Apply Polyurethane Wood Finish How To – GardenFork


– Hey everyone, welcome to Garden Forks. Today I’m going to show you how to polyurethane wood like these doors. These were unpainted wood
doors that I stained. We made a video about how to stain wood. The link is in the show notes here below. Today, I’m gonna show you
how to put the polyurethane coats on after you stain wood. So we’re gonna jump into the shop here and I will show you how to do this. Ready, here we go. I’m going to be using a
water-based polyurethane and some of you might say
“Hey, wait a minute. You used oil-based stain, can you
use a water-based poly?”. Yes you can according to the manufacturer as long as you let the stain fully dry. So you can’t stain this
and three hours later put on a water-based poly. What happens with stain
is a polymerization. If you remember that word from
our the best way to season cast-iron and whether you
can use soap on cast-iron. Links are below. It’s the same situation
here we’re applying an oil and it’s polymerizing into
a different substance. How’s that, but again
this is really simple. Attention to detail really helps. I’m going to be using a wide
sponge brush to do this. And again, in the world of Eric, I really like to go by
the if all else fails, read directions but when
we’re dealing with this, read directions, okay? Part of that, don’t shake
this, learn from me. When you shake this, you
introduce air bubbles into the polyurethane and
then when you brush it on, you get air bubbles on your wood finish which is a bad thing. You wanna stir it, I just take a stick. This is a wooden wedge that I split off and we’ll just stir this and then use it. Okay, first coat is a thin layer, don’t glob it on, thin
layer, okay here we go. You wanna go with the grain. The sponge brush was causing some bubbles in the corner moldings,
whatever these things are called so I switched to a chip brush. It’s working much better
to get into these sides. You don’t want bubbles,
bubbles are a bad thing with polyurethane. The chip brush works just fine. Again, a light coat the first time. (fans whirring) This looks nice, this is after
the first coat of the poly. After the fact, there’s some
fine print on the back of this that talks about a couple of
pigments that the water-based poly doesn’t work well with, one of them being the one we’re using. So, I’m gonna go ahead and
finish what I’ve started and then I’m gonna switch
to a different poly. This is looking really nice. It’s just kind of weird
when things work out. This is our first coat,
now it may sound weird but we’re gonna sand the polyurethane. 220 grit, I like this very
flexible sandpaper I got. I put it on a sponge, we’re gonna sand with the grain on each piece of wood. We’re not gonna sand real hard, we’re just gonna knock off
the bubbles and high points and give it a little bit of a tooth, run over it with a tack cloth
and give it a second coat. Gloves, ah what’s this called? Mask, here we go. (sandpaper scratching) Now use a tack cloth to
pick up all that dust. You could also hit it with the vacuum but use a tack cloth too. Alright now our second coat of poly a little thicker than the first one, okay? (soft music) After the second coat, this
is looking pretty nice. I always like to do three coats of poly especially with a water-based poly. So we’re going to sand it lightly again. Tack cloth it clean and
then add on a third coat and let it dry fully. Nice huh? So you can do this, it takes
a little bit of patience, attention to detail which
I am not very good at. But, they look really nice. If you wanna see our how
to stain wood doors video there’s a link in the show notes here and hopefully there’s a
little brown button up here to click on if the technology is working. We put stuff out like this every week. I make eclectic DIY videos,
cooking, home improvement, beekeeping, how to make
maple syrup, stuff like that. Charlie, I wanna go eat, come here. So anyway, love to hear what you think in the comments below here. If you wanna subscribe,
we put out this stuff out every week, look I just repeated myself. Thanks for watching, I
really appreciate that and make it a great day. Will you make it a great day? Oh the princess is here. See ya later. Who wants to go out? Yeah, Penny?

95 Replies to “Apply Polyurethane Wood Finish How To – GardenFork”

  1. OMG cringing again at the metal cans on the finished wood, haha.

    Oh no, not water based Poly! (prepare for small rant) I've had nothing but bad experiences with almost all the water based products I've used over the years. Most of them have just been absolutely terrible compared with oil. Bubbles galore, horrible chemical smells (the water based stains and lacquers are actually WAY more toxic and health-hazardous than the oil based counterparts depending on the brand), and a much poorer quality finish in general, both with water based stains and topcoats. I won't go into too much details because I want to try to stay as positive as I can. The sad truth is that a lot of the really nice oil based products are being phased out, which breaks my heart. The main benefits to the oil finishes is that the slower drying time gives a smoother finish (it has more time to flow flat, so the brush strokes don't show) and it has a much harder and more durable finish. For me the only up-side to the water based is easy clean-up. Be warned though: ABSOLUTELY wear gloves and a mask. A lot of these new water based products (like the stains for example) are glycol based, and the dangerous chemicals absorb directly through the skin causing liver and kidney damage.

    Glad you did 3 coats. The final results look great!

  2. One trick I learned while using oil based poly to keep the brush strokes and bubbles from setting is to thin the poly with alcohol. It makes it a lot easier to apply (thinner) and once the alcohol starts to evaporate the poly sets faster. If you do a couple coats like this you'll have an almost perfectly flat, mirror like finish much easier than if you don't use the alcohol.

  3. The doors look really good. And great timing since I have two pine doors I'm getting ready to stain, and I'm a novice at all of this. Thanks for these two vids (staining and applying poly finish). And thanks for your channel. You have a great relaxed style. Keep up the great work.

  4. Great video! The 'read directions' part was too funny. 🙂 I'm glad you're still using your original music in some of your videos. After all, it's part of the GF experience. 😉

  5. Hi there. Just watched your video. Wanted to ask your help regarding my dining table that my toddler scratch with a staple.
    The table is made of sheesham wood and has a matte lacquered finish.
    I try to fix the scratch myself but I think I made it worst. First I tied to color it with one of her dark markers.
    it didn't look great so i washed it with water and dried it and decided to try acrylic paint. Didn't like the way it look again but
    this time the paint won't easily come off with water. I used alcohol and still no luck, so I decided to use acetone. It came off but i think
    i wiped off the matte lacquer finish because that small part now looks dull and lighter so I decide to put some olive oil in it and it's worse because
    now it looks so shiny and the shine won't go away no matter how much I wipe it.

    I need your advice what I can do to fix this shininess and bring back that matte lacquer finish.

  6. I have an antique china cabinet. it has a section about 4 inches by 4 inches that the varnish was stripped off I would like to replace the varnish on this section. Can anyone give me any advice on how to do this without having to strip the whole top and still have a professional look?

  7. great! I am going to be turning a door into a top for my bar behind my couch in the living room. anything I should be thinking about beyond this?

  8. This a good clear, I have used this on a guitar amp. but I am doing a guitar nd I have used the minwax gel on front and a just oil base penetrating on back. what you suggest to finish my guitar with

  9. Why do many hardwood floor makers apply a polyurethane finish to the top of the hardwood but not to the entire piece of hardwood? I do have one brand that polyurethanes all sides of the wood while three others that only did the surface. Is it okay to do the entire piece of wood instead of just the top surface? Can the wood breathe?

  10. I'm looking to stain my dining table so that it shows the grains in a rich black/brown tint, similar to the door color in your video "Apply Polyurethane How To". May I ask what color stain you used to get that richness and depth? I find whenever I stain natural wood a dark brown color the grains and veins always end up "disappearing" under the stain. I want it to stand out like shown on the door in your video. Thanks!

  11. Fantastic illustration. Straight to the point, explained very well that everyone who is a beginner can understand. A+++.

    I just built myself a Lp Record Storage Bin. I just stained it with a Onyx Black clear water base stain, 3 coats, now I want to poly it. I am wondering if perhaps just 2 coats will be fine. I don't want to have the wood look like shiny plastic, especially with a black. The poly I have is Minwax water base, satin finish.

  12. I appreciate the video, but a guy who can't read directions and doesn't really know what he's doing – telling me how to run polly , , ,

  13. Hi, how do you remove dust from surface after last poly is applied, did you use some polishing in the end?

  14. Will I be able to flex a 4×8 sheet of plywood after 2 coats have been applied? Or will the wood become very stiff?

  15. I just stained and applied one 'thin' coat of poly to it. Glad I watched this so, I didn't do the lazy non-sand option between coats. The doors look great so, I'll copy your method 'label directions'

  16. This is my first time watching your videos, and I absolutely love your personality. Thank you so much for this tutorial :)!

  17. Great video. I'm so lazy…. I know I'm suppose to sand inbetween….. i hate it lol. Sure does make a difference though. thanks for posting. Looking forward to watching more.

  18. I bought the Minwax fast drying polyurethane clear gloss for my stair treads and got home to realize that the directions state 24 hours before light use. Not sure how to avoid stairs leading to bathrooms and bedrooms for 24 hours unless you are on vacation and away.

  19. I was told that when applying poly to only go in one direction with the brush strokes, not back and forth… Can anyone confirm or deny this?

  20. My problem has been vertical surfaces – like a box – without drips and sags. How do do you polyurethane a box without dips or sags on evvery surface but the top?

  21. i Gots. a wood armari aka dresser can i clean it up with murphys oil spray n then put some rustolum semi gloss for some shine

  22. What if I was to use a 320 grit to smoothin out the first layer of poly? Why 220? If I only wanted to put 2 coats 320 would work better ??

  23. Those chip brushes are awful for polyurethane. Typically hairs come off and ruin the finish (or I'm constantly taking the time to remove the stray brush bristles). Get a decent brush like a corona ox hair or a good 'ol purdy. Secondly, you should probably have hit the pine with conditioner and then tried staining to avoid splotchiness. I've actually had luck with putting a coat of polyurethane (water based) on, then putting on a coat of zar oil stain, and then putting on an oil based poly. I know that sounds a bit weird (yes, it works), but it's a sure fire way to avoid splotchiness which I see in your doors. Pine is perhaps one of the worst woods to attempt to stain and those were probably not stain grade doors but hats off to you for trying.

  24. Hi there , I love that stain color you’ve used , mind me asking what color exactly is it ? I have those typical tan colored kitchen cabinets … any suggestions how to strip those cabinets in preparation of applying new stain ? Thanks a lot

  25. Yes, the sponge brush has air in those teeny pockets. The brush is the only way to go, but you must condition the brush first by soaking it in poly for several minutes, let the poly condition the bristles, and allow the air bubbles to escape fully before you touch the surface you're coating.

  26. I sanded a reclaimed barn wood mantle I’m making (after the poly) and now there’s a white film all over the whole piece… suggestions?

  27. Hi, thanks for the tutorial. Can you please tell me what colour wood stain did you use for staining this doors? Thank you

  28. How come the third and final coat dosent need to be sanded? is there no high spots or bubbles in that last coat? just curious. I understand the adhesion aspect between coats, hence the sanding, but how come the 3rd coat is flawless? makes no sense.

  29. I have found that the worse thing to use is a foam brush, just my own experience?? A good paint brush that has soaked in the poly is the way to go to avoid any bubbles. This man is very good at what he does. I'm not knocking him whatsoever, everyone has their own way to do things.

  30. Can i still use my water based varathane polyurethane varnish? I bought and used some of it in 2017 but had to stop my project and want to start it again in 2019, can i still use the leftovers? There's still allot of it leftover and it would be a waste to toss them. I have both a matte and gloss varnish. They both still look new and they're both in airtight jars with twist lids and cling wraps to keep air out, they're still pretty liquid free moving and they don't have that skin that floats on top of old varnishes.

  31. I feel the need to thank you very much for the part of your video where you specifically point out to READ DIRECTIONS!! Too many men, (including my husband) don't do this!

  32. Go over your work with a touch torch. Pops bubbles n lays poly out better. Dahhh do it lightly don’t burn your project or house n shop down!!!!!

  33. Then you have to d o it all over again in a year. I have 2 sets of french doors and 3 other wood doors on my house, I don't have time for the maintenance. Is there a more permanent way finish these doors where they look like wood doors and not painted doors?

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