After you have just finished building something out of wood, and want it to shine, a polyurethane finish is one way that people choose to do that. A polyurethane finish will also give the wood a strong protective cover to keep it from being scratched. When using polyurethane finish there are some pros and cons to know.
Brush on Finish
Polyurethane is basically a plastic polymer that is in a liquid form. Once it hardens it forms a strong protective shell over the wood. Unlike lacquer finishes, polyurethane must be brushed on in individual coats. This means that larger jobs will take longer because you can not spray it on.
Long Drying Process
In between each coat of the polyurethane finish you'll need to wait much longer than other lacquer finishes. This is to let the plastic polymers harden up to accept another coating.
Must Be Used in Well Ventilated Area
The polyurethane polymers are very flammable when they are in their liquid form. They can also be toxic when they touch the skin or are breathed in. Using face masks and gloves is one way to protect yourself from the polyurethane, but it is also essential to have good ventilation when using this finish.
Great Look and Protection
While there may be some cons to polyurethane finish, you can't dispute the great shine and protection that it gives to family heirlooms and expensive wood furniture.