What is PU Finish?

What is PU Finish? and its types, benefits and disadvantages


PU or Polyurethane is a premium finish in terms of costs involved and usually costs a bit higher compared to the acrylic sheets that have been discussed in another article. There are several brands which actually sell thing membrane sheets calling them PU. What we are discussing here is polyurethane polishes.

What is PU finish?

PU is actually a synthetic resin which is mixed with a hardener to form a hard protective coating on any wooden surface. It is typically transparent in nature and that helps it to show whatever may be the color underneath.


Polyurethane is a decently hard substance which provides very good protection against scratches as well as moisture. It is possible to wash it and wipe it clean with a wet cloth or clean it with soapy water. This makes it a very good substance for finishing kitchen cabinet shutters.

What are the advantages of PU?

PU has several advantages

  1. Its transparent and hence can be applied over veneers to give them a very premium finish. This is a much more superior finish compared to melamine.
  2. PU can be matte or glossy. Depending on likes and dislikes, its possible to vary the amount of shine in PU to give a matte or glossy finish.
  3. PU is a highly flexible finish. Since it’s a resin, it can be applied over any contours and curves and bring out the shape underneath thus making it possible to have some amazing PU finished shutters in European, Mediterranean or even Japanese styles.
  4. PU does not need any edge banding to cover the sides of the shutters. PU itself will cover the same affectively this providing a clean, seamless finish to the same.
  5. Colors can be mixed in PU to give a lot of different shades. This makes it possible to have a large variety of shades to choose from. An advantage which neither laminates nor acrylics have.
  6. As already mentioned, PU provides a good protection from moisture and sunlight.
  7. If needed, PU shutters can be repainted

What are the Disadvantages of PU?

It obviously has some significant disadvantages:

  1. PU is much more expensive compared to laminates and even acrylic sheets. This is not just because of the material cost but also the skills needed to do good quality PU come at a steep cost.
  2. Time taken to do PU finish is lengthy. One PU finish will possibly have 4-5 coats, each interspersed with different grades of sanding. Plus it needs to dry out as well which could be an even lengthier process in monsoon seasons.
  3. Ideally, PU should be done in a controlled environment to ensure the best possible finish. Floating dust could embed themselves in the wet resin before it can dry up thus making the finish less in quality.
  4. PU cannot be done on plywood. Plywood faces are natural wood and have some natural pores. Resin of PU can be soaked into these pores making the finish not optimal. It is ideal to do PU on smooth surfaces like MDF or HDF. It can also be done on particle board.

PU is a wonderful finish for a very rich looking premium home. It also goes very well with the modern and contemporary design themes as well as the European and Scandinavian design forms. While it make take time to do, if done properly, it brings out a lovely flavor to any home. Its not a modular finish and needs very high levels of skills to achieve and that is why, most of the brands fail to talk about it. You can check who all do this amazing finish through our comparison engine.

  • PU finish
  • Types of finishes
  • PU finish advantages
  • PU finish disadvantages

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