Can you Spray oil based Polyurethane

Can you Spray oil based Polyurethane

When you think you’ve applied a flawless coat of polyurethane, only to discover brush traces or roller fibers on the final coat, it’s really upsetting.

‘Can you Spray oil based Polyurethane?’ it’s only reasonable to ask. After all, spray paint produces a beautiful, smooth surface, so why can’t polyurethane do the same?

That’s a great question, and I’ll answer it right now, but with a long disclaimer.

Can you Spray oil based Polyurethane?

Is it possible to spray polyurethane?

Yes, you can use a spray gun to apply polyurethane. A smooth, streak-free surface is achieved by spraying polyurethane, which is more difficult to create with a brush or roller. Not all types of polyurethane, however, can be sprayed.

Before purchasing polyurethane that you haven’t used before, read the instructions carefully.

Polyurethane based on water vs. polyurethane based on oil

When sprayed, polyurethane produces a smooth, beautiful surface, but if the wrong one is used, the results will be less than ideal. While both water-based and oil-based polyurethanes perform the same thing, you can comfortably apply the oil-based polyurethanes or the water based interchangeably.

1. The color

The first thing you should notice is how dissimilar they appear. Oil-based polyurethane spray appears yellowish in the can, while water-based polyurethane spray appears milky. Oil-based polyurethane has an amber tint when it dries, and it darkens over time.

Water-based polyurethane, on the other hand, dries crystal clear and stays that way for the remainder of its life.

This is neither a good nor a negative thing; it is simply a matter of personal taste. Oil-based poly is wonderful if you desire darker, more lively-looking hues. If you want to maintain the wood’s natural color, though, stick to water.

2. Drying Period

Despite the fact that spraying polyurethane dries faster than brushing or rolling it, the wait time for oil-based polyurethane can be excruciating. You’ll need to wait 5 to 12 hours on average for the oil-based polyurethane to be ready for a second and third application.

In ideal conditions, water-based polyurethane dries in just 2 hours or less and is ready for another spray application. Even when utilizing fast-drying oil-based ones, 4 hours is the shortest time.

You only have one option if you’re in a rush and need to finish your project in one day.

Article: Best oil for hemlock

3. Clearing the area

Another thing to think about is how easy or tough it is to clean your tools once you’ve finished using them. Water and gun cleaning solvent can be used to thin and clean water-based polyurethane spray. This makes cleaning up any spills along the road simple (and inexpensive), allowing you to save even more time.

Mineral spirits are used to thin and clean oil-based polyurethane. As you may think, this takes a lot longer and has a higher level of difficulty.

4. Toxicology and VOCs

Spray polyurethanes are harmful because they contain isocyanates and release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When it’s sprayed, the toxicity is amplified.

Even though both varieties generate VOCs, oil-based polyurethane emits substantially more. This is because the chemicals used to create oil-based polyurethane contain a higher concentration of VOC-containing compounds.

As a result, more caution is required when spraying polyurethane. Stay in a well-ventilated place away from pets, children, and those who have respiratory problems.

5. Price

This has no bearing on the appearance of your goods, but it does have an impact on your expectations. When you invest a lot of money on a finish, you want it to be well worth it.

Although water-based polyurethane is more expensive, it saves time on the project and costs less in cleaning supplies.

Article: Ancient wood finishing techniques

How to Spray Polyurethane

The quickest technique to apply polyurethane is to spray it on. It also dries more faster and gives you a more even finish. Okay, I believe I’ve made my point.

I’ll show you how to apply polyurethane to a surface that has already been prepared, such as sanded, stained, and dried.

Also, keep in mind that spray polyurethane is flammable, so avoid using it in bright sunlight or near open fires.

Tools To Spray Polyurethane, you’ll need: • A spray gun or paint sprayer • A face mask • Polyurethane • Mineral spirits or paint thinner • Gloves • 220-grit Sandpaper • Tack cloth • Vacuum cleaner • Mesh filter • Drop cloth

Polyurethane Spraying Procedures

Put on your personal protective equipment (PPE) first.

To protect yourself against polyurethane, make sure you completely cover your body. Polyurethane includes harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and isocyanates, which can enter your eyes, nose, or mouth by accident.

When spraying polyurethane, these chemicals are more likely to cause difficulties. If you have asthma or a respiratory issue, you should avoid using a spray or polyurethane altogether until you’ve spoken with your doctor.

The following are the four essential components to have before spraying polyurethane:

• Overall \s• Gloves \s• Goggles \s• Respirator

When spraying water-based polyurethane, some people use long garments instead of overalls, which is fine.

Step 2: Get the Polyurethane Ready

Follow this simple step-by-step technique to prepare the polyurethane:

• Mix the polyurethane thoroughly. Although shaking polyurethane causes bubbles, this isn’t an issue when spray painting. Any solids and flattening agents (which determine sheen) that have settled to the bottom will be mixed when the polyurethane is stirred.

• Use a mesh filter or pantyhose to filter the polyurethane.

• Thin the polyurethane or spray it straight from the can. Although thinning produces a smoother finish, it is not required. Follow the instructions on the can if you want to thin the finish with water (for water-based polyurethane) or mineral spirits (for oil-based polyurethane).

Step 3: Set Up Your Work Area

Because spraying polyurethane is difficult to manage, the finish is liable to splatter on other wood surfaces. Protect other things in your workspace from being sprayed with a drop cloth.

Also, open the windows to allow for adequate ventilation. If a fan is blowing in your direction, turn it away from you or turn it off.

Step 4: Clean Up All of the Dust

Before you begin, you must sand the wood. To ensure that no dust is left on the hardwood surface after sanding, use a vacuum cleaner or a tack cloth.

Even though bubbles are rare to form while using a spray, dust nibs can occur, so take your time cleaning the surface.

If there is any dust around you, clean it as well so that the fan or outside air does not blow it on your job.

Step 5: Put the Paint Sprayer to the Test

Paint sprayers, like other powered instruments, are prone to malfunction. It’s possible that the initial batch of spray paint will sputter, so test it out on a random surface first.

Test it on a tiny section of the wooden surface once you’ve achieved a smooth, even flow. This is significant since you may or may not enjoy the way it appears.

Your wood will take on an amber colour if you use oil-based polyurethane. If you don’t like the way it appears, use a water-based finish instead.

Water-based polyurethane should also be tested because, despite drying clear, it can produce discolouration or yellowing when applied to white-painted surfaces.

Step 6: Apply the First Polyurethane Coat

Start spraying the first coat of polyurethane before it comes in contact with the wood, holding the canister 10-12 inches away from the surface so you don’t spray too much in one location. Maintain a stiff wrist and apply the finish in a sweeping motion with continuous movement, avoiding runs and drips by not staying in one location for too long. On vertical surfaces, this is more common.

Try to spray the entire surface in a single motion. Also, keep the coat thin because it will dry faster and allow you to see your progress more clearly.

Step 7: Allow the wood to dry before sanding.

It takes 2 to 4 hours for polyurethane to dry completely and be ready for a new coat. After it has dried, sand it with a 220-grit sandpaper to remove any dust nibs, uneven patches, or runs.

Following the grain of the wood, sand softly. Don’t go too deep; just enough to smooth out the surface and make it rough enough for the next layer to adhere to.

Step 8: Remove the Dust Once More

Bring out your vacuum cleaner or tack cloth one more after sanding. You’ll have to be patient because there will undoubtedly be dust particles hanging about, waiting to be swept away by the spray.

Make sure to get into any cracks or crevices where dust could be hiding.

Step 9: Add a Second Coat

Apply the second coat in the same manner as the first. Also, test it out on unpolished wooden surfaces to make sure it’s still operating properly.

Repeat steps 6–9 until you achieve the desired final finish after the second coat is complete. For a smooth finish, 3 or 4 coats are normally required.

Allow the polyurethane protective coating to cure completely before placing heavy objects on the surface. Water-based polyurethanes will take 3 weeks, whereas oil-based polyurethanes will take 4 weeks.

Spraying Polyurethane in a Safe Way

Spraying polyurethane might be quick and attractive, but if you don’t know what to look for, it can also be unpleasant. Here are some things to look out for to ensure a smooth finish:

• Always spray very thin coats and don’t go over it until it’s totally dried • If you do get runs, gently remove them with a sharp razor blade • Always spray in clear light and look at the piece from several angles so you don’t miss or overspray any area

• Before you start applying, make sure you have all of your safety and cleaning supplies ready.

What is the best polyurethane sprayer?

1. HomeRight C800971 HomeRight C800971 is the best for water-based polyurethane.

3 Superior Brass Spray Tips, 3 Spray Patterns, A Super Finish Max HVLP Paint Sprayer, Spray Gun for Countless Painting Projects

• PAINT SPRAYER FOR ENDLESS DO-IT-YOURSELF PROJECTS: The HomeRight Super Finish Max paint sprayer gives you the best DIY experience possible. It’s perfect for giving small to large projects like fences, decks, furniture, cabinets, dressers, and more a beautiful finish!

• SETTINGS THAT CAN BE ADJUSTED TO FIT ANY PROJECT: The air cap can be adjusted to spray horizontally, vertically, or roundly. The material flow control knob can also be adjusted to swiftly increase or decrease the material production.

• MORE POWER=MORE MATERIALS SPRAYED: Provides a strong spraying experience with 450 watts of power. It can spray chalk type paint, milk paint, latex paints, enamels, primers, clear sealer, polyurethane, stain, and varnish, among other paints and stains.

• 3 BRASS SPRAY GUIDELINES: Spray tips made of brass work better than those made of plastic. For primer/latex paint, use the 4.0mm (red) tip, 2.0mm (green) for latex and chalk paint, and 1.5 mm (blue) for stains and sealers.

• CUSTOMER SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES AND A TWO-YEAR WARRANTY: For prompt and efficient support, please phone or chat with our customer service team in the United States. We stand behind our goods, which is why the Super Finish Max comes with a two-year warranty.

Because of its rapid drying time, water-based poly is ideal for larger projects. That is why it is critical to use a polyurethane spray gun that is lightweight, simple to operate, and consumes little electricity. All of these requirements are met by the HomeRight Super spray guns.

This is a multi-purpose paint sprayer that can be used on a variety of indoor and outdoor projects, from tiny tables and cabinets to floors and fences, with a variety of polyurethane finishes. It also consumes only 450 W of power, making it ideal for large-scale projects.

A volume control knob allows you to quickly modify the spraying flow and type, in addition to being energy-efficient. The air cap has three spraying options: horizontal, vertical, and circular. Other pigments, such as chalk paint and milk paint, can be used with this technique.

Three brass spray tips are included with this HomeSpright HVLP paint sprayer, which provide better consistency than plastic tips. They’re also resistant to corrosion and wear.

One disadvantage of this best polyurethane spray gun is that it is more difficult to clean than some of the other superb sprayers.

PROS • It’s energy-efficient • It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications

• Compatible with a variety of finishes

• It comes with brass tips that can be swapped out.


• It doesn’t come with a viscosity cup and is difficult to wash

2. YATTICH Paint Sprayer – Best for Oil-Based Polyurethane

YATTICH Paint Sprayer, High Power HVLP Spray Gun, with 5 Copper Nozzles & 3 Patterns, Easy to Clean, for Furniture, Fence, Car, Bicycle, Chair, and Other Applications YT-191

• 3 Spray Patterns & 5 Nozzle SizesPaint sprayer with 3 spray patterns (horizontal, vertical, and circular) and 5 nozzle sizes (1.2mm/1.5mm/1.8mm/2.5mm/3.0mm) for any painting jobs, such as furniture, cars, fences, interior walls, garage doors, garden tables and chairs, and so on.

• ‘Perfect User Experience Design’

The paint output can be controlled by adjusting the flow control knob on the sprayer to achieve different paint output; the sprayer is detachable, making it easier to use and clean; the paint output can be controlled by altering the flow control knob on the sprayer to acquire different paint output; The 6.6-foot power cord allows you to move around freely in a bigger work space.

Why High-Quality Materials Copper nozzles can tolerate more pressure and are less prone to clogging than plastic nozzles. It can also improve the concentration and uniformity of the spraying surface. The use of double-layer insulation materials eliminates the need to be concerned about safety during operation.

• Powerful Upgrade Benefits: The rear foam pad can prevent paint from running backwards, block the nozzle, and make the spray more uniform; it also has dust and moisture resistance capabilities, which can not only lengthen the motor’s life but also ensure the purity and effect of spray color.

• 1X Paint Sprayer, 1X 1000 ml Paint Container, 5X Size Nozzles, 1X Viscosity Cup, 1X Nozzle Cleaning Needle, 1X Cleaning Brush, 1X Spanner, 1X Lid Pot, 1X User Manual are included in the package. Please contact us if you have any questions; our technical staff and after-sales team are always here to help.

The Yattich Paint Sprayer raises the bar on adaptability. With five copper nozzles, this high-powered spray gun is ideal for a variety of applications. This polyurethane spray cannon may be used on practically every sort of polyurethane finish and surface, both inside and outside the house.

There are three spray patterns available with this product: vertical, horizontal, and circular. The volume control knob can also be adjusted to release more or less liquid.

Clogging is a concern with oil-based polyurethane because of its thickness. However, because these nozzles are made of copper, they not only have a higher spraying output but are also less prone to clogging. Furthermore, if you clean them after each usage, this will not be an issue.

Because this unit is detachable, cleaning it after each task is a breeze. Another thing we like about it is that it can trap moisture and dust, which is important when working with oil-based polyurethanes.

Finally, a viscosity cup, fluid nozzle cleaning needle, cleaning brush, spanner, and lid pot are included in the box. You’ll agree that it’s the best paint sprayer with all of these characteristics.

PROS • 5 copper nozzles • It can be used with a variety of finishes • It is very easy to clean • It has dust and moisture resistant functions CONS

• It can’t be powered by a battery because it’s a little paint container

Is it possible to spray both oil and water-based polyurethane?

Yes, both forms of polyurethane can be sprayed. The spraying process is the same for both sorts; all you have to do is read the directions and thin the polyurethane paint properly.

It’s important to note that not all polyurethane brands can be sprayed for a variety of reasons.

When spraying oil-based polyurethane, bear in mind that it has a strong odor, so make sure the space is well aired.

Is Spraying or Brushing Polyurethane Better?

Whether you should spray or brush depends on the project at hand:

• If you’re working on a flat surface, such as a tabletop, spraying is perfect because it can simply and rapidly cover all surfaces.

• Brush if you’re working on a curving or edgy project, such as table legs, to get in between the cracks and edges.

Take heed! Using a sprayer to cover the cracks would require you to stay longer in one location, resulting in an uneven polyurethane coating.

Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Brush to Apply Polyurethane

Brushes have traditionally been the preferred method of applying polyurethane. However, using a brush to apply polyurethane might be difficult, especially if you’re just getting started.

However, some issues are shared by all users, professional and amateur alike:

• It takes longer to dry than spraying since you have to sand between coats, which makes the procedure longer and more expensive if you need to hire sanding machines. Because spraying leaves a considerably thinner coat than brushing, it dries much faster. This might be aggravating while working on a huge project.

• Brushes are prone to leaving streaks and drips. This is particularly typical among first-time users. However, no matter how skilled you are, if you don’t use the best polyurethane paint brush, you’ll wind up with streaks that will have to be sanded.

Is Polyurethane Spraying Toxic?

Spraying polyurethane can be harmful since it emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere. As a result, when applying polyurethane, you must wear protective clothing.

Because VOCs can cause a variety of health issues, make sure you follow the directions carefully. On the plus side, after polyurethane dries, it is no longer harmful.

Is it necessary to thin polyurethane prior to spraying?

Polyurethane does not need to be thinned before spraying. Thinning, on the other hand, might help you achieve a smoother, more even finish.

Thin water-based polyurethanes with water, and oil-based polyurethanes with mineral spirit or paint thinner. Test it on a tiny section of the wooden surfaces if you’re not sure if you’ve thinned it enough.

Is it necessary to sand between coats of polyurethane?

No, sanding between coats of spraying polyurethane is not required. Some manufacturers and goods, on the other hand, demand sanding, and even if they don’t, it’s a good habit to keep up with.

Any dust nibs or unevenness in the application can be removed by sanding between poly layers. Sanding also roughens up the surface, making it easier for the next layer of polyurethane to adhere.

Is it possible to spray Minwax Polyurethane?

Yes, some Minwax products, such as Minwax rapid drying polyurethane, can be sprayed. Minwax offers a variety of oil and water-based polys, some of which can be sprayed.

Minwax also makes an aerosol polyurethane that works just as well without the need of a paint sprayer.


Can you Spray oil based Polyurethane? Yes, you can. Spraying polyurethane is the quickest way to apply it, excluding the time it takes to prepare the surface. What you lose in prep time, however, you make up for in the speed with which the finish dries.

You can create a smooth, buttery, professional-looking finish without using a foam brush or roller if you follow the directions.

That’s all I have to say. I hope you found this information interesting. Let us know what you’re going to use the polyurethane for. If you have a hardwood floor, see our reviews of the best water-based polyurethane and best oil-based floor coatings.

Shirley B. Leavitt

Shirley graduated with a Carpentry Technology Certificate Program at Northwestern Michigan College. Her study focuses on art criticism in its various forms, the history of Canadian and American art after 1940, and the psychology of creative thought. Sixty of her pieces have been published in periodicals such as Art International, Arts, Vie des arts, Studio International, The Canadian Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Art. The Caro Connection: Sculpture by Sir Anthony Caro from Toronto Collections, The Heritage of Jack Bush, A Tribute (Robert McLaughlin Gallery), and Caricature and Conscience: The Sculpture of Dora Wechsler (with Carolyn Robinson) are among the exhibitions she has produced. Shirley has served as a guest critic and speaker at various universities in Canada and the United States, including the Emma Lake Artists' Workshop and the University of Toronto. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations honored her with their award for teaching excellence.

Recent Posts