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What Is Tinted Polyurethane and Can You Tint It With Paint?

A tinted polyurethane stain is essentially a liquid form of plastic. These plastic characteristics are what make it an excellent finish. This is because they protect wood furniture from nicks, scratches, and even help prevent ultraviolet light from making it fade. It can also be used to highlight specific colors in the wood with small amounts of tint, highly tinted options also being available.

When applying a polyurethane stain, it is best to do so on wood that does not have any previous treatments or coats. It is an essential step in applying it to make sure that you first sand the wood to make the surface properly grip the stain.

One of the primary uses of polyurethane is on wood floors, and one of the primary applications of tinted polyurethane is to mark off sections of the floor. This is sometimes used at bowling alleys to mark the line you are to throw the bowling ball from and at things like gyms to mark the lines for a basketball court.

Perhaps one of the chief complaints about polyurethane coats, on the other hand, is the small bubbles that can sometimes be difficult to remove. While some bubbles can be caused by shaking the stain, most of these bubbles come from the brush that you use.

Any quick movement of your paintbrush as it goes in and out causes small bubbles to form, and these bubbles are easy to transfer to your project. For this reason, you should try to avoid being in a rush and try to paint slowly.

Can you tint polyurethane with paint yourself and how to do it?

One of the best ways to tint polyurethane is with a color pigment one drop at a time. Specially made tints are what you want to look for in this case, not stains. And though you can use actual paint to get the color tint you are looking for, never try this with latex paints and instead use paints that are oil-based for this to work.

While you can tint clear polyurethane with paint, there is no exact guide for how much color to add to get the effect you want. This fact makes it more a matter of guesswork than anything else. For this reason, it is essential that you not only mix just a small amount to start with but that you also test it out first.

To help you with this, allow your test area to dry before you mix the rest so that if the color darkens as it dries, you can know how to change the mix. Also, be careful when you combine your test amount that you accurately measure how much of what you put so that you can recreate it for the full amount.

As another option, you could paint as usual with an oil-based paint and then let that only mostly dry before immediately adding your polyurethane coating. Doing this will allow the two different coats to bond and will give you a subtle effect.

Can you apply a coat of tinted polyurethane over clear polyurethane?

Yes, you can, and many people do apply two to three coats polyurethane to specific flooring. Doing this can give it a shiny, glass-like appearance that many people love to have. As a general rule, you do not want to go more than this because it can start to look dull instead.

You can decide that you want to add multiple coats of polyurethane, or that you want to add a tinted polyurethane coat over a transparent layer for a specific pattern.

Whichever one you want, there are a few steps that you will need to follow. You will also need to make sure that you give plenty of time for each layer to completely dry before you attempt to add the next.

  1. First, you will want to start by sanding the first coat of polyurethane after it is dry. Doing helps the next layer to stick some, but it is more useful for making sure that any dust that may be on the first layer will get removed.
  2. When that is done, you have to make sure that you get all the dust off of the floor or the next layer will not stick. Any particles of dust you miss will also get permanently caught between the two layers and will affect the look at the end.
  3. Even when doing multiple layers the first coat doesn’t need to be diluted at all as a “binder.” Paint can sometimes require the extra grip that a binder like a primer provides. All finishes, on the other hand, are binders and therefore do not need any form of a primer to help them bind.