Best Polyurethane For Garage Doors

5 Best Polyurethane for Garage Doors

The name polyurethane is one of those popular names you are likely to hear often in relation to woodwork, especially when it comes to finishes. The chemical compound polyurethane is used to coat the surface of the wood in order to achieve the perfect finish and to protect the wood from external conditions such as water damage and scratches.  The two essential reasons for using polyurethane wood finishes are durability and aesthetics.

5 Best-Selling Polyurethane for Garage Doors

Applying polyurethane finishes to your garage door can be a bit tricky as this is a bit different from painting wooden floors. It requires the right brand of polyurethane finish and the right set of tools for the job. We have you covered on the best polyurethane wood finish for the garage. We reviewed a myriad of finishes for garage doors and we have narrowed down our personal favorites to just five widely used, quality polyurethane brands.  Here are our top choices for the best garage door finishes.

Reviews of 5 Top Rated Polyurethane for Garage Doors

1. RUST-OLEUM Waterborne Finish

RUSTOLEUM 230031 Varathane Gallon ( Diamond Floor Finish 1 Gallon)
Product Highlights:
  • 1-gallon can
  • elegant design and finish
  • the product is manufactured in united states
  • crystal clear formula
  • gloss finish

For the most elegant design and finishes, the specially formulated waterborne polyurethane gives you more than what you bargained for. It is durable, resists stains, and protects against abrasion, and scuffs. If you are a lover of crystal clear finishes and a more natural look, then the no-odor, waterborne poly is for you.

2. RUST OLEUM oil-based Premium Finish

Rust Oleum 130131 Varathane ( Clear Floor Finish)
Product Highlights:
  • this item rust oleum 130131 varathane premium oil-based clear floor finish
  • used for painting supplies, paint & stains
  • the product is manufactured inunited states
  • model number: 130131

The oil-based poly provides a quality clear finish on any hardwood. It is perfect for painting any kind of supplies. One thing that is usually a major concern with oil-based polys is the time taken to dry, however, this brand has a faster drying time than most oil-based polys. It is manufactured in the United States.

3. Minwax Water-based /Oil-modified Polyurethane

Minwax Water Based OilModified ( Satin, Clear, 1 Gallon)
Product Highlights:
  • protect wood surfaces – minwax oil-modified polyurethane wood finish protects and adds beauty to interior projects, including woodwork, floors & more. the water-based clear top coat combines superior durability with the beauty of traditional polyurethane.
  • oil-based durable finish – clear finish provides long-lasting protection and warm beauty to both finished and unfinished wood projects. protective coating is ideal for woodwork, furniture, doors, cabinets & floors, and is available in a variety of sheens.
  • satin sheen – give your wood projects a sleek finish with this satin clear varnish. it not only protects the natural beauty of the wood, but offers a soft, unique sheen for a modern, cozy and on-trend look.
  • easy cleanup – get more done with this protective poly coating. it’s an ultra fast-drying clear coat, and because it’s water-based, it has a low odor and easy cleanup with warm water.
  • a brand you can trust – minwax is america’s leading brand of wood finishing and wood care projects. since 1904, we have been inspiring consumers to keep on finishing. we offer consumers a complete line of products to meet every wood finishing need.

The Minwax has less odor than the regular solvent-based polys. It adds incredible beauty and glow to wood surfaces and dries up really fast. It is highly recommended by experts for doors, furniture, cabinet, and all kinds of woodwork.  It cleans up effectively with warm water.

4. Varathane Water-based Satin Finish

Varathane 200241H WaterBased Ultimate ( Polyurethane, Quart, Satin Finish)
Product Highlights:
  • 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
  • satin finish provides a classic and natural look

Varathane is a leader in durable wood finishes and its water-based poly is one of the best in the market when it comes to polishing cabinets, furniture, doors, and other woods. It dries in 30 minutes and one unit can provide you with a coverage of 125 sq. ft. typically you can recoat two hours after the initial coating. Its resistance from stains and scratches is outstanding and it gives your furniture a clear, natural, and classic look.

5. Deft Defthane Gloss Oil-based Polyurethane

1 Qt Deft DFT20 ( Polyurethane Gloss)
Product Highlights:
  • this high solids oil based polyurethane formulated for hard use areas
  • excellent for interior and exterior wood surfaces including floors, doors, furniture cabinets and marine applications above the water line
  • epa regulated: no ship to ak, ca, hi, nh
  • use on unfinished and stained wood, painted, varnished or lacquered surfaces
  • available in gloss finish and 1-quart can

No list is complete without the high-solid oil-based poly.  It is excellent for exterior and interior wood surfaces as well as marine use above the waterline. The EPA-regulated finish is perfect for stained, unstained, lacquered, painted, and varnished surfaces. It is also available in 1 quart can and gloss finish.

Buying Guide

The question, for those who would like to purchase polyurethane, is which brands are the absolute best. We have provided you with the best of the best when it comes to flawless and durable finishes. Another question that you may have is, which one is best, the water-based finish or the oil-based polyurethane finish? We can categorically say that this is a matter of choice, but to fully understand what your options are, we will take a quick dive into the similarities, differences, pros, and cons of both water-based and oil-based polyurethane.

Both water-based and oil-based polyurethane offers similar advantages, the major difference between the both of them is in appearance. Since polyurethane itself is the most durable .product when it comes to hardwood floor finishes, the question is usually, which of the two types is harder? Experts in this field have stressed that hardness isn’t exactly a favorable characteristic for choosing a wood finish. If you are using the finish on a door, you may not have any problems but if you desire to use it on your floor you should opt for a finish that can flex with the floor, rather than being rigid.  An excessively hard finish will easily show scratches. Once you have applied the finishes, a good way to ensure that your floor lasts is to vacuum or sweep regularly and endeavor to use rugs in spaces that have very high traffic.

Let’s take a look at a few pros and cons of water-based and oil-based polyurethane.

Oil-based Polyurethane Pros

  • It has a glow and requires fewer coats compared to water-based types
  • Less expensive
  • Usually requires less maintenance over time compared to water-based types
  • Consists of about 45-50 % solids, which contributes to the strength of the finish

Oil-based Polyurethane Cons

  • It requires a five-hour wait after each coat and at least a 12-hour wait after the final application which is a lot of waiting time.
  • It has a pretty strong odor

Water-Based Polyurethane Pros

  • Odorless, clear finish
  • They dry very fast (in 2 hours) so you make several applications in one day

Professional tip – the water-based polyurethane is milky in appearance but becomes clear transparent after application, it provides a good distinction in the character of wooden materials. The coating should be applied four times as recommended and It is possible to get it done in just one day if you start early enough.

 Water-Based Polyurethane Cons

  • Water-based polyurethanes are much more expensive than the oil-based ones
  • They do not provide the sort of glow that the oil-based polys create on wood
  • During application, the water-based polys become so clear that you may lose track of spaces that have been layered and places that haven’t.
  • They consist of 30-35 % solid materials, which is less than that of the oil-based polys
  • You need to apply four coats compared to the oil-based polys that only requires two to three coats at maximum

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a polyurethane finish?

It is a type of varnish and a form of synthetic resin that is often used in hardwood finishes for doors, cabinets, wooden floors, and other forms of woodwork.

Why is Polyurethane the preferred finish for woodwork?

Most furniture designers and interior professionals prefer polyurethane as their choice of varnish due to a few reasons; it is resistant to water, mildew, and fungus. It also resists abrasions.

Does polyurethane have any form of harmful effects on humans?

The compound polyurethane is the product of a chemical reaction between a diisocyanate and a polyol. The polyurethane foam formed from the reaction is inert and completely harmless.

Can I apply polyurethane over paint?

Yes, you can. Let’s say you would like to apply a good finish to your garage door that already has paint on it. you can easily do this by preparing your door, cleaning it properly, and once it is dry apply two coats of polyurethane to the surface to protect your paint from scratches and other things. You can apply the polyurethane finish over any paint.

How many coats of polyurethane are enough?

In most cases, two coats are enough. Coats make the finishing look smoother and more appealing. Two coats are adequate, except on few occasions where three coats are applied due to moisture.


Polyurethane protects the integrity of your wooden furniture, floor, door, cabinet, and other wooden properties. Our choice of polyurethane garage door finishes is the absolute best that you can find in the market. If you are looking to add some finishes to your garage door, you would be a lot safer and pleased with any of these options.