Polyurethane Calculator: How Much Polyurethane Do You Need?

Calculate How Much Polyurethane You Will Need for Your Project!

If you plan to (re)finish your hardwood floor, furniture, table or any other wooden surface with Polyurethane, you are probably wondering: How many cans, gallons or liters of Polyurethane do you need to get the job done?

In case you have ever applied a water-based or oil-based Polyurethane finish to this particular surface, you might remember how many cans or gallons of Poly you used and how many coats you applied. In that case, you can go for that amount of coating.

Water-Based Poly. Find Polyurethane on Amazon.

Otherwise, use this calculator to get an estimate of the amount of Polyurethane that you will need for your wood finish. However, each surface and condition are different (e.g. porosity). Therefore, you may want to add a certain buffer to the calculated result to make sure you are not running out of Poly half-way during your project.

The Polyurethane Calculator

Fill in the size of the area or surface that shall be coated. Enter the number of coats that you expect you will need – if you are unsure, find some guidance here. Select the preferred units and you will get the projected estimate of how much Polyurethane your project requires:

Sources: average coatings per gallon based on data from Miniwax, Houserepairtalk and SealOnce/Amazon. These results are estimates only, as the actual amount of Polyurethane can vary depending on the type and condition of the surface, environmental conditions etc. The estimate is not valid for spray and 1-coat polyurethane. In any case, refer to the instructions on the can to validate this estimate.

How to Find Out Which Polyurethane You Need

There are two different types of Polyurethane with different characteristics and pros and cons, such as hue and ease of application. Read our article on water-based and oil-based Polyurethane to learn more about the differences in detail.

What Are the Alternatives to Polyurethane for Wood Finishing?

In case you are considering other wood finishes, you might want to look at varnish and lacquer as alternatives to Poly. If you want to color your wooden object or surface, painting or staining it will likely be the better choice in any case.

Many woodworking DIYers also use oil as wood finish. Most oils are a natural product and protect the wood while retaining and enhancing its natural appearance.

Whichever wood finish you choose – make sure you apply it thoroughly and allow enough drying time.

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