What Does Polyurethane Do To Wood?
If you’re looking for a way to protect your wooden surfaces while also enhancing their appearance, a high gloss polyurethane wood finish may be just what you need. This type of timber varnish is known for its durability and ability to create a shiny, reflective surface that can make any piece of wood look brand new.
However, before you dive into using this type of finish, it’s important to understand its properties, including its drying time and the difference between high gloss and semi-gloss finishes. In this blog, we’ll explore what polyurethane does to wood and what you need to know before using it on your own projects.
What is polyurethane?
Polyurethane is a type of resin created by mixing a polyol chemical and an isocyanate. When these two components are mixed together, they form a tough plastic-like material that can be used to coat wood surfaces. It is available in both water-based and oil-based varieties, each offering different characteristics.
- Water-based polyurethanes offer better clarity and less yellowing over time.
- While oil-based versions are more durable and can provide a richer finish.
How does high gloss polyurethane affect wood?
High gloss polyurethane can be used to provide a beautiful, long-lasting finish on wood surfaces. It is especially important to use a high gloss finish if you are looking for a durable, water-resistant product. As the name suggests, this type of polyurethane will dry to the touch and leave behind a shiny, glossy surface. Applying high gloss polyurethane is relatively simple and can be done with either a natural bristle brush or an applicator pad.
It is important to apply thin coats of the product when using high gloss polyurethane, as thick coats tend to leave behind an uneven and blotchy finish. If you’ve previously coated your wooden surface with another type of finish, such as a stain or varnish, it is important to remove this before applying the polyurethane.
What are the benefits of using a high gloss polyurethane wood finish?
The benefits of using a high gloss polyurethane wood finish are numerous. For starters, it adds a layer of protection against water damage and other types of wear and tear. A high-gloss finish also enhances the grain pattern in the wood, giving it an attractive appearance that will last for many years. Plus, this type of finish is relatively easy to apply and won’t require much maintenance over time.
What is the proper technique for applying high gloss polyurethane to wood?
To apply a high gloss polyurethane finish on wood, follow these steps for a professional result:
- Prepare the surface: Ensure the wood is clean and smooth by sanding it gently. Start with coarse-grit sandpaper and progress to finer grits for a polished surface.
- Clean the wood: Use mineral spirits and a cloth to remove dust and oils from the wood. This step promotes better adhesion of the timber varnish.
- Choose the right product: Select a water-based high gloss polyurethane for its durability and easy application. It has a quicker drying time and emits fewer fumes compared to oil-based finishes.
- Stir the polyurethane: Thoroughly stir the polyurethane before use to achieve a consistent and even finish. Avoid shaking the container to prevent air bubbles.
- Apply the first coat: Use a high-quality brush or a lint-free cloth to apply the polyurethane in long, even strokes, following the wood grain. Apply the finish with a light touch and avoid overbrushing.
- Allow drying time: Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended drying time between coats. Typically, water-based products dry faster than their oil-based counterparts.
- Sand between coats: Once the first coat has dried, lightly sand the surface using fine-grit sandpaper. This step helps create a smooth and receptive surface for subsequent coats. Remove any sanding dust with a tack cloth.
- Apply additional coats: Repeat the application process, adding multiple coats of high gloss polyurethane for enhanced protection and a deep shine. Maintain long, even strokes to ensure a uniform finish.
- Final touches: Once the last coat has dried, inspect the surface for imperfections. If necessary, lightly sand the area and apply an additional coat for a flawless result.
By following these steps and using water-based polyurethane, you can achieve a durable finish with a high gloss sheen. Remember to apply the finish in long even strokes, sand between coats, and apply multiple coats for optimal protection and a stunning appearance.
What are some maintenance tips for a high gloss polyurethane?
To keep your high gloss polyurethane wood finish looking its best, it’s important to take some steps to maintain and preserve it.
- One of the most important things to do is clean the surface regularly to prevent dirt and dust from building up. Use a damp cloth or microfiber cloth to gently remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated on the surface.
- For tougher stains, you can use a mild detergent mixed with warm water and carefully scrub the area. Be sure not to use too much pressure as this could damage the finish. If you do need to use a harsher cleaning agent, make sure you rinse away any residue thoroughly afterwards with clean water.
- When cleaning your wood surface, always make sure you dry it off with a soft cloth afterwards. This will help to prevent water spots and other cosmetic damage.
- Additionally, you can apply a light coat of wax or polish every few months to keep your polyurethane finish looking new.
Following these simple maintenance tips will ensure that your high gloss polyurethane wood finish looks great for years to come.
In summary, when deciding if varnish or polyurethane is the right finish for you, it’s important to consider the benefits of each. Polyurethane is a great choice for protecting wood surfaces and adding a beautiful, long-lasting finish. To get the most out of it, be sure to apply thin coats in one direction and allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next one. Additionally, regular cleaning and maintenance are important to keep your high gloss finish looking its best over time.
We understand the importance of a beautiful high gloss polyurethane wood finish, and we’re here to help. At Mi Painting, we have years of experience applying top-tier finishes on timber decks and other wooden surfaces. Our team of experienced professionals are ready to help you create a gorgeous, durable finish that will maintain its beauty for years to come. Contact us today to get started!