What is the Best Finish For a Wood Kitchen Table This 2023?

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

Share It
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
WhatsApp
Reddit

Kitchens are the heart of every home, so selecting the best finish for wood kitchen table fixtures can be crucial. You may not know, but not all finishing products will give you the same output or suit the same wood surfaces. 

To ensure that your wooden kitchen tables get a perfectly smooth finish instead of a chemically damaged surface, here are tested product recommendations from our resident woodworkers. 

Premium Option
Wood Welded Good Stuff Wood Finish
Editor’s Choice
General Finishes ‎GAHS Satin Finish
Budget Option
Minwax Polyurethane Wood Finish
Wood Welded Good Stuff Wood Finish
General Finishes ‎GAHS Satin Finish
Minwax Polyurethane Wood Finish
• Moisture and Stain Resistant
• Application: Raw Wood Surface
• Color Options: Maple
• Fast Drying Time
• Non-Toxic
• Base Type: Water
• Drying Time: 30 min. (Touch)
• Durability Level: High
• Application: Multiple Coats
• Urethane & Acrylic Blend
• Oil-based Polyurethane Varnish
• Application: Flat Brush
• Interior Wood Surfaces
• Finished & Unfinished Wood
Premium Option
Wood Welded Good Stuff Wood Finish
Wood Welded Good Stuff Wood Finish
• Moisture and Stain Resistant
• Application: Raw Wood Surface
• Color Options: Maple
• Fast Drying Time
• Non-Toxic
Editor’s Choice
General Finishes ‎GAHS Satin Finish
General Finishes ‎GAHS Satin Finish
• Base Type: Water
• Drying Time: 30 min. (Touch)
• Durability Level: High
• Application: Multiple Coats
• Urethane & Acrylic Blend
Budget Option
Minwax Polyurethane Wood Finish
Minwax Polyurethane Wood Finish
• Oil-based Polyurethane Varnish
• Application: Flat Brush
• Interior Wood Surfaces
• Finished & Unfinished Wood

Reviews of the Top Finishes For a Wood Kitchen Table

1. General Finishes ‎GAHS Satin Finish

If your kitchen table has a dark wooden surface, General Finishes ‎GAHS Satin Finish should suit its staining needs. All you need to do is apply three thin coats of this solution, and it will give your wood furniture a very durable finish, thanks to its UV stabilizer. 

As long as the humidity is over 80 percent, this finishing solution will dry fast on the wood grain. During our hands-on experience, we didn’t have an issue applying it using a foam brush or spraying. 

Unlike other wood finishes, it retains the material’s natural beauty and protects the furniture surface from food damage.  

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. Wood Welded Good Stuff Wood Finish

Safety is crucial when applying wood finishing solutions on a dining table, so it’s always wise to choose non-toxic options like Wood Welded Good Stuff. Although it is in a higher price range than others, it is a durable wood finish that dries fast and requires no brushing. 

And given its tint, our resident woodworkers highly recommend applying this finish on a maple-colored wooden kitchen table. It also gives unfinished wood surfaces a low sheen effect, so the protective coating does not appear cheap or too shiny. 

Besides wood tables, this product can also give wooden bowls and utensils a soft and smooth finish. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. Minwax Wood Finish

The best finishes for wood kitchen table furnishings need not be expensive because affordable products like Minwax Oil Finishes can give you what you need. As an oil-based poly satin finish, it will furnish your antique kitchen table with a trendy and modern-looking sheen. 

After the final coat, you must wait for at least 4 to 6 hours, and the kitchen table should be ready for recoating. 

Once the oil-based solution is cured into the wood table, it can withstand changing weather conditions and frequent harsh usage. It’s a quality product at a budget price.  

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil-Based Finish

Since General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil-Based Finish is made of urethane resin, our testers didn’t have any issue applying it on the wood kitchen tables. All we had to do was run it over with a damp cloth or foam brush, and we got the durable finish we needed. 

If you want your kitchen or dining table to stay durable and protected, we recommend applying at least five coats of this semi-gloss finish. 

It’s advisable to apply Arm-R-Seal as a dining table finish because it doesn’t easily wear off once cured, no matter how many times you need to wipe the surface. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. Rust-Oleum Water-Based Gloss Finish

Besides its affordable price, Rust-Oleum Water-Based Gloss Finish works well in highlighting coarse-grain woods. After applying this finish on the kitchen table, you won’t smell any lingering odor. 

For the coverage of 125 square feet, the initial drying process ended within thirty minutes. Then, once it settled, let it rest for at least two hours before the recoating commenced. 

It is also a great option for a dining room table because it offers high resistance from stains and scratches often obtained from its frequent surface usage. This may not be the best on this list, but lots of wood kitchen table reviews are taking this finish positively.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. Waterlox TB5284 Stain

When using Waterlox TB5284 Stain, you can get your wood kitchen table finished neatly with additional waterproofing. And since it has an elastic finish, you can also count on it to protect the wooden surface from spills and moisture. 

This finish can offer better adhesion if your wood table top is made of exotic wood materials like Rosewood with dense attributes. You can determine how many coats the wood needs according to its porous levels. 

During our tests, one gallon of this Waterlox TB5284 can cover around 500 square feet. The good thing is it does not need to be applied thinly for a better result. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. Waterlox TB 6044 Original Finish

You may not know, but the tung oil Waterlox TB 6044 is mixed with resin that can make a wood table resistant to water damage. Thanks to this attribute, maintaining this finish after the application won’t be complicated. 

It does not matter if you use it as a dining or kitchen table because it can withstand spillage from liquids and heavy usage. 

Being an oil-based product, it has a gentle and pleasing gloss that highlights details like carvings on wooden kitchen tables. If you want, you can also use this finish to put the spotlight on the material’s breathtaking joinery.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

8. Tried & True Varnish Oil

Although it’s not a popular brand, Tried & True Varnish Oil offers massive strength to protect wooden surfaces from rough usage. It is made of a mixture of linseed oil and bee wax that brings out the wood’s figure. 

Also Read

It’s a solvent-free finish that won’t suffer marks even if you cut and chop the material into pieces. And since it is non-toxic [1], you don’t have to worry about it coming in contact with food. 

You can also apply it over oil-based wood stain without the risk of damaging or ruining the furniture’s current state. It is also a suitable final finish for wood with oil-based paint.  

What We Like

What We Don't Like

9. OLD MASTERS Clear Satin Finish

Another premium finish for wood kitchen tables you can consider buying if you don’t mind going outside the budget is OLD MASTERS Clear Finish. At first glance, it will look like any other gel varnish. However, its clear mixture makes the application neat, like it’s been applied by a master woodworker. 

It delivers a gorgeous finish on old and new wood pieces. Depending on the coat frequency, its effect could range from gloss to satin. 

It only took two coats before the smooth finishing results started showing on the table’s surface. Compared to other products, this finish can save you more time and money. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Finishes For a Wood Kitchen Table Buyer’s Guide

Types of Finishes for Wood

Oil-based Finish

When shopping for the best finish for wood kitchen table furnishings, you will encounter products made of either linseed or tung oil. Unlike other variations, oil finishing products give tables extra depth and more vibrant colors. 

Water-based Finish

Compared to linseed and tung oil, wood finishes based on water provide a faster drying time. So, we recommend this option if you want a glossy result. 

Shellac

This finishing product is a mixture of solvent and wax. Although newbies may find it easier to apply, it is not durable enough to withstand rough usage and condition. 

Varnish

Wood varnishes often have clear mixtures, so it is only natural some woodworkers find it difficult to apply. Because of this, most users tend to mix it with a dye.  

Urethanes or Polyurethane Finish

You can use Urethanes or Polyurethane Finish along with varnishes as it offers flexible and durable results upon application. 

Also Read: The Finest Polyurethane to Use For Table Tops

Wax

It is the most common type of finish you will find in the market because it is made of natural components like bee wax. 

Toughness

If maximum durability is what you seek, Urethanes or Polyurethane Finish are the best options you will find. As for oil and wax variations, you will have to apply the coats again annually for guaranteed toughness.

Easy to Apply

The finishes that flow well when applied are mostly varnishes made of polyurethane. Although oil and wax alternatives need brushes, these options are easier to apply than others. 

Odor

When applying oil varnishes, it’s highly recommended to do it on a well-ventilated area. You may not know, but these products carry strong odors that may irritate your sense of smell. If you want a milder option, you can opt for water-based finishes.  

Curing Time

These finishing alternatives take a few hours to a day before completely curing. Because of this, you need to make ensure that the area you are placing the table during curing time is vacuumed and cleaned to prevent dust from settling into its surface. 

Proper Ventilation

These finishes tend to have a strong smell. If you can, you must at least crack a window to let air pass through and avoid suffocation. Remember that proper ventilation is also crucial for the spray-on application. 

Tips for Sanding Your Kitchen Table

If you have used electric sanders before, you will know that some of these machines leave sanding marks. To avoid this, you need to sand the final coating by hand. 

However, we don’t recommend switching to a different sandpaper type midway sanding. For example, it is better to stick to 80-grit sandpaper than to suddenly change to 100-grit during the process. 

Tips for Applying a Finish to Your Wood Kitchen Table

Tip #1: Work fast.

Like it or not, these finishes get sticky and dry in just a matter of minutes. So if you don’t want any hassle, going through the application all at once is highly recommended.

Tip #2: Use a roll-on brush when applying oil-based finishes to large surfaces.

Using a roll-on brush is the smartest method for even application on wide surfaces. By doing this, you can eliminate the formed bubbles. However, you can try to apply thin coatings to avoid uneven results.

Tip #3: Add a layer of the coating under the table.

Do not forget to apply some coats underneath the table. If you do not do this step, the wood may end up shrinking and swelling in the long run. 

Tip #4: Apply 3 layers of coating for best results.

The recommended application for tables exposed to harsh conditions is three layers of coats. It will make the finish less likely to break over time and increase the surface’s durability. 

Tip #5: Seal the end grain.

You can use a seal to avoid soaking the end grain and giving it a darker appearance. 

Tip #6: Clean up any residue.

Before you apply another coat, ensure that the surface is free of any residue by sanding. 

FAQ

How do you seal a wood kitchen table?

You can seal a wood kitchen table by using a polyurethane solution. These sealers are known for standing against liquid spillage and heat marks. So these make a good protective finish as well. 

What kind of polyurethane do you use on a kitchen table?

You should use an FDA-approved polyurethane on a kitchen table. It means that these finishes are safe to be in contact with food once the curing time is completed. 

When should I apply a finish on my wooden table?

You should apply a finish on a wooden table to prevent it from swelling and cracking over time. This method also gives the material an aesthetically pleasing appearance. For a shiny sheen, here’s how to achieve a high gloss finish on your wood project

Can I apply a polyurethane finish over a painted table?

Yes, you can apply a polyurethane finish over the painted material. By doing this, the finish can help protect the paint once cured. 

Can I apply paint over varnish?

Yes, as long as the paint you will be using is water-based acrylic resin. For oil painting, applying primer should be done first. 

Also Read: Is Polyurethane Waterproof

Our Top Pick For a Wood Kitchen Table Finish:
General Finishes ‎GAHS Satin Finish

After thorough hands-on tests, our resident woodworkers hailed General Finishes ‎GAHS as the best finish for wood kitchen table furnishings. 

As a product that dries in clear colors, it gives the wooden material a neat and professional look. It is also made of urethane, so you can expect durability once this finish is cured into the table. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
Related Articles