Bar Top Finish Polyurethane: 7 Effective Steps To Apply

Bar tables are the new cool. A bar table naturally embellishes your home décor. So to make your home look lavish and aesthetic, adding a bar table will do it.

Yet, it is vital to know how to take care of the bar table if you decide to own one. One of the critical aspects is to put an appropriate finish on your bar top. Unfortunately, finding the best finish for your bar top can be a time-consuming and troubling task.

Don’t worry! Because we have just what you want to know.  It is recommended to apply a polyurethane finish over the bar top.

But that’s not all. Hear our detailed insights on bar top finish polyurethane about what kind of polyurethane you may want to put, how to apply poly on your bar top, and then decide it for yourself!

Bar Top Finish Polyurethane

What Kind of Polyurethane is Best For Bar Top?

As you are aware, there are two kinds of poly- oil-based and water-based. Usually, for a bar top, an oil-based polyurethane finish is the ideal choice.

Why? Well, here are the reasons!

Durable Coating

The oil-based finish lasts about 20 years! In addition, this incredible finish is very resistant, withstanding from alcohol spills to harsh chemicals, including cleaning sprays.

In comparison, a water-based finish will soothe slowly but surely due to alcohol usage.

Thus, if you want your bar table to look raw for many years to come, an oil-based poly finish is the way to go.

Prevents Damage

When it comes to coating, you want to apply a layer on the countertop that can survive scratches, spots, splatters, and stains.

Fear not, because oil-based poly can protect your top from the damages as mentioned above!

The oil-based poly finishes quickly prevent harm and damage to your bar top and protects it for long-term use.

Creates A Natural Look

Applying polyurethane on your bar top can produce a shiny, glamourous look. It will make your home look more grand and splendid, quickly impressing the eyes of the beholders.

Polyurethane finish on your bar top can also increase the ambiance of your home tenfold. All the more reason to invest behind it!

Sweep On Finish

If you are eager to put a brushed-on finish on your countertop, then oil-based poly is a much better option than water-based polyurethane. That is because oil-based poly on bar top lasts longer.

How Many Coats of Polyurethane Should A Bar Top Have? Explained

It should need a minimum of 3 coats of polyurethane. So especially if you’re applying the best choice, which in this case is the oil-based poly, there need to be three coats of poly put on the bar top.

The polyurethane should be dried for about 12-48 hours between each layer of coats. If the poly doesn’t cure, then the surface won’t be hard and shiny.

You can use a clean hairy brush or foam brush to apply the coating on your bar top.

You may ask why several coats are required. Let’s have a glimpse of the reasons, shall we?

  • The coats are necessary because each of the coats makes the finish extra polished and sheeny.
  • Several coating makes the surface solid, secured, and luminous.
  • Putting coats of poly ensures longevity for your countertop.
  • The first coating should be applied with white spirit. That acts as a barrier between the wood and the oil poly finish.

Apply Bar Top Finish Polyurethane – 7 Easy Steps

Let’s recap a little. First, you have seen which poly is the best for your bar top and the coatings needed for applying.

Now you may say that you acknowledged everything, but you don’t have the slightest clue on how to apply.

Here are a few steps on how to apply a polyurethane finish. Let’s dive right in!

Arrange The Surface of Your Bar Top

The first step is to clean the top by brushing off the dust, dirt, or oil. Then, you can wipe it off with a clean cloth or use a brush.

Furthermore, sand the top bar so that the poly can stick to the surface quickly. You must wait until the sand is cured thoroughly.

Scatter The Polyurethane

In this step, you have to mix ten parts of polyurethane with two parts of paint to lessen poly. It has to be done in a different separate holder. You can mix it by using a wooden stick.

Apply The First Coat of Poly

You have to use a foam brush to apply the coating. Dip your brush into the polyurethane mixture and brush it on top of your bar table. You may brush back and forth towards the way of the wood grain. Repeat this process until the brush strokes fade away.

Let Polyurethane Cure

In this section, as you are aware, you have to allow the first coating to dry completely. It may take 12 hours at least, depending on the climate and weather.

When the surface is not gluey anymore, you can be sure that the poly has dried perfectly.

Sand The First Coat

Following the first coat is dried thoroughly, you should sand it in the direction of the wood grain. Again, it is to verify that the surface is free of any air bubbles or dust.

Repeat The Steps As Mentioned Earlier

After the first coating is done, you may repeat the same process from the first step. You should apply at least three coats and no more than four coats on your bar top.

You should use a brand new brush for each layer of coat.

Apply The Last Coat

You should apply the last coat using fully concentrated polyurethane. Don’t sand after applying the last coat. You may have to wait for a minimum of 24 hours before using it regularly.

Applying polyurethane can be a tough job, and it takes patience and concentration. But you should not have any doubt about your capabilities.

Rest assured that the end product will be a fascinating and long-lasting bar top waiting for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Five Coats of  Polyurethane Too Much?

Usually, more than three coats of polyurethane are not recommended. Using five coats of poly requires more time and effort.

Additionally, it means having to rub on the previous coats, which will make the surface look excessive. Besides, it will take a great deal of time for the five coats to dry.

What Happens If You Don’t Sand Between Coats Of Polyurethane?

It is not mandatory to sand between the coats, but it is ideal to do so, and you should do it anyway because polyurethane takes time to dry. Moreover, there could be dust or dirt over the previous coating of poly waiting to disrupt your project.

Thus, sanding between the coats is needed to get the top-notch, glossy-looking finish on your bar top that you deserve.

Final Words

As we’re close to the end, you may decide for yourself whether or not you’ll apply bar top finish polyurethane.

Applying poly on your bar top will make your bar top look shiny and glossy, enrich your décor, and will take your home outlook to the next level. Moreover, poly finishes make your bar top robust, enhanced and resistive against almost anything.

Without any doubt, you can be sure that applying poly will make your bar top will be long lasting than the other coated ones.

Weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. And if you have made the decision, read the guide one more time to get proper and accurate directions on how to apply it.

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