- Oil-Based Urethane - The most common surface finish, oil-based urethane is applied in two or three coats and is available in gloss, semi-gloss and satin sheens. The downside to this type of finish is the drying time -- up to 8 hours for each coat. You will also need adequate ventilation. And, keep in mind that oil-based urethane finishes do yellow with age.
- Water-Based Urethane - A good option for the DIY-er, this finish dries quickly and cleans up easily with soap and water. Water-based urethane has less odor than oil-based urethane and doesn't yellow over time.
- Moisture-Cured Urethane - Slightly more durable than others, this finish is most often used on commercial projects and is best handled by a professional.
- Conversion Varnish - Because of the strong odor and fumes, this finish should only be applied by a professional.