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Oil vs. water based poly

Posted by Henry in MI on April 16th, 2001 05:48 PM
In reply to Durability Oil vs. Water Base Polyurethane Floor Finish? by Ray McCarty on April 16th, 2001 11:22 AM [Go to top of thread]

2 of 2 people found this post helpful

Ray, all I know for sure is that when I called a major manufacturer of both kinds of poly about doing my daughters stair treads, the immediate response was--"Use the oil based." This manufacturer makes a hardener for their water based that is supposed to make it set up faster and harder. I asked about that and the response was "Use the oil based." Guess what, I actually followed instructions and used the oil based.

I am not sorry that I did. It stands up to anything except scratches down into the wood from my daughters metal trimmed western boots. It seems to hold up better against high heels.

The water based seems to have a cloudy cast in some light. It does dry fast and more dust-free. The amber cast from the oil based makes the stain look deeper and richer. I use Cabot's oil modified Pro Finisher--or a name close to that--for a lot of lesser projects including the table next to my recliner. It takes coffee, pop, and cigarette ashes in stride on Southern Yellow Pine, which is a little soft for this usage. No stain and the amber cast makes the wood look great.

Sorry that all I have is my results to give you and I know that others will disagree. I'm not a bit sorry for my choice. Call the manufacturer of the brand that your are thinking of using and ask them for their suggestion. Most manufacturers make both and their "help line" number will be on the can.

Be sure that you choose a flat finish for your floor and keep stirring occasionally while you are applying it. You can let the can of flat sit for a month or so then handle it carefully and pour off some for glossy finished items if you have some left over.

Henry in MI

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