How to Seal Wood Coasters 2022 [Updated]

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How to Seal Wood Coasters [Techniques, Benefits & Sealant Options]

Coasters can be a great project for both beginners and experts and allow for a lot of creativity. Wicker Paradise CC BY-SA

Coasters are some of the most simple and functional objects to make. Beginner woodworkers can craft their own set of coasters with scrap wood and a few foundational tools. More experienced craftspeople can make and sell coaster sets from high-quality wood using advanced techniques.

Wood coasters are high-use items that will experience a good deal of wear and tear with regular use. To ensure your set of coasters remains beautiful for years to come, you need to know the proper finishing techniques and what products to use.

Below, we’ll check out a few options for finishing and sealing your coasters depending on the type of wood used and your desired amount of protection.

Staining Wood Coasters 

wood staining
Staining your wood coasters will help enhance their design.

The first thing to consider before sealing your wood coasters is whether you want to apply a wood stain. If you like the look of the wood as is, you can simply wipe on a natural oil like tung oil or linseed oil with a soft cloth. This will help the grain of the wood to pop and will enhance the natural color.

If you decide to apply a stain, choose apply according to the instructions. You can choose between oil and water based stains, but keep in mind that your finishing product will have to match your stain in order to get the right results.

Sealing Wood Coasters 

wood coaster
Properly sealed wood coasters will withstand everyday use.

Once you have stained the coasters or applied an oil of your choice, it is time to apply a finishing product to seal the wood. Proper finishing will keep the coasters water-resistant and looking nice for years to come. Because coasters are so heavily used, it is important to use a finishing product.

You have two major options for finishing: polyurethane and polycrylic. The video below does a nice job of explaining the difference between these two products, and we will summarize it here.


Bestseller No. 1
Varathane 200061H Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane, 8 Fl Oz (Pack of 1), Gloss Finish
  • Protects indoor wood surfaces such as furniture, windows, cabinets, trim and more
  • Water based formula dries fast and cleans up with soap and water
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes with coverage up to 31.25 sq. ft., recoat after 2 hours

Polyurethane is an oil based finishing product with a warm tone. Because of this warmer appearance, polyurethane is best used over stained or colored wood. If your coasters are white, consider polycrylic.

A major pro of polyurethane for coasters is that it is more durable than polycrylic finishes and great for heavily used items. It is also perfect for raw lumber, as it provides solid protection.

How to Apply Polyurethane 

Apply polyurethane to your coasters using a brush or foam roller. Build thin layers of product on top of each other for best results.



Bestseller No. 1
Minwax 427320008 Polycrylic Wood Stain Brush, 2”, White
467 Reviews
Minwax 427320008 Polycrylic Wood Stain Brush, 2”, White
  • WOOD STAIN BRUSH – This 2” wood staining brush is a fine craft, blend of nylon and polyester...
  • SMOOTH, EVEN FINISH – The soft application design and synthetic bristles promote a smooth finish...
  • USE WITH – This 2” wood stain brush is for use for quart size cans of water-based stains and...

Polycrylic is another great option for sealing coasters. This product is water based and has a milky finish that is ideal for white surfaces and lighter colored woods. If you want to avoid making your coasters warmer in tone, polycrylic is a great neutral choice.

A pro of polycrylic is that it is super easy to clean up. Because it is water based, you can clean up any spills easily with soap and water. While polycrylic is not as durable as polyurethane, it will still do a great job of protecting your coasters.

How to Apply Polycrylic 

Apply polycrylic to your coasters using a brush or foam roller. You will need to apply more coats of polycrylic to achieve a good finish. 5-6 coats are perfect for most projects.

Because polycrylic dries a lot faster than polyurethane, this process will take about the same amount of time.

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