If I add more wood can you match the existing color and finish exactly?
We want to match the wood grade and type first and then we will work on blending the stain color to match.
Is water or oil based polyurethane better?
While water based will dry quickly, they will not look as good with the darker stain colors, that you can get with oil based polyurethane. Water based doesn't yellow like oil based will and doesn't smell as strongly.
What are the main differences between oil and water?
While some may think the difference in the two is durability, this is not the case. The differences are price, color, and odor. Oil base polyurethane is solvent based, contains mineral spirits, is higher in volatile organic compounds, turns amber, and has a lingering odor. It interacts with the wood giving it a warmer tone and more depth. This is the only option you have for dark stains and drying time is around eight hours per coat. You should wait one week before allowing people to walk through.
Water based polyurethane dries within a few hours so you can walk on it sooner. There are only slight odors related with using the water based type and it leaves a greater shine behind. Water based polyurethane is VOC compliant. This means that it follows the limits given by the state and federal government when it comes to emitting chemicals.