I'm looking for advice on applying a gloss varnish (probably polyurethane?) to get a nice shiny finish on a plywood floor.
Do I need to be worried about bubbling? Any other common pitfalls?
And is there any advantage to water-based or oil-based?
Any varnish or applicator recommendations and techniques would be appreciated!
Solved! See most helpful response
Welcome to Workshop. We're pleased to have you join the community and trust you will receive lots of great assistance for this project and many others in the future from our community members.
I have tagged @PJA, one of our resident flooring experts, who might be able to give you some advice about sealing your floor.
Please feel free to post anytime you need a hand or have something to share. Also, please let me know if you ever need assistance getting the most from the site or have feedback about how we can make Workshop more useful for you.
Thanks again for joining the discussion,
This might help get you started - https://www.bunnings.com.au/diy-advice/flooring/timber-floorboards/how-to-seal-timber-floors.
Is it a new floor? Have you already sanded? What type of room is it? Do you expect high foot traffic and need it to be hard wearing?
Thanks for the link @MartyH. It's new plywood for a little home office / storage room, so not really a lot of foot traffic. Haven't sanded it yet.
Sealer looks pretty easy to work with. Do people normally put varnish over the top of it?
Here's help for sanding if you need it - https://www.bunnings.com.au/diy-advice/flooring/timber-floorboards/how-to-sand-timber-floors
You don't use multiple products on the floor - just one. Here's a quick cut and paste:
Two types of floor finishes can be used on most timber floors:
Polyurethane floor finishes are the most widely used today. They are available either in either single or "two pack" formulations. Once dry, polyurethane finishes are perfectly safe, but their fumes are highly toxic. Wear protective gloves and eyewear and a respiratory device approved for use with toxic chemicals. Make sure the area is well ventilated both while you are applying the polish and afterwards.
Oil based resins remain a popular option. They are not as hard wearing as
polyurethanes, but pose less health hazards.
Floor finishes come in matt, semi-gloss or gloss finishes.