Is Polyurethane Wood Finish Food Safe? – Safe Finishes

There have been rising concerns about safe and healthy food recently.

As a result, many people have repeatedly asked me the question, “Is Polyurethane wood finish food safe?”.

In reality, there have been many debates and discussions about which food-safe finishes are the best.

And the PU is a great option. To know if it is secure, scroll down the article below!


Is Polyurethane Wood Finish Food Safe? A Quick Answer

Yes, many finish experts agree the finish with PU is safe for making food. It also acquires the FDA approval for the wide usage.

Of course, you have to cure it first fully. Then, suitable diers, oils, and varnishes are needed to ensure the liquid is entirely secure.

Finishes with PU (Source: thediyplan)

What Should You Know About PU?

1. A quick look at the PU

PU is a compound found in the 1930s by Otto Bayer. That year, he was seeking a helpful replacement for the expensive natural rubber. Luckily, he created the PU.

At that time, the new substance was rated as the most rigid and flexible one for finishing the kitchen’s stuff.

Additionally, it puts up a solid resistance to chemicals and water. Besides its good sides in food-safe finishes, the stiff PU is also used to prevent heat from passing through materials.

2. Merits of PU

There are many reasons why people choose PU for the finishing wood process.

First of all, it creates a more beautiful and shinier look for the kitchen device. Moreover, it is better resistant to wear, high cut, oil than rubbers. That is why users find their kitchen stuff finished with PU has a longer life with more minor scratches or damages.

Moreover, adding the PU into your device finishes would prevent them from mildew, mold, and fungus.

3. Demerits of PU

Nothing is perfect, and either does the PU. Besides the benefits, it also has some features that might not satisfy users.

For example, using the substance means the finishing period takes a longer time than usual. Instead of spraying, workers have to brush the device cause the compound is in liquid form. Hence, the drying period is more extended, alike.

Moreover, PU wood finishes tend to have a shorter life. For the reason that the compound likely absorbs water better than rubber or plastic.

Is Polyurethane Food Safe For Children?

It mostly depends on which kind of device to decide if the PU is safe for children.

However, no matter which that kind is, ensure that the curing process is complete.

In most cases, the curing period lasts longer than the drying one. Plus, some finishes would be cured by reacting with oxygen. Meanwhile, others need the process of changing solvent into gas to do so.

To grasp the proper knowledge about the curing process, look at the label stuck on the container.

For instance, concerning the time needed, a few bowls might require four to five days after they are finished. On the other hand, the brushing lacquer could take more extended curing time, roughly seven days.

Also, keep in mind that the temperature, device’s thickness, and the amount of water in the air can influence the period. As a result, add more time for the process than the manufacturer’s instructions would be safer for kids.

If not, the PU compound in the device might harm your babies. Following some studies, it leads to cancer and prevents normal growth in children.

Besides, experts do not advise using PU for finishing the children’s dishes.

How Does Finishes With PU For Wood Gadgets Affect The Human Body?

The FDA has already approved the kind of wood finish. However, it does have few bad effects.

The compound has a substance called Isocyanates. It is the culprit making some diseases related to the lungs and brain cell swelling. For example, it can make colds, asthma attacks, and other issues.

Besides, kids and pregnant women should stay away from the fumes of PU.

Following many studies, the compound also takes responsibility for making digestive problems. Especially, the substance is harmful to those exposed to it for a long time.

Hence, some crucial instructions have been made to avoid inhaling PU. First, once you work with the liquid, ensure the areas are well-ventilated. It would be best if you opened the windows and doors as well. Then, after you cleanse the finishes with PU, keep far from the area would help.

Take a look at the video to know more about the food-safe PU wood finish:

Finishes with PU (Source:reddit)

Is Polyurethane Wood Finish Food Safe: People Also Ask

1. How long until PU is safe?

Roughly 30 days might be the common time for many types of food-safe finishes.

The reason for the long-lasting time might have its roots in the curing process.

It often lasts longer than the drying one. Plus, if the heat and wet level in your house is higher than usual, the time needs to be extended.

2. Does PU make wood not let water through?

My answer is no. The PU does not help the wood device totally avoid water.

However, as I have just said, it is able to resist water.

As a result, it could provide extra protection for the hardwood. The compound also reduces water absorption as well as repels water.

3. What kind of food finish is safe for food?

Following some studies and experts, there are seven types of safe cutting board finishes. They include raw linseed oil, pure tung oil, walnut oil, and mineral oil.

Plus, beeswax, a product made from the natural honey bee, is a great finish in avoiding water. Moreover, you might not want to ignore the shellac, and carnauba wax.

4. What is the best PU you should use on kitchen tables?

As many people rated, the best PU on kitchen tables should be oil-based and wipe-on. That kind is pretty common with DIY lovers for its being easy to use.

Plus, it gives strong protection with the oil-rub finish.


To conclude, above are some main pieces of information related to whether Polyurethane wood finish is food safe.

Primarily, the compound is safe to finish kitchen wood devices. However, some scientists do not recommend you to use it to finish dishes for children. Besides, bear in mind to have adequate ventilation when working with the substance.

Further Reading:

Tags: #Polyurethane  #Closet #Brush #Coat #Primer #Waterproof #Paint #Spray #Blinds #Wood 

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