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4 Surfaces That Benefit From Urethane Coatings

July 4, 2018


Urethane coating (also known as a polyurethane finish) is a reliable and economical choice when it comes to choosing a high quality top coat for commercial buildings.

This choice sealant better resists scratches, impact, and abrasion than epoxy coatings. Urethane coatings also provide a pleasant finishing appearance and protection against chemicals and the natural elements, including UV rays, rain, and snow.


According to Cor-Pro Systems, a corrosion protection company in Houston, “Urethane coating for metals presents a thin film, high gloss finish with exceptional weathering performance characteristics. This coating is used in virtually all industrial markets to provide a smooth durable finish that has superior resistance to corrosion, abrasion, and chemical exposure.”

The best metals to use an urethane coating for include titanium, stainless steel, and aluminum. However, urethane isn’t recommended for rusted steel, as this top coat isn’t a rust inhibitor.

If a metal is used as part of an outdoor structure, urethane top coat is preferred to epoxy because the former provides extremely durable protection against the environmental elements. Epoxy is better suited for indoor structures.


For wood flooring, urethane top coat is especially useful. It protects against abrasion, like knocks and scrapes, from overuse; environmental elements, like rain and snow, that are dragged in on shoes; and solvents.

Exterior polyurethane can be used for interior flooring in a commercial building, but interior polyurethane should never be used for exterior paint jobs because it lacks the UV finishing protection.

Another note is that water-based urethane turns slightly amber when it dries, which is good for wood flooring because it blends near seamlessly. While water-based polyurethane doesn’t require a lot of coats, the top coat dries fast, which allows professional painters to apply numerous coats quickly if need be.

The more coats that are applied, the darker the amber color turns.

This water-based coating also has few volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during application compared to oil-based polyurethane. This is better for the environment, long-term indoor air quality, and on-the-job painters.

The best solution for wood flooring in a commercial building is a water-based, oil-modified polyurethane coat. It dries in the same toughness and light amber color (depending on the number of coats). It’s fast-drying, compatible with all wood, and has a low VOC level.

No matter which type of polyurethane is used, it’s important to remember that glossy top coats show hidden imperfections and underlying wear and tear. Let a commercial painter decide if a glossy or matte top coat is best for your commercial building.


Urethane helps seal easily chipped and faded paint on glass. The best solution is a glossy water-based polyurethane finish to mimic the natural shine of glass and to prevent rampant flaking caused by oil. This choice sealant also doesn’t stain or damage the glass.


Canvas is typically used for more creative paint projects, even in commercial buildings. Water-based polyurethane is still a great solution for these artsier projects, because it’s weatherproof and can be easily applied to projects that use acrylic/latex paint without the dark amber color of oil-based polyurethane.

In short, polyurethane is a versatile finishing coat that dries quickly, requires few coats, has a low VOC level, and protects many surfaces from weather damage, abrasion, and scratches. It’s a choice sealant for many commercial painting companies, including Cochran & Mann in Frederick, Maryland.

For more information about how to protect the paint in your commercial building, download Cochran & Mann’s new Corrosion Prevention Methods Guide by clicking on the button below:

Download The Corrosion Prevention Methods Guide

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