How to Apply Polyurethane Floor Coating


Polyurethane provides the finishing coat to wood floors and adds a layer of protection from scratches. A thick substance, polyurethane seals the flooring against stains that could penetrate the surface and result in permanent marks. Proper floor preparation and using the right tools to apply the polyurethane will ensure that your wood floors look fresh and new.

Things You'll Need

  • Dust mop
  • Mineral spirits
  • Clean cloths
  • 4-inch natural-bristle brush
  • Remove rugs, chairs and other items from the flooring. Dust the floor with a dust mop.

  • Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of mineral spirits on a soft, clean cloth, Wipe the cloth over the wood to remove dust embedded in the surface of the flooring. Pour additional mineral spirits on the cloth as needed, and wipe the entire floor. Use extra cloths if needed. Allow the floor to dry for two hours.

  • Start in one corner of the room, moving toward a door or another room of the house so as not to become trapped. Dip a 4-inch natural-bristle brush into the polyurethane and wipe the excess from the brush onto the lip of the can. Apply the polyurethane to the floor. Wipe the brush in one direction and apply a thin coat. Allow the first coat to dry for three to four hours.

  • Tap the flooring lightly with your finger. If the flooring is tacky, allow another 30 minutes to dry and check again. When dry, reapply another coat of the polyurethane to the flooring. Allow the coating to dry for 24 hours before walking on it and 72 hours before placing the furniture on top of it.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the wood flooring has not been stained, it may need a third coat of polyurethane.
  • Clean brushes with mineral spirits and warm water.

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  • Photo Credit texture of red wood - can be used as background image by Elnur from
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