloss and a smooth finish. This polyurethane is water-based and dries within a 30 minutes time bracket. It forms a double-protective layer that keeps the wood safe from stains and scratches.
The gloss effect of the polyurethane stays the same and never turns out yellow. Your furnishings will look brand new when polished with Varathane Polyurethane.
Offers the ultimate finish with a crystal-clear look
Superfast drying makes it more practical to use indoors
Easily goes on every type of wood with 100% results
Not easy to apply, it requires numerous coats to offer the crystal-clear look
The halcyon-based varnish from TotalBoat is the best option for giving a glossy look to wooden surfaces. The polyurethane varnish also offers great protection from stains, scratches, and sunlight. The wood will stay glossy and shiny always without getting dull, even under direct sunlight. If you’re looking for an affordable and efficient varnish, the TotalBoat Halcyon marine varnish should be your choice.
This varnish comes in two colors, crystal-clear and amber, allowing you to choose the one best suited for you. Moreover, it has a fast-drying formula that dries out within an hour. It is also easy to apply; you can apply it directly by using any type of brush, spray, or roller. The halcyon helps an even spread without air bubbling. This product is a good bargain!
Highly weather resistance varnish ideal for both exterior and interior use
This polyurethane paint offers excellent sun protection while improving the wear and tear resistance of the surfaces, making them long-lasting. The compound has amazing flexibility and adhesion that enhance the expansion and contraction properties of the wood and that too without any peeling or cracking.
Interlux polyurethane paint is specially produced for wood tops to provide them with ultimate protection from stains and scratches. It also gives a smooth and shiny look that is long-lasting and durable.
Contains a fluoro micro additive that increases the scratch resistance of the protective layer
You can apply up to 5 coatings a day without any sanding between the coats
Is enamel-based and very easy to apply
Takes a very long time to dry, and it is not recommended for indoor use
SEAL-ONCE has brought an all-in-one polyurethane plus sealant for wood floorings and wooden tops. It offers protection from scratches, abrasion, and sunlight with its smart Nano+Poly technology. The glossy effect from the polyurethane is protected by UV+ protection along with an additional protective layer for scratches and abrasion.
It is water-based with high volatility for ultra-fast drying. Moreover, it comes with 9 color options to choose from as per your requirement. The nano-technology used in the varnish claims to offer 360-degree protection. It is no doubt a quality product!
Easy-to-apply, fast-drying, and long-lasting effect
Eco-friendly and odorless
Offers 360-degree protection
Very pricey compared to competitors
Takes more time to dry than claimed
Best Polyurethanes Buying Guide
It's incredibly expensive to buy wood to construct new tables, flooring, and even cabinets or to buy new furniture from the market. So, you should keep the pieces you already have in good condition as long as possible.
Using polyurethane on your wooden constructions will not only give them a lovely appearance but will also protect them from frequent wear and tear. Polyurethanes come in a variety of forms, as you can see from our reviews.
Prior to choosing polyurethane for your projects, you have to consider different aspects to be sure of making the right choice.
Which type of polyurethane should you buy?
Polyurethane can be divided into two categories:
These are popular among woodworkers because they are shiny and bright, bringing out the wood's natural beauty. It aids in rehydrating wood, preventing further drying. Hydration aids in maintaining the appearance and quality of the wood.
Polyurethane based on oil is more expensive than polyurethane based on water. This sort is the most long-lasting, making it ideal for outdoor projects.
Depending on the weather, oil-based polyurethanes can contract or expand, protecting wood in various climates and situations.
Which factors about polyurethanes are worth considering?
Think about these things before you buy polyurethane for your home's exterior or interior:
Finish's appearance and feel
In terms of aesthetics, polyurethane comes in a variety of finishes such as matte/clear, gloss, and satin. How beautiful your wood buildings will look depends on the type of finish you choose; therefore, you must make sure you get the proper one for them.
Polyurethane has a significant impact on the appearance of your wood furniture and surfaces once it has been applied, so think carefully before making a decision. Glossy wood table tops, for instance, would be stunning.
When looking for your products, keep in mind how long polyurethane will take to dry. If your project has a tight deadline, you'll want to use a polyurethane product that dries quickly. Fast-drying polyurethanes are nothing to be concerned about, as there are a number of options available on the market today.
When deciding on the best polyurethanes, durability is key. Some polyurethane materials are more durable than others, even though all last quite long.
The polyurethane that lasts longer is the ideal choice as it helps save you time and money in the long run. Consider factors like scratch and abrasion resistance while making your choice.
Ease of use
Using polyurethane to decorate and protect your woodworking items is critical. Choose your product, but confirm that it's easy to use before you buy it. It reduces the chances of making a blunder during the process.
Quite a few of the polyurethane materials we've looked at merely require that they be painted. Spray guns and other instruments, on the other hand, would produce the best outcomes for others. As a result, having a product that simplifies the application process is critical.
How are polyurethanes beneficial?
Tolerance to a certain temperature
Thermosetting polymers or thermosets are the main components of polyurethane finishes. As a result, they are inherently resistant to the effects of extreme heat. So, even when heated to a fair level, they do not deform.
Because of their chemical nature, they are also temperature flexible. Basically, this means they can expand and contract according to ambient temperature.
You can also use a polyurethane coating to keep your tables from deforming when it's exposed to extreme heat. Temperatures in the 80-to-200-degree Fahrenheit range are typical for polyurethane finishes.
Easy to use
Because polyurethane finishes are single-element applications, no complicated pre-mixing step is required before using them. Water-based polyurethane coatings, in particular, allow you to remove excess material with just lukewarm water and ordinary soap after application.
You may also easily apply new layers by scrubbing off previous finishes with a mineral spirit or paint thinner-soaked sponge.
The versatility of a polyurethane finish in terms of compatible materials is significantly superior to varnish or lacquer. It may be used on a wide range of surfaces, including metal, concrete, stone, imitation wood, and even natural wood.
How may polyurethane drying be accelerated?
Knowing how long polyurethane takes to dry is critical. There are ways to speed up the drying process, so why waste time waiting for it to dry for the whole day?
If you want to shorten the drying time of a finish, you must first determine the variables that hinder the drying process. You will be in a better position to deal with them once you have identified them. Here's all you need to know about reducing the drying time of polyurethane.
Color and brand
There are numerous types of paint, and each one dries at a different rate. All you have to do is check the package to see how long the product needs to dry. The substance of the paint is what sets one type of paint apart from another.
Latex/water-based paint, for example, needs anywhere from four to twenty-four hours to dry. The recovery period ranges from 21 to 30 days. A coat of oil-based paint will dry in 6 to 8 hours, whereas a cure would take 3 to 7 days.
Allowing the paint to cure properly is preferable. Because some paints are darker than others, they take longer to dry.
Condition of the atmosphere
The paint's dry time is influenced by the temperature. Paint thickens and dries more slowly in low temperatures because of the increased surface area exposed to the air. Overly slow-drying paints create an uneven surface, necessitating a re-painting.
The amount of humidity in the air also has an impact on drying time. When the humidity is high, water vapor accumulates on surfaces and fills the atmosphere. Wood absorbs moisture, which makes it difficult for the paint to cure.
The time it takes for paint to cure depends heavily on ventilation. The paint will take longer to dry if there is inadequate ventilation. When painting in the future, be sure to use a ventilated location to speed up the drying process.
Finish with a water-based product
Water-based poly, as previously mentioned, dries more quickly than its synthetic competitors. If you're looking for a poly that dries quickly, stay away from oil-based paints and stick with water-based coatings.
Working in a temperature range between 26°C and 35°C will speed up the drying process for your paint and prevent it from cracking. These conditions are more conducive to drying polyurethane since they are in the middle of the temperature range.
Best Polyurethane FAQs
Q: Can oil-based polyurethane be overcoated with water-based?
A: Yes! Water-based polyurethane can be used over oil-based polyurethane. All you have to do is make sure the conditions are right for this to work. Use a wood cleaner or deglosser to remove any remaining dirt, grease, or wax from the surface. Mineral spirits will handle the cleaning job just as well.
Q: What's the recommended number of coatings of polyurethane for a kitchen table?
A: A kitchen table benefits from at least two coats of polyurethane. If you prefer a finish that is thicker, healthier, and more firm, you can use more coats. Because water-based poly coatings are thinner, three coats are recommended for water-based polyurethane.
Q: Is it possible to use polyurethane on top of painted surfaces?
A: Yes, polyurethane may be applied over painted surfaces in the same manner that it can be applied to a non-painted surface. By applying polyurethane over the paint, you're extending the life of the surface as well as protecting it.
The Woodsmith Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you choose the best tools and gear to build great-looking projects confidently. The content is created by The Woodsmith Review Team. Woodsmith’s editorial staff is not involved. Woodsmith is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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