Water Base Vs Oil Base Urathane? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-01-2010, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Water Base Vs Oil Base Urathane?

I recently purchase a Quart of Oil based urathane and the can next to it was a water based urathane? I am wondering if there is a difference in the finished, such as durability, ease of application etc? The ease of the cleanup seems to me to be a big plus. I did a search and eothr there is nothing on the comparison or I didnt phrase it correctly.
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-01-2010, 07:32 PM
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oil based poly will look better in general since it brings out the grain in the wood. Water based can make wood look plastic and fake. Both are durable though.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-01-2010, 08:50 PM
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I prefer the oil base. But that's what I'm used to.

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Just because you can, doesn't always mean you should!
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-01-2010, 08:53 PM
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Depending upon who makes the waterborne poly strongly dictates its appearance after the final cure.

Some do look like plastic when they are dry, some do not. I do know that waterbornes don't require as much wet film build as the oil based, and that could be why some guys have appearance issues with water.

Frankly, stay away from the "DIY" stuff at the regular channels, go to your local paint store and buy one that is made for pros, you will see a difference.

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post #5 of 7 Old 02-02-2010, 08:35 AM
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Some folks say that the oil based will yellow over time and the water based will not. I don't know. I've used both and prefer the oil based....like another poster, it's what I'm used to.
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-02-2010, 08:53 PM
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It's not that it will yellow over time, but that it produces a yellow tint to the wood when applied. If you don't want a yellowing oil finish go with varathane. They use soybean oil instead of linseed oil which produces a clearer finish.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-02-2010, 11:26 PM
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I've used both and while I like the fast dry time & easy cleanup of water based stuff, it doesn't give the wood the slightly warmer tone that oil based finishes do. I prefer the oil based finishes for that reason. I'd try the water based finish on some scrap to see if it's a look you will like. For me, the choice boils down to how it looks, not ease of use.
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