Step 1 Choose Between Oil-based Vs Water-based Polyurethane
When working with polyurethane, you’ll need to choose between oil-based and water-based polyurethane. They both have benefits and drawbacks, so consider your project and specific needs carefully before choosing.
Oil-based polyurethane generally forms a hard, durable finish in just a few simple coats. However, these coats dry slowly compared to water-based polyurethane. Oil-based polyurethane typically gives your wood a warm amber hue as well. Oil-based polyurethane is also higher in VOC’s than water-based.
Water-based polyurethane requires more coats, but each coat dries quickly. Low VOC content makes it easier to find and potentially safer to work with as well. However, you’ll still need proper ventilation when working with water-based polyurethane.
Water-based polyurethane typically dries clear, helping you retain the natural look of the wood you’re working with.