Applying polyurethane (high-VOC)

Let’s talk about High-VOC poly. As I mentioned earlier, right now the only way to get it is in quarts.

Normal amount of coats- 3. Well, actually, it is 1 coat of sealer and 2 coats of polyurethane.Drying time after the the first coat could be from an hour (Lenmar Rapid Seal) to 8-10 hours(Harco sealer is a fine example.Although it says on the can that it dries in 2 hours, in real life it can take up to 12 hours).The second coat takes about 6-8 hours to cure, but it is not hard enough to light sand it and apply the final coat for another 6-8 hours.So the total time between the 2ndand the 3rd coat should be around 14-16 hours. 

Now-to the products.My favourite is Lenmar. It doesn’t smell as much, very easy to apply and dries pretty much at the time frame that you would expect.It does cost a little higher than the most other brands, but believe me, it is worth it. If there is no way for you to get Lenmar, try Duraseal, which is a pretty solid poly as well. I used to love Bona before as well, but I had a couple of issues with this product, so I’m not going to say that this is an awesome stuff. It is easy to apply, but the drying time is full of surprises: it can cure overnight, or wouldn’t harden for 2 days(no idea why would that happen to it: humidity? – maybe, but this does not occur as often with the other brands), not to mention that it is a little bit on the pricey side, too.

The brands, that that I wouldn’t use? First and foremost: stay away from Pro Finisher. Their sealer sucks, poly is very hard to apply, you have to mix it with the Paint Thinner, which, at the end will hurt the lasting of the finish. And if you won’t add the Thinner, after the coating is over and everything(hopefully) looks ok, you’ll fill like you just went to the gym: you’re going to sweat, your hands are going to be tired, not to mention that this poly stinks like crazy.

Actually, I would probably stay away from Minwax also: the price doesn’t meet the quality. For the amount of money that they charge, you would expect something that will last longer. The application process is pretty smooth, but the durability is an issue here.

Good Luck with your projects!

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