Arm-R-Seal vs Polyurethane – Which one is better?

Arm-R-Seal and polyurethane have been the most popular and trusted type of sealants for wooden projects. A great sealant will adhere to wood, steel, masonry, vinyl, concrete, and most plastics. A quality sealant should be durable and flexible and should be able to protect vulnerable materials.

Polyurethane sealants preserve and protect the finish you have chosen for your flooring or furniture. It is helpful in both commercial and industrial applications. It possesses corrosion and moisture-resistant properties.

Polyurethane sealant is often used as a coating and heavy-duty adhesive. It is known for its flexibility, and it is also resistant to cracking. Arm-R-Seal is an excellent sealant that can be used on natural, stained, or painted wood. It is a great top coat that gives a clean finish to many surfaces.

It provides deep protection, and it is pretty durable and long-lasting. Arm-R-Seal is made with the highest quality of urethane resin, and it is specially formulated to bring a glossy natural look to wooden surfaces. Today, we’ll explore the pros and cons associated with using Arm-R-Seal and polyurethane.

What is Arm-R-Seal?

Arm-R-Seal topcoat is a thin urethane coat made with only top-notch urethane resin, making it long-lasting and highly durable. This top kat is formulated to be applied with a foam brush or wiped on with a cloth, eliminating sags and drips. Arm-R-Seal topcoats penetrate wooden surfaces to give a natural look.

Using it is pretty easy; plus, it produces a finish that is durable, hard, and easy to maintain, making it a perfect choice for projects that will require heavy use. It creates a unique hand-rubbed finish with the durability of polyurethane.

It is heat, alcohol, and water resistant. Arm-R-Seal can withstand harsh weather conditions and protect your surface, providing outstanding protection against UV rays. This renders it the perfect choice for outdoor projects exposed to these elements.

It gives a stunning high gloss finish that is excellent for outdoor and indoor projects. Arm-R-Seal is a great choice for sealing woodworking projects. It dries quickly and offers a long-lasting finish that resists stains and scratches. Arm-R-Seal comes in three different sheens; gloss, semi-gloss and satin.

Benefits Of Using Arm-R-Seals

  • It gives a beautiful high gloss finish.
  • It is effortless to apply and can be done using a foam brush or cloth.
  • It protects surfaces from the impact of UV rays and moisture.
  • It is a very durable and long-lasting topcoat.
  • It offers a waterproof finish and hence makes it an excellent choice for indoor and outdoor projects.
  • It gives deep penetrating protection.
  • It gives a natural, warm hand-rubbed look.
  • It can be applied over water-based dyes and stains.

What is Polyurethane?

Polyurethane is a power sealant produced with the reaction of two chemicals, glycol and isocyanate. This reaction yields a product that can be used in different ways. Polyurethane is an excellent choice for projects that need good resistance to corrosion and moisture.

It is a flexible compound that is an excellent choice for projects that require a sealant that can withstand intense temperatures. Polyurethane protects your wooden project made from furniture making, wood sculpting, cabinetry construction, or a boat retouch. Polyurethane comes in an oil and water-based plastic resin that can be used as a wood finish or to coat wood.

It keeps your project weather-resistant, waterproof, and polished-looking. Polyurethane comes in numerous volumes, effects, and tints. So, ensure you choose the right type for your project.

Types Of Polyurethane

The two significant types of polyurethane are oil-based polyurethane and water-based polyurethane. They come in different sheens, including; flat, satin, and semi-gloss.

Oil-based polyurethane

Oil-based polyurethane creates an amber color that enhances the grain of the wood. Brown wood stains will give a fabulous sheen if oil-based polyurethane is applied to them. Oil-based polyurethane will look fantastic on brown wood stain colors.

It will help if you deter using oil-based polyurethane over painted surfaces like grey wood stain, whitewashed wood, and white stain. This is because the color of the wood can be yellow due to its amber color effect. It is the reason it works better with stains with brown hues.

Oil-based polyurethane is known to be one of the most reliable woodworking coats. It has a strong odor and contains a lot of VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

You can apply it using a foam brush, natural bristle brush, or a soft cloth. Always make sure to pay it outside or in a well-ventilated area. You can also wear a respirator’s mask.

The drying time for oil-based polyurethane is usually longer than that of water-based. Oil-based polyurethane should always be cleaned up with mineral spirit due to its oil-based nature. Properly dispose of the cloth used to apply oil-based polyurethane to avoid a hazardous situation.

Water-based Polyurethane

Water-based polyurethane products can work efficiently over painted surfaces or stained wood. It is outstanding for gray wood stains and rode-out wood finishes. It also works adequately for raw wood finishes.

Water-based polyurethane is not as rigid as the oil-based alternative though it is a great topcoat choice. One of the water-based polyurethane’s most satisfactory properties is its low percent VOC content. It dries up quickly and cleans easier with soap and water.

You can apply with a foam brush, bristle brush, or in spray form. So, it’s better if you try to use it in a well-ventilated area.

Water-based polyurethane can cause yellowing in some situations, especially if the wood is aged. It can darken and alter the wood color finish regardless of the wood type.

This alteration of the wood color can be noticeable on light-colored paints and stains. It is best to test out the water-based polyurethane on a light paint or stain in a small hidden area before coating entirely.

Benefits Of Using Polyurethane

Numerous benefits make polyurethane an excellent choice for any project. Some of these benefits include:

  1. It is more resistant to abrasion than other sealants out there.
  2. Polyurethane is more resistant to tearing and cutting than other sealants on the market.
  3. It can be molded into thick pieces without breaking or losing its shape.
  4. It can bear a considerable amount of weight without tearing.
  5. Polyurethane is resistant to radiation. This makes it excellent for projects exposed to high levels of radiation.
  6. It is resistant to grease and oil, making it an excellent choice for items that might be exposed to these substances.
  7. You can also dye it with any color you want, making it a good choice for projects that may need to match a specific color technique.

Arm-R-Seal vs. Polyurethane

Several vital factors to consider when choosing a sealant for your project. Ease of use, durability, cost, climate conditions, and type of project are crucial considerations you should look into before purchasing a sealant.

Ease of use

The Arm-R-Seal is easier to use than polyurethane. It is easier to apply evenly and has a lower risk of runs and drips.


Polyurethane has a higher durability level than Arm-R-Seal. We say this because polyurethane can withstand more wear and tear, and it won’t fade or yellow over time.

Cost of purchase

Both Arm-R-Seal and polyurethane are cost-effective sealants. Polyurethane is commonly cheaper than Arm-R-Seal, but the difference between both prices is relatively small.

Type of project

Arm-R-Seal and polyurethane can be used for several applications. However, polyurethane is a better option for projects that will be exposed to intense weather conditions or high temperatures. The ideal sealant for your project depends on your particular need and preference.

If you think that all sealants are the same, you are wrong. Using an incorrect sealant for your project, especially for home improvement, can cause havoc. So, consider the pros and cons of the sealants before making a final decision to purchase one for your project.

Climate Condition

The climate you reside in can affect your decision to choose a sealant for your project. Do you live in a place with high humidity? Arm-R-Seal is a better choice because it is less likely to crack or peel in high humidity conditions.

Difference Between Polyurethane and Urethane

Polyurethane and urethane are mostly confused with being the same. However, they are entirely two different kinds of synthetic materials. Polyurethane is a polymer made from natural gas and petroleum, while urethane is a plastic made from petroleum. Polyurethanes are more durable and more rigid than urethanes.

This makes them a better option for areas that experience a lot of wear and tear. Urethanes are more elastic than polyurethanes, and this makes them an excellent choice for projects that require less rigidity. They are also less cost-effective than polyurethane.

Polyurethane is a suitable choice if you are on a budget, and it is 100% ideal for highly-trafficked areas and projects that are most likely to experience wear and tear.


Arm-R-Seal and polyurethane are both popular choices of sealants for most artisans. They work efficiently well on woodworking projects as they provide durable and long-lasting finishes that can resist stains and scratches. They are also easy to apply to give a clean glossy look to any surface.