polyurethane question

NYConstrictors

New Member
I have did a little research on polyurethane and it seems people on her use it for their custom cages. I plan to cut the wood today and have everything read to polyurethane on Sunday, let dry, and add a second coat on Tuesday.
My question is is there a brand that you guys feel is better than another. One that seems to last longer, or since I am putting 2 coats it will not make a huge difference.
My dad has a few tubs of oil based polyurethane sitting in the basement I can use.
Thanks
Tom
 

Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don't know one brand that is better than another. I think I used Minwax or something you can pick up at the H-D. Most polyurethane sealers are pretty comparable. It should be exterior grade to withstand the UV light and moisture.

I would recommend at least 3 coats, but more is definitely better if the surfaces will be exposed to water - more coats for water-based products over oil-based, too. Depending on the humidity, you may be able to apply coats within only a few hours of one another if you are using water-based sealer; oil may take a day or two.

Let me share what I learned the HARD WAY from my recent project:

Water-based is nice, but it blanches (turns white) at drips and if water is allowed to sit on the surface. I used water-based on my latest project... I will use oil-based from now on. Oil-based requires cleanup with solvents but I think it provides a nicer finish. If it is tinted, make sure to stir regularly or the product with separate and give you an uneven color. I wiped on the stain but bush applied the clear coats.

Wear latex gloves but know that the gloves will leak, and you will have espresso-colored fingers for days.

Be sure to back brush away from edges to avoid uneven application and brush marks (voice of harsh experience :D ) and be on the lookout for drips along corners and edges. Let it cure for a least a week, longer is better - an okay but not definitive test is the "smell" test. If you can still smell the sealer, it needs to keep curing.

Honestly, I thought staining and sealing the wood was the hardest part of building the entire enclosure. Have fun!
 

NYConstrictors

New Member
Thanks for the help. Fell a little behind on the project due to going to the beach and getting sun burn all over haha. I will be trying to work on it today. Thanks again for the help.
 

jmwhitel

Member
I don't know one brand that is better than another. I think I used Minwax or something you can pick up at the H-D. Most polyurethane sealers are pretty comparable. It should be exterior grade to withstand the UV light and moisture.

I would recommend at least 3 coats, but more is definitely better if the surfaces will be exposed to water - more coats for water-based products over oil-based, too. Depending on the humidity, you may be able to apply coats within only a few hours of one another if you are using water-based sealer; oil may take a day or two.

Let me share what I learned the HARD WAY from my recent project:

Water-based is nice, but it blanches (turns white) at drips and if water is allowed to sit on the surface. I used water-based on my latest project... I will use oil-based from now on. Oil-based requires cleanup with solvents but I think it provides a nicer finish. If it is tinted, make sure to stir regularly or the product with separate and give you an uneven color. I wiped on the stain but bush applied the clear coats.

Wear latex gloves but know that the gloves will leak, and you will have espresso-colored fingers for days.

Be sure to back brush away from edges to avoid uneven application and brush marks (voice of harsh experience :D ) and be on the lookout for drips along corners and edges. Let it cure for a least a week, longer is better - an okay but not definitive test is the "smell" test. If you can still smell the sealer, it needs to keep curing.

Honestly, I thought staining and sealing the wood was the hardest part of building the entire enclosure. Have fun!

Wow thanks for that info! I am about to go through this exact process. Will follow your advice. Again ......THANKS!
 
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