I made myself a small desk out of pine plywood and square tubing. I stained the pine with water based stain, then applied several coats of clear, water based polyurethane.
The last coat was applied at least one week after the last one, but still, the brush would get soiled with the color of the stain. I expected that to happen for the first coat, but not from the second onward. (The poly looks like diluted milk while in the can. After a few brush strokes, the brush leaves faint streaks the color of the stain when dipping it in the can)
This was at least over 8 months now, and still if water or moisture gets on the desktop, when cleaning it, the rag would get soiled with stain. If I rub the wet spot with my hand, I would get stained too. It's like this coat is not waterproof at all.
Weather here is tropical, most of the time it is between 20-35 C° (68-95 F°), it rains often but it is not terribly humid (A damp towel would typically hang-dry indoors in about 2 hours, not in direct sunlight)
Is the water based poly supposed to be water proof once cured? could it be that the stain chemically ruined the poly?
It was the first time I used W.B. poly, as now I live in a small apartment and didn't wanted to bother my family with the smell of traditional oil based lacquer. The advertised fast drying time and no odor encouraged me to try.
I'd like to "fix" this desktop, more for utilitarian purposes. If I painted over it with oil based lacquer, would it dry o.k.? (I don't think sanding the desktop would be worth the time and effort this time, as I do not own a power sander and also, this poly clogs sand paper after only a few passes.)
I already read this question: Why is my desk still tacky two weeks after finishing it with a polyurethane clear coat? but it does not directly answer my doubts, it does not clearly states whether it is water or oil based.