How do You Feel About Using Polyurethane as a “Finishing” Agent?
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Have you opted for polyurethane as a finishing agent, instead of varnish
or lacquer? It must hearten you to know that its drying capacity
is much faster than that of varnish; so dust will have to stay “homeless”!
As with varnish, there is no danger of over-brushing or visible brush marks
here. You can opt for any sheen from matte to gloss. And if you have followed
all the instructions to the letter, there is no reason to believe that your
item will not stand the test of time.
What more do you need? There is ease of application, durability, and
clean finishing. So, go ahead—what are you waiting for?
Now, you would need at least two to three coatings to get satisfactory
results. Since you are a homeowner, you can make do with affordable foam
brushes; they do the job well. (A paid professional would need a more
expensive brush, since this work is his bread and butter!) You also have
the advantage of polyurethane being its own sealer (It forms a hard coating
on the porous surface after you brush it).
You will achieve better results if you take up a small patch (say, around
one foot square) at a time. Keep overlapping as you move from wet (already
done) areas to dry (yet to be touched) ones. Work towards the grain. Just
apply polyurethane and smoothen it out. It will settle on its own.
If it is a curved surface that you are handling, do not start at the
edge and take an inward direction. Your finishing agent will disappear
over the edge and your brush will have nothing left on it. Of course,
if the surface is flat, then you do the edges first. Now, start at the
middle and move towards the edges.
Does your furniture piece have turned legs? Well, work around each leg—begin
at the top and work down. For unturned legs, just move from top to bottom
on all four sides at once.
No product comes without its share of complaints. Some people feel that
polyurethane does not come off easily when stripping furniture and that
it is not so easy to repair. Well, experienced people have proved otherwise!
If one’s amateurish efforts have resulted in chips or scratches, or in
clear and ugly brush strokes—then one will need to strip the piece and
re-apply finish. Probably, this task seems difficult too and hence, the
The table tops present at restaurants are made of plastic, which has
received an ultra-thick finish. Unfortunately, ignorant people think that
it is polyurethane. This has conveyed the idea to the general public that
a polyurethane finish resembles plastic! Yes, the chemical structure of
both is the same, but this finishing agent gives the sheen that your furniture
deserves, similar to varnish and lacquer. If you need more convincing,
check out three identical pieces, each coated with a different finishing
agent. Can you make out the difference?