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Best Water Based Polyurethane For Cabinets (2023 Update)

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If you’re looking for the best water based polyurethane for cabinets, there are some important factors to consider before making your purchase. First, you’ll want to look for a product that offers excellent durability and protection against scratches, stains, and other types of damage. You’ll also want to consider ease of application and drying time, as well as the level of sheen or finish that the product provides.

When choosing a water based polyurethane for cabinets, it’s important to choose a product that is specifically formulated for this use. Not all polyurethane products are designed for use on cabinetry, so it’s important to check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that you’re getting a product that will provide the level of protection and durability that you need.

Some questions that can help you make a more informed decision include:

– How long does the product take to dry?

– What level of sheen or finish does the product provide?

– Does the product offer UV protection to prevent discoloration over time?

– Is the product easy to apply, even for those without much experience in cabinetry finishing?

– Are there any special precautions or preparation steps that need to be taken before applying the product?

By considering these factors and asking the right questions, you can find the best water based polyurethane for your cabinet finishing needs.

10 Best Water Based Polyurethane For Cabinets

# Product Image Product Name Product Notes Check Price
1

The product is ideal for adding a transparent, satin finish to wooden surfaces with water-resistance and oil-enhanced durability.

2

The product is ideal for providing a flat finish to wooden surfaces while also protecting them from wear and tear.

3

Ideal for providing a durable and glossy finish on wood surfaces such as furniture, cabinets, and floors.

4

It is an ideal water-based polyurethane for achieving a semi-gloss, crystal-clear finish on surfaces.

5

The product is ideal for protecting and enhancing the appearance of exterior surfaces such as wood, concrete, and metal.

6

Minwax 222224444 Polycrylic Protective Finish is ideal for providing a water-based, matte coating for surfaces that need durable protection.

7

This product is ideal for indoor and outdoor applications that require a clear, glossy finish.

8

This product is ideal for protecting and enhancing the appearance of interior and exterior wooden surfaces.

9

Ideal for interior and exterior surfaces that require a clear, durable, water-resistant finish with a low sheen (satin) appearance.

10

Ideal for protecting and enhancing the natural beauty of wood floors, furniture, doors, cabinets, and other interior surfaces.

The product is ideal for adding a transparent, satin finish to wooden surfaces with water-resistance and oil-enhanced durability.

The product is ideal for providing a flat finish to wooden surfaces while also protecting them from wear and tear.

Ideal for providing a durable and glossy finish on wood surfaces such as furniture, cabinets, and floors.

It is an ideal water-based polyurethane for achieving a semi-gloss, crystal-clear finish on surfaces.

The product is ideal for protecting and enhancing the appearance of exterior surfaces such as wood, concrete, and metal.

Minwax 222224444 Polycrylic Protective Finish is ideal for providing a water-based, matte coating for surfaces that need durable protection.

This product is ideal for indoor and outdoor applications that require a clear, glossy finish.

This product is ideal for protecting and enhancing the appearance of interior and exterior wooden surfaces.

Ideal for interior and exterior surfaces that require a clear, durable, water-resistant finish with a low sheen (satin) appearance.

Ideal for protecting and enhancing the natural beauty of wood floors, furniture, doors, cabinets, and other interior surfaces.

1. Minwax Transparent Satin Clear Water-Based Latex Oil-Modified Polyurethane 1 Gal.

Looking for a high-quality polyurethane that provides superior durability and protection to your interior wood surfaces? Look no further than this top-of-the-line product. With a generous size of 1 gallon, this polyurethane is perfect for tackling larger projects or for use in multiple areas of your home or workspace.

One of the standout features of this polyurethane is its superior durability. It provides a long-lasting protective layer that helps to keep your wood surfaces looking their best for years to come. Additionally, it is lower in odor than traditional solvent-based polyurethanes, making it a more pleasant choice for indoor use.

This polyurethane is perfect for use on a variety of interior wood surfaces, including woodwork, furniture, doors, cabinets, and floors. Whether you are looking to protect your hardwood floors from scratches and wear or to add shine and luster to your favorite pieces of furniture, this polyurethane has got you covered.

And with quick dry times, you won't have to wait long to start enjoying your freshly finished wood surfaces. So why wait? Order now and experience the superior durability and protection of this top-quality polyurethane for yourself!

2. General Finishes High Performance Water Based Topcoat, 1 Quart, Flat

The manufacturer advises against applying clear topcoats over bright white paint to avoid any potential yellowing due to a reaction to the substrate. While light color paints may also experience some degree of yellowing after topcoat application, the effect will be less noticeable.

This polyurethane top coat is considered to be the toughest and most durable option currently available to consumers. Its exceptional durability makes it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas that experience a lot of wear and tear.

One of the biggest advantages of this top coat is its fast drying time. It only takes between one and two hours for the product to dry between coats, making it a great option for those who want to complete their project quickly.

It is essential to note that this top coat is intended for interior use only. It is not suitable for outdoor projects or areas that are exposed to moisture.

3. General Finishes Water Based Black Poly, 1 Gallon, Semi Gloss

The Plastic Gallon Jug is an ideal solution for those who are struggling to find a metal can container for their finishing needs. Due to the current metal can shortage, the product may come in a plastic jug instead of a metal container. This product boasts a .051 or .072 tip and nozzle, and a No. 10 air cap, ensuring a precise and even application.

Crafted from a 30% Solids Arylic / Urethane Blend, this finishing product provides a hard, durable finish to cabinets and millwork, perfect for those who desire a long-lasting and reliable finish. Additionally, this product offers excellent chemical and water resistance, ensuring that it will withstand the test of time and remain in pristine condition for years to come.

Whether you're a professional contractor or a DIY enthusiast, this Plastic Gallon Jug is a must-have product for all of your finishing needs. With its high-quality ingredients and reliable performance, you can achieve a flawless finish that will exceed your expectations. So why wait? Purchase the Plastic Gallon Jug today and experience the difference for yourself!

4. Clearshine Poly Pack: Water-Based Semi-Gloss Finish.

This water-based formula is specially designed to protect indoor wood surfaces including furniture, windows, cabinets, trim, and more. With its fast-drying properties, it is easy to apply and clean up with just soap and water. You can expect it to dry to the touch in just 30 minutes with coverage up to 31 sq. ft. Additionally, it can be recoated after just 2 hours.

This product boasts a durable formula that provides outstanding stain and scratch resistance with excellent clarity. It is designed to provide a semi-gloss finish that creates a smooth and classy look. You can use this product with confidence, knowing that it will protect your indoor wood surfaces effectively for a long time.

Whether you are looking to protect your furniture from scratches or simply want to enhance the look of your cabinets and trim, this product is an excellent choice. Its water-based formula is easy to apply, quick-drying, and provides excellent protection against stains and scratches. You can enjoy a semi-gloss finish that looks great and protects your surfaces for years to come.

5. Zar 32612 Exterior Water Based Polyurethane, Qt, Clear

Introducing the Light Amber Finish One Coat Polyurethane Protective Finish, a high-quality top coat that will complete your wood projects three times faster than traditional finishes. This crystal clear, protective coating dries in just two hours, making it the perfect choice for those who want to get their projects done quickly and efficiently.

Recommended by leading door manufacturers, the advanced formulation of this clear top coat provides the same level of durability in one coat that is comparable to multiple coats of other products. This means you can achieve the same level of protection and shine in less time and with less effort.

This gloss clear varnish also boasts an excellent marine-grade finish, making it the perfect choice for protecting wood projects that are exposed to moisture and water. Not only does it protect the natural beauty of the wood, but it also offers a sleek, professional-looking finish that will impress even the most discerning of critics.

The One Coat Polyurethane Protective Finish is an ultra-fast-drying crystal clear coat that is non-ambrein and cleans up easily with just soap and warm water. This makes it the perfect choice for those who want to get more done in less time, without sacrificing quality or durability.

As a leading brand of wood finishing and wood care projects since 1904, we have been inspiring consumers to Keep on Finishing. We offer a complete line of products that are designed to meet the needs of DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. So why wait? Get your hands on the Light Amber Finish One Coat Polyurethane Protective Finish today and experience the difference for yourself!

6. Minwax 222224444 Polycrylic Protective Finish Water Based, 1/2 Pint, Matte 4 Pack

This wood finish product is perfect for anyone who wants to protect and enhance the beauty of their interior wood surfaces. Whether it's woodwork, furniture, doors or cabinets, this product will ensure that your surfaces stay protected and looking their best.

One of the key features of this product is its crystal clear finish. This makes it ideal for use over light woods like maple, ash and birch. Additionally, it is also perfect for use over Minwax Water-Based Wood Stains, allowing you to create a custom finish that will truly make your wood surfaces stand out.

Another great feature of this product is its ultra-fast drying formula. This allows for quick recoats in just 2 hours, which means you can finish your project in no time. Plus, its water-based formula makes it easy to clean up with just soap and water.

This wood finish product is available in a variety of finishes, including gloss, semi-gloss, satin, matte, and ultra-flat. This makes it easy to find the perfect finish for your specific project, whether you want a high-gloss shine or a more subtle matte finish.

7. 1 Qt Deft Dft257 Clear Water Based Polyurethane Water-Based Interior/exterior Polyurethane Gloss

The Interior/Exterior Multi Use Focus water-based polyurethane stands out as a high-quality protective top coat for wood surfaces. Unlike oil-based poly, this product offers greater durability and can be recoated in just two hours.

Formulated with the latest water-based oil modified urethane technology, it provides superior protection for both interior and exterior wood surfaces. It also meets or exceeds environmental regulations for VOC, making it a safe and low odor product.

This 100-percent urethane water-based clear protective top coat contains superior UV protection, making it the perfect choice for those who need excellent weather-resistance and durability. It is available in a gloss finish and comes in a 1-quart container.

The product is easy to apply and provides a long-lasting, protective finish. It is perfect for use on doors, windows, trim, and furniture. With its superior performance and excellent protective capabilities, it is the ideal choice for those who want to protect their wood surfaces from the elements while enhancing the natural beauty of the wood.

8. Clear Gloss Wood Finish For In & Outdoors.

This durable marine-grade varnish is the perfect solution for those looking to protect their woodwork against the harsh elements of the outdoors. With the ability to cure to a hard gloss or satin finish, this varnish is versatile enough for use on both interior and exterior wood surfaces, such as trim, toerails, cockpits, doors, cabinets, chairs, and even outdoor furniture.

Not only does this varnish provide a beautiful finish, but it also offers superior protection against sun damage, salt, abrasion, and scratches. Its excellent adhesion and flexibility allow the wood to expand and contract naturally without cracking or peeling, ensuring long-lasting protection.

Applying this spar urethane varnish is a breeze, whether you choose to brush, roll, or spray it. While it may look milky-white at first, it cures to a clear or clear amber color, depending on the formula. For those seeking a satin finish, it is recommended to use gloss for build coats and satin for the finish coat. Plus, it is easy to clean up with soap and water.

This varnish dries quickly, allowing you to finish your project faster than traditional varnishes. With the ability to apply up to five coats in a day without sanding between coats, you'll be able to complete your project in no time. For interior applications, it's recommended to apply at least 2-4 heavy coats, while exterior applications require 4-6 coats.

Choose from a variety of finishes and colors, including clear or amber for the gloss finish and clear for the satin finish. This varnish is available in pint, quart, and 4-quart kit sizes, with a coverage of 40-50 sq ft/pint and 80-100 sq ft/quart. Please note that Halcyon Satin is not available in a 4 Quart kit.

9. 1 Qt Deft Dft259 Clear Water Based Polyurethane Water-Based Interior/exterior Polyurethane Satin

Looking for a versatile and durable protective top coat for your wood surfaces? Look no further than this water-based polyurethane! With its advanced formula incorporating the latest water-based oil modified urethane technology, this 100% urethane clear coat delivers superior protection both inside and outside your home.

Thanks to its water-based composition, this polyurethane is eco-friendly and low odor, meeting or exceeding environmental regulations for VOC. However, it sacrifices nothing in terms of durability, providing excellent weather-resistance and UV protection to keep your wood surfaces looking great for years to come.

And with a 2-hour recoat time, you can get back to enjoying your newly finished surfaces in no time. This polyurethane is available in a versatile satin finish, and comes in a convenient 1-quart container.

Whether you're staining a deck, finishing a piece of furniture, or protecting any other wood surface, this water-based polyurethane is the perfect choice. With its advanced formula, eco-friendly composition, and unbeatable durability, you can trust it to provide the protection you need and the finish you want.

Best Water Based Polyurethane For Cabinets FAQs

Are there any specific brands of water-based polyurethane that are best for white cabinets?

Yes, there are specific brands of water-based polyurethane that are best for white cabinets. When choosing a water-based polyurethane for white cabinets, it is important to look for a product that is clear and will not yellow over time. Some of the top brands for this purpose include Varathane, Minwax, and General Finishes.

Varathane's Water-Based Polyurethane is a great option for white cabinets as it offers a crystal clear finish that will not yellow over time. It is also scratch and stain-resistant, making it a durable choice for cabinets that see a lot of use.

Minwax's Polycrylic Protective Finish is another great option for white cabinets. It dries clear and is easy to apply, making it a good choice for DIY projects. It is also water-resistant and can be easily cleaned with soap and water.

General Finishes' High-Performance Water-Based Topcoat is a professional-grade product that is ideal for white cabinets. It is durable, scratch-resistant, and dries clear, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas.

Overall, when choosing a water-based polyurethane for white cabinets, it is important to look for a product that is clear, durable, and will not yellow over time.

Can water-based polyurethane be applied with a brush or must it be sprayed?

Water-based polyurethane can be applied using a brush, roller, or sprayed. However, spraying is the most popular method because it gives a smooth and even finish. Brushing or rolling may leave brush marks or bubbles, especially if you are not experienced with the technique. But, if you are experienced and skilled with a brush, you can get a good finish with it. When using a brush, it's important to use a high-quality brush with soft bristles to minimize the risk of leaving brush marks. Also, make sure to apply the polyurethane in thin coats and avoid over-brushing, which can cause bubbles. Spraying is a good option if you want to achieve a professional-grade finish, but it requires specialized equipment and a controlled environment to avoid overspray. Ultimately, the choice of application method depends on your experience and the level of finish you want to achieve.

Can water-based polyurethane be used on cabinets that are exposed to high levels of moisture, such as in a bathroom?

Water-based polyurethane can be used on cabinets that are exposed to high levels of moisture, such as in a bathroom. In fact, water-based polyurethane is a great option for cabinets in high-moisture areas because it is resistant to water and humidity. Unlike oil-based polyurethane, water-based polyurethane dries faster and has a low odor, making it a more convenient option for indoor use. It also does not yellow over time, which is a common issue with oil-based polyurethane. When using water-based polyurethane on bathroom cabinets, it is important to ensure that the cabinets are properly cleaned and sanded before applying the polyurethane. Additionally, it is recommended to apply multiple coats of the polyurethane for added protection against moisture. Overall, water-based polyurethane is a great option for cabinets in high-moisture areas such as bathrooms.

Can water-based polyurethane be used on cabinets with painted or stained finishes?

Yes, water-based polyurethane can be used on cabinets with painted or stained finishes. In fact, it is a popular choice for cabinet refinishing projects for several reasons. Firstly, water-based polyurethane dries faster than oil-based polyurethane, which means you can apply multiple coats in a shorter amount of time. Secondly, it is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making it a safer and more environmentally friendly option. Finally, it has excellent durability and can protect your cabinets from scratches, stains, and other wear and tear.

When applying water-based polyurethane to painted or stained cabinets, it is important to properly prepare the surface by sanding it with a fine-grit sandpaper and cleaning it with a degreaser. You should also apply a primer before applying the polyurethane to ensure good adhesion. It is recommended to apply at least two coats of water-based polyurethane, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Overall, water-based polyurethane can be a great choice for protecting and enhancing the look of your painted or stained cabinets.

How many coats of water-based polyurethane should be applied to cabinets?

The number of coats of water-based polyurethane that should be applied to cabinets depends on various factors such as the type of wood, cabinet usage, and personal preference. However, in general, it is recommended to apply at least two coats of water-based polyurethane on cabinets to ensure proper protection and durability.

Before applying the first coat, it is essential to ensure that the cabinets are clean, dry, and free from any debris or dust. It is also recommended to sand the cabinets lightly to ensure proper adhesion of the polyurethane.

After applying the first coat, it is essential to let it dry completely before applying the second coat. It is recommended to sand lightly between coats to ensure a smooth and even finish.

In conclusion, applying at least two coats of water-based polyurethane on cabinets is a good practice to ensure proper protection and durability. However, it is always best to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and consider the specific needs of your cabinets.

Is it necessary to sand between coats of water-based polyurethane on cabinets?

Yes, it is necessary to sand between coats of water-based polyurethane on cabinets. Sanding between coats helps to remove any imperfections, bumps or rough spots that may have occurred during the previous coat of polyurethane. It also helps to create a better bond between the layers of polyurethane, resulting in a smoother and more durable finish.

When sanding between coats, it is important to use a fine-grit sandpaper, such as a 220-grit or higher, to avoid removing too much of the previous coat. Sand lightly and evenly, focusing on any areas that may have drips or rough spots. Once sanded, be sure to wipe down the surface with a clean, damp cloth to remove any dust or debris before applying the next coat.

In summary, sanding between coats of water-based polyurethane on cabinets is a necessary step to achieve a smooth and durable finish. It may add a bit more time to the project, but the end result will be well worth the effort.

What are the top-rated water-based polyurethane finishes for kitchen cabinets?

When it comes to choosing a water-based polyurethane finish for your kitchen cabinets, there are several options to consider. One of the top-rated options is the General Finishes High-Performance Water-Based Topcoat, which is known for its durability and resistance to water and stains. Another popular choice is the Varathane Ultimate Water-Based Polyurethane, which is also highly durable and provides excellent protection for kitchen cabinets. Additionally, the Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish is a great choice for those looking for a clear, non-yellowing finish that is easy to apply and dries quickly. Other options to consider include the Bona Traffic HD Water-Based Wood Floor Finish and the Benjamin Moore Stays Clear Waterborne Polyurethane. Ultimately, the best water-based polyurethane finish for your kitchen cabinets will depend on your specific needs and preferences, so be sure to do your research and choose a product that meets your requirements.

What is the difference between water-based and oil-based polyurethane for cabinets?

Water-based and oil-based polyurethane are both popular choices for finishing cabinets, but they have some important differences.

Water-based polyurethane is a newer type of finish that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It dries quickly and has a low odor, making it easier to work with than oil-based finishes. It also doesn't yellow over time, so it's a good choice if you want to maintain the natural color of your cabinets. However, water-based polyurethane is not as durable as oil-based finishes, so it may not be the best choice for high-traffic areas.

Oil-based polyurethane, on the other hand, has been used for many years and is known for its durability. It takes longer to dry than water-based finishes and has a strong odor, so it's important to use it in a well-ventilated area. Oil-based polyurethane also tends to yellow over time, so it may not be the best choice if you want to maintain the natural color of your cabinets. However, it is a good choice for high-traffic areas and can provide a long-lasting finish.

When choosing between water-based and oil-based polyurethane for your cabinets, consider your priorities for durability, color retention, and ease of use.

What is the drying time for water-based polyurethane on cabinets?

The drying time for water-based polyurethane on cabinets can vary depending on several factors such as humidity, temperature, and ventilation. Typically, it takes around 2-4 hours for the first coat of water-based polyurethane to dry, while subsequent coats may take longer to dry. It is always recommended to allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next coat. In general, it can take up to 24 hours for the water-based polyurethane to fully dry and cure, but this can also depend on the thickness of the coats applied. It is important to ensure that the cabinets are not touched or disturbed during the drying process to avoid any imperfections or damage to the finish. Additionally, it is advisable to follow the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations for optimal results.

Which water-based polyurethane is the most durable for cabinets?

When it comes to selecting the most durable water-based polyurethane for cabinets, it is essential to choose the one that provides the best protection against wear and tear, moisture, and scratches. In this case, the most durable water-based polyurethane for cabinets is the one that has a higher solid content, indicating that it has more resin and fewer solvents.

One of the best options available in the market is the General Finishes High-Performance Water-Based Topcoat. It is a clear, self-sealing, and low-odor formula that provides excellent durability, water resistance, and chemical resistance. It is also UV resistant, which means that it will not yellow over time. It is easy to apply, dries quickly, and can be recoated in just two hours.

Another great option is the Varathane Ultimate Water-Based Polyurethane. It is a clear, non-yellowing, and fast-drying formula that provides superior durability and protection against scratches, abrasions, and stains. It is also low odor, easy to clean, and can be recoated in just two hours.

In conclusion, both General Finishes High-Performance Water-Based Topcoat and Varathane Ultimate Water-Based Polyurethane are excellent choices for durable water-based polyurethane for cabinets.

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