Best Finishes for Wood Kitchen Table – [Reviews & Guide 2020]

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Wooden Equipment or Kitchen Table made of mahogany, cherry, oak, pine and more are beautiful and they add more beauty to one of the most important parts of the house. It is wise for users to protect and extend the life of their wood countertops from accidental damage with a clear wood finish. This top 10 list and buying guide looks into the different types of wood finish which are suitable for kitchen tables, features, and what to expect when you place an order.

Product NameRecoat dry (hours)
SheenMaterialCoverage (sq ft)Price
Minwax 60910000

(Editor's Choice)
2-3SatinPolyurethane
125 Check Price
Semi-Gloss EF
2-4Semi-GlossPolyurethane150 Check Price
Rust-Oleum 200241H
2SatinPolyurethane125 Check Price
General Finishes SQ
12-24SatinOil100-150 Check Price
Minwax 64444444
3Semi-GlossPolycrylic125 Check Price
Vermont Natural Coatings
2SatinPolyurethane100-125 Check Price
General Finishes SBQT
24SatinOil100-120 Check Price
Waterlox Original
24SatinOil125 Check Price
General Finishes SGQT Arm-R-Seal
12-24Semi-GlossUrethane100-125 Check Price
Minwax 63010444
4-6SatinPolyurethane125 Check Price

1. Minwax 60910000 Wipe-On Poly Finish Clear – Best for Kitchen Table Top

With the Minwax 60910000 Wipe-On Poly Finish Clear, applying a wood finish to your kitchen table doesn’t have to be difficult and with it’s a wipe-on feature, you can cover the area of application much more quickly. This wood finish is known to be a water-based polyurethane finish meaning that it would be able to be cleaned up easily with just water and soap. The fast-drying feature is so prominent that it makes it perfect for application on a variety of surfaces.

The Minwax 60910000 Wipe-On Poly Finish Clear will protect your wooden kitchen table for years and it will increase the durability of your raw product. It enhances the texture and natural beauty of your wooden table giving it a clear and satin finish. The odor, on the other hand, is very mild, it is made to be low ok the odor side because of the fact that it is meant to be used indoors only.

Pros
  • It is a water-based polyurethane finish.
  • It gives off a clear satin finish.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It has excellent durability.
  • It features a wipe-on feature which makes the application very easy.
Cons
  • It is a bit dull.

Overall Impression

The wipe-on technology the Minwax 60910000 Wipe-On Poly Finish Clear possesses is far more the easiest to master and learn as a beginner. This coating gives your wooden kitchen table a feeling of hand-rubbed finish and a level of protection that only most oil-based polyurethane can give. If you use this wood finish, your kitchen table will be free from stains and water due to daily heavy-duty use.

2. General Finishes Semi-Gloss EF High-Performance Polyurethane – Best Versatile Finish for Kitchen Table Top

Made with durability in mind, the General Finishes Semi-Gloss EF High-Performance Polyurethane is a high-end clear coating that is a perfect choice for finishing kitchen tables. This coating is so durable that the coating turns yellow with age and the company admitted this in their product description claiming it will “amber slightly”, meaning they are even honest about this flaw.

The best feature of the General Finishes Semi-Gloss EF High-Performance Polyurethane is the longevity of the product. Instead of producing a soft like coating, this finish for wood kitchen produces a hardened surface that can withstand any heavy-duty force which is being thrown at it.

Pros
  • It is available in different varieties which can produce satin, flat, gloss and semi-gloss finish.
  • It creates a water-resistant coating that is known to be durable.
  • It has both qualities of a water-based and an oil-based finish.
  • It is cheaper in gallon size.
  • It has a UV stabilizer that protects the wood from the sun.
  • It can be used on the floors or outdoors.
  • It dries fast.
Cons
  • It is very expensive.
  • It turns yellow with time.

Overall Impression

The General Finishes Semi-Gloss EF High-Performance Polyurethane overall gets a very good review but few customers are unhappy about the product. Most of the positivity focuses on the product being a water-based finish and also acting like an oil-based finish. This gives a lot of shine and waterproof features. The negativity settles on the fact that it is expensive. It is known as one of the most expensive paints and coatings but it is much cheaper if it is bought in gallons.

3. Rust-Oleum 200241H Water-Based Polyurethane – Best Satin Finish for Table Tops

The company that manufactured this wood finish for the kitchen table is known for its reliable polyurethane products. This particular Rust-Oleum 200241H Water-Based Polyurethane comes with a done satin finish and it is only required to be used for interior purposes. It can be gotten in different sizes starting from quartz up to a gallon. Application is very easy and this makes it perfect for doors, furniture, cabinets and kitchen tabletop. During application, it produces minimal odor which is not hiking and or can be cleaned off using only water and soap.

The Rust-Oleum 200241H Water-Based Polyurethane is a very affordable choice for beginners. It can be combined with different finishes such as dye to find the best most scratch-resistant coating without having to worry about the yellowing. The Rust-Oleum 200241H Water-Based Polyurethane, however, is not suitable for outdoor projects and surfaces so it is advisable to use this finish indoors only.

Pros
  • It has an elegant finish.
  • It has minimal or low odor.
  • It is a water-based polyurethane.
  • It is scratch resistant.
  • It leaves a clear top coating.
Cons
  • It is not suitable for external use.

Overall Impression

One of the most imperfections when it comes to water-based polyurethanes is that they would end up coloring yellowish over time. However, that is not the case when it comes to the Rust-Oleum 200241H Water-Based Polyurethane. The coating of this finish is not thin and users are advised to apply coatings from about 5-10 times. The Rust-Oleum 200241H Water-Based Polyurethane dries very quickly and the color of your raw wood will maintain its natural hue.

4. General Finishes SQ Oil Based Gel Topcoat – Best Oil-based Gel for Kitchen Table

The General Finishes SQ Oil-Based Gel Topcoat is a water-based polyurethane wood finish that is manufactured and produced by General Finishes. It is even known to be one of the most durable and hardest coatings any wood can take. Two features that make this wood finish a desirable one is the ability for it to protect paints and stains and the ultraviolet stabilizers which prevent harmful sunlight from fading and discoloring the underlying stain.

The General Finishes SQ Oil Based Gel Topcoat is basically manufactured for indoor purposes but it can also be used on floors. It is one of the few water-based polyurethanes to be actually used in this situation because it is resistant to dents, scratches, etc. Application is very easy because of the low odor feature and when applied, it glides easily on the surface without forming any bubbles. It also dries within a short period of time and most times it doesn’t require more than two coatings. This makes it perfect for woodworkers, carpenters as well as novices.

Pros
  • It creates a water-based polyurethane coating.
  • It has a UV stabilizer that protects your product from the sun.
  • It comes in different varieties.
  • The application is very easy.
  • This coating dries quickly.
  • It can also be used on floors.
Cons
  • It is quite expensive.

Overall Impression

The General Finishes SQ Oil Based Gel Topcoat tends to apply itself more thickly meaning that you are free of any brush marks or dents. Users complain that this product is expensive but the quality is worth the extra cost. The General Finishes SQ Oil Based Gel Topcoat requires only two coatings during application saving users money and time. It is used only for indoor wood products but users have been reported to also use it outdoors too making it ideal for both applications.

5. Minwax 64444444 Polycrylic Protective Finish Water Based – Best Water-Based Finish for Kitchen Table

The Minwax 64444444 Polycrylic Protective Finish Water Based is known to improve the appearance of your kitchen wood table making it look like a new product with a semi-gloss finish. This finish is suitable for only indoor purposes and it adds great beauty to a range of wooden surfaces it is being applied on. The Minwax 64444444 Polycrylic Protective Finish Water Based is perfect for a variety of jobs and it produces a clear semi-gloss look which helps keep the quality and the durability of the product over time.

The application is very easy. Due to the fact that the Minwax 64444444 Polycrylic Protective Finish Water Based is a water-based polyurethane, it is easy to wipe off after use using just soap and a rag. It dries fast because it is a high-quality polyurethane which the company assures its users that it won’t discolor anytime soon.

Pros
  • It adds beauty and value to your project.
  • It is a water-based polyurethane finish.
  • It doesn’t yellow over time.
  • It is versatile in use.
  • It gives off a semi-gloss finish.
  • It has minimal odor making it ideal for indoor use.
Cons
  • Most users complain of terrible customer service.
  • Most users complain of the cam dented upon delivery.

Overall Impression

The Minwax 64444444 Polycrylic Protective Finish Water Based is perfect for a natural wood look. It can be used together with paint or a dye and most users also said that it can as well be used on vinyl floors. One of the negatives about this product is that if it is applied too thin, the brush streaks can appear giving your product a minimum dent. To avoid this, apply the coating to be thick using more material which will produce an error-free finish. It also dries quickly, I recommend.

6. Vermont Natural Coatings Polywhey Furniture Finish – Best Clear Finish for Kitchen Table

Made to be entirely safe to the environment, the Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey Furniture Finish is a professional water-based polyurethane finish that preserves your wood kitchen table by creating a shield that is environmentally safe while enhancing the beauty of the wood. Due to the fact that it is a water-based polyurethane finish, it’s formulae are low in VOC contents making it low in odor meaning you don’t have to move out to wait for it to dry.

The Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey Furniture Finish comes in about two types of coating namely semi-gloss and satin. This kitchen wood table finish is perfect for wooden kitchen utensils and furniture making it perfect for a variety of products and countertops. Application is very easy, just use a brush and carefully apply the coat over a raw or painted wood. Since it is also water-based, cleaning is very easy with just a rag and soap.

Pros
  • It produces a clear finish.
  • It is a water-based polyurethane finish.
  • It is suitable for interior spaces.
  • It is easy to clean up with soap and rag.
  • The application is very easy.
  • It has little or no odor.
  • It dries on time.
Cons
  • It is not suitable for white or bright paints.
  • It is not as good as oil-based coatings.

Overall Impression

The Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey Furniture Finish as users can tell is different compared to most wood coatings that have been established in the past. Since it is a water-based polyurethane finish, it doesn’t have that irritating odor and it dries quickly which is a huge advantage when you are applying more than one coating. During the application, it doesn’t create bubbles that will hinder the beauty of the wooden kitchen table. I totally recommend it.

7. General Finishes SBQT Wood Bowl Finish – Best Oil-based Finish for Kitchen Table

Formerly known as Salad Bowl finish, the General Finishes SBQT Wood Bowl Finish is the first oil-based polyurethane to be mentioned in this list. This product is an oil-based product that protects your finished wooden kitchen table while also improving the durability and the life of the wood grain. Another feature that makes this finish for the wooden kitchen table stand out is the fact that it is the only product that comes with little metal particles inside so that the application can be very easy.

This finish can be used as a paint and it will give it a more vibrant color with less paint used. It is highly resistant to heat and it does not affect the product of it is applied directly under the sun. The General Finishes SBQT Wood Bowl Finish is made with a raw material which is environment-friendly and safe for food product and it stands out which so much uniqueness and quality.

Pros
  • It can resist unfavorable temperatures.
  • It gives a smooth finish when it is being double coated.
  • It is the environment and food safety.
  • It is perfect for all types of wooden surfaces.
  • It dries extremely fast compared to other types of oil-based polyurethane.
Cons
  • Requires a careful application to leave fewer stains.

Overall Impression

The General Finishes SBQT Wood Bowl Finish is a great product when it comes to any wood you are dealing with providing a protective layer that helps preserve the wood kitchen table top without hiding its natural beauty. When you use this oil-based polyurethane finish, you can be able to see your wood grain clearly without having to doubt the quality and authenticity of your wooden kitchen table.

8. Waterlox Original Satin Finish – Best Paint Finish for Kitchen Table

The Waterlox Original Satin Finish is said to highlight the great deal of detail which is found on any wooden kitchen table. Although it is gentle, the Waterlox Original Satin Finish gives your wooden surface a gloss that highlights the wonderful features found on it while also preventing fingerprints from showing on the surface it is being applied on.

This wood finish is made from Tung Oil and one of the best features about this type of coating is that it penetrates the wood grain giving your tabletop a water-resistant feature. This means that you don’t have to worry about spilling any soup or liquids and it is also easy to maintain and wipe clean. Also, have it at the back of your mind that this option can’t be used alone but you also need a sealer from Waterlox or any other brand.

Pros
  • It has a soft gloss.
  • It is resistant to water.
  • It is made of recycled resources.
  • It can be easily cleanout.
  • It can be combined with other paints or dealers.
  • Works with every type of brush.
Cons
  • It tends to streak.
  • It has a strong smell.
  • It needs a separate product as a sealer.

Overall Impression

The Waterlox Original Satin Finish is the most durable type of oil-based polyurethane finish you can come across in the market and it is always successful in giving an amazing pigmentation than most products out there. It is easy to dry and you don’t need more than two coatings to get that smooth effect. I totally recommend.

9. General Finishes SGQT Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat – Best Durable Finish for Kitchen Table

The General Finishes SGQT Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat is another oil-based urethane finish that is effective and perfect for wooden surfaces. This finish is a very unique one and it features specifications that will give your wooden kitchen table a durable coating no matter the temperature at that period of time.

The General Finishes SGQT Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat gives your wooden table a semi-gloss type of coating which coats it around like a skin preventing dust, dirt, and debris from staining the wood. Applying General Finishes SGQT Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat to a wooden surface is very easy. You can use a foam or a brush to dip and apply easily. It also has a strong odor so consider applying in a well-ventilated area.

Pros
  • Easy to apply.
  • It looks very durable.
  • It gives your wooden kitchen table a natural look.
  • It is made with urethane resins for high quality.
  • Little can cover a large expanse of the surface.
Cons
  • It takes time to dry.
  • It can’t spoil the wax coatings under.

Overall Impression

Generally, the oil-based finish is left for the professionals and with the General Finishes SGQT Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat, it is advised that you purchase only if you have an idea of how to use. It may take time to master as a newbie but when it is done, you will get professional results.

10. Minwax 63010444 Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish – Best Protective Finish for Kitchen Table

This is another product from Minwax and it stands out because it can be used on both finished and unfinished kinds of wood. One feature that made us add this product is how fast it dries. As far as you are applying little quantities, this coating for your wood kitchen table dries very quickly. This makes it perfect to control dirt and debris.

One thing users have to put at the back of their mind is that although this Minwax product is advertised as clear, it would still change the color of your table because it is an oil-based polyurethane finish.

Pros
  • It is good at controlling stains and dirt.
  • It has a variety of applications options.
  • It can be used on both finished and unfinished wood.
  • It dries quickly compared to other oil-based finish.
  • It is perfect for interior use.
Cons
  • It yellows overtime.
  • It requires sanding between coats.
  • It needs about 4-5 coats for a kitchen tabletop.
  • It doesn’t go with certain doors.

Overall Impression

The Minwax 63010444 Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish is a semi-gloss topcoat that creates a beautiful coating across a plain and painted kitchen tabletop. It works on both finished and unfinished kinds of wood. The few setbacks this finish attain is yellowish hue over time, the requirement of multiple coatings and sanding before coating. If you don’t really mind all that, you might still consider going for the product. I recommend it.

Buyer’s Guide

Adding a finish to your wooden kitchen table may require so much energy and effort. If done properly, users can perfect the act of coating wood with the finish at the first try. As you weigh your choices, here are the things you need to know which can affect your buying decision.

Durability of Product

When adding a finish to kitchen countertop or table, one should know that durability is important because kitchen countertops require daily heavy use. You might probably make use of your wooden kitchen countertop every day to eat and it always requires wiping after it is being used. You might also result in keeping some of your utilities for a period of time, use it as a space for deco or to use it to prepare food.

All these processes might affect the nature of your finish so picking the most durable wood finish is the best way to get the best out of your wood finish coating. Oil-based and varnish coatings are the most durable type of wood finish. Linseed oil and Tung oil are also close to varnish in durability but these coatings are relatively durable. If you take durability as a priority, try as much as possible to avoid shellac. Lacquer is also good when it comes to durability but this type of coating tends to get yellow over the years.

Ease of Application

When picking out the best type of wood finish for your kitchen countertop, it is best to have it at the back of your mind that ease of application matters. If you just recently started using a wood finish, you should consider getting one that wipes on so that you won’t be skeptical about making mistakes.

If you are more specialized in woodwork, you can go for the brush-on finishes or the spray-on finishes. These two options need more skills so it is not convenient for beginners. If you decide to go for the spray-on option, try as much as possible to cross-check the manufacturer’s guide because not all wood is meant to be used with a spray gun.

Location of your Finishing Area

When wood finishes are made, they are produced with strong chemicals. This means high VOC which also results in strong smells. If you are coating the best finish on your wooden kitchen table in a workshop that has little ventilation, or climatic conditions has hindered you from opening up the room, it does affect the choice of finish you pick.

Consider going for water-based finishes becomes they might be less irritating in smell making them the right choice for places with limited airflow. If you go for a spray-on finish, ventilation is an important factor one has to consider.

Types of Wood Finish

Wood finishes come in different styles and choices, each one having an advantage over the other and disadvantages which makes users reconsider. Some types of wood finish includes:

Varnish

Varnish is known to be a clear finish that dries extremely slow and it may be difficult for customers to apply professionally. Varnish is best used with other compounds and finishes such as dye.

Oil Finishes

This type of finish is known to add a bit of colour and depth to raw wood. They are also used as a protection against moisture and weather conditions thus making them perfect for coating kitchen utensils and cabinets.

Shellac

Made from wax and solvents, shellac is a type of wood finish which is easy to apply but it is not durable for a long period of time. Due to this reason, shellac is not an ideal coating for heavy-use kitchen table.

Water-Based Finishes

These type of finish for wood kitchen table finishes dry and clear. This tends to give your heavy-use kitchen table a sheen slick, glossy look.

Conclusion

When you are adding a finish to a kitchen wood table, the type and brand you choose really matters. We have helped you pick out 10 products which you can be able to pick out using their strengths and their weaknesses as a reference. By doing your research and picking out the product that suits your specification, you can achieve a very wonderful finish.

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