When it comes to protecting your countertops, there are a lot of choices to make. Do you want a glossy finish or a matte finish? Do you want something that’s going to be durable and long-lasting or something that’s easy to clean and maintain?
When it comes to polyurethane, there are many different types available on the market. In this article, we’re going to take a look at whether you can use polyurethane on laminate countertops – and what you need to know before you do!
So, can you use polyurethane on laminate countertops? Yes, you can! Polyurethane is a clear, protective finish that can be applied to laminate countertops. It will protect your laminate countertops from scratches, stains, and water damage.
However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you apply polyurethane to your laminate countertops. One of the main things to consider is that polyurethane can yellow over time.
Stick around as I delve into the pros and cons of using polyurethane on laminate countertops. But first, let’s take a look at what polyurethane really is and a few other important information about it.
What Is Polyurethane or PU Coating?
Polyurethane is a type of plastic that is made up of two types of chemicals – polyols and diisocyanates.
It’s a durable material often used in coatings, sealants, and adhesives. It’s also been known to be used in manufacturing foam insulation and sponges.
Polyurethane is available in different forms, including liquids, gels, and solids. It can also be clear or opaque.
When it comes to using polyurethane on countertops, the most common type that is used is a liquid form. This is because it’s easier to apply, and it dries quickly.
There are also water-based and oil-based polyurethanes. Water-based polyurethanes are typically more expensive, but they’re also less toxic and have little to no odor.
On the other hand, oil-based polyurethanes take longer to dry and release fumes that can be harmful if inhaled. They’re also more likely to yellow over time.
Now that we know a little bit more about what polyurethane is let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using it on laminate countertops.
The Pros Of Using Polyurethane On Laminate Countertops
There are many benefits to using polyurethane on laminate countertops. Some of the benefits include:
1. Suitable For Painted Laminate Surfaces
You can use polyurethane on the laminate countertop that has been painted. Doing this will help to protect the paint from chipping, fading, or peeling.
It’s also a good idea to use polyurethane if you have a high-traffic area on your laminate countertops – such as near the sink or stove.
Applying a few coats of polyurethane will help create a durable and long-lasting barrier. But one thing you should remember is that polyurethane is an oil-based product, so it will work well on laminate countertops that have been painted with oil-based paint.
If you’ve painted your laminate countertop with water-based paint, then you’ll need to use a different type of sealer–like polycrylic.
Also, if you’re planning on using polyurethane on a laminate countertop that has been painted with latex paint, make sure to prime the surface first. This will help to create a better bond between the two surfaces.
2. Great For Covering Up Stains
When polyurethane is applied to a laminate countertop, it can help hide any imperfections or stains on the surface.
This is because when it dries, it has a slight yellow color to it. This can help to mask any type of stains that you may have on your laminate countertop.
Polyurethane is also great for hiding scratches. For example, if you have a laminate countertop that is starting to show signs of wear and tear, applying a few coats of polyurethane can help hide those scratches.
And if you have a laminate countertop that is starting to look dull, then polyurethane can help to give it a shiny and new appearance.
But one thing you should keep in mind is that polyurethane is not completely stain-proof. So, if you’re planning on using it in an area where there is a lot of traffic or where food will be prepared, then you may want to consider using a different type of sealer.
3. Polyurethane Is A Stronger Durable Finish
Compared to a lot of different finishes, polyurethane is a lot more durable. This is because it’s oil-based, which makes it more resistant to water and other types of liquids.
It’s also less likely to scratch or chip compared to other finishes. And if you’re looking for a finish that is going to last a long time, then polyurethane is a good option.
But one thing you should remember is that polyurethane takes a long time to dry. So, if you’re planning on using it in an area with a lot of traffic, you may want to consider using a different type of sealer.
4. Offer Better Resistance To Heat And Moisture
Polyurethane is also a good option if you’re looking for a sealer that offers better resistance to heat and moisture.
Laminate countertops are not resistant to heat, so if you place a hot pot on your countertop, it could cause the laminate to warp.
Polyurethane will help protect your countertop from this type of damage. In addition, the polyurethane finish or sealer will add a layer of protection from heat. Finally, if you have scratches or chips on the laminate that allow moisture to seep in, the polyurethane will also help seal these areas and prevent further damage.
Applying a polyurethane finish to your laminate countertop is a great way to protect it from heat and moisture damage.
5. It’s Long-Lasting
When it comes to laminate countertops, one of the biggest complaints is that they don’t last very long.
But if you apply a polyurethane finish to your laminate countertop, it can help to extend its lifespan.
Polyurethane is a durable finish that is designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear. And because it’s oil-based, it will provide a barrier against water and other liquids.
So, if you’re looking for a finish that is going to last a long time, then polyurethane is a good option.
The Cons Of Using Polyurethane On Laminate Countertops
There are also a few disadvantages to using polyurethane on laminate countertops. These disadvantages include:
1. Polyurethane Will Yellow Over Time
One of the biggest disadvantages to using polyurethane on laminate countertops is that it will yellow over time. This is often common on white or lighter-colored or painted laminate countertops.
This is because polyurethane is an oil-based product, and when it’s exposed to sunlight and other environmental factors, it will start to yellow.
In most cases, the yellowing will start just after about a month of its application to the laminate countertop.
But there are ways to help prevent this from happening. One way is to make sure that you apply a few thin coats of polyurethane rather than one thick coat. This will help to reduce the amount of yellowing that will occur over time.
2. It Dries With A Semi-Gloss Or High-Gloss Finish
You should not use polyurethane if you do not want a shine on your laminate countertops. This is because it dries with a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish, giving the laminate countertops a shiny appearance.
If you want to avoid this, then you should look for a product that is specifically designed for laminate countertops. These products will usually have a matte finish, which will not make the countertops look as shiny.
Polyurethane can also be used on laminate floors, but it is not recommended for use on kitchen floors because it can make the floor slippery.
3. Drying Time Is Much Longer
Polyurethane is not the best option if you’re looking for a product that dries quickly. This is because it can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours for it to dry completely. In some cases, it will take even longer.
This is because, like anything oil-based, it takes a long time to dry. So, if you’re planning on using it in an area where there is a lot of traffic, then you may want to consider using a different type of sealer.
Another disadvantage to using polyurethane is that it can be toxic. This is because it has a strong smell that can be overpowering.
So it is important to use polyurethane when the kids are not home and ensure that the area is well-ventilated. You should also avoid using it if you’re pregnant because it can be harmful to the baby.
You should also consider wearing masks and gloves when using them to avoid inhaling the fumes.
How To Apply Polyurethane To Laminate Countertops?
Now that we’ve gone over the pros and cons of using polyurethane on laminate countertops let’s talk about how actually to apply it.
- Polyester Bristle Brush/Foam Roller
- PolyurethaneLint-Free Cloth Thinners (for cleaning up)
- Polyurethane Product
- The first step is to sand the surface of the laminate countertop.
- You will want to use medium-grit sandpaper and sand in the grain direction.
- Make sure to go over the entire surface, so it’s nice and smooth.
- Once you’ve sanded the countertop, you will want to remove any dust that’s left behind.
- You can do this by using a damp cloth or a vacuum with a soft brush attachment.
- The next step is to apply the polyurethane.
- You will want to start in one corner and work your way out.
- Make sure to use even strokes and go with the grain.
- Also, make sure that you’re applying a thin layer.
- You can do this by using a foam roller or a polyester bristle brush.
- Once you’ve applied the first coat of polyurethane, you will want to let it dry for at least one to two hours if you’re using a water-based polyurethane and about four to six hours if you’re using an oil-based polyurethane.
- After it’s dried, apply one more coat of polyurethane.
- Make sure to use even strokes and go with the grain.
- Again, you will want to ensure that you’re applying a thin layer.
- Once you’ve applied the second coat of polyurethane, you will want to let it completely dry for about 24 hours.
Overall, polyurethane is a good option for those who are looking for a durable and long-lasting finish. But there are some drawbacks that you should keep in mind before using it on your laminate countertops.
Make sure to take the time to sand the surface and apply thin coats to avoid any problems. Also, be aware of the toxicity and strong smell, especially for oil-based polyurethane.
Q: Can I use polyurethane on my laminate floors?
A: Yes, you can use polyurethane on your laminate floors. But it is not recommended for use in the kitchen because it can make the floor slippery.
Q: How long does it take for polyurethane to dry?
A: It can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours for it to dry completely. In some cases, it will take even longer.
Q: Is polyurethane toxic?
A: Yes, polyurethane can be toxic because it has a strong, overpowering smell. So make sure to use it in a well-ventilated area and avoid using it if you’re pregnant.
Wearing masks and gloves is also recommended when using them to avoid inhaling the fumes.
Q: Can I use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process?
A: No, you should not use a hairdryer because it can cause bubbles in the polyurethane.