I don’t think a high quality oil modified polyurethane can be beat (photos of samples)

sample boards
sample boards
sample boards
sample boards

Ok, these sample boards I’ve been working on. I’m trying to show the difference in appearance between oil modified polyurethane and water borne urethane.

The samples are on steamed walnut (that is the sample with the consistent colouration), unsteamed walnut, quarter sawn white oak and plain sawn red oak. On the white oak I’ve also stained 2 sections golden brown and dark oak. One half has had one coat of water borne applied but I haven’t coated the other stained half with oil modified yet.

Which do you like most? The oil modified Primero went on smooth as glass, but I have to fight with the water borne. The water borne is significantly lighter in all cases. Especially on the red oak it looks ‘sterile’. After all these years, I’m still not a fan of water borne. There are versions of this finish which amber and maybe that would help to enhance the appearance of the wood. The only occasion I can think of when a water borne, non ambering must be used is for pastel stain colours such as white. I’m not yet convinced of the water borne coatings being as long lasting as oil based regardless of the ‘taber’ test which have been done. How does the coating stand up in real world activity? For smoothness and depth of colour, I don’t think a high quality oil modified can be beat.

2 thoughts on “I don’t think a high quality oil modified polyurethane can be beat (photos of samples)”

  1. Hey,

    I just stumbled across this – that unsteamed walnut is beautiful – who is your supplier? I have been trying to track down a good source in Canada.


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