final oil-based polyurethane coat

I’m working on the final coat of oil-based polyurethane for the cabinet doors, galley hatch, and berth doors as well as various wood filler spots.  I mixed 50% polyurethane (commonly called Varathane – but this time actually is), 50% mineral spirits.  This allows the urethane to penetrate the wood more.  I’ll sand all of it lightly and coat with four or five more coats of water-based polyurethane.

It’s a lot faster if you roll it on and then smooth it out with a brush later.  Rolling with a paint roller allows the polyurethane to penetrate more than with a brush but creates air bubbles and gives a rough texture.  Gently, slowly going over it with the wood grain creates a much smoother finish.

Yes, you can actually put water-based on top of oil-based.  It will typically bring out the colours and patterns of the wood more.  You just have to make sure you lightly sand after each coat.

I’m using an exterior, UV-safe water-based polyurethane.  It’s a little hard to find sometimes, but it’s better than adding expensive coats of UV block coating later.

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