Best Polyurethane for Stairs in 2020- [Top 4 Picks]

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Are you searching for the best polyurethane for stairs that you can get on the market? Well, you can use the same polyurethane on the stairs that you use on the floor. But there are some coats that are specifically better for the stairs.

But how do you know which one is going to be a better option for your stairs? There are a lot of products available in the market, which are all different. And that can easily get you overwhelmed.

To help you with that, we’ll go over some of the best polyurethane that you can use on the stairs. And we’ll also take a look at an in-depth buying guide and a FAQ session to help you pick the right one as well.

Best Polyurethane for Stairs

As there are so many different polyurethane products in the market, you can get confused to know which one is best for your stairs. To help you make it easy, let’s review the top 4 polyurethane coats that you can use on your stairs.

1. Varathane 200041H Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane

Varathane 200041H Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane, Quart, Gloss Finish, 32 Fl Oz
  • Protects indoor wood surfaces such as furniture, windows, cabinets, trim and more
  • Water based formula dries fast and cleans up with soap and water
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes with coverage up to 125 sq. ft., recoat after 2 hours
  • Durable formula provides outstanding stain and scratch resistance with excellent clarity
  • Gloss finish creates a polished and clean look

If you know about water based polyurethane, you probably have heard of Varathane. They produce some of the most high-quality coats that you can use on your floor or stairs as well. The best part of these products is that you don’t have to pay a lot to get these quality products

Features of the Product

Varathane 200041H Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane is undoubtedly one of the best coats that you can get for your stairs. And it has a lot of great features that help to make it an even better option for you. Let’s discuss some of the mesmerizing features of this polyurethane that you can use for your stairs.

Great Longevity: If you want to increase the durability of your stairs, there is no better option for you than this water based polyurethane. It gives your stairs protection against scratches and stain, which can ruin your stairs over time.

Easy to Clean: The Varathane 200041H Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane is very easy to clean as well. You can clean it off using just water and some soap. That’s all you’ll need to clean it off completely, which is pretty simple and straightforward.

Quick Dry: This water based polyurethane can dry out super quick, and that can be a very useful thing in most cases. It dries out in only 30 minutes, and you can recoat the whole stair after 2 hours, which is very impressive.

Pros

  • Increases the durability of your stairs
  • Very easy to clean
  • Dries out super quick
  • Best value of your money

Cons

  • Can give a yellowish effect sometimes

2. Bona Mega 1 Gallon Wood Floor Finish Satin

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Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish Satin 1 Gallon
  • An oxygen-crosslinking polyurethane (OCP) waterborne formula.

Bona Mega is a well-renowned company, which has some of the most higher end coating products all over the market. They can be a bit pricey for some people, but the quality of the product is well worth it.

Features of the Product

If you don’t like to compromise the quality of the product for the money, you are going to love this one. The Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish Satin 1 Gallon is undoubtedly the most premium coating that you can use on your stairs. Let’s go over some of the features of this water based coat that makes it a truly exceptional coat for your stairs.

Exceptional Finish: This product has the best finish that you can get out of a polyurethane coating on the entire market. It helps to elevate the beauty of the wooden stairs and gives it a more natural look. It also gives your stairs a little shine, which helps to make the whole thing more fabulous.

Premium Coat: The Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish Satin 1 Gallon is one of the most premium coatings that you can get for your stairs. That’s why it worths every single penny that you invest in it.

Amazing Durability: This coating helps to increase the longevity of your stairs by a lot. It prevents stains and scratches, which helps it maintain the new condition.

Pros

  • Gives the most natural and clean finish
  • Very high-quality polyurethane for your stairs
  • Worths every single penny

Cons

  • Tricky application

3. General Finishes High-Performance Water Based Topcoat

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General Finishes High Performance Water Based Topcoat, 1 Quart, Satin
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General Finishes High Performance Water Based Topcoat, 1 Quart, Satin
  • Do not apply clear topcoats over bright white paint, as yellowing may occur due to a reaction to the substrate. Light color paints may also experience yellowing due to topcoat application, but it will less noticeable.
  • The hardest, most durable consumer polyurethane top coat on the market today
  • Dry Time Between Coats is only 1 to 2 Hours
  • Interior use only

General Finishes have been dominating the marketplace with their high-quality products for quite a time now. Their products maintain the top quality throughout the whole price range that they offer.

Features of the Product

The General Finishes High-Performance Water Based Topcoat is undoubtedly the best coating that you can get for your stairs in the mid-price range. However, there are tons of great features that make an even better coat that you can use on your stairs. It’s truly a no brainer option if you are searching for a high quality water based coat for your stairs.

Very Strong Coat: This water based topcoat gives a very durable effect on your stairs that you crave. It’s considered one of the best coats you can get for your stairs for increasing durability.

Super Fast Dry: Another great thing about the water based topcoat is that it dries out super fast. That lets you save up your time and energy as it takes approximately 1 to 2 hours at max to dry out the whole thing.

Best Value: The General Finishes High Performance Water Based Topcoat guarantees the best value you can get out of your money. You can’t find any other coat that gives so many different features in this price range.

Pros

  • Dries out super fast
  • Gives very strong durability to your stairs
  • Best value of your money

Cons

  • Not the best option to use on white strays; Can have a yellow effect

4. Bona Traffic Anti Slip Satin

The final product we are going to review in the list is the Bona Traffic Anti Slip Satin, the best quality coat for your stairs. It’s one of the most premium coats that you can use on your stairway that gives an exceptional finish to it.

Features of the Product

The Bona Traffic Anti Slip Satin has a lot of great features that make it the best coat for your stairs. Let’s take a look at some of its features down below.

No Odor: Odor is one of the biggest issues most people face with coats, and that draws them back from using coats. The Bona Traffic Anti Slip Satin is completely odor-free, which is amazing for you if you have issues with the smell of coatings.

Amazing Durability: This coating is perfect for giving you the best longevity of your stairs. It’s going to prevent the scratches and the stains improving the lifetime of your stairs.

Astonishing Finish: The Bona Traffic Anti Slip Satin gives an exceptional finish to your stairs. That makes it more gorgeous and gives a natural shine that elevates the look of the wood even further.

Pros

  • Gives exceptional durability
  • No odor whatsoever
  • Astonishing finish
  • Best value of your money

Cons

  • Complex application

How To Choose Polyurethane for Stairs?

Now you have a list of the top 4 polyurethane that you can apply on your stairs to make them durable. But if you don’t know what to look for in the products before you buy, you are not going to be able to pick the right one for you. We’ll cover the basic foundations that you should know before you go to buy a polyurethane coat for your stairs.

The Amount

The first thing you need to know before going for a polyurethane coat for your stairs is the amount. There are a lot of larger options available in the market even 32 ounces for instance. But you’ll also find smaller options for the same thing as well.

You need to identify how much space you are going to be working with. That’s going to give you an idea of how much coat you are going to need to complete the whole thing.

If it’s a big project, you are going to need a whole lot more coats. But if it’s a smaller one, you’ll need just a bit to get done with the whole thing.

You must consider how much you need to save yourself from wasting money on unnecessary products.

Water Based or Oil Based

That’s another vital thing you need to consider before you choose to spend your money on a polyurethane coat for the stairs.

Water based coats are pretty affordable and they have less odor. It also dries out super quick and that’s a very helpful feature to have most of the time. It provides pretty good longevity for your stairs too and has a really clear and natural finish.

On the other hand, the oil base coats are a bit more costly than the water based ones. You might have to encounter some odor as well when you apply the coat on your stairs. Also, they tend to dry very slowly, which can be an issue sometimes. But overall, they are pretty good for giving your stairs extra longevity and classy look as well.

You should consider these things before you choose to buy the polyurethane for the stairs.

The Color and Aesthetics

When it comes to color and aesthetics, most people don’t consider thinking about it even a tiny bit. But that can take away from the beauty of the stairs.

Yet, there are various options that you can choose from and use on your stairs. The most common option, in that case, is Satin, which is widely used among most people.

You should check it out, as it has the potential to give your stairs a cool look that it couldn’t get naturally. There are some glossy, semi-glossy coats that you can get as well if you love to have a little bit of a shine on your stairs. However, it’s a wise thing to put some effort into picking a good color and aesthetic if you are searching for a polyurethane coat for your stairs.

The Drying Time

That’s another vital part of the process that you must check before buying a polyurethane for your stairs. Different polyurethane coats have different drying times, which you can pick according to your needs.

If you want to get a quick-dry, some of the coats have a super-fast drying feature that you can use. That way you don’t have to worry about leaving the stairs and you can use them as fast as possible as well.

You should wait for at least a day before you start to step on the coat, and that’s the minimum period. In 4 days, you should be able to use the stars properly and without any further issues. But again, you can always fast track it by getting a coat that has faster drying time.

FAQ

Let’s discuss some of the most commonly asked questions down below.

Question 1: How many coats do I need to put on my stairs?

Answer: You should go for 3 coats to get the best effect for your stairs. Anything more or less will not be the best way to go. Make sure to wait before applying the coats.

You must wait for at least two hours or more before moving on to applying an extra layer of coating on top. Also, using sandpaper before every coat can give you more effective results as well. Using sandpaper will help to give you a great finish that leaves no brush mark which can be a great issue.

Question 2: Is it the best option to use a floor polyurethane coat on the stairs?

Answer: Well, almost all the floor polyurethane can be used for your stairs as well. But some do the job better than the others that’s for sure.

You just need to do the research and find out the best polyurethane coat for yourself that you can use on your stairs. Make sure to get a good quality one even if you have to spend some extra cash for it. That’s going to be a way better option for the longer game.

Also, know your expectations in the first place, and then you can pick accordingly.

Question 3: How long should I wait for the coat to get dry on my stairs?

Answer: It’s going to take more than 24 hours to dry out the stairs completely after using a polyurethane coating on it. You should never start walking on the stares before 24 hours, as it can ruin the whole thing.

Also, you need to wait for an extended period before you move on to bringing the furniture in place through the stairs. You must wait for at least 106 hours before you choose to do that. That’s going to give the stairs enough time to soak the whole thing, dry out, and cure.

Final Thoughts

We just went through a lot on the best polyurethane for stairs that you can find on the market. Also, you should know the methods to pick the right one for your stairs as well.

Just make sure to not compromise the quality when you go to buy the coat for your stairs. That’s going to pay off big times in the future for you.