I could order their products online if MinWax and Varathane reviews are not good. There’s no doubt that Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish is our top waterborne polyurethane product. It’s an oxygen crosslinked polyurethane that is proven to improve the look, feel, and durability of wood flooring. Bona’s installation process couldn’t be more user-friendly. You can apply the product using a variety of application techniques.

Polyurethane is easier to work with on an upright surface, as it is thicker than polycrylic and less prone to dripping. You’ll want to use polycrylic, which is less toxic than polyurethane, especially when working in a poorly ventilated area. Will the wooden piece varathane vs minwax oil based polyurethane be exposed to high temperatures or moisture? Though they’re all very strong, oil-based polyurethane is the most durable. Learn the pros and cons of polyurethane and varnish—and which of these popular finishes can best preserve your next woodwork of art.

Wiping Varnish

Oils and stains, on the other hand, are appropriate for interior woods that need less protection. Just like with other kinds of paints, wooden finishes may require more than one coat. The recommended number of coats is a critical factor to keep in mind before purchasing a water-based or oil-based wood finish.

varathane vs minwax oil based polyurethane

The point of using a brush is that you’re forced to watch what you’re doing very closely, since the application process is pretty slow. The number of coats you apply depends on the type of product you’re using. For oil-based products, it’s usually enough to have two coats or a maximum of three. For water-based polyurethane-finished wood floors, plan to apply up to four layers. In terms of how to apply polyurethane to wood flooring, start in the corners with your brush and then apply it to the center with your roller. Just remember to plan in such a way that you have a place to exit the room without stepping on the wet floor.

Primers, Undercoats & Sanding Sealers

Polyurethane has been specially designed to protect wood so it can be used on anything that is made from this material. Water-based polyurethane is typically preferred as it can provide clear results that will not hinder the natural beauty of the wood. No matter what directions and product reviews say, you won’t know how polyurethane looks on your surface until you apply it and let it dry. To avoid unwanted yellowing, streaks, or other problems, apply a coat of the polyurethane you choose to a small test area first. This is a very durable polyurethane, which also means that it is versatile and it can even be used on wooden floors. This topcoat has a clear finish so it can be used on a range of wood, even if it has been painted before.

  • They also have shallow penetration and easily peel off and non- resistant to scratch.
  • However, there are some other features that can be just as important.
  • Whether you use polyurethane or polycrylic, you’re sure to get a durable, hard finish that will protect your wooden furniture or floor from mild-to-moderate abuse.
  • These form thin coats, so they aren’t advisable in high-traffic or heavily-used areas.
  • Rustoleum suggests that you can get 400 to 500 square feet of coverage from one gallon.
  • Lots of these products come with an extensive list of applicator options.
  • Its also a great polyurethane because its available in gloss, semi-gloss and satin sheens.
  • This semi-transparent water-based stain is fortified with zinc to help prevent color loss over time.

Use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits on oil-based finishes; use a water-dampened cloth on water-based finishes. A dry microfiber cloth also works well with both finishes. Brush-on polys work best on flat surfaces where it’s important to build up a durable film. Brushes hold a lot of finish, so you can cover a wide area each time you load them up. Most exterior polys can be used indoors, but interior polys should never be used outdoors; they lack the additives that protect exterior finishes from UV rays.

How Water Based And Oil Based Polyurethane Are The Same

Beating lacquer two to one, polyurethane is our winner based on these criteria. Regarding the application costs, polyurethane beats lacquer without a doubt. Whether you’re an amateur or expert, you should know that wood is an absorbent material. Pour water on it, and it will penetrate the material sooner or later. Lacquer has a watery consistency, which can be temperamental, but it’s easy to handle. Yes, you might make mistakes, but all you need is a bit of solvent, such as white spirit, to solve your problem.

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It costs a bit more, but it’s not a significant difference in price. This article also provides links so that you can check out the products further and even purchase them online. I recently used the Zinsser spray shellac to finish the inside of cabinet doors in my most recent remodel. It is made by combining multiple materials like polyurethane, clay, lacquer, and epoxy. It is a comparatively better option if you have to fill large cracks and holes on your workpiece. When you are filling your furniture, you must know the difference between putty and filler.

Different Types Of Wood Finishes

It will seal and protect any piece in no time, and hold up to normal wear and tear over the years. Usually we think of oil based top coats as the most durable, think again. These are formulated to be durable and consumer friendly. They are also considered ‘green and eco friendly’ which makes washing and cleanup very easy. But, it you desire a shiny, exterior film finish, the marine varnish is probably the most durable. Probably get two or three years of exposure before it looks bad.

A good thing to consider when trying to find the best polyurethane for your home is the kind of formula that will best protect your wooden floors, doors, trims, or furnishings. If you want to improve the appearance of your home and keep your wooden surfaces or furnishings protected, then you will need to use polyurethane. There are lots of different kinds of polyurethane available so it can be quite hard to find the best one for your needs. As this is such a valuable thing to purchase because it has a lot of benefits, you really need to consider your options carefully.

They are water based and dry quickly and do not crack when dry. You have three options; water- based wood filler, epoxy or solvent- based wood filler. It has a four color range; brown, clear, off- white and white.

varathane vs minwax oil based polyurethane

This is based on whether or not the polyurethane finish is oil or water based and has nothing to do with the luster of the floor. Oil based, over the course of several years, can cause your floors to have an amber or yellowish tint. However, should you use a darker wood you probably will not notice much change in comparison to if you chose a lighter colored wood flooring. Oil based polyurethane finishes are not suggested for maple, white, or gray stained floors as these will see the most change in color and can make great floors look terrible. Water based polyurethane has little to no effect on the coloring of hardwood.

Repeat the application as needed, allowing the floors to dry between coats. Most wood floors require 2-3 coats, but it’s best to check with your flooring manufacturer before calling it quits. The Semi-gloss finish is a bit shinier in an oil-based polyurethane than a waterborne one. Semi-gloss polyurethane is clear, shiny, and not really recommended for households with pets, or small children. As stated above; the shinier you go, the more noticeable scratches, dents, scuff marks, and imperfections, will be.

In the general understanding of the term, wood lacquer is a product obtained from nitrocellulose dissolved together with plasticizers and pigments in a solvent-based mixture. Style Flooring, Cabinets, and Countertops offers a level of attention and knowledge to our customers that big box stores just can’t! Our focus is to provide every client with outstanding service, high quality products, and competitive prices.

Tips For Working With Polyurethane

Keep at it until you are satisfied, and then wet-sand with the next higher grade of sandpaper . When you have put on your last coat and allowed it to dry thoroughly, run your fingers across the surface. If it feels just fine, that is, if your surface preparation was right, and you followed the process successfully, you should have a very smooth surface. Ideally you should be able to leave the surface alone at this point, but ending with a wet-sanding procedure will get you the best finish possible.

varathane vs minwax oil based polyurethane

On the other hand, Minwax products require one to apply several layers of coating to get the color required. To achieve the desired color, Varathane products only require a single coating, since they are thick and of good quality. This refers to how deep these products go into the wooden surface. Minwax wood filler and wood putty are designed to fill small holes and spaces on the wood and ensure an even wooden surface. They are advantageous as they come in two coats of the same color; giving either thicker or thinner coating according to preference.

Poly To Darken Watco Finish

Work with the grain, and avoid applying too much polyurethane to avoid raising the grain. Repeat these steps until the desired level of protection is achieved. For protection, two coats are the minimum, but floors and anything else that will see hard wear or occasional moisture should get at least three coats.


They’re environment friendly and easy to brush or spray on. They have beautiful shades of Milk Paint, easy to use Glazes and even a line of Pearl Effects. You can use any of these separate or together to achieve a beautiful finish. This will help you determine the kind of protection you need and what the biggest causes of damage are likely to be.

The Minwax® Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane is the best polyurethane because it’s great for anything you need to coat around your home. It’s water based so it produces less fumes and cleans up easily with warm water. It’s also a great polyurethane because it’s available in gloss, semi-gloss and satin sheens. These options mean that you more than likely will have the right sheen to work with any wood in your home. Additionally, it has a recoat time of only 2 hours, which is fairly quick.

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