Shining Up: Finding the Best Polish for Polyurethane Surfaces

Polyurethane finishes are a choice finish for most of your wooden surfaces. This is due to the fact that polyurethane finishes provide the best protection, durability, and beauty for wood surfaces. However, in most instances, these finishes just like others are prone to wear and tear over time. This wear and tear greatly reduce the durability and beauty afforded by a polyurethane finish.

Deterioration of polyurethane surfaces is often due to physical actions such as scratches and abrasions, chemicals, and other solvents. Consequently, finding the best polish for polyurethane surfaces will ensure the best care in the prevention and treatment of polyurethane deterioration.

Understanding Polyurethane

Overview and Properties of Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a unique kind of varnish. Technically, it is a varnish modified with polyurethane resin to enhance its characteristics. Polyurethane is well-known in the woodworking industry as a wood finish that can be used on a variety of wooden surfaces. These include cabinets, indoor and outdoor furniture, floors and patios, and even marine purposes.

Its use versatility is due to the fact that polyurethane finishes possess some of the best qualities of all wood finishes. For instance, they provide the best durability for your wooden surfaces by blocking strong ultraviolet rays.

These finishes provide protection against moisture and protect the wood from mould and mildew. Moreover, polyurethane came in oil-based and water-based forms that add a range of beautiful colours to your wooden surfaces.

Oil-based Polyurethane

For the best protection against abrasions and scratches, oil-based polyurethane finishes are the best. The unique oil formulation of these finishes makes them have the best appearance properties. They come in a wide variety of sheens ranging from flat, matte, semi-gloss, and gloss.

Due to these unique properties, oil-based polyurethanes are the preferred candidate for wooden surfaces such as floors, patois, cabinets, and high-traffic surfaces. The downside of these is that they require longer drying times, emit high VOC levels, and are not easy to clean up.

Water-based Polyurethane

On the other hand, water-based polyurethane finishes use a base of water instead of oil solvents. Due to this fact, to achieve the same level of protection as oil-based polyurethane finishes, these require more coats. However, these are ideal if only a light coat is desired. Water-based polyurethane finishes are the safest to use due to low VOC contents.

Moreover, they have the fastest drying times. The downside is that water-based polyurethane finishes are not as visually appealing as oil-based ones. They often dry clear. As a result, these are best if the natural color of the wood is the desired final appearance.

Challenges of Maintaining and Polishing Polyurethane Surfaces

Despite their aesthetic uniqueness, polyurethane-finished surfaces especially wooden floors and other high-traffic areas are prone to damages that make them difficult to maintain. For instance, scratches on wooden floors will not be easily gotten rid of by just wiping the surface.

Moreover, the shine of polyurethane that fades away with time will require more than a wet cloth to restore. As result, maintaining polyurethane surfaces can be challenging especially when deciding on the right product to restore the finish to its initial quality.

Finding the best polish for polyurethane surfaces is the most essential step to overcoming the challenge of maintaining polyurethane surfaces.

Top Picks: Best Polish for Polyurethane Surfaces

Editor’s Pick: Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish + Daley Mint Cloth

Best Overall
Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish + Daley Mint Cloth

Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish + Daley Mint Cloth is a wood polish product that comes in liquid form and as a whole kit. It comes with a  Daley Mint cloth for application. The only thing you need after purchasing this product is to apply it on a wooden surface. This product is selected by our experts as the best polish for polyurethane surfaces due to certain key features.

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06/16/2024 11:31 am GMT


  • Comes as a kit with a cloth for application
  • Best polish for both finished and unfinished wooden surfaces
  • Easy to apply since it is liquid
  • Provides the best protection that is durable
  • Enhances the look f both finished and unfinished surfaces


  • Not suitable if the polyurethane is seriously damaged
  • The sheen is not the most unique

Runner’s Up Rejuvenate Cabinet & Furniture Restorer 

Runners Up
Rejuvenate Cabinet & Furniture Restorer
$11.75 ($0.73 / Fl Oz)

Rejuvenate Cabinet & Furniture Restorer is a unique wood polish that can be used on multiple surfaces. This product comes in a 16 oz liquid form that is easy to apply. Moreover, it comes with a cloth that aids in its application. This polish is unique because it provides durable protection that lasts for months.

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06/16/2024 11:45 am GMT


  • Can be used on multiple surfaces.
  • Has a unique scent
  • Easy to use
  • Seals scratch best


  • Relatively costlier
  • The shine does not last too long

Budget Pick: CARGEN Beeswax Furniture Polish

Budget Pick
CARGEN Beeswax Furniture Polish

This polish is the best that you can get at the best affordable price. CARGEN Beeswax is a 6.38 x 5.79 x 2.72 inches; 3.74 Ounces liquid polish that has a honeysuckle scent. It is suitable for various polyurethane surfaces such as floors, furniture, and cabinets. This product is made entirely from 100% natural beeswax. There are no GMOs, no paraffin, and no mystery ingredients in our woowlish beeswax, safe and healthy.

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06/16/2024 12:03 pm GMT


  • Provides durable protection from dust, stains, moisture, and more
  • Has a pleasant scent
  • Easy to use since it comes with a free sponge for application
  • Very affordable


  • Protection does not for years
  • Only suitable for furniture use

Factors to consider when choosing a polish for polyurethane

Compatibility with polyurethane

The most important thing to be on the lookout for when considering which polish to use is whether the polish is compatible with a polyurethane finish. Most polishes in the market have been suitably formulated to match polyurethane finishes.

However, there are exceptions that can mess up your wooden surfaces. The types of polishes suitable for polyurethane-finished floors include silicon polishes, emulsion polishes, oil-based polishes, and waxes. Often, the specific type of polish will indicate the appropriate surfaces to use.

Ease of use

Polishes come in different varieties. Once you have decided on the exact formulation for your polyurethane-finished surface, consider the one that is easy to use. Most polishes come in a liquid formulation.

These are often easy to apply as what is required is to only use a cloth dipped in the polish. There are other types that come in aerosol form. These too are easy to use since only spraying is required.


The key feature to consider in your choice of polish is the durability effect it adds to your polyurethane finish. Ideally, the polish should last for a considerably long time. However, most polishes do not provide protection that can be compared to that already provided by a polyurethane finish.

When making that important choice it is important to consider a product that lasts the longest without compromising on quality.


The best polish for your polyurethane surfaces should restore the original shine of the polyurethane finish. Depending on the type of polish, some come with a more matte look that adds a little sheen to the finished wooden surface. However, most polishes will bring out that original shine that has faded with time.


Wooden surfaces finished with polyurethane are bound to get damaged over time due to exposure to physical abuse and weather elements. To maintain polyurethane surfaces, our experts recommend you use the best polish for polyurethane surfaces. This ultimate guide to finding the best polish for polyurethane surfaces has selected three products with which your polyurethane surface will be returned to its original new look. However, this guide is not exhaustive of all the products. Therefore, you are encouraged to share your experience with different polishes for polyurethane surfaces.