No-Finish Look, Poly Protection | Popular Woodworking Magazine

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From left to right: plain polyethylene, oil, rust-oil opaque polyethylene, raw wood

Tool: Polyurethane with definitive matte finish

Producer: Rust-Oleum

So you want the look of rough wood is excellent protection against splashes and scratches? Until recently, that request might have caused some laughter.

Rust-Oleum’s water-based Ultimate Matte Finish Polyurethane will get you very close. Once dry, this finish has the minimal look of a wax finish: the wood does not darken at all, even with multiple coats. Soft to the touch, it also feels like a little wax. But unlike a wax finish, it offers the superior protection of a polyurethane and doesn’t need to be renewed regularly.

Ultimate Matte Finish is very easy to use. It dries in two hours, so you can apply the three recommended coats in one day. Cleaning the paint brush or pad requires only soap and water. This finish is not recommended for flooring or exterior projects.


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