The Minwax® Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane is the best polyurethane because it’s great for anything you need to coat around your home. It’s water based so it produces less fumes and cleans up easily with warm water. It’s also a great polyurethane because it’s available in gloss, semi-gloss and satin sheens. These options mean that you more than likely will have the right sheen to work with any wood in your home. It’s also more valuable than other polyurethanes because it can be applied over both oil and water based stains once the stain is dry, which means you don’t have to worry about messing up any stain. Additionally, it has a recoat time of only 2 hours, which is fairly quick. That saves you time because you don’t have to wait as long to put on follow up coats.
The Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane, an oil based polyurethane (more fumes are produced and mineral spirits or paint thinner is required for clean up) is one of the best polyurethanes because it dries so quickly. Other water based polyurethanes on this list take upwards of 24 hours to completely dry. This one can take as little as 10 hours with recoats. It’s also great for use on both finished and unfinished wood, which just increases the number of instances that it can be used. Like the Minwax® Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane, it also comes in three sheens, which is great because it offers more options. My favorite part of this polyurethane though is the fact that it comes in an aerosol as well, which is great if you want application to be as easy as possible.
The Rust-Oleum Varathane 200061H 1/2-Pint Interior Crystal Clear Water-Based Polyurethane is a great polyurethane to purchase because it comes in three different finishes. It also dries clear and doesn’t yellow with age. That makes it a great choice if you want a polyurethane that will last a long time and still look good. It’s also very cheap at fewer than $15. That makes it a great polyurethane to buy if you are on a budget and want one that is great quality for not a lot of money.
The Deft Defthane Interior Exterior Clear Polyurethane Satin, Quart is another great, oil based polyurethane to consider buying because it’s formulated to work on finished, unfinished, stained, painted, varnished or lacquered wood. This makes it very valuable to have because you don’t have to worry about damaging any wood surface with your protectant. It also can be used in marine applications above the water line (where the hull of a boat meets the water). Furthermore, it contains UV absorbers that block harmful sunrays, which makes it great for outdoor furniture.
The Minwax® Water Based Wipe-On Poly (water based) is the final polyurethane on this list because it is very easy to use. To apply, you simply wipe it on with a cloth. This also gives your product a hand rubbed look, which is desirable due to aesthetic reasons. Another advantage of using a cloth is that you don’t have to worry about visible brush marks on your final product. What I love the most about this polyurethane though, is that thanks to the cloth application, it’s very well suited for smaller applications such as trim, touch ups on floors, railings, etc., where a brush might be too clunky to use effectively.