Can You Spray Polyurethane?

Polyurethanes are great formulas for different kinds of wood surfaces, such as bar tabletops, floors, and other wooden surfaces. They add beauty and give your interior and exterior structure a smooth feel and lustrous look. Above all, they protect your structure. One question, though, is, can you spray polyurethane?

image of a polyurethane floor

If you are wondering whether you can spray polyurethane, the answer is yes! For you to get the best possible result when using spraying as the method of applying polyurethane, ensure that you use the thinnest coat you can. In case you are using a spray gun, ensure that you hold it closer to the surface that you are coating. If it is air assist airless that you are using, then have it held far from the surface.

Therefore, if you are looking to apply your polyurethane finish, you can consider spraying as one of the application methods.

What Type of Spray Gun is Best for Polyurethane?

The air assisted airless spray gun is the perfect choice for this kind of application as it gives the best result. There are conventional spray guns that come with so much versatility and available at low affordable prices. The HVLP spray guns such as Wagner Spraytech 0518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Paint or Stain Sprayer have a reputation for being the most consistent and reliable spraying tools that give thin coats. If you are looking for an industrial sprayer, then you should consider a brand like Fuji Industrial Spray Equipment PLATINUM-T70 Fuji 3005-T70 Q5 Platinum, these sprayers will deliver to surpass your expectations.

How to Spray Polyurethane

Having agreed that you can use a sprayer for the application of polyurethane, it is crucial that you are aware of the necessary step that you should undertake to ensure that you get it right with the entire process. These steps are as follows:

Step One: Ready Your Working Area

The first thing you need to do in preparation for the application of your polyurethane formula is setting up your working area.

Usually, polyurethane contains some level of toxins, the chemicals when they come in contact with things like vegetation might be harmful. Therefore, as you ready your working area to ensure that you cover all the plants like flowers within your working area, if you are working inside a room, ensure that there is proper air circulation to avoid inhaling toxic fumes from these compounds.

Step Two: Preparing the Surface

As soon as you have prepared your working area, it would be best to switch your attention to the preparation of the surface that you intend to apply your polyurethane finish. Clean the surface to remove any elements of grease as well as dirt. Your formula has all the chances of adhering to the surface with a cleans surface, hence ensuring the best finish possible. You can use soap and water in cleaning the surface of the wood, especially if it’s bare wood. 

Step Three: Spraying of Polyurethane

can you spray polyurethane? Yes, this is image of a spray gun for spraying polyurethane

Spraying the main thing here, and before you begin your spraying procedures, ensure the materials that you will use for this task are ready and prepared correctly.

The application of polyurethane, especially with the use of a sprayer, would require that thin it. However, some polyurethane formulas might not need thinning. Therefore, we advise that you first try spraying your formula without thinning and see the finish that you get in the process.

Once you are sure that your formula is set, and it’s ready for application on your wooden surfaces, proceed with the application of the formula. Apply in thin coats as they will give you an excellent finish with a smooth feel. You can apply two or three more thinner coats until you achieve your desired finish.

Step Four: Drying and Cleaning of the Finish

After applying your polyurethane formula successfully, you should allow it to dry. The drying time of polyurethane differ. An oil-based polyurethane, for example, takes 24 hours to dry while the water-based polyurethane needs just 6 hours to dry to touch or walk over in case you were applying on the floor. 

Note: There is a big difference between drying time and the curing time of a polyurethane formula. It takes a polyurethane about 30 days to cure, depending on the prevailing environmental conditions.

As soon as your surface dries after application, use water to clean the surface. Oil-based polyurethane might take longer to dry, ensure that it is thoroughly dry before washing.

Here’s a video on how to spray polyurethane:

Tips for Safe Spraying of Polyurethane

  • If you can, always ensure that you wear chemical or fume resistant mask to avoid inhaling the fumes
  • In case you are spraying your polyurethane formula to a vertical surface, ensure that you are careful to avoid runs and drips.
  • Always ensure that you apply thinner coats on the surfaces for faster dry and giving it the best possible finish.
  • If you happen to experience runs in the application process, take extra precautions to ensure that it doesn’t affect your work.
  • A sharp razor blade can help you remove the runs so that you end up with a clean finish.
  • Put all safety measures in place before you start the entire process of spraying the polyurethane.
  • Stay keen on the application angles so that you end up with the best finish possible on your surfaces, such as wooden floors.


Can you spray polyurethane?

Well, at this point, we all agree that you can apply polyurethane by spraying it. Even so, make sure that you prepare the surface properly the application for the best results possible. Some of the steps that you should undertake as a means of preparing your surface for spraying include preparation of the working area, cleaning your surface, and then applying.

Even after application, you need to take some caution to ensure that your job cures into a perfect finish, allow your surface enough drying and curing time.

Having read our post on the question ” Can You Spray Polyurethane?” Kindly let us know what you feel about this article or your experience applying polyurethane via spraying by commenting on the comment section below.

Image of a woodworker wearing hearing protectors for woodworking

Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

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