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What is a good protective kitchen table topcoat?
Last Post 12-02-2012 11:02 AM by kmealy. 1 Replies.
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Bill LawUser is Offline
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12-02-2012 10:26 AM
    Greetings all,

    Our new kitchen table is almost complete and will need a protective topcoat of something or other. It is made of quarter sawn pin oak from Doc Bryant, and has a Minwax Early American stain to be applied. My usual finish on other things is water based polyurethane. But for use in the kitchen, where it will be constantly subjected to spills and cleanup with a damp washcloth, I'm concerned what finish might be a better choice to withstand that.  Any ideas would be appreciated.  TIA.

    Cheers, Bill 

    kmealyUser is Offline
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    12-02-2012 11:02 AM
    Probably my first choice would be Waterlox Original.  It's a tough finish and is often used on wood floors, countertops and bar tops.  It can be on the pricey side (about $35/qt), but given all the other materials and work gone into this, it's a small percentage of the total cost.  It is a dark amber finish so factor that into your expectation of the final color.  I fill the top of the can with propane (from an un-lit plumbing torch) to keep the remainder from setting up in the can between uses.  If you look at their web site, you'll "tung oil" this and "tung oil" that.  It's too bad that they have fallen into the "tung oil bandwagon."    It's a varnish made with tung oil and phenolic resin.  It is no longer tung oil, but the varnish simply accrues the attributes of being made from that rather than soya or linseed oil.  As an aside, a chair was the first piece I refinished (circa 1965 or so) I used Waterlox and it was in constant use until I inherited it from my parents estate about seven years ago.   It still looks good.


    Often people think, "Hey, Spar Varnish."    This is a bad choice.   Being a "long-oil" varnish, it's softer than other finishes.  So it's susceptible to pen impressions (think homework).   It's also less, not more, resistant to moisture than short-oil (furniture) varnishes.   Its main attribute is being flexible and is seldom a good choice for furniture or interior work.
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