Oil Based Vs Water Based Polyurethane: Difference Between

Difference Between Oil Based And Water Based Polyurethane

The oil-based polyurethane is differentiated from the water-based polyurethane as per the below-given properties;
  1. Hardness & Thickness
  2. The oil-based polyurethane is thicker compared to the water-based polyurethane that is made of an acrylic product. Water-based polyurethane gives the surface a harder coating compared to oil-based polyurethane that is softer in nature. The water polyurethane is susceptible to scratches due to its thinner nature whereas oil polyurethane is susceptible to dents. It has been recommended to apply 2 coats of oil-based polyurethane and 3 coats of water-based polyurethane while finishing the normal wood surfaces.
  3. Color: Oil-based polyurethane comes in an amber hue whereas water-based polyurethane is clear in nature. Over time, the oil polyurethane will darken whereas the water polyurethane will always remain clear.
  4. Smell: Oil-based polyurethane comes with a pungent smell that leaves chemical odor during drying. It has been recommended not to inhale the smell as it can cause respiration problems. Besides that, after applying the oil polyurethane, the user's clothes will stink for several hours. On the other hand, water-based polyurethane comes with zero smell and is safe for people as well as pets.
  5. Drying Time: The drying time of oil-based polyurethane is very high as a single coat will take around 24 hours to dry whereas water-based polyurethane dries much quicker and at least 4 coats can dry in a day.
  6. Cost: The oil-based polyurethane is less expensive compared to the water-based polyurethane.

Note: As per the above-mentioned properties, it would be better to use water-based polyurethane for high durability and vast properties but if the user is looking for an inexpensive product, he can go for the oil-based polyurethane.
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