polyurethane is an incredible material. It can help to keep your work charming and give your project an amazing look. You almost need 5 to 6 polyurethane coats for smooth coating. For water-based polyurethane, you need at least 3 to 4 coats which gives you a less resilient surface. But its finishing will not be clear and smooth like an oil-based one.
Furthermore, many people have a question regarding “how many coats of polyurethane are required?” ready to know about this. Let’s go
What is Polyurethane Coating?
It is a type of plastic that was used for hard-wearing synthetic dry foam. Every manufacturer starts using it in all types of their products after its accurate power is clear. In 1937, it was established by “Otto Bayer”. Polyurethane coating has 2 kinds, oil-based and water-based. You can easily find oil-based polyurethane in the market rather than water-based Poly.
Alkyd is almost present in all oil-based varnishes. To create a more durable coating, add an accurate amount of polyurethane varnish. Then the mixture becomes water-resistant, heat-resistant, and scratch-resistant. Furthermore, water-based uses acrylic resin instead of alkyd resin and mixed with polyurethane varnish. Like their mixture is different so on the surface it may have different properties. Moreover, if you apply this on the right wooden surface, it might give you many benefits.
What are Suggested numbers of Polyurethane Coats:
The coats of polyurethane also depend upon the type and brand of polyurethane. To know the comparison between some famous and popular polyurethane brands look at the table. You also come to know how many coats of polyurethane you need to apply and where you can easily apply it.
|Product||COATS||Hours Among Coats||Surfaces|
|Minwax Fast Drying||2 – 3||4 – 6||Furniture, Floors, Cabinets|
|Minwax Stain-and-Poly Combo||2||6||Furniture, Trim, Cabinets|
|Minwax High-build||2||4 – 6||Tabletops|
|Minwax Polycrylic||3||2||Light-color type of wood|
|Oil-based Spar Urethane||3||4||Trim, Exterior Doors|
|Minwax Wipe-On Poly||3||2 – 3||Profiled or Carved Surfaces|
|Minwax FAST drying Polyurethane Clear Finish||2 – 3||2||Furniture, Doors, cabinets, Floors|
|VARATHANE Ultimate Polyurethane||3 – 4||2||Cabinets, Furniture, Trim, Doors|
|Water-based Spar Urethane||4||2||Trim, Furniture, Doors|
|Water-based Oil-Modified||3||2||Doors, Cabinets, Furniture.|
Is that one polyurethane coat enough?
If anyone doesn’t know how many coats of polyurethane, you have to apply for your project. Then, for a quicker and easier solution, manufacturers can create one-coat polyurethane. For the traditional formulas of polyurethane, this one is a more and more famous alternative.
To get a more finishing look with just 1 application, one coat is not an adequate amount. After putting on the first coat of polyurethane, you see the brush marks. That’s why, to make it smoother you have to use sandpaper and then apply the 2nd coat. One or three poly coats are thicker rather than oil-based. That’s why it is a little bit more problematic to put one coat on the wooden surface.
Are 4 layers of polyurethane coats too much?
Applying too many coats doesn’t mean it is better for the surface. Manufacturers normally suggest using at least 3 coats for oil-based or water-based polyurethane. Applying too many coats will also harm the surface. For a hardwood surface, you can put a minimum of 4 to 5 polyurethane coats, if the material has a lot of humidity.
Types of Polyurethane:
There are 2 types of Polyurethane.
Few surfaces are extra receptive to oil-based polyurethane. On the other hand, other surfaces need water-based polyurethane. Here you need to know which type of polyurethane needs how many coats of polyurethane:
For many reasons water-based is beneficial for use. It is very easy to apply, eco-friendly, odor-free, self-leveling, and durable like oil-based. To get a smooth surface as water-based polyurethane is thin, it just needs some layers of coat. Typically, it needs almost 3 coats but mostly it requires almost 5 coats. The reason why you prefer water-based over oil-based is because water-based polyurethane quickly dries.
Moreover, if we compare both of them then oil-based has a very strong odor rather than water-based. If we talk about its price. It might be $3 or $5 more expensive than oil-based polyurethane. For their visual quality, many people say that oil-based is good. On the other hand, many people think that both types have the same visual quality.
Its consistency is thicker and oil-based is brownish while on the other hand, the other one is translucent. This polyurethane is long-lasting and strong because it is thick. It is not an eco-friendly resin because it has some extra amount of “Volatile Organic Compound”. Moreover, it is best to use it outside, in well-ventilated areas, or a garage because of its strong odor. Don’t you think it just needs one coat because it is thick? To create a durable or smooth barrier you have to apply 3 to 4 coats of oil-based polyurethane.
Difference b/w oil-based and water-based polyurethane:
Here is the main difference between oil-based and water-based polyurethane:
|Oil-Based Polyurethane||Water-Based Polyurethane|
|1. To attain a long-lasting and strong polyurethane, the use of oil-based polyurethane is a good choice for a wooden surface.|
2. When it dries, it can cover all types of damage. You have to apply a few coats because it gives a thick coat.
3. With its amber-like variety, in the wood, it can add warmth after it dries. Because its drying process is slow, it can give a protective coat to the wooden surface.
4. On the other hand, if you want your polyurethane to dry quickly then the use of oil-based polyurethane is not good for you.
5. As it contains a high level of “Volatile Organic Compounds”. That’s why it offers a strong odor as compared to water-based polyurethane.
|1. Water-based does not have a strong odor. Moreover, water-based poly is great for your environment and safety as well.|
2. Like other poly, it does not take too much time to dry because it gives a thin coating.
3. Normally, it takes almost six to twelve hours to dry and your complete surface dry.
4. Furthermore, it is not long-lasting as oil-based polyurethane. In the wood grain, it might cause a little rise which will need some extra sanding between the polyurethane coats.
5. Adding a layer of sealant is more beneficial. However, because it needs a thinner coating, so no need to worry about being liable to drip.
Polyurethane Layering for Different Surfaces:
Various wood surfaces want different amounts of polyurethane layers. Apply many coats of polyurethane to ensure that a particular surface of wood you are going to apply. It will give you a protective and shiny look. Here are the different numbers of coats and how many coats of polyurethane you want for each surface:
Apply just 2 polyurethane coats to attain your desired result for furniture. Apply almost 2 polyurethane coats if your furniture is too old. On the other hand, for a water-based polyurethane put at least 5 coats.
For Outdoor Furniture:
For outdoor furniture, you have to put 3 coats of water-based polyurethane. Moreover, you can also use UV protection while applying the polyurethane while it is exposed to straight sunlight. To avoid form chipping, it should be written off as “For External Use”.
For the interior surface, you have to put at least 5 coats of water-based polyurethane. On a smooth surface, you might use a bristle brush or spray. Furthermore, before you are going to apply the 2nd coat, let dry the first coat.
Put almost 2 to 5 coats of polyurethane to give a professional finish to your cabinets. In the finishing and appearance, the extra coating can visualize the main difference for your cabinets.
On Wood Countertops:
If you wonder about how many coats of polyurethane, you need to apply to wood. Then, you have to put a minimum of 2 polyurethane coats on a wood countertop. If the surface of wood countertops is rough, then you need to apply a 3rd coat. You can further apply a polyurethane coat of more than two because it embraces the propensity of wood grains to rise.
On a Kitchen Table:
For a kitchen table, put at least 3 coats of polyurethane. Sometimes kitchen tables experience harsh situations like liquid spillage, pot banging, and constant cutlery scratching. That’s why it requires some extra protection. For a long-lasting finish, you can put 3 coats.
On Hardwood Floor:
On a hardwood floor, if you use a water-based polyurethane then you must put at least 3 to 4 polyurethane coats. Sanding a polyurethane can help you to get a shine at the 4th coat. After drying it you can put on further coats. After reading this you don’t need to worry about how many coats of polyurethane you need to apply on the hardwood floor.
It is essential to apply a strong layering of polyurethane coats because stairs are always in use. You have to apply almost 3 polyurethane coats for the stairs. If you don’t feel any smoothness on the stairs after applying 3 coats, then put some extra coating.
To maintain the condition of your guitar, you have to put on 3 or more coats. Many suggest that applying one coat to the guitar is enough for it. but if you use it for gigs or in your home, then apply more than one polyurethane coat. If you apply more than one coat, then it is better to avoid brush marks.
6 steps on how you can apply polyurethane:
You can apply coats of polyurethane by following 6 easy steps. We are going to discuss every step in complete detail. Don’t go on to the next step until you fully understand the previous steps. Let’s go and read how many coats of polyurethane you can apply by using these simple steps.
Clean the Surface:
Before applying polyurethane coats keep in mind to keep your material surface clean. If you feel necessary then ensure that it is free from humidity, debris, or dust. If you don’t clean the surface, then it may form bubbles and bumps below the polyurethane.
Mixing the Formula:
Before its appearance, polyurethane is typically set. Furthermore, some compounds are uneven while mixing in the container. To ensure it is smooth, first, make sure and mix everything in it. Before going on how many coats of polyurethane are needed to apply, mix it properly.
Apply the Coat:
You can use a bristle brush or foam brush to put the light coating of polyurethane. Don’t put the 1st coat thin because the thin polyurethane coat will not give a proper grip. In that case, apply a thin layer of polyurethane on the surface if the material is already covered with it in the past.
Allow it to dry:
After applying the thin layer of polyurethane leave the surface to dry. Before applying further coating, various brands need almost 4 or more hours to dry. Furthermore, if you use an oil-based polyurethane on any type of product it needs some extra time for dryness rather than water-based. On the other hand, water-based polyurethane dries quicker.
Sand the Surface:
When the first layer dries then slightly begin to grit the sandpaper and start sanding the surface. Clean and remove all the dirt and dust from the surface. You might use a dry cloth and a soft cloth to clean it.
Apply another coat:
When you clean the complete surface. Now you are ready to put on an extra coat. The 2nd coat might be the final or last coat. Furthermore, it also depends upon the material you are going to apply the polyurethane. By using single strokes, you may put further coats to slightly clean the brush marks.
Benefits of using Polyurethane:
Polyurethane gives you many benefits when you apply it to the surface. Here we go,
polyurethane coating will work for a smooth barrier, transparency, and protection on the surface. When you mix it with a polyurethane and epoxy primer it becomes corrosion resistant. That’s why you can see a coastal structure coating that will continually be subjected to salt and sand air experience.
The versatility of polyurethane is another thing to make it charming and attractive. It can be useful for a variety of materials such as non-ferrous metals, stone, steel, wood, engineer plastic, and engineer foam. There are also a lot of finishes existing like pearls, various solid colors, and metallic.
The use of polyurethane is safe because after it dries quickly it does not release any type of harmful vapors. Even for a long period, it shows humidity or a high level of temperature. When you use spray polyurethane, it is necessary to wear safety gear.
When you apply a transparent coating of polyurethane. It gives you a more visible, clear, and visual appeal. Make sure that the material is charming and both are dent-resistant and scratch. If you apply polyurethane to a stone, even on stone it will give a clean and glossy look.
Energy-Saving and Long-Lasting:
The finishing of polyurethane is long-lasting and durable. When you apply the coating of polyurethane to windows, roofs, doors, and other components then the structure will be more energy-saving and insulated. If your home is coated with polyurethane, then you don’t need to spend money to make your home cooler because it makes your home surface heat-resistant.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. How long should I let polyurethane dry between coats?
It takes at least 2 hours to dry. In a day, you just put on only 2 coats of polyurethane. Keep in mind that the time it takes for dryness depends upon the humidity and temperature.
Q. Can you put on too many coats of polyurethane?
No, for most of the surface applying more than 5 polyurethane coats is too much. In some cases, how many coats of polyurethane do you have to put in, and is that too many coats enough? Then, to get your favorite result, putting 3 or 4 coats on is enough.
Q. Can you put 2 coats of polyurethane without sanding?
After applying the first coat you need to sand it. if you don’t sand it properly between the polyurethane coats then the surface is dry, streaky, or dirty. The formula stops the chemical solvent bonding.
Q. Can you put too many coats of polyurethane on wood?
For water-based polyurethane, you have to put three or four layers on wood. While applying wait at least 2 hours and then put the further layer one by one. On the other hand, for oil-based polyurethane, put four coats of wood. While applying the layers you have to wait at least 8 hours for further application. Don’t apply too many layers because it might damage the material or surface.
Polyurethane is a durable and long-lasting product. Its resistance and application are very easy to water and knock. For the application of polyurethane always follow the guideline of the manufacturer no matter whether the product is water-based or oil-based. Because both the products are different from each other.
Whenever the question comes into your mind how many coats of polyurethane simply follow the steps to apply the coating. Be patient and carefully apply the polyurethane coats. When you do this carefully, then you will enjoy the lovely and long-lasting finishing that can enhance and protect the grain and color.