Residential:  Doors by Designism

3 reasons polyurethane should not be used as finish for furniture

Asha Bogenfuerst Asha Bogenfuerst

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Contrary to popular belief, polyurethane is not really ideal for being used as a finish for DIY furniture projects. This is because it is generally difficult to apply. For example, the environment must be completely dust-free when polyurethane is applied. Another problem with polyurethane is the air bubbles and in order to remove the bubbles, it requires a lot of time and effort. 

Making your furniture look shiny and new by yourself can be very rewarding. That is why people enjoy applying finish to their furniture, but applying the wrong kind of finish will just leave you dissatisfied and frustrated with the final result. In today's ideabook, we would like to share with you some reasons why polyurethane is not the best substance to use as finish for furniture. However, we will also include a few tips on what polyurethane can be used for instead. We hope the information here will be helpful for your future DIY projects. Please follow the links and tags for more information. 

Applying polyurethane is challenging

In order to apply it properly, a long brush with even strokes is essential. The brush should have a wet edge so that it's more smooth. Accidentally touching your brush against an area which is drying or dry can leave unsightly bumps in the end. For more related information, please also read 7 ideas to paint your furniture with a lacquer finish.

Air bubbles!




As we mentioned earlier, using polyurethane comes with the risk of ugly air bubbles. In order to avoid air bubbles, you must be very careful not to ever shake the can or wipe the brush on the rim of the can. Keep in mind that once the bubbles have formed and dried up, they can be quite challenging to remove and might require a few hours of sanding at least. For more ideas, please also read how to paint wooden furniture.


Aesthetics is definitely a matter of taste, but if you don't like the fake plastic look, then polyurethane is not the ideal finish to use for sure. If you like the natural look of wood, we highly recommend not using polyurethane as a finish as it will just spoil the natural look. However if you just want a clear and durable finish which looks shiny and new, then go for it!

What is polyurethane good for?

Residential:  Doors by Designism



As we mentioned before, polyurethane is not all bad. It is actually an excellent finish for doorswindows and floors as it is very durable and can withhold harsh climates. Outdoor furniture or furniture that is used very often like kitchen cabinets could also take advantage of its durable quality. 

We hope this article has been informative. For more ideas like these, please refer to our article titled how to choose the right material for the wall panels.

What other tips would like to hear about regarding DIY furniture? 
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