How do you apply varathane polyurethane to floors?

Asked By: Carri Bashir | Last Updated: 14th May, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests woodworking
4.7/5 (55 Views . 31 Votes)
Apply using a good quality, synthetic bristle brush, foam brush or applicator. Allow finish to dry a minimum of 2 hours and then re- coat. Lower temperatures and/or higher humidity may cause slower dry times. Recoat only when previous coats have dried clear and feel hard.

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Keeping this in view, how do you apply polyurethane to floors?

Applying Polyurethane to Hardwood Floors: Step by Step

  1. Step 1: Sweep the floor and then damp-mop it with water and white vinegar (10:1 ration) or go over it with a tack cloth.
  2. Step 2: Use the 5″ to 3″ brush to apply polyurethane to wood flooring edges, and use the roller or pad to apply it to the center of the floor.

One may also ask, what is the best applicator for polyurethane? A lambswool applicator on a wood block is the recommended method for applying oil-based polyurethane to a hardwood floor. But if you've recently bought a lambswool applicator, be careful.

Additionally, can I use a roller to apply polyurethane?

Yes, you can use a paint roller to apply polyurethane. Polyurethane is easily applied with a paint brush or roller and dries quickly. Applying the material with a roller eliminates brush strokes and lines and prevents over-applying the material.

How long should polyurethane dry between coats?

In-between Coats When applying polyurethane, brush along the grain, stretching the polyurethane into as thin a coat as possible. Always allow polyurethane to dry 24 to 48 hours before sanding, to give the surface time to cure and harden.

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Do you have to sand floors between coats of polyurethane?

Note: Sanding is not required between coats, but for maximum smoothness, you can choose to sand before the final coat, using 220 grit sandpaper or equivalent. Wait a minimum of two hours before sanding, and apply two coats of Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors.

How long do polyurethane fumes last?

The floor should be mostly cured (enough to live on) in the first 5-7 days, but it can take up to a month for the odors to be completely gone, and for the finish to reach its maximum hardness.

How many coats of polyurethane should you put on a hardwood floor?

We recommend at least 2 coats of oil based polyurethane + a lacquer sealer coat as a minimum for hardwood flooring. Extra coats = extra protection, but only one coat of oil based polyurethane may be applied per day, as it needs 24 hours to dry before applying another coat.

How do you know if polyurethane is dry?

There are several ways to determine whether a surface is dry: OIL BASED products are dry if they are no longer tacky and do not emit a smell. WATER BASED products are try if they no longer feel cool to the touch and a powder will form with light sanding.

Is 2 coats of polyurethane enough?


The sanding of coats in-between is to give the new coat something to adhere to. It roughs up the surface just enough to give it a bit of grip. Multiple coats is the same as anything else. Multiple coats makes the coating thicker, stronger and more lustrous.

What kind of brush do you use to apply polyurethane?

Apply polyurethane using a bristle or foam brush about 2″ wide. Foam works well and eliminates the chore of cleaning, because the brushes are cheap and thus disposable. You can apply the first coat full strength or thinned up to half with paint thinner, making, in effect, a wiping varnish.

How do you apply polyurethane without brush marks?

A light coating of finish after sanding disguises the area.
  1. Sand down the brush marks lightly with the fine-grit sandpaper.
  2. Brush the sanded area off with a soft cloth to remove all traces of dirt and grit from the sanding.
  3. Apply the polyurethane finish lightly to the brush, making sure to wipe off any extra.

How do I get a smooth finish with polyurethane?

How to Get a Smooth Polyurethane Finish
  1. Overview: Materials and techniques.
  2. Tip 1: Sand out pencil marks.
  3. Tip 2: Maintain a clean work area.
  4. Tip 3: Wipe the project with mineral spirits.
  5. Tip 4: Use a roller on large, flat surfaces.
  6. Tip 5: Finish both sides at once.
  7. Tip 6: Use wipe on poly for small or tight areas.
  8. Tip 7: Lightly sand with pads and paper.

Can you apply a second coat of polyurethane without sanding?

Q: What will happen to a wood floor if you do not sand between coats of polyurethane? A: Nothing, provided you apply each coat of finish within a reasonable amount of time. If you get dust nibs or brush marks in the finish, sanding will smooth them, and your next coat will look better if you work on a smooth surface.

How many coats of polyurethane should I apply?


There needs to be 3 coats of Polyurethane applied, especially if you are using an oil-based finish. The first coat should be mixed with mineral spirits. This acts as a sealer and provides a barrier between the wood and the oil finish you are using. A bristle brush is needed to apply the coats.

Which is better oil based or water based polyurethane?

Oil based polyurethane looks better.
It has a more depth - both in color and shine and it looks the way we expect hardwood to look. Water based polyurethane has both a duller color and a duller finish. The water based polyurethane (left) is lighter and duller than the oil based poly on the right.

Do you sand the last coat of polyurethane?

No, you don't sand the final coat. You make sure you either spray it, or lay it on nice and even. Sand the previous coats to make sure there is a perfectly flat and even base for the final coat.

What happens if you apply polyurethane before stain is dry?

If you apply poly before the stain is adequately dry, you're going to end up with stain mixing into your poly, poly that takes forever to dry, or worse. In some cases, applying poly over wet stain can reduce the bonding ability of the poly, which will end up ruining your finish over time.

How do you make a matte finish with polyurethane?

Hand Rub With Wipe-On Varnish or Oil
If you want to transform the sheen from high gloss to satin or matte, then using a hardening oil such as tung oil is a good way to do it. Apply a base coat of gloss water- or oil-based polyurethane, let it dry and scuff it with 220-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Apply a second coat.

What causes bubbles when applying polyurethane?


The concept behind thinning the first coat is to fill some of the unseen or unfelt pores in the sanded wood. If polyurethane is thinned, it will seep into the undetected pores much easier than unthinned poly. If the wood has not been sufficiently sanded, it could show up as air bubbles.

What should I use to apply polyurethane to hardwood floors?

Applying Polyurethane to Hardwood Floors: Step by Step
  1. Step 1: Sweep the floor and then damp-mop it with water and white vinegar (10:1 ration) or go over it with a tack cloth.
  2. Step 2: Use the 5″ to 3″ brush to apply polyurethane to wood flooring edges, and use the roller or pad to apply it to the center of the floor.

Can you use a torch to get bubbles out of polyurethane?

Re: bubbles in polyurethane
When the bubbles show up, I use a torch and pass over quickly to get the bubbles to rise to the surface and pop. Especially useful when using the two-part pour-on poly finishes. But avoiding the bubbles in the can is most important too.