What is polyurethane brushing all about? How to brush polyurethane? By getting the right answer, you are sure of having a successful woodwork project. We mostly do the varnishing as a way of protecting the surface from corrosion and other degrading agents. At the same time, it preserves the aesthetic value of the wood as the grains are magnified.
Before jumping into how to brush polyurethane, let’s check out some notices to have great finish at the end.
What to Know before Learning How to Brush Polyurethane?
Proper brushing of the polyurethane entails first using suitable products. You have options of water-based, oil-based, and aerosols with regard to the types of polyurethane to go for. Be mindful of the thickness as you apply it on a surface. This makes your project safe from puddling and bubbling. Find quality brushes as well as the nature of the bristles means everything to your success in the varnishing work.
Now you’re full equipped. Let’s go with 3 step-instruction of How to brush polyurethane.
Prepping the Wood Surface
The very first step of how to brush polyurethane is prep. The nature of the wooden surface has a huge impact on the overall efficiency of the finishes. Strive to make yours smooth and clean. Thus, do proper sanding as this is what helps. The 220-grit papers provide the smooth finish needed for the polyurethane application. Before the actual brushing, remove all the dust formed from the scrubbing.
You may do this using a slightly wet cloth or an air compressor. If you are dealing with open-grain woods such as oak or walnut, adding some wood grain fillers is recommendable. This helps in creating an ultra-smooth surface.
#1: Brushing Oil-Based Polyurethane
The second step of how to brush polyurethane is applying the oil-based. Try to curb the buildup of the polyurethane as much as you can. This is where the thinning procedure comes in. For the oil-based finish, the best choice of solvent to go for is the mineral spirits. Come up with a ratio of three parts of the oil-based polyurethane for every one part of the solvent. It makes the resultant thickness easy to apply to the wood.
However, stick to the specific brand requirements. The manufacturer’s guide needs to be the reference point as some offer clear information on the best ratio. During the smearing, use brushes with fine bristles. Both natural and synthetic options work fine. If you have a foam brush, use it as well.
With the right choice of brushes, you stand a chance of creating a thin uniform film on the surface. Add several layers till the utmost protection is achieved. Between each, remember the procedure of scrubbing work followed by wiping.
#2: Applying Water-Based Polyurethane
Going by the principle of the immiscibility of water and oil, prepare the surface well. This is where you remove any present oil-based stain on the wood. It is necessary to do the scrubbing by the use of stainless steel and thoroughly wiping the solid particles off. From this, you hinder the beading of polyurethane on the surface.
The application method is no different from that of oil-based polyurethane. Thus, aim at forming thin films on the surface. For the brush choice, pick the one which is fine to get that even spreading. Never forget to allow the coats to dry to the maximum. It helps in making the resultant protective layer on the wood strong.
Brushing polyurethane can be fun when done in the right way. One needs to stick to the basic principles of thinning the thick polyurethane before the actual application. Also, think of prepping the surface well to level the wood. Invest in quality brushes as well for the film to be uniform and sleek.
This is also the last step of how to brush polyurethane. Check out for one more tips to maintain your finish brush.
Here, is an article I wrote on How To Keep Polyurethane Brush From Drying Out
Is rolling or brushing polyurethane preferable?
Avoid using foam brushes or rollers since they produce bubbles. If you first dip your brush’s bristles in mineral spirits, if you’re using an oil-based poly, or in water, if the finish is water-based, your brush will be easier to clean and last longer between cleanings.
To shield the wood from moisture and pollutants, just two coats of polyurethane are required. However, three or four coats of polyurethane would be sufficient to provide additional protection against water damage.
Utilizing the best method for the surface, apply the first coat of polyurethane. Use a bristle brush to apply a thin coat to flat surfaces. With the texture of the cloth, gently wipe curved surfaces. Drips are more likely to form when brushing a surface that is rounded, curved, or vertical.
The most popular alternative is brushes with synthetic bristles. For applying water-based polyurethane, synthetic material like nylon or polyester is used to make the bristles. Additionally, latex-based paints are typically applied with these brushes.
That’s everything about how to brush polyurethane for a great finish. Remember to remove the oil-based stain before applying the water-based one. Thank you for your reading at Woodworkingskills.com. I’m appreciative of your time and presence so much!