There are three primary considerations: color, odor and drying time. However with oil based, because of the added dry time requiring repeat visits, the contractors’ price is often about the same for both. If the test area gets gummy, you're definitely looking at a water-based finish. In terms of durability, oil-based polyurethane has its water-based counterpart beat. So, why use water-based when oil-based offers improved protection? Polyurethane is also a kind of varnish that can be oil- or water-based; it differs from the alkyd-based variety in having a clearer, more plastic-like appearance. 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. The addition of urethane to water-based finishes makes it tougher and more resistant to scratches. What to do when nothing works If none of these solvents dissolves the old finish, it has to be one of the reactive finishes one that cures through a chemical reaction such as varnish or polyurethane. If you already laid down a water-based finish and decided to go for an oil-based one, do not fret. Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane is ideal for use on all interior bare or stained wood surfaces including furniture, cabinets, doors and floors. Polyurethane is actually the most durable hardwood floor finish. In summary, the easiest way to tell the difference between water based stain and oil based stain is to take a look at what is needed to clean up the stain.

Oil-based polyurethane can withstand extreme temperatures which makes it a good choice for exterior surfaces and furniture. It can also help bring out the beauty of wooden surfaces with the downside being it leaves a light-yellow tint. So really price is not a significant deciding factor either unless you’re doing it yourself. If a product is water based, even paint, rubbing the surface with a rag wetted with denatured alcohol will transfer either color or finish onto the rag. If the project is wooden, sometimes an oil-based sealer is a better choice because it gives the wood depth and color than water-based can’t provide. If you are sealing a wood that usually looks great with an orangy/amber tint, choose an oil-based sealer…water-based may …

Water-based polys use an acrylic resin just like water-based paints. As with shellac, the water-based polyurethane does not hold up well to heat plus chemicals.

Oil Based Vs Water Based Stain: How To Tell The Difference. It goes on and dries clear without adding a slight color, unlike the oil-based versions. Quality water based polyurethane can cost 2-3x that of oil based. This is because water based finishes to not adhere well to oil based stains, unless the oil based stain is very thoroughly dried. On woods such as cherry or walnut, this … Here are our expert tips for applying polyurethane. In general, a water-based polyurethane will not add color to the wood and will preserve the wood’s natural tone.

On the downside, water-based poly tends to raise the grain of the wood, is susceptible to watermarks, and can be … Some woodworkers dislike the yellow cast oil-based polyurethane puts on white woods, such as maple. Water-based polyurethane has all the benefits of the oil-based ones, but it dries a lot faster and the odor is not as distinct. Water-based polyurethane versions dry much more quickly, are a bit more self-leveling, and have less odor when applying than oil-based versions.

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