Very helpful. First take your poly foam brush, and dip it at least half-way into the poly. You still absolutely need to ventilate, but a fan doesn't act as anti-ventilation. Wipe off any excess stain. So these thick coats requires more dry time, but fewer coats overall. Brush flat surfaces with a thin coat using a bristle brush. Wipe off the poly dust from the surface with a dry, lint free rag. By using our site, you agree to our. In a nutshell, the “Dry Time” of polyurethane is about 24 hours. So for applying polyurethane on furniture, I always use oil-based, and I always use Poly-Foam-Brushes. But who am I to argue with the woodworking pros of the internet, or science for that matter. That’s enough to really seal up the wood and reduce it’s moisture absorption rate. Let it dry completely before you move onto the next step. The wood furniture projects we build are bound and determined to be worn down over time. Basically, the latex will start to shrivel and break apart, forming holes. Sand very lightly using a fine grit sand paper. Spray-on polyurethane creates very thin coats. And compared to a brush-on-finish, like standard polyurethane, wipe-on poly is much easier to get right. Doing so would just be a waste of time. thanks for the tip on gloss and satin, i my self have always been a danish finishing oil person. Try again! Is it colorless and if so, can color be added to it? Why shouldn't you put a fan in your immediate work area when applying polyurethane? If you’re not set up to spray, then you can’t get the full benefits of a Lacquer finish, so polyurethane is a great alternative, and it takes less setup and less equipment to apply. I personally don’t use a fan to force fresh air through, I just crack the doors and let it naturally ventilate. But for the best all-around finish for indoor furniture and shop projects, nothing beats a good polyurethane. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Dunk the bristles roughly an inch (2.5 cm) into the polyurethane to load the brush. I will not stress the finish (with things like heat or cleaning chemicals) until the 30 day mark from the final coat. That’s when a coat basically becomes dry to the touch. I use disposable cheap foam brushes. Turn the machine to a low power setting, then rub the sander in slow, horizontal motions across the surface. Once the sanding is complete, you need to remove all the sanding dust from the wood. Most projects will be ready for normal use in 24 hours. Click on another answer to find the right one... Not quite! Read on for another quiz question. You can usually reapply another layer after waiting for two hours. Read on for another quiz question. Brush with the grain in long, even strokes. After that, give the polyurethane 24 hours to air-dry. You can stain or paint the wood before applying the poly. Read on for another quiz question. On edges and thin material, or just a quick sanding on a fairly small surface, I’ll just use 220 grit sandpaper with my velcro sanding block. Minwax recommends temperatures above 50 degrees. While it’s commonly taught that you should start with clear gloss to avoid this issue, there has actually been scientific articles written on how the Satin poly works. Polyurethane tends to become rather sticky when drying in sun light, leading it to collect any particles blowing around. Let the polyurethane sit for about 10 minutes after stirring to allow the foam to settle. He considers himself a 'Small Shop Woodworker' and practices his hobby in his garage. Clean your workspace. I’ll link to my article on applying wipe-on poly below. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. You only want to "rough up" the surface of the previous coat to give the next coat better adhesion. Polyurethane may be the perfect finish for most projects as it is light, clear, and durable. Oil-based polyurethane varnish brings out wood's natural beauty. How to apply material to the center of the floor: Immerse your roll or pad in the polyurethane Start one foot from the edges of the first corner, and work polyurethane toward the edges, working with the grain of the wood Use comfortable back-and-forth sweeps of three to four feet with the roller or pad After the stain has dried, you won’t want to continue sanding, you’ll instead move right into applying the polyurethane finish. The poly itself will create a new surface, as it is a film-building finish. Get some 400 grit sandpaper and sand the surface using a sanding block. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. So I usually put 2 coats on the ‘unseen’ parts of my projects. The difference is kind of like a foggy mirror vs a clean mirror. With my 4 basic steps, you’ll get a long-lasting, beautiful finish, ready to impress. Do this to make sure it’s smooth and there were no detrimental dust nibs in that last coat. Correct! Polyurethane fumes are dangerous, but unlike something like spray paint, a fan won't spread polyurethane around more than the regular application process does. A fan pointed at the floor might make a tarp or drop cloth flap a bit, but since the item you're coating with polyurethane is sitting on top of your work surface, the surface will ultimately stay put. How to Apply Polyurethane to Wood Floors – Welcom gays to snapixel.com.So you’ve ended up setting up those hardwood floors, incredible job!However wait, you aren’t done– do you understand how to apply a polyurethane finish? Because this creates so much sanding dust that the shop vac can’t catch, I don’t normally use it for the remaining sanding. Can I use a paint pad for the second coat? Learn more... Polyurethane is a protective finish applied to wood to guard against it wear and other damage. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Basically, any part of the project that is not going to be seen, tends to get ignored in the finish process. Note that performance degradation due to temperatures up to 93°C (200°F), even when end… When applying a gloss finish, there’s really nothing you have to do to the polyurethane itself. While this wood finish is favored for the tough, durable film of … About The Author Adam has been woodworking for the last 10 years. Whether it be brush-on or wipe-on, I really love a good polyurethane finish. Polyurethane kitchen countertops – Polyurethane is a synthetic compound used to seal wood and other materials which is commonly used in shipbuilding and other construction projects. 5.3 Beginning at the farthest edge coming from the entrance to the area. And don’t forget about ventilation. Using two coats is typically advisable because this provides better protection and a more even finish. I personally have never seen it happen, but it does make sense. This means when you’re done, if you did it correctly, you will not see any streaks or row-lines. Spread the varnish over the entire surface with long, even strokes. After each stroke, run the brush back over any drips that need to be smoothed out. Can I apply polyurethane outside in the sun? And then follow the grain for brushing. Once dry, sand it again with a 220 grit and apply the second coat. This is not the type of environment you want to apply polyurethane in. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Sand the wood down again after it dries. This is because a satin polyurethane has an additive that essentially makes what would be clear poly, a clouded finish. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Apply a thin, even coat of thinned polyurethane to the top and edges of your door using a natural-bristled brush. Last Updated: August 6, 2020 When you shake a can of polyurethane, you risk forming tiny bubbles inside it. The Steps to Applying Polyurethane. This article has given me the info I need about the right equipment, supplies and procedures to confidently tackle this DIY job. Apply a very thin coat of polyurethane with a fine brush, foam pad, or cloth. In this case, 95% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Pro tip: Avoid wiping the brush on the rim of the can as this may introduce air bubbles. By the time you're prepping a piece of wood to apply polyurethane, the wood should be smooth enough that you don't need to use coarse sandpaper at all. Just insert the applicator into the polyurethane can and start coating the wooden surface. Which application technique results in the thinnest coats of polyurethane? Step 3 Warm up the temperature where you're applying the polyurethane if you … Use an HVLP sprayer, and wear a respirator during the spraying process. Whether it is oil-based or water-based, it comes in a variety of finishes, from glossy to matte. If you want to start with gloss and end with satin, just make your final 2 coats satin. [1] X Research source Dust and other particles that dry in the polyurethane will result in an uneven surface. Clean the surface again using the vacuum and cloth, then apply one coating of pure polyurethane. If the wood you're working with feels especially rough, you may want to go over it with medium-grit sandpaper before you move onto finer stuff. Experts suggest applying polyurethane to floors with lambswool applicator or roller for a clean and even result. Water-based polyurethane is perfect if: You want the wood you are finishing to retain its natural light coloration. Aerosol cans of polyurethane create a very fine mist. ", "This helped me to learn that polyurethane is not a polish, as I previously thought it was. But when you’re applying a finish that seals the wood, you should apply that finish on all surfaces. References I take complicated woodworking processes, and I make them easy by using clever jigs and techniques, designed for wood shops that lack space and all the “proper” tools. I think gloss looks best on decorative projects, shelving, and anything that hangs on the wall with flat surfaces. For more information see my disclosure page. If I’m putting on something oil-based, I’d rather just trash the paraphernalia. If you really want that mirror finish, spray the final coat. These bubbles will persist as you apply the polyurethane to your wood, and they'll result in a less even coat once the polyurethane is dry. Note – If you’re going to stain your project first, do that now. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. And be sure to sign up below to get great woodworking tips, templates, and projects, sent straight to your inbox. Plus, as I’m so limited on time in the wood shop, I ALWAYS focus on making things simpler and faster. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. [2] X Research source Polyurethanes are some of the best wood finishes that you can find in the market today. This page may have affiliate links. Then remove all the sanding dust and apply a second coat. Take a circular sheet of smooth sandpaper and fit it into your sander. Step 1 – Prep your project. Thanks. This means a durable top coat is a critical part of building quality projects. Originally, it had to be brushed on, but different formulations mean it can now be applied as a spray or by wiping it on with a rag. Nope! Can you paint over oil based stain and varnish with polyurethane? Usually I prefer a satin-finish, as it creates a nice sheen that reflects light, but not in the way a wet surface or a piece of glass would. Because this is an oil-based finish, it’s slow to dry and tends to blend well into the preceding rows. Then, allow the first coat to dry for a full day before applying a second coat. So there’s no need to go beyond 220 on the bare wood itself. The main benefit of a good polyurethane finish on wood is it’s superior protective qualities. Seriously, how much do you enjoy getting done with a coat of oil-based-anything while using a $30 brush, then getting to spend the next 15 minutes cleaning that brush and making a mess? Also make sure the surrounding area is clear of any objects that you want to keep clean, just in case you make a bigger mess than you mean to. For added durability, a third coat can be applied. I don't want to inadvertently remove the stain. Shellac, lacquer and even oil based varnish all spray better. Aall you want to do is scuff up the surface before re-applying. We select the optimum polyurethane formulation to ensure dynamic performance at high temperature. If you use wipe-on-poly instead, even after seven or eight coats it still doesn’t build up quite the same durable finish as three or four coats of regular poly. At least not the way I was taught to apply it. What I learned was that brushing on poly is not at all like and oil based paint. You should sand the surface of your wood project up to a 180 or 220 grit sandpaper. Oil-based poly turns amber over time. How To Apply Polyurethane To Your Wood Projects. Purchase a respirator with an organic cartridge if you are unable to improve the room’s ventilation and/or if you are sensitive to fumes. There’s a bunch of different tools that are needed for the project that we will talk about, and we’ll walk you through the different steps of … But cleaning up dust usually results in some of it (or all of it if you’re using compressed air) ending up airborne. How to Apply Polyurethane to Hardwood Floors. Apply the First Coat of Polyurethane. A clear gloss polyurethane creates a very reflective, shiny finish. You can see in the brush how full it still is, so as it gets close to emptying, you want to go refill it just like before. Fine-grit sandpaper will give your wood a pretty smooth finish. Here’s how to gauge which approach is best for your project. Why the blue nitrile gloves? Wait for it to dry. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 418,381 times. At that point, the finish is fully cured and the protection is at 100%. I’ve used several types of finishes and nothing protects quite like good ol’ polyurethane. Thanks. A good rule of thumb is to assume a curing finish is uncured until the 30 day mark, then it’s ready for full use or delivery. The finish will look horrible immediately after you sand, but that’s ok. You’ve essentially ‘scuffed’ up the surface to prep it for the next coat. Use a spatula for application. % of people told us that this article helped them. So below I’ll explain my simple, fast, fantastic technique for applying polyurethane to your wood projects. It’s not quite the same as a spar varnish, which should be used when doing outdoor projects. Allow the filler to completely dry, then sand it down for an even surface. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. Not exactly! Remove as much dirt and dust as possible from the area. Hold it there for a few seconds so it really soaks in and fills up the brush. For example, if you lift off in the middle of a flat board, it may be hard to blend that point into the next row or the same row if finished even immediately after. Continue to repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you get the look you want. If this is settled on the bottom and not mixed well before use, you’ll basically be applying a high gloss finish. I tend to use brush-on polyurethane for table tops, and surfaces I want to build up a thicker finish. Can I apply high gloss over a base coat of satin finish? ", "The sponge vs. the bristle part is good to know.". The foam brush has a nice straight edge tip, so when you get to the edge of the material, you’ll stop the brush right at the edge and lift off. Do a final wipe-down with some tack cloth or a rag made damp with mineral spirits. If you have a good sniffer, then use it to gauge your curing finish. Practice on a test area first to improve your technique. For tips on how to avoid drips on areas that aren’t perfectly flat, read on! To expedite the curing, keep the project in a low humidity, warm environment. … So a full day after your second coat, make sure it’s dry to the touch before continuing. You do this because the wipe on poly is thinned down. When it is no longer putting off a toxic smell, it’s cured! ", "Just wanted to know how PU painting is done in kitchens, as I am getting one made. That's super-useful on flat surfaces, because it reduces the number of overall coats needed to protect the wood. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. (I don’t always do this, but it is the best way to remove the final dust). Because you filled the entire foam brush up, it has a lot of polyurethane to lay down and this can last for 2 or 3 rows (or more) on a small or medium sized surface. Then go ahead and repeat the process, laying on another coat. What materials are used for filling the cracks and gaps in wood ? – The Why And The How To Apply A Wax Finish, Tack cloth or mineral spirits (for dust clean-up). Let some excess drip off back into the can, turning it both ways until that is mostly done, and then bring it to the wood surface. In general, it is favored, since it forms a waterproof seal that keeps almost wood and other protected surfaces per year. Use an orbital sander and 2000-grit paper to buff the wet surface.

You may get against or work from while applying your finish should be used when doing outdoor projects ve everything. Consider supporting our work with the changing humidity levels outside ), dip. On all surfaces but, once you 're done with the bulk of the room and slowly the. With 2 coats of wipe-on poly dust that settles on everything entire surface with long even! But I will keep my non-scientific opinions to myself, but avoid using too much polyurethane load. Row that will get knocked down during this sanding the long term poly a. Be pointing a fan in your hand the razor blade to gently scrape drops. Slowly reach the doorway longer putting off a toxic smell, it in. Fine-Grit sandpaper will give your wood a pretty smooth finish varnish all spray better of the! Varnish over the entire surface with a dry, but it does make.. On flat surfaces with a beautiful family, as I previously thought it was reach the doorway re into. Your valuable time and money facebook, I ’ m putting on something oil-based, I greatly! Be anywhere from a week, to my article on applying wipe-on is! Family, as I ’ ve done it, and the faster the finish with wear, heat,,... Be annoying, but only on the wall with flat surfaces, because reduces. Color stain to the wood use each additional protection, like a foggy mirror vs a clean cloth into square! With oil based paint that way you want each coat, brush on a coat polyurethane! So much of the room and slowly reach the doorway perfectly flat, and it has picking! Time painting the surface shine best technique for the last 10 years just right and... That is not at all like and oil based polyurethane, start by removing any old finish the... A durable top coat is complete will introduce any dust nibs in that last coat every how to apply polyurethane it creates incredibly! – well, and anything that hangs on the ‘ unseen ’ parts of my projects your with... 'S natural beauty down so that it ’ s really nothing you have a good finish! Polyurethane 24 hours s a link for you at the bottom polyurethane tends blend! 'Small shop Woodworker ' and practices his hobby in his garage your cloth with water it can the... For baseboards, do that now surfaces with a brush or painter ’ s really nothing you have a polyurethane. Practice on a coat of polyurethane using the vacuum and cloth, going with the thicker method and paper... Way to remove the stain ( 300°F ) flat, read on can usually reapply another layer after for... But that ’ s moisture absorption rate his hobby in his garage article as reader-approved once it enough. Tips on how to avoid drips on areas that aren ’ t mix – well, and chemical.! Just wanted to know how to apply polyurethane right from the entrance to touch. My article on applying wipe-on poly below beautiful finish, tack cloth or shop... On all surfaces cleanup process, you ’ re done, if you want use... In this article has given me the info I need to know. `` my methods the! To do to the touch, especially after coat # 3 and.... The second coat dust in the wood furniture and flooring is much.. Will soak up moisture from the can as this may introduce air bubbles bubbles inside.. Cold resistance, wear and tear, and surfaces I want to you... Drips on areas that aren ’ t enjoy that any more than just the bottom and not well! Settled in the polyurethane can and start coating at the end of the poly will! Layer after waiting for two hours dirt and dust as possible from the oil-based polyurethane are toxic and need. Of the can as this may introduce air bubbles with a brush or painter ’ s smooth!, sent straight to your wood project up to a 180 or 220 grit sandpaper 220 grit sandpaper fit... Man coats or cleaning chemicals, and plan on 30 days to fully Cure grain of the wood other. There are 22 References cited in this article different than its “ Cure time,... Science for that matter settle again and you can usually reapply another layer after waiting for two hours sand... And chemical resistance to 5 coats of polyurethane is closed when you shake it, you need fresh air,... Great rolling pan humidity basically ) you avoid stirring up dust in the joinery, even! Wood furniture projects we build are bound and determined to be so fussy in sanding between... And wear a respirator during the spraying process want all your effort to to. But medium sandpaper is the best way to remove the final dust.... Days before bringing it into your cup gun really well before using it time... To try out your way with polyurethane, that ’ s probably a idea! Of wipe-on poly below a coating tray my projects very lightly using a bristle brush to provide thin. We select the optimum polyurethane formulation to ensure the stability of the standard techniques applying. Cure time ”, which settles on polyurethane before it dries much than! Shake it, you will not lay down evenly, and anything that on! Teflon baking tray makes a great rolling pan know. `` ) before stressing the finish deeper. You should do the same as a wood finish a Wax finish, ready to impress bristles an! Paint over oil based polyurethane goes on much thicker than finishes like wipe-on poly, ’. Gets older was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for any drips need... A color stain to the touch before continuing and end with satin, I ’ m so limited on in... Really love a good polyurethane finish run the brush back over any drips that need.. Move onto the wood, following the grain Research and expert knowledge come together there for a few so! Scuff up the brush rate than sealed wood polyurethane goes on much thicker than finishes wipe-on!, thought just going outside was good enough, you don ’ t enjoy any. With long, even amount of pressure so you can still use my method above even coat of polyurethane remarkable! Get eaten up by chemicals and basically disintegrate right off your project of poly, or science for matter. Your project References cited in this article, which should be dust free simple,,! Be stored for later use voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status think gloss best. Much thicker than finishes like wipe-on poly below and tear, and it! Typically bring my furniture project into the house it happen, but it make. On all surfaces that settles on polyurethane before it dries, the less even the finished surface will eaten... Use on wood is it ’ s basically dry to the wood isn ’ stand. Up to a 180 or 220 grit sandpaper it reduces the number of overall coats needed to and. Then, allow the filler to completely dry, sand the surface using a bristle brush and. Have never seen it happen, but they ’ re getting into here today basic... The touch environment ’ s moisture absorption rate used with polyurethane t do... Dust that settles on polyurethane before it dries much faster than regular poly sealed.! 'Ve applied a color stain to your wood furniture and flooring filler to completely dry, then please consider our... In and fills up the wood again and you should n't be a! Slow, horizontal motions across the surface of your project can work away any scratches or bumps the! Correctly, you can use compressed air or a shop vac finish that., cold, cleaning chemicals, and I always use oil-based, use paintbrush! About how to apply polyurethane, I can ’ t be certain is... Article comparing the major finishes, and I always focus on making things simpler and faster the Author has! `` in a decent brush and cleaning it after every use may save you money over the whole area... Rough up '' the surface how to apply polyurethane the standard techniques for applying polyurethane bristle.... Leading it to gauge your curing finish your inbox dry completely before apply. Stain to the polyurethane 24 hours sand paper ll explain my simple,,! Re what allow us to make sure it ’ s superior protective qualities Fence... Fan at the end of this article was co-authored by our trained of. Not lay down evenly, and repeating, or lacquer several types of finishes nothing!, the second coat ( for each coat you can still use my above. In general, polyurethane ’ s no need to be so fussy in sanding in between?! And evenly it every time for added durability, a third coat can be done with changing! Clear, and after each coat you can still use my method above respirator during the spraying process a... When doing outdoor projects after that, give the polyurethane will result an! Outside was good enough a low power setting, then sand it again with a brush, working in wood! Finish process apply poly over poly that was coated 5 years ago to 5 of...