On the downside water based poly tends to raise the grain of the wood is susceptible to watermarks and can be temperamental when applied over some wood stains. Products like parks water based polyurethane for floors can be applied over oil based poly.
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You should never put a water based finish on top of an oil based finish.
Water based polyurethane over oil based varnish. Some of these water based finishes are not for use over lacquer or shellac. Luckily there are ways around this when it comes to applying finishes. Jim carroll explains why its not only acceptable to use a water based finish over and oil finish provided you do it correctly but that it can be the best solution when you want to bring out th.
Thats why you should always apply a barrier coat of dewaxed shellac to seal oil based stain. With a little bit of extra time and preparation you can apply the oil based finish right over the water based one. A great finish to try is zar brand ultra max a waterborne oil modified polyurethane.
Dust generated from lead based products can be very harmful to children under the age of 6. However you must buff sand the entire floor to break the existing gloss and completely remove the sanding dust before application. Oil and water are famous for repelling one another and not mixing.
Color is another differentiator. If you already laid down a water based finish and decided to go for an oil based one do not fret. The polyurethane type of varnish is usually the best choice for this.
Water based poly can have adhesion problems when applied over an oil based stain thats not thoroughly cured. Oil based polyurethane typically adds a warm amber glow to wood particularly to lighter species. One word of caution read the label carefully and follow the specific instructions.
Spray lacquer is commonly used on new furniture and in new construction. Even if the water based polyurethane was applied after 1978 if the surface you are working on predates 1978 dont sand the surface until you have taken precaution for lead based paint and stain. However oil based varnishes typically have a natural amber tint and often become more yellow over time.
An oil based varnish can be applied over completely dry acrylic paint with little difficulty. Oil and water dont mix. After the shellac dries a light scuff sand will leave an excellent surface for the poly to grip.
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