Wood Hardener Vs Polyurethane: Which One’s Better

To protect and preserve it for months, a wood hardener provides the best protection for your wood. Besides wood hardeners, there are many other alternatives that serve the same purpose. Among them, people want to learn more about the better one between wood hardener Vs polyurethane.

It’s because polyurethane has a quality like wood hardener. Therefore, to some people, it is important to learn which substance provides the better service on wood. There might be slightly any differences between these two substances as they both come with hardening agents.

Yet the Primal Differences

Wood hardener is basically an official product that serves solely to wood. But polyurethane has several uses. Apart from wood, it also works on plastic, concrete, and other materials. However, on wood, wood hardener provides an authentic curing and water-resistant agent. As polyurethane comes with double parts, part B comes as a hardener only. Part A of polyurethane does not contain a curing agent. So, while choosing a wood hardener it will not put you in trouble but polyurethane will.

There are some other differences between these two substances. As wood is sensitive and unstable, you should learn which substance you should bring home. A short comparison table will help you understand them a lot.

Table of Contents

Quick Comparison Table Between Wood Hardener Vs Polyurethane

FeatureWood hardenerPolyurethane
Reputable substancesYesYes
TypesSingleTwo parts and many forms
Fast curingMoreLess
PriceLittle bit pricyVaries within its types and forms

About Wood Hardener

Wood Hardener

The usage of wood hardener is inexplicable as it not only refurbishes the damaged part of your wood but also extends its lifespan. This quality of wood hardener also penetrates deep beyond the surface and helps to reduce the moisture level of your wood.

Besides that, wood hardener can prevail its water-resistant agent to such an extent that your wood will not attract water. This will help the wood to live for more years. Besides, the solvent-based wood hardener ensures that your wood does not get rotten by restoring and stabilizing the strength of it.

Things We Liked about Wood Hardener

  • Comes with great comfort and easy to use
  • Many commercial wood hardeners are available in the market making your job less troublesome
  • Works with guaranteed result
  • Can be used as a wood filler and sealant as well
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Things We Didn’t Like about Wood Hardener

  • Might be a little bit pricy

About Polyurethane


People use polyurethane mainly to have a polyurethane wood finish on their wood tables or new wood. It is because people know polyurethane as one of the best products for coating and sealing. But polyurethane is also capable of hardening wood and most people are not aware of it.

You will have polyurethane in two parts. Most people adopt Part A of polyurethane for coating their wooden surfaces or furniture. Meanwhile, Part B comes with agents that you get from a wood hardener. The curing agent of this substance is what you need to make it work absolutely like a wood hardener.

Things We Liked about Polyurethane

  • It has several versatile usages
  • You can use both part A and part B on your wood
  • Comes with a curing agent and water-resistant agent as well
  • Works satisfyingly as a wood hardener

Things We Didn’t Like about Polyurethane

  • It is weak in strengthening the wood’s condition

Differences between Wood Hardener and Polyurethane

Wood Hardener Vs Polyurethane

Wood hardener has a worldwide use and because it only can serve as a hardener, things get confined a lot. Polyurethane, on the other hand, has a different kind of reputation. But one job that they both serve is for wood as a hardener even though their result or effect may slightly vary. Let’s see their differences in depth.

Best Known for

These two substances come with different reputations even though there is scope to find their similarities too. Wood hardener has renowned fame for making woods hard. It is their sole job to some extent.

On the other hand, polyurethane can be of many uses and people buy it for coating or sealing purposes mainly. However, many DIYers who are professionals know that polyurethane works pleasurably fine as a hardener too.


Wood hardener is a solvent-based polymer. It comes with a curing agent. You will not get any other types of wood hardener. It comes in liquid form and works best in its water-based formula. Their acrylic resin dissolves and works tremendously as it penetrates deep.

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Conversely, polyurethane comes both in water and oil-based formula and it comes in different forms too. Oil-based polyurethane is mainly applicable to coating and sealing purposes. The formula of it is thick but soft. It is the water-based formula of polyurethane that is thin and works as a hardener.

Hardening Range

Even though Part B of polyurethane can offer agenda for hardening your wood, its effectiveness of it might not be as good as a real wood hardener. But the water-based polyurethane carries a hardening agent and it gives pretty good service.

But in comparison with a commercial wood hardener, it might fall short. Well, it’s because as a commercial product wood hardener comes with other components to make the sole of hardening your wood more precise and effective. Otherwise, individually both substances are highly loyal from their standpoint.


In the case of versatility, we don’t want to demean a wood hardener and put polyurethane in a superior position. It is because both these substances have qualities to uphold their versatilities in their own unique way.

For example, if you want to judge them from the aspect of hardening the wood, wood hardener surpasses polyurethane substance for sure. Then again, from the aspect of coating and sealing, polyurethane surpasses a wood hardener. So, it depends on the aspects from which you want to judge them.

Fast Curing

In this case, wood hardener cures faster than polyurethane. Wood hardener even works faster and penetrates deeper than polyurethane. That’s why it is a supersonic substance for wood and absolutely a savior to wood. But that does not make polyurethane any less worthy. It has also the capability of all these things but it works less fast than a wood hardener.


Wood hardener comes as a substance that offers an easy application method. All you have to do is to do it correctly. Also, it includes buying the right product from the market. The right selection of quality wood hardeners depends on how professional DIYer you are.

But things are different in the case of polyurethane. You need to learn about its two parts, its different forms, and other important things. So, learning about it and bringing the right part of polyurethane is important.

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So, which one is better?

We find both polyurethane and wood hardeners as great and efficient substances. The major difference is a wood hardener is solely made for wood purposes, while polyurethane offers different kinds of purposes to fulfill.

Bringing both to your home will enrich your DIY arsenal. But if you want to keep it limited, then bring the wood hardener for a faster job on wood. Then again, you can bring polyurethane as its two parts come to attain different jobs.


Which works better as a wood waterproofing agent between epoxy and polyurethane?

Epoxy is more durable, has more adherence power, and is greater at protecting surfaces with its curing and water-resistant formula of all types of materials than polyurethane. Polyurethane possesses all these effective qualities but excelling in epoxy is a little bit tough. Because epoxy is so great, it also has better wood waterproofing agents than polyurethane.

Is polyurethane a hardener?

No, polyurethane is not a hardener, but a protective coating.

Can you put hardener in polyurethane?

Yes, hardener can be added to some types of polyurethane for faster curing.

Does polyurethane make wood hard?

Yes, polyurethane can make wood hard by creating a durable protective layer.

Does wood hardener waterproof wood?

Yes, wood hardener can waterproof wood by sealing the pores and preventing water absorption.

Can Wood Hardener be used as a substitute for Polyurethane?

No, Wood Hardener cannot be used as a substitute for Polyurethane.

Which one is more durable, Wood Hardener or Polyurethane?

Polyurethane is generally more durable than Wood Hardener.

Can you use both Wood Hardener and Polyurethane on the same project?

Yes, you can use both Wood Hardener and Polyurethane on the same project.

Is Polyurethane better for waterproofing than Wood Hardener?

Yes, Polyurethane is better for waterproofing than Wood Hardener.

Does Wood Hardener work well on rotten or damaged wood?

Yes, Wood Hardener is effective for repairing rotten or damaged wood.

Can you apply Polyurethane over Wood Hardener?

Yes, you can apply Polyurethane over Wood Hardener.

Which one is easier to apply, Wood Hardener or Polyurethane?

Polyurethane is generally easier to apply than Wood Hardener.

Are there any safety concerns when using Wood Hardener or Polyurethane?

Yes, there are safety concerns when using Wood Hardener or Polyurethane, including proper ventilation and protective equipment.

Which one is better for outdoor use, Wood Hardener or Polyurethane?

Polyurethane is better for outdoor use than Wood Hardener.