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  1. #1
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    Default Polyurethane smell

    I recently completed a cabinet for our bathroom and I applied numerous coats of polyurethane stain to acheive the desired color. Does anybody know of any tips to help dissipate the smell faster? I am afraid any towels we put in there may end up smelling like polyurethane until the smell goes away. It has been 3 days and it still smells pretty strong. We do have the window open during the day.

    Thanks for any tips!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Polyurethane smell

    You don't say what brand and type of poly you used, which will make a difference in the cure time. Yes, the odor will dissipate over time, the best thing to do at this point is to keep the window open to ventilate the area. It will probably take a few weeks for a noticeable decline in odor.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Polyurethane smell

    The initial coat of stain was applied using an Old Masters product, specific color Provincial, and the subsequent coats of Poly stain were applied using a Benjamin Moore product. I am drawing a blank on the specific color of Poly Stain, I just remember it was Benjamin Moore.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Polyurethane smell

    Was this a water based product or oil? Water based products have fewer VOC's than oil based products and take less time, generally, to off-gas. The end result is still the same, however, you'll need to keep the area ventilated until the odor is within acceptable levels.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Polyurethane smell

    Oil based. Sounds like we will just have to wait it out. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Polyurethane smell

    You're welcome. Sorry not to be of more help.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Polyurethane smell

    A.Spruce,
    Do you think water based poly is just as durable as oil based poly? I have never used water based before. I thought I remember seeing a mention of a mixture you supplied to Waltdeckhouse, but the ingredients escape me. Was this a water based mixture? I definitely prefer to wash brushes out with soap and water rather than mineral spirits.
    This particular project required matching to an existing piece so I am sot sure If I could have used water based, but in the future it is something I would like to investigate.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Polyurethane smell

    I believe you're referring to the General brand of poly's, recommended by ****hiller. I have not used that brand, nor oil based, so I cannot give particulars on either. I do believe, however, that oil based poly's are better suited to tough environments, such as floors and high moisture areas such as kitchen sinks, bath vanitys, etc. The poly that I use is McKloskies brand. I've been using their water based poly's for years with excellent results. They're easy to use with excellent quality finish and durability. For future reference, you're better off to stain your projects first and then apply the protective finish. The reason for this is better stain depth and quality, and as the project ages and acquires nicks and dings, the color won't change, unlike a stain/poly combo where the color chips off with the finish.

    Last tidbit, I can tell you with certainty that MinWax poly's are utter garbage, they're hard to use and have less than stellar results. Their stains are ok though.
    Last edited by A. Spruce; 04-22-2008 at 02:49 PM.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Polyurethane smell

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    I believe you're referring to the General brand of poly's, recommended by ****hiller. I have not used that brand, nor oil based, so I cannot give particulars on either. I do believe, however, that oil based poly's are better suited to tough environments, such as floors and high moisture areas such as kitchen sinks, bath vanitys, etc. The poly that I use is McKloskies brand. I've been using their water based poly's for years with excellent results. They're easy to use with excellent quality finish and durability. For future reference, you're better off to stain your projects first and then apply the protective finish. The reason for this is better stain depth and quality, and as the project ages and acquires nicks and dings, the color won't change, unlike a stain/poly combo where the color chips off with the finish.

    Last tidbit, I can tell you with certainty that MinWax poly's are utter garbage, they're hard to use and have less than stellar results. Their stains are ok though.
    Perhaps I wasn't very clear. I apologize. I did apply a coat of stain first, and then applied multiple coats of a "Tinted Poly" also called poly stain. I used the tinted poly, rather than just plain poly, to acheive the right color depth. We wanted a mission style color and took a piece of furniture into a local paint store as an example and they supplied us with the right combination to acheive the color.
    I will check into McKloskies and see where it is sold locally.

    I agree with your assessment of Minwax. I used them once and didn't like the end result. I had less experience than I do now so it could have been operator error I suppose.

    Thanks again. Always good talking to someone knowledgeable in the field.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Polyurethane smell

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric1435 View Post
    Perhaps I wasn't very clear. I apologize. I did apply a coat of stain first, and then applied multiple coats of a "Tinted Poly" also called poly stain. I used the tinted poly, rather than just plain poly, to acheive the right color depth. We wanted a mission style color and took a piece of furniture into a local paint store as an example and they supplied us with the right combination to acheive the color.
    Gotcha! It would be interesting to know if you really needed the tinted poly or not. My suspicion is that they may have been getting close with the base stain (or using an off the shelf stain for the base color ), then using tint in the top coat for that "aging" look, since all woods and finishes yellow over time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric1435 View Post
    I agree with your assessment of Minwax. I used them once and didn't like the end result. I had less experience than I do now so it could have been operator error I suppose.
    It wasn't operator error and it wasn't inexperience, that brand of poly is just junk. Even when following the instructions on the label exactly, the end result is a rough, bubble infested finish that will only look good as long as it's in someone else's living room. It is physically impossible to apply it without severe bubbling, whether it's the first coat or the 10th.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric1435 View Post
    Thanks again. Always good talking to someone knowledgeable in the field.
    No problem, I'm always happy to share my experience. I wouldn't pronounce myself an expert, however. I'm just a wood enthusiast who's picked up a thing or three over the course of a lifetime. I've built a fair number of things in my shop and log what works and doesn't work.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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