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Top 7 Best Applicator For Water Based Polyurethane Of 2024

Sonya Harris
  Feb 26, 2024 5:41 AM

Using the internet, we discovered how many possibilities are there. Even we got lost: the competition is tough. So, we laid out criteria to choose the best applicator for water based polyurethane. The criteria were fairly simple: get the most bang for a buck, have great performance and user reviews.


If you're dissatisfied with the appearance of your wood coating, it's likely that the applicator is to blame. Even if you use the best varnish, wax, or oil, the final wood coating depends on the application method. Wood floors should be finished with water-based polyurethane.

You'll also need the greatest applicator to put it on. It's just that the best ones are difficult to come by. As a result, we've put together this handy guide and list of the best water-based polyurethane applicators just for you.

Durable, sturdy, and tough, water-based polyurethane is a finish. It preserves the wood's inherent natural beauty. Additionally, it is a breeze to clean up. Its quick-drying composition has kept it in high demand.

However, for a long-lasting, even application, the best finishes necessitate the best applicator. Let's move on to our selection of the greatest applicators.

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Last update on 2024-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Types of Applicators

The type of applicator to use with stains and sealers is typically specified in the product's instructions. Nevertheless, there are specific applicators developed to provide the finest results. Here are a few of the most effective tools for using water-based polyurethane on surfaces. The wood won't be marred by brush strokes or bubbles from these applicators.


For water-based polyurethane coatings, T-bar applicators are the most effective. A synthetic sleeve is included with each pair. If you need to apply adhesive to a doorjamb or a hard-to-reach area, a t-bar applicator is an excellent option. This applicator does a fantastic job when it comes to flawless snowplowing.

Because of its T-shape form, it's a breeze to use. This prevents inconsistent sheen levels, turn markings, and lap lines on the floor. T-bars, on the other hand, come in a variety of diameters and lengths. As a result, you can select the size that best fits your needs.

Trim Pads

Trim pads can also be used to apply polyurethane or water-based finishes. A Trim pad is advised because polyurethane does not adhere to it. These are some of the best synthetic applicators for tiny spaces and corners.


Water-based polyurethanes work well with rollers as well. Some polyurethane coatings, such as moisture-cured and oil-based varieties, call for their use as well. To cope with parquets or any other multi-direction floors, rollers are the best option available. They're a terrific way to finish the floor off. A roller can also be used to apply conversion varnish without a doubt.

For water-based polyurethane, these are the applicators that are appropriate. However, we strongly advise you to check the finish's instructions provided by the manufacturer. A specific applicator must be used for the final coat.


For oil-based paints, brushes tend to absorb a lot of the poly applied, making them beneficial. A brush can also be used to reach hard-to-reach regions like corners and the borders of walls.

Things to consider

What should you look for in a polyurethane applicator? There are a plethora of polyurethane applicators on the market today, and choosing the ideal one for your job might be difficult. However, if you know what to look for, finding the perfect applicator should be a piece of cake! Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a polyurethane applicator.

Type of Bristle

Polyurethane application is greatly influenced by the type of bristles on the brush. Natural or synthetic bristles are available for these brushes.

Even with oil-based finishes, natural bristles derived from animal hair perform well. In contrast, synthetic bristles can be used on uneven surfaces or with water-based paints.

Width and Style

When choosing a brush for polyurethane, consider the type of project you're working on before making a decision. Large projects benefit from a wide breadth, whereas smaller ones benefit from a narrow width. To cover a big surface area, use a four-inch flat brush or a two-inch angled brush. Both work well.

Type of Handle

Most painters, especially novices, underestimate the significance of the brush handle. All of the various types of handles have a specific purpose. If you're working on a larger project, a large and well-contoured handle for a solid grip is preferable because it provides more comfort when applying the product.


Prior to purchasing a polyurethane brush, make sure the metal band that holds the bristles in place is solid and stable. To test if the ferrule is securely in place, gently tug on the bristles.

Applicator maintenance

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and reusing applicator covers. Virgin mineral spirits can be used to clean the applicator for oil-modified finishes. Clean water can be used to remove waterborne finishes. Conversion varnishes call for the application of lacquer thinner. Cleaning moisture-cured finishes calls for the use of Xylol. In addition, storage containers can be found for a wide range of applicators.

Reusing an old applicator can be risky if you're not careful. Do not use the same applicator for two different types of finishes at the same time. This covers a variety of finishes from the same manufacturer or finish family. Reusing applicators with a different sheen level for the same finish type should be done with caution. To avoid streaky or unsatisfactory results, make sure the applicator is clean before use. Comparatively, recoating or resanding the entire work would be more expensive than buying applicator sleeves and refills.

Applying Finish

When it comes to the type of finish our customers desire for their floors, it's not always up to us. As a professional, they expect you to deliver results. As a craftsman working in the finishing area of our profession, we must be knowledgeable with a wide range of finishes and the application methods they demand. There are no two finish systems that are same, and each one necessitates a unique approach. Some of these finishing procedures and application methods are difficult to master and necessitate a lot of experience.


How do you prevent brush strokes when using polyurethane?

You can avoid brush strokes if you've already applied the last layer and notice them. The first step is to use a 220-grit foam sanding pad to smooth off the rough edges. Once the dust has been cleaned up, reapply the polyurethane. The finish can be applied generously. Make sure you aren't brushing too hard at the back.

When you're through, let the self-leveling surface rise to the top. After drying, the topcoat self-tightens. If the humidity is less than 70%, you can also use a 10% GF Extender. An improved finish and a stroke-free topcoat will be achieved.

How many coats of polyurethane should you put on a wood floor?

At least two applications of oil-based polyurethane are recommended by industry experts. Wood floors appear better with a lacquer sealer layer, too. Water-based polyurethane, on the other hand, calls for three to four applications. It is necessary to apply more coats because of the thin but durable layer it generates.

What Is The Best Applicator For Polyurethane On Floors?

A synthetic bristles paintbrush or a microfiber paint roller are the finest tools for applying water-based polyurethane on the floor. Using a lambswool paint roller or a natural-bristled paintbrush is the ideal way to apply oil-based polyurethane.

Polyurethanes can be sprayed on, but it requires some skill to avoid overspraying by thinning, priming, and spraying the polyurethanes with an airless paint sprayer.

When painting floors, painters utilize applicator pads to add polyurethane to the surface. In order to cover a broader area, long poles with applicator pads attached to them are commonly used.


Prior study is required before selecting the best polyurethane applicator, but it isn't rocket science.

You're in luck, though, because this article has all the information you'll need to make an informed decision on polyurethane.

If you follow my suggestions, you'll have the best-looking hardwood floors in town in no time.

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