Is it Better to Apply Polyurathane With a Brush or Roller?


Polyurethane varnish is used to bring out the beauty of wood furniture while protecting it at the same time. It can work just as well as a natural oil finish if applied correctly.


  • According to Reader's Digest, polyurethane varnish provides a hard finish that is more resistant to stains and moisture than natural oil. Polyurethane varnish is best applied with a high-quality natural-bristle brush as it ensures an even distribution (see Reference 1).


  • A polyurethane varnish finish will only be as smooth as the wood that it is applied to. Before you brush the polyurethane on to the wood, sand the surface with a progressively higher numbered grit sandpaper (see Reference 1).


  • When brushing the polyurethane onto the wood, work in a well-ventilated room. Polyurethane is extremely toxic, and Reader's Digest suggests wearing a respirator during application.


  • After polyurethane is carefully brushed on to a wood surface, the wood will have a slightly amber appearance. This will bring out the depth and beauty of just about any wood surface (see Reference 1).


  • A high-quality natural-bristle brush will ensure a more evenly distributed coat than could a roller or a spray can. Working with polyurethane can often be meticulous, and a brush is the best tool for the job (see Reference 1).

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