Just be careful not to deeply scratch the finish and certainly do not sand off the finish to the point where you reach raw wood. If it's a problem, simply use a rag to wipe it down. Polyurethane use in medical applications can be more cost-effective and provide for more longevity and toughness. Sign up for weekly project ideas and advice from experts. Our expert helps you decide. To add durability without affected color, use a water-based finish. Here’s what you need to know. Fine furniture items can be greatly enhanced with shellac. A refinishing expert provides the lowdown on the basic products you'll need for your next refinishing project. Try not to exceed four or five coats of finish. This product can actually be used on wooden floors. Polyurethane can be oil- or water-based, and you can use either kind over latex paint; however, oil-based polyurethane tends to yellow as it ages, whereas water-based varieties stay transparent. You may have heard to only use steel wool, but many manufacturers recommend either one. Shellac is available in most home centers as a liquid in a can. DIYers can save money, but experience and know-how counts when refinishing hardwood floors. Apply using a natural-bristle brush. Polyurethane varnishes are super-tough ‘coatings’ popularly used as a finishing layer for protecting interior and exterior wooden floors, stairs and other surfaces prone to pedestrian wear and tear – some products can also be used on chipboard, plywood, hardboard, and parquet surfaces. Essentially a plastic in the form of a liquid until it dries, polyurethane is available in both water- and oil-based options, and comes in varieties from satin to glossy. Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more. You love to DIY. Wonder why it's so smooth? It adds a slight color tone and will bring out the richness of wood. It's applied via a sprayer, because it is thinner than the other finishes. Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online. 8 Essential Wood Refinishing Tools and Supplies, How to Tell If Wood Furniture Is Worth Refinishing, What You Need to Know About Hardwood Floor Refinishing, What You Should Know About Engineered Wood Flooring, What You Should Know About Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring, 60+ Ways to Use Up Thanksgiving Leftovers. After the first coat dries, you'll need to either sand it with fine-grit sandpaper (220 grit) or use steel wool. Both oil- and water-based polyurethane can be applied to latex/acrylic paint; however, oil-based polyurethane will create a yellow or amber hue, especially to light colors. It also can go over oil-based finishes and can be applied using synthetic-bristle brushes, a foam roller or a rag, as can other water-based polyurethanes. All rights reserved. Oil-based polyurethane is slightly more durable than water-based, especially when it comes to handling heat, so a kitchen table is a good candidate. It can be affected by heat (white rings will appear under a hot bowl or mug) or chemicals, so a kitchen table might not be the best place to use it. We love to DIY. Also, shaking a can of finish will certainly add bubbles, so try stirring instead. Wipe off the dust created and apply another coat. Wipe-on polyurethane is used primarily by woodworkers who want to create a “hand-rubbed” finish on special projects. To add durability without affected color, use a water-based finish. Spar varnish is often used on items that will be near or on the water, like a wood boat, decks, beach chairs, etc. It's very durable because it contains a higher ratio of solids. As with shellac, water-based polyurethane won't hold up well to heat and chemicals. You'll need a high-volume, low-presser (HVLP) sprayer and a well-ventilated and spacious workspace to apply it. Minwax Polycrylic is an example of a fortified water-based polyurethane than can stand up a bit better to rough conditions. When working with oil-based polyurethane, use a respirator in a well-ventilated area. The liquid variety is the best option for the average homeowner. Oil-based takes much longer to dry and cure than water-based, so plan accordingly and follow the manufacturer's directions. Let's get together. You can also purchase polyurethane in a spray can which makes it a bit easier to apply, especially on large projects. When applying a finish with a brush or roller you may notice some bubbles pop up. Spar varnish is perfect for outdoor projects and for raw wood used for exterior doors and trim on rustic homes. While the terms varnish, polyurethane, lacquer and shellac are commonly used to reference a final finish in general, these products are not the same, nor are they recommended to be used interchangeably.

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