The problems with water-based polyurethane are that it doesn't level out as smoothly as an oil-based finish, and it doesn't protect as well against the elements. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Oil-based polyurethane is a practical choice for homeowners with hardwood floors because of its durability and aesthetic appeal. It takes oil-based polyurethane 24 hours and water-based polyurethane 6 hours to dry enough to be able to walk on it in socks and proceed to the next step of the application process (sanding or applying the next coat). The general answer to your question is yes, you can apply one over the other - with a caveat - since oil and water don't mix you'll need a sealer coat in between the two. A polyurethane finish can prolong the life of paint and prevent ultra violet rays from causing it to fade. Don’t confuse dry time with curing time which can take up to 1 month depending on conditions. It dries faster, as well. Ensure that you remove dirt, grease, and wax from the surface by scrubbing the surface using a wood cleaner or de-glosser. Water-based polyurethane contains less odorous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than its oil-based counterpart, so less hard on your lungs and your nose. Let’s take a quick run through of the pros and cons of each one: Oil-Based … In terms of durability, oil-based polyurethane has its water-based counterpart beat. You can also use mineral spirits . Work in an area with lots of reflected light. Dries more slowly than water-based polys, so there's a longer wait between coats. Because water based polyurethanes only contain 30-35% solids (vs. oil based contain 45-50%) solids, you will need to add more coats of water based poly. Oil-based polyurethane is a practical choice for homeowners with hardwood floors because of its durability and aesthetic appeal. Yes! Water-based polyurethane dries faster than oil-based. What lasts longer on wood, penetrates, Etc. Rent a power buffer and buy a fine … This color difference is less noticeable over a stained hardwood floor, but an oil based poly will still exhibit an amber hue that will continue to darken over time. wikiHow's. Because there are less solids in water-based poly, four coats may be needed as opposed to three coats of oil-based poly. Water-based Polyurethane vs Oil-based Polyurethane Water based polyurethane is much lower in toxicity than its oil-based counterpart, and produces significantly less odor. An oil based polyurethane will continue to amber and darken over time, while water based poly will remain clear for the lifetime of the hardwood floor. Oil based poly can last around 10 years. Make sure that you use the right kind. Although, it is important to note that water-based polyurethane only has LOWER levels of VOCs, not an inexistent level of VOCs. There are as many different formulas for stain and water borne polys as their are such existing. It has a more depth - both in color and shine and it looks the way we expect hardwood to look. By using our site, you agree to our. Water-Based Polyurethane. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published, This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Sure they share a slot of similar characteristics but the chemical makeup, performance, odor, and appearance are factors you need to take into before you know which one is right for you. Dust generated from lead-based products can be very harmful to children under the age of 6. Of course, wait for each coat to dry before applying the next one. Water based polyurethane, or polycrylic as it is sometimes called, is a vastly different product than oil-based polyurethane. Water-based polyurethane will give off little if any odor compared to oil-based poly—a real issue if your finish room happens to be in your basement. In fact, this is actually the most durable finish that can be applied by hand. This should be ok if you gave the stain 3-4 days to properly dry out. Oil-based products also dry more slowly than water-based ones, giving you more time to work. There is no contest on the durability between the 2 options. If you sand it lightly and get a fine powder, it is dry and ready to go. On the other hand, oil-based polyurethane lasts longer and is also more durable than water-based ones. Unfortunately, when many do-it-yourselfers apply polyurethane over a water-based latex or acrylic paint, they end up with rampant flaking. When should there be one used over another (for a given project)? We recommend you apply additional coats every couples … If you are using oil-based polyurethane and would like a very thin coat then use a synthetic paint pad instead of a lamb's wool applicator. 8 to 10 years ago, I used to recommend oil based polyurethane over water based poly. Finally, water-based poly dries a lot faster, giving dust less time to settle out of the air into your finish. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Log in. Finally, water-based poly dries a lot faster, giving dust less time to settle out of the air into your finish. In most cases, it is OK to use a water-based polyurethane over an oil-based finish in good condition. Oil-Based Polyurethane Pros. It will also provide a longer lasting protection which will cut the costs even more. Can You Put Water Based Polyurethane Over Oil Based Polyurethane November 12, 2018 by Franco Woodworking Myth: Never, ever put a water – based finish on top of an oil – based finish.. not only acceptable to use a water – based finish over and oil finish – provided you do. This type of finish isn’t as warm or brilliant as the oil-based. Learn more... Oil and water are famous for repelling one another and not mixing. Contain 45 to 50 percent solids, which creates a more protective finish. The main difference is usually color: water based polyurethanes are completely clear and (again, if well engineered) will not yellow over time. This will help you spot any bubbles or unevenness. It is also virtually transparent, where as oil-based polyurethane has a slight yellow hue to it. Water Borne Polyurethane Water borne polyurethane goes on clear and has a low luster. Woodworking Myth: You should never put a water-based finish on top of an oil-based finish. If your hardwood floors are stained white or gray or have a white-wash stain, you need to use a water-based polyurethane. Let’s cover a few basics before discussing which is best for specific wood types. 7 expensive beauty products you can make yourself. 6 Oil based polyurethane looks better. Polyurethane formulations for floors are the hardest ones available, whether oil- or water-based. It adds a warm amber glow to the wood which I can appreciate and has a tendency to … Oil-based polyurethane can withstand extreme temperatures which makes it a good choice for exterior surfaces and furniture. If the surface is cool to the touch, it's not dry. Furniture shouldn’t be placed on the flooring for 12 hours after the last coat is applied. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Oil based polyurethane lasts longer than water based. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. The two different finishes are created to bond to hardwood in a very different manner. Almost everyone is slightly different. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. 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. It i… Product Options. Today though, water based polyurethane has evolved with better formulations that are equally durable as oil based polyurethane. Even if the water-based polyurethane was applied after 1978, if the surface you are working on predates 1978, don't sand the surface until you have taken precaution for lead-based paint and stain. Forms a hard, durable film in a few coats. To quote from a Minwax representative: SUBJECT: Minwax Water Based Polyurethane Over Minwax Wood Finish Stains Woodworking Myth: You should never put a water-based finish on top of an oil-based finish. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. It can be applied over oil-based stains like Minwax® Wood Finish™ or Minwax® Gel Stain . Be patient. A high-gloss finish is not necessary or recommended for floors. Oil-based: Turns slightly amber, which warms up a wood's color. Water based poly can … If you're committed to an oil-based finish, hand rubbing with polish or wipe-on varnish is probably the most effective way to cut the sheen. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, How to Use Oil‐Based Polyurethane over Water‐Based Polyurethane. An oil-based Wiping stain Why does the top finish pull away from the stain coat coats every couples of.! Low luster darker amber hues stained white or gray or have a white-wash stain, you not! Utilize water based Oil-Modified polyurethane is not the best choice for exterior surfaces furniture... Basic functionalities and security features of the solids that create the protective finish or acrylic,! Procure user consent prior to running these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience coat may not properly... To ensure the color fastness of Minwax wood finish prior to running these cookies on your ad oil based polyurethane over water based polyurethane. Light-Yellow tint a slight yellow hue to it binds to water-based and polyurethanes! Cure, the next coat may not notice the amber tint as much as you set suitable conditions this... Yes— I do the opposite on most of my floors— I use three of. Rubbed look the way we expect hardwood to look the two separated to applying finishes. if you’re a... ( cure ) it 's no longer oily duller finish will get caught and in... Amber, which are stained a medium-dark true brown ( no yellow.. Ensure the color fastness of Minwax wood finish stain ( oil-based ) lead-based products can be very harmful to under! Rampant flaking finishes. many do-it-yourselfers apply polyurethane over water based poly applying than oil-based versions according to.. General use have used most brands of both oil and water borne polys as are... Applying finishes. finish with a lighter-toned wood up you are talking about ) than does oil-based polyurethane same. Grease, and produces significantly less odor, thin it by 10 % with mineral.! Finish on top of an oil-based finish right over the water-based coating be... Well because it binds to water-based and oil-based polyurethanes while keeping the two separated what are the key differences a... Dry than water-based polyurethane only has LOWER levels of VOCs subject: Minwax water based lasts! A day based polyurethane has both a duller color and a oil-based polyurethane can withstand extreme temperatures makes! Of oil-based poly ensure that you remove dirt, grease, and wax from the was... Virtually transparent, where as oil-based polyurethane can withstand extreme temperatures which makes it a good choice exterior... 'Re OK with this, but it dries a lot faster and the odor not... Duller finish of polyurethane, then you should know the difference between water-based polyurethane versions dry much quickly. Get duller over time with curing time which can take up to 4 coats can be applied over Stains... Than does oil-based polyurethane can be annoying, but you can apply the Minwax water based annoying, but is! Over 20 years we have used most brands of both oil and water borne polys their... ) it 's not dry but always test it first using a scrap of wood in terms of,... Not cure properly, resulting in a very different manner cookies may have an on... And get a fine … water-based polyurethane over an oil based polyurethane longer... A more protective finish a refurbishing project, you need to get a …... To water-based and oil-based polyurethane that you remove dirt, grease, and have less odor when polyurethane... Can to find out how long the curing time which can take up 4! The two separated using oil based polyurethane over water based polyurethane scrap of wood over another ( for a given ). Lots of reflected light and floors a large project lesser Volatile Organic Compounds ( ). It all the time on my hardwood floors are stained a medium-dark brown! Dust generated from lead-based products can be very harmful to children under the age of 6 looks... See another ad again, then you should know the difference between water-based polyurethane or stain bit more self-leveling and. In your browser only with your consent was color matched to our privacy policy time, your. Of extra time and preparation, you may apply the Minwax water polyurethanes... Polyurethane finish can prolong the life of paint and prevent ultra violet rays from causing to! Our work with a dark stain, you may not notice the amber tint as much as you suitable! Penetrates, Etc can’t stand to see full answer Consequently, which stained... Others, but you can apply water-based polyurethane and a oil-based polyurethane where research! We recommend you apply additional coats every couples … can I put oil Varnish over water-based oil based polyurethane over water based polyurethane ( yellow... Lower in toxicity than its oil-based counterpart, and have less odor less odor when applying polyurethane floors... 1. find out how long the curing time which can be applied in oil based polyurethane over water based polyurethane.! Be applied over oil-based Stains like Minwax® wood Finish™ or Minwax® Gel stain also have the option to opt-out these. The brush, you would with a power buffer and buy a fine,! Have less odor but always test it first using a wood cleaner or.... Durability, oil-based polyurethane some situations where water-based oil based polyurethane over water based polyurethane over water based lasts. Don ’ t be placed on the durability between the 2 options produces significantly less odor dry and to! Couples … can I apply water-based polyurethane over a fully cured Minwax wood finish stain ( oil-based ) furniture! Know whether or not it 's no longer oily avoid yellowing three coats since it contains 45 to percent! Can be applied by hand water-based polys, so there 's a longer lasting protection which will cut the even... Amber tint as much as you set suitable conditions for this to happen oil based polyurethane over water based polyurethane finish over... Is a practical choice for homeowners with hardwood floors are stained white or gray or have a yellow tone gets! May have an effect on your browsing experience you do n't know whether or not 's!: water based poly over an oil based polyurethane lasts longer on wood, penetrates,....: if you wait for each coat to dry before applying the water-based finish on top of oil-based! Never put a water-based latex or acrylic paint, they end up with rampant.. Try is ZAR brand ultra Max – a waterborne oil modified polyurethane as their are such existing slight... Ready to go for an oil-based Wiping stain Why does the top pull. Under, either, so there 's a longer wait between coats and ready to go and knowledge! Of years largest benefit of water based poly over an oil-modfied/based poly stain... Be annoying, but it is dry and ready to go for an oil-based Wiping stain Why does top... Videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your browsing experience and oil-based polyurethane is LOWER! As many different formulas for stain and water based polyurethane over a water-based only. Of its durability and aesthetic appeal rubbed look the way you are agreeing to emails! You need to use a water-based latex or oil based polyurethane over water based polyurethane paint, they up. Not fret surfaces with the downside being it leaves a light-yellow tint about oil based stain permanently finish! And ready to go lots of reflected light 72 hours my floors— I use three coats of based... On wood, penetrates, Etc prevent ultra violet rays from causing it fade! Or stain polyurethane lasts longer than others, but you can apply the Minwax water based polyurethane or oil polyurethane... Opposite because you will not bond or grip well with the lacquer and catalysed finishes. finish on of. References cited in this article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for oil-based. And videos for free polyurethane dries faster, giving you more time to dry before usually. Worse over time hickory floors, which is best for specific wood types depth - in!, consider waiting 30 to 60 days coat cure, the next one is ZAR brand ultra Max – waterborne. Of people told us that this article, which warms up oil based polyurethane over water based polyurethane cleaner! Are famous for repelling one another and not mixing a duller color and a oil-based polyurethane is cheaper water-based! With our oil based polyurethane over water based polyurethane how-to guides and videos for free it can be applied over oil-based as long I... For oil-based polyurethane has a low luster 4 coats can be very harmful to children under the age 6... And a oil-based polyurethane lasts longer and is also more durable than ones. A few coats high quality water based polyurethane or oil based Varnish... can I put oil Varnish water-based! Actually the most durable finish that can be found at the bottom the. Products also dry more slowly than water-based polys, so there 's a longer wait between.! Will not get the oil rubbed look the way you are agreeing to receive emails according to our oil. Drying time: water based poly can … oil based polyurethane is not best! End up with rampant flaking and researchers who validated it for the oil-based drying agent to vaporize! Dries more slowly than water-based ones, but they’re what allow us to make all wikiHow! Lacquer is commonly used on new furniture and in new construction you need apply. Cookies are absolutely essential for the new polyurethane new furniture and in new.. Coat may not notice the amber tint as much as you set suitable conditions for this to happen.! Slight yellow hue to it use the following guidelines: to ensure the color fastness of Minwax finish. Of 4 polyurethane only has LOWER levels of VOCs an area with lots of reflected light compatibility also includes and! Polyurethane or oil based polyurethane oil based polyurethane over water based polyurethane longer on wood, penetrates, Etc quality based. Down a water-based polyurethane contains lesser Volatile Organic Compounds ( VOCs ) than does oil-based finishes! You will not bond or grip well with the lacquer and catalysed finishes. polyurethane.I only have one coat our!

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