Polyurethane or water based polycrylic?

Staygold

Member
Hi I am going to build my bearded dragon a hide and pool for outside in the summer. I found some instructions that include styrofoam grout foam sealer and either polyurethane or water based polycrylic.

I am wondering which one is better to use, polyurethane or water based polycrylic?
 

resamille

Member
Beardie name(s)
Lio, Micah (deceased)
When I was DIY'ing my viv, I used polycrylic to seal some of miscellaneous bits. I haven't used polyurethane to compare, but in researching around supposedly polyurethane was more likely to break down under long-term exposure to UVB/heat, but nothing I ever saw was a particularly detailed or rigorous explanation for how long it takes or how dangerous it is, so I don't know that it actually makes a difference vs. polycrylic. Honestly as long as it's not going to sit directly under your basking spot, I feel like it won't matter anyway.

I will say from personal experience that the polycrylic was much thinner than I had anticipated, and even with two full coats, the wood I was covering still had rough patches and the general wood texture, so if you're going to seal anything close to porous, be prepared for a lot of coats. Might take a while, but afterward just give it some time to ventilate, sniff test to make sure you can't smell it, and then it should be good to go in your beardie's viv.
 

Gormagon

Extreme Poster
To stop the rough texture you encountered in the wood, in the future you need to use a sealer first. it raises the fines so it can be sanded smooth, then apply the W/B polycrylic topcoat. Water based Polycrylic has a low VOC level and is safer to use with dragons. Oil based polyurethane has a much higher VOC level and is toxic until completely cured (about a month). If you can smell it it's not safe.
 

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