I am looking to polyurethane some shelves. I'd like to know if anyone has
recommendations about the use of water-based versus oil-based finish. These
basically going to be bookshelves for the kids' room, if that makes any
Water based is not quite as tough, but for your use, it should
be sufficient. After the poly dries, let the piece sit for a couple
of weeks before using. Poly takes a while to harden up.
The best water-based poly I have found is Staysclear by
Benjamin Moore. It is tougher and much easier to use than other
products I have used. It has almost no oder, so you can use it
Water based will dry more clear than an oil based. Oil based tends to add a
slight yellowy golden tint to the piece. Also the Water based will raise
the grain if you are putting this over bare or stained wood. Be sure to
sand, lightly dampen with water and then lightly resand to get rid of the
raised grain before using a water based stain or varnish.
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