Best Oil Based Polyurethane

Choosing which oil-based polyurethane to use for your specific wooden project, be it an indoor one or carried out outside, can be a daunting experience given the countless numbers of products available on shelves everywhere.

This guide for the best oil-based polyurethane is influenced by hands-on experience working with numerous products and a consensus among other professionals on what best product suits your specific application.

The following list of products is carefully reviewed to ensure that you have an easy choice for the best oil-based polyurethane product in the market.

Dont forget to check out top brushes for polyurethane

Buying Guide- Best Oil-Based polyurethane

Interior/Exterior Use

Oil-based polyurethane products have unique formulations that make them suitable for use on wood surfaces in different settings.

Some products are suited for interior and exterior use, yet others combine both. Oil-based polyurethane products formulated for exterior use have certain features that distinguish them.

For instance, these unique features give the poly better protective qualities. These products can protect the wood from harmful UV radiation from the sun. Moreover, they offer protection from moisture, mold, and mildew.


oil-based polyurethane sheen comparison
sheen comparison Glossy vs Matte type poly. You can also get a general idea of the thickness of the coating (about 5 micrometers).

Another important consideration before deciding which oil-based poly product is the sheen you want. Often the choice of sheen is a personal consideration. Luckily, unlike water-based poly products, oil-based poly comes in various sheens to choose from.

The several sheens that exist include matte, satin, gloss, and high-gloss, which enhance the look of your wood surface. 

Wood surface

The surface of your wood project also determines the choice of the best oil-based poly product. Large wood surfaces such as floors and doors are best suited with a larger volume poly, such as our top pick.

On the other hand, for smaller projects, you can go for spray-on poly products. Wipe-on poly can also be used for smaller projects or when doing touch-ups.

Top Picks

Editor’s Choice: RUST-OLEUM 130031 Varathane

RUST-OLEUM 130031 Varathane

RUST-OLEUM 130031 Varathane Gallon Gloss Oil Base Premium Polyurethane Floor Finish comes in a 128 Fluid Ounces can. As indicated in the product’s name, this oil-based polyurethane comes in a unique oil-based formulation. The final finish has a unique sheen of gloss that elevates the look of your wood. 

This product deservedly assumes the position of editor’s choice because it provides the best protection for all interior wood projects. This product has an unmatched versatility that enables it to be used on multiple surfaces of different woods. Another reason why this product stands out is the classic clear gloss that leaves your wood a sight to admire. 

This product has numerous other benefits that make it the top oil-based polyurethane. It offers excellent protection against scratches, abrasions, and stains. Moreover, it is mar resistant. The protection provided by the hard coat of this poly last for a very long time

Runner’s Up- 409314 Gleam Marine Spar

TotalBoat - 409314 Gleam Marine Spar Varnish

TotalBoat – 409314 Gleam Marine Spar Varnish, Gloss, and Satin Polyurethane Finish for Wood, Boats, and Outdoor Furniture (Clear Gloss Quart) is a unique product. It comes in 946.00 milliliters can. It has a clear gloss finish that suits it for projects where the natural look of the wood is to be maintained.

TotalBoat stands on the list for several reasons. It contains premium tung oil, phenolic resins, and UV blockers for a beautiful transparent amber finish. Moreover, this oil-based poly product has unmatched versatility. It has interior and exterior wood on boats, strip canoes, kayaks, outdoor wooden bar tops, garage doors, furniture, and more.

Other benefits of this product are that its durable formulation enables it to stay flexible after drying on the wood surface. Therefore it will not peel or crack when the wood expands and contracts with weather changes such as temperature and humidity

Best Budget: Deft Defthane Interior Exterior

Deft Defthane Interior Exterior Clear Polyurethane

Deft Defthane Interior Exterior Clear Polyurethane Satin Spray, 11.5-Ounce Aerosol, is uniquely formulated and packed. This oil-based poly product comes in 13 Fluid Ounces aerosol cans. This unique packaging influences the way this unique poly is applied. It is one of the most straightforward oil-based poly products on the market. 

This is our best budget pick for several reasons. For instance, it keeps the price friendly and maintains all the qualities that make oil-based poly the best. It is uniquely formulated to be sprayed making it easy to supply, unlike our other entries. The deft poly spray is our favorite oil-based polyurethane for DIYers.

This product has numerous other benefits. For instance, it can be used on hard-use areas such as floors, doors, furniture cabinets, and marine applications above the water line. But because of its size, it’s best suited for DIYs. Small Projects and repair and maintenance of existing polyurethane coat.

summary- Best Oil-Based Polyurethane

Oil-based polyurethane has maintained its position in the market due to its unbeatable characteristics. Often for your wooden home projects such as furniture, stairs, or floors, you not only require protection against scratches or spills but have appearance considerations that are just as important.

This guide has analyzed a list of the six best oil-based polyurethane products to help you in your choice. We have considered specific requirements you may have, such as a fast drying time and interior or exterior use, among others, to make your work easier on your next wood project.