Best Polyurethanes

Top 10 Best Polyurethanes in 2021 (Buying Guide and Review)

Do you want to protect your wooden made furniture for a long time? Or Do you want to bring back thcharm of your old wooden door? If yes, then coating your surface with polyurethane can be a big help.

Protecting your wooden surface with a beautiful classic and glossy look is now more easy with the best polyurethane. It is basically being used for protecting the surface from water damage, scratch and other elements. But now, it is also being used for providing a glossy and shiny look on the wooden surface.

Polyurethane seals the porous on the surface so that the wood doesn’t dry out. This actually protects the wood for a long time, giving a natural shiny look. Coating with polyurethane works as a protective shield. The finish it provides doesn’t spoil the natural wood color look.

But there are so many brands in the market offering different finishes and protection. Among them, we have brought to you ten amazing polyurethane products that will meet all your demand for perfect finish and protection.

To find out, Read On.

Here are The Top 10 Best Polyurethanes Review

Buying polyurethane isn’t something you can say difficult. But picking the perfect polyurethane is certainly not an easy task to many of us. If you don’t have expertise in this field, then it seems really intimidating.

Don’t worry, we’ve covered you up. From hundreds of options, we’ve taken only 10 polyurethane to present you. These items are more up-to-date and effective as well.

01. Varathane Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane

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Do you want to give your indoor furniture a glossy finish along with protecting it from drying out? Varathane Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane will be our first recommendation in this case. It is one of the most popular go-to polyurethane brands on the market.

From the finish to protection, this polyurethane deserves ten out of ten. Let’s dig a little deeper.

A water-based poly

This is basically a water-based poly. So unlike other polyurethane in the market, it will ensure a faster dry time. It dries to touch in 30 minutes. But for a recoat, you will have to wait at least 2 hours. Hey, don’t worry. Its ultimate coverage of 31. sq.Ft in half an hour will not let you feel that you are wasting your time.

Also for its water-based formula, it’s very easy to use. You can clean your brush or the layer just by using water.

The natural wooden color 

The most amazing part is, it will retain the natural wooden color giving a glossy crystal clear finish. So protecting your wooden surface from scratch and other elements will not cost the look of your surface. Rather your furniture will look natural, shiny, and glossy.

This polyurethane is suitable for all your indoor wooden surfaces such as windows, trim, and furniture. But we won’t recommend you to use it for your exterior surface.

Mind blowing fact

Another mind blowing fact about this poly is its low odor formula. So it doesn’t create any discomfort while you work with it and you don’t have to take everything outside. This high-quality poly will not make your wooden surface older ensuring the same crystal clear finish.

The finish will never turn yellow. So with this poly, protecting your surface with a super glossy finish becomes more easy and effective.

HIGHLIGHTED FEATURES
  • Water-Based Formula.
  • Suitable for indoor wooden surfaces.
  • Glossy crystal clear finish.
  • Perfect protection from stain and scratch.
  • Odor-free and easy clean-up.

02. Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish

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If you want to give your indoor wooden surface a tough satin finish for ultimate sustainability, Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane is the perfect match for you. It’s tough, shiny, and looks great after a few coats. And when it comes from Minwax, you cannot doubt its commitment.

Fast-drying facility

The first thing about this poly is its fast-drying facility. Though it’s oil-based polyurethane, it comparatively dries faster than any of its competitor’s products. Also, you can get the craziest sheen finish only within two coats.

The first coat will basically seal the surface. And the second coat will actually make sure that it provides the perfect sheen finish you are expecting.

For the best result, 

try to sand the surface a bit after the last coat with a piece of 320 sandpaper. The satin finish that this poly provides can bring a new look back to your old furniture. This poly is also available in a glossy and shiny finish.

It doesn’t matter if the surface is finished or unfinished. You can use this poly on both surfaces. It’s a perfect choice for any of your woodworking and interior furniture such as doors, cabinets, windows.

Wood protection for a longer period

Protecting your wood for a longer period of time will not be a matter of concern when you have this polyurethane for your woodwork. It provides an amazing durable coating for long term protection. Its durability will never let you worry about protection or beauty.

So without any doubt in the quality, you can bring Minax Fast-Drying Polyurethane for a sheen finish on your wooden surface.

HIGHLIGHTED FEATURES
  • Only for indoor use.
  • Fast-drying oil-based formula.
  • Provides a clear satin finish.
  • Suitable for both finished and unfinished wood.
  • Superior Durable coating for ultimate protection.

03. Minwax Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane

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If you have a wooden floor in your home that needs to be varnished, nothing is greater than Minwax Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane. Not just the floor, it is a perfect choice for any indoor wooden surface.

A water-based oil-modified poly

It is basically a water-based oil-modified poly. This oil-modified poly ensures a very tough coat with amber color. And for its water-based formula, it gives you an easy cleaning solution with water.

So any mistake is acceptable with this polyurethane. What you have to do is to clean the coat with soap water as soon as you see it.

Apply at least three coats

If you buy this poly, you will have to apply at least three coats to get the look you want. But as it has a faster drying time of 2 hours, applying even a few extra coats will not cost your precious time.

Most of the users have recommended not use a roller to apply this poly. Rather you can use a brush or spray.

No complaint about its protection. 

Each coat of this poly dries tough so that it can save your wooden surface from scuffing, abrasion, water, alcohol, or any kitchen chemicals. The durable finish also gives your wooden surface a satin amber color finish.

This poly is so easy and smooth to work with. The added benefit is its ‘no smell’ facility. You can say there is “no smell” compared to other oil-based poly.

HIGHLIGHTED FEATURES
  • Odorless for its water-based formula.
  • Durable and tough satin finish.
  • Dries ultimate quick ensuring easy cleanup.
  • Ensure perfect warmth and beauty on a wooden surface.
  • A great choice for indoor wooden surfaces, especially for floor

04. Rust-Oleum Ultimate Polyurethane

We know how irritating it can be when you see your fingerprints on your polished wooden surface. It not only makes the furniture look worse but also increases your workload as you have to clean it. But we have a solution for you.

It is Rust-Oleum Ultimate Polyurethane that is fingerprint-proof and makes your surface smudge-free for its matt finish. It’s a worthy choice for you if you don’t like glossy finish.

Unique soft-touch finish

Not just that. The unique soft-touch finish gives a soft texture to your wooden surface. So the soft matt finish will not let your hands off from the furniture.

As it is a water-based poly, it’s obvious that it will dry faster. Also, it ensures easy cleaning with soapy water. It’s suitable for any indoor wooden surface. Don’t worry if you are a craft artist. Its water-based acrylic formula will ensure the precise and fine look of your wooden craftwork.

Want to know about the protection it provides?  

The topcoat of this poly provides a scratch-free layer with a soft texture. So your surface will look new for a very long period of time.

It gives a perfect satin finish to finished wood but if you have an unfinished wood to varnish then the wood color may turn slightly darker.

Best part of the item? -the perfect adhesion. 

It is smooth and white. But turns into a clear matt finish when dry.  The smell is pretty acceptable while working with it.

No wonder, Rust-Oleum Ultimate Polyurethane is going to be worth your money.

HIGHLIGHTED FEATURES
  • Fingerprint and smudge free finish.
  • Soft touch finish.
  • Smooth and clear finish.
  • Durable scratch free top coat.
  • Ultimate coverage and faster dry.

05. Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane Semi-Gloss Clear Finish

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It’s ok if you don’t like glossy or satin finish on your wooden surface. Because we have something that stays in the middle. It’s Minwax Fast Drying Semi-Gloss Clear Finish  Polyurethane.

If you have a surface with lots of imperfection to hide, glossy finish is definitely not going to help. Because the glossier the finish, the imperfection will be more visible from underneath.

What is recommended by professionals? 

In this case semi-gloss is always recommended by professionals. And if you have already decided to buy a polyurethane with semi-gloss finish, I must recommend this poly for its high quality.

Always remember that durability does not depend on the finish the poly provides. And in this case Minwax is pretty consistent.

Like its other variants, 

it also provides one of the most durable coatings you can find on the market. It will protect your wooden surface from any kind of chemical damage or scratch.

There is no chance of peeling off the varnish when you are applying this polyurethane on the surface.

As it’s an oil based poly, 

you cannot clean it with water or soap. But the finish and smoothness of the top coat texture is very eye soothing. It may take 3 to 5 coats to ensure the perfect semi-gloss finish. But the extreme quick-dry feature will back you up.

If you want a natural feeling surface with ultimate protection, Minwax Fast Drying Semi-Gloss Polyurethane is definitely worth the choice.

HIGHLIGHTED FEATURES
  • Oil-based Polyurethane.
  • Smooth semi-gloss finish.
  • Long lasting protection and durability.
  • Suitable for interior finished or unfinished wooden surfaces.
  • Value for the money.

06. CrystaLac Brite Tone High Solids Polyurethane Instrument Finish

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Does the guitar look dull as you are playing for a long time?  What do you think about a new bright coat on the top? If that’s what you are thinking before buying polyurethane, let me suggest you a Crystalac Brite Tone Water Based Clear Coat.

This is the game changer if you want your instrument to look brighter and shiner.

For its water based formula, 

this takes fewer coats than any other poly in the market. The runny consistency ensures extra coverage. And when you will be applying it with a brush or spray, you don’t need to worry about its leveling.

It levels itself ensuring a smooth and flawless clear finish on the surface. It’s very easy to use. You don’t have to put extra effort into ensuring a perfect coat.

A durable hard coat

This poly provides a durable hard coat on your instrument with a super bright look. The hard and clear coat will stay glossy for a long time. But for an effective bright looking surface, you must apply a very thin coat.

Otherwise there is a chance that the top coat might get cracked.

A brighter looking surface

Don’t worry about its heat resistance. If you are applying it on your bar tops, you must know that it can take the heat of a coffee mug without damaging.

When you want a brighter looking surface with a perfect protection on your bar tops, furniture and instruments, you will find nothing better than this top coat polyurethane.

HIGHLIGHTED FEATURES
  • This is especially suitable for top coats on instruments.
  • Provides a bright, shiny and smooth finish.
  • Dries hard to ensure a long term protection.
  • Ensure a perfect heat resistance.
  • Self leveling capacity with no odor.

07. Watco Rust-Oleum A65741 Danish Oil Wood Finish, Quart, Natural

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Do you want the proper control over the application of polyurethane on your wooden furniture? If yes, then here is the solution- Watco 68141 Wipe-On Polyurethane Finish. This is the perfect and suitable polyurethane when it comes to ensure the finest details.

For applying this poly, 

you don’t need any brush or spray. Just a clear dry cloth can do the job of applying on the surface. You will be able to reach each corner where a brush couldns. And most importantly it gives you proper control for precise application.

If you want something easy to apply on the surface, there is no alternative of Watco Wipe On poly. This hand-applied poly makes your varnishing easy and effective ensuring proper protection.

No corner to clear protective finish 

The oil based formula ensures that there is no corner left to clear protective finish. The amazing clear satin finish ensures perfect protection from water, stains and scratches. This works great as a sealer.

As it comes thicker than other poly in the market, make sure you thin it before applying. Don’t worry about the look on your surface.

Super shiny stained wood

After you apply Watco wipe-on with a clean rag on your cabinets or furniture, the poly will ensure a super shiny stained wood. So if you are up to making your wooden surface look new even after a long time, this watco Wipe on durable solution will ensure both.

Last but not the least, this is an affordable option to go with now.

HIGHLIGHTED FEATURES
  • Ensure finest details on the surface.
  • Durable and strong protection.
  • Provides ultimate control and finish.
  • Gives a glossy and shiny finish
  • Hand applied Polyurethane.

08. Deft Interior Exterior Water-Based Polyurethane

So far we have talked about polyurethane which is only suitable for interior use. But if you require something that works on both interior and exterior surfaces then here is Deft Interior Exterior Water-Based Polyurethane for you.

What makes it suitable for multi-purpose use? 

Basically, when you buy an interior poly, it doesn’t contain UV ray protection formula. That’s why if you apply interior poly to your exterior surface, it will get faded after a few days.

But not with Deft Interior Exterior Water-Based Polyurethane. It has the superior UV protection for saving your exterior surface from fading away.

After you apply this poly on any surface, 

you are free of worry regarding weather issues. Your surface will retain the new look across all seasons. It is a water-based polyurethane with oil modified urethane formula.

Here the water base formula will ensure a quick dry and oil base formula will provide the clear glossy finish on your wooden surface. This poly makes your varnishing more easy and cost effective.

No need to apply any sealer 

You don’t need to apply any sealer before you apply this poly. You can use an HVLP spray, brush or pad. Most importantly, it can protect your surface like any other best polyurethane in the market from any sort of damage or scratch. It is non-toxic when it’s dry.

So if there is a new born kid at your home, don’t worry. It’s safe. It also provides an easy clean up solution and dries within 2 hours for the next coat.

HIGHLIGHTED FEATURES
  • Suitable for both interior and exterior surface.
  • UV protected Formula and weather resistant.
  • Ensure a satin finish.
  • Nontoxic, Low VOC and low odor.
  • Durable finish and quick dry.

09. Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane, 11.5 oz, Semi-Gloss, 11 Ounce

When it comes to quality and finish, there is nothing you can compare with the products that come from Minwax factory. We have already listed three of their products in our list. But there are lots of people who are fond of polyurethane aerosol. That’s why we don’t want to make any injustice to them.

We have Minwax 33055000 Fast-Drying Polyurethane for those people who find aerosol more convenient for precise application and finish.

A perfect semi-gloss finish

This poly ensures a perfect semi-gloss finish on your surface. To get a perfect and smooth finish, you will have to apply several coats. Firstly put 3-4 coats and then let it dry. Then sand it a bit before you put other 3 coats. If you find the first three coats super shiny, then you don’t need to apply another coat. If it appears tiring to you, don’t worry.

The smooth and clogged free nozzle will make your application more easy and comfortable. You can change the spray pattern to vertical and horizontal according to your choice.

Suitable for long lasting protection

The durable top coat is well suited for long lasting protection to your furniture, doors or kitchen countertop. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a finished wood or unfinished wood, protection is ensured.  It has a perfect dry time to seal the pores of the surface.

From the precision to finish, everything is perfect with this poly. I highly recommend this amazing unit of polyurethane if it matches your applications.

HIGHLIGHTED FEATURES
  • Oil-based finish aerosol
  • Only suitable for interior Surface.
  • Durable and long lasting coating.
  • Provides semi gloss finish.
  • Quick dry and clog free application.

10. Rust-Oleum 200181 Polyurethane Water-Based Spray

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Want to protect your outdoor wooden surface with perfect precision? Here is a solution for you. Rust-Oleum 200181 Polyurethane Water-Based Spray is going to give you a durable protective layer on your outdoor wooden surface. What’s special about this Rust-Oleum poly?

Spending money on a Rust-Oleum is like insurance. 

Rust-Oleum is leading the market with its high quality product from the beginning of its journey. So there is no doubt about the performance. They are committed about their quality products and sincere customer service as well.

Its water-based formula will ensure quick dry and easy clean up. So ensuring the protection and beauty will be easier with this poly. Talking about protection, it provides one of the most durable coats to protect your wooden surface from any sort of damage. It does not allow any stains on the surface.

The use of it is also pretty convenient. 

The nozzle is clog free and smooth that ensures fine finish on the surface. For its water based formula it gives the ultimate coverage of 25 sq. ft. in just 30 minutes. Also it allows you to clean it easily with soap water.

The main reason you are going to love this product is its protection and finish. The semi-gloss finish will bring a unique eye soothing charm. And the smooth finish will make the surface look flawless and bright. What else can you expect? This product is surely worth your money.

HIGHLIGHTED FEATURES
  • Perfect fit for your outdoor wooden surfaces.
  • Ultimate quick dry and easy to use.
  • Clog free nozzles ensure maximum coverage.
  • Water based formula for easy cleanup.
  • Provides Semi-Gloss finish.

What to Consider before Purchasing the Perfect Polyurethane?

Though I have given quite a few options for best polyurethane in this list, you may still have some confusion which one to pick finally. But before you buy anything else instead of picking one from the list, keep your eyes on these below mentioned things to make the perfect decision.

1. Types of Polyurethane

There are different types of poly such as Oil-based, Water-Based and water-based oil-modified. Each type has different offerings. For example, water based poly dries faster than oil based poly.

On the other hand, oil based poly gives a smoother finish than water based poly. So considering these factors is quite important for ensuring protection and beauty on your surface at the same time.

2. Suitability

Before you buy polyurethane you must consider where exactly you are going to use it. It can be indoor, outdoor or both. But you have to be very certain about that. If you want to buy poly for protecting your indoor wooden surface that will not likely be applicable in the exterior wooden surface.

Because most indoor poly does not contain any UV protection so if you apply that on your exterior surface the poly will likely get faded in no time. But you can apply exterior poly to both indoor and outdoor surfaces.

So before you buy polyurethane for any wooden surface, make sure you know your surface so that you can buy the suitable one. And to make this easier, we’ve compiled our list with different types of poly from different brands all around the world.

3. Finish

Polyurethane is not only used to protect the surface. People also apply it on their wooden surface to get a bright glossy finish. In the market, you can get different types of finish such as Satin, Gloss, Semi-Gloss etc. So it’s very important to set the requirements.

Glossy finish is very bright and shiny. But it makes any wood spot more visible than hiding. Semi-gloss finish is a bit safer in this regard. It makes the underneath spot or stain blurry with a light glossy finish.

If you want to get rid of any fingerprint from the wooden surface, satin finish is suitable for that. The matt finish makes the surface scratch proof and smooth.

Polyurethane Comparison Table

Product Name

Types

Finish

Varathane Ultimate Polyurethane

Water-Based

Glossy finish

Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane

Oil-based formula

Clear Satin

Minwax Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane

Water Based Oil-Modified

Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin finish

Rust-Oleum Ultimate Polyurethane

Water Based Acrylic Formula

Matte Finish

Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane Semi-Gloss Clear Finish

Water Based Oil-Modified

Semi-Gloss

CrystaLac Brite Tone High Solids Polyurethane Instrument Finish

Water-Based

Clear gloss Instrument Finish.

Watco 68141 Wipe-On Polyurethane Finish

Oil-Based

Clear Satin

Deft Interior Exterior Water-Based Polyurethane

Water Based

Clear Finish

Minwax 33055000 Fast-Drying Polyurethane

Oil-Based

Semi-Gloss

Rust-Oleum 200181 Polyurethane Water-Based Spray

Water-Based

Semi-Gloss

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Q. Why am I getting bubbles in my poly?

If you are getting bubbles in each coat then most probably you have shaken the can improperly. Most brands put this instruction on the label- not to shake the can. They suggest you stir the finish. Another reason you can get bubbles, if you don’t put your brush in the mineral spirit before you dip it into the poly.

Sometimes, you can also get bubbles if the material is thinner. Like, if you put water in the water based poly which is already thinner.

Q. Do I need to sand between coats?

It’s not mandatory to sand the surface between coats. But if you have time in your hand then it’s better if you sand between two or three coats.

It will actually ensure perfect adhesion that will lead to finest and smoothest and durable finish.

Q. How to get a smoother finish?

To get a smoother finish, density is important. If the poly is too thick, you will find it difficult to get maximum coverage. That’s why you have to thin your poly to an extent where the flow of application gets smoother.

In terms of water-based poly, do it with caution. Because water-based poly comes thinner most of the time.

Another important thing to get a smooth finish is to prepare the surface. If the surface is not well suited or uneven or has any remaining of previous finishing elements, then getting a smoother finish will be tough.

So make sure that you prepare the surface by sanding it properly.

Final Words

After going through the whole polyurethane reviews, picking the best polyurethane will not be a matter of hassle. You don’t need to ask every professional you know to suggest one which can protect your surface.

That’s why we picked the best 10 products which will protect your surface giving your wooden furniture a brand new shiny look.

Buying any of these products can’t go wrong. Just make your requirements certain and see what matches- this is a list with diversified options.

Why are you waiting? Bring the most suitable polyurethane for the next project.

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