Best Finish for Wood Kitchen Table Reviews & Buying Guide 2022

Best Finish for Wood Kitchen Table

If you are renovating your kitchen, then one thing that you can’t avoid is the kitchen table. If it doesn’t look good, it can make the entire décor of the kitchen meaningless. And for the table to look good, you need a good finish.

And that’s what our article is all about.

In this post, we are going to review the finest items on the market to help you find the best finish for wood kitchen table.

Keep reading on, and I can guarantee that by the end of the article, you will find your desired finish.

Best Finish for Wood Kitchen Table Reviews

To help you guide through the countless options on the market, here we are going to present our recommendations for the finest finish for wood:

1. Grizzly H2372 Good Stuff Wood Finish For Maple Tops

Grizzly Industrial H2372 - Good Stuff Wood Finish For Maple Tops

Before we go on to review this product, I should tell you that I trust this brand. that’s because they have earned it through their products over the years. Nevertheless, the question is that is the item worth your money? Let’s find out.

I like the fact that this thing is waterproof. If you are wondering if it’s just a mere claim, then I’d like to assure you that it’s not. The finish is 100% waterproof, and you can use this for your undermount sink. In addition, this item is quite durable and unlikely to come off after a few months.

Individuals like me who can’t stand any type of odor will love this thing. After applying the finish, the odor vanishes in no time. In fact, there won’t be any need to avoid the kitchen after applying this thing on your counter.

If you aren’t comfortable with DYI tasks, then don’t worry. This thing is super easy to use. Unlike some other finishes, it’s more like gel instead of being liquid-type. That means you can use a rag to apply this thing on the wooden surface.

One thing I need to tell you about the product is that it won’t come cheap. In fact, compared to other finishes, it might seem a bit expensive. But then again, you can’t expect gold for a penny. This thing is good and is certainly worth the money.

What about looks? Well, this can bring the wooden surface to life. Yes, it’s that good. I can assure you that you won’t have any problems with the grain. And if you don’t like gloss, then you’ll surely appreciate this as it comes with minimal gloss.


  • Provides a great look
  • Durable
  • Easy to apply
  • Waterproof


  • A bit expensive

2. General Finishes SGQT Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat, Semi-Gloss, 1 Quart

General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil Based Topcoat

This one is another brand that has the seal of approval from the customers. It is very popular among woodworkers. After reading this review, you’ll understand why.

Let there be no doubt in your mind about its performance. That’s because this one is able to make your butcher’s block as smooth as a baby’s butt. When it comes to looks, this one is hard to beat. So, if you wanna give your butcher’s block a great finish, you should give this guy a chance.

In terms of durability, I will rate this 5 out of 5. If you want something that will last for years, then there’s no better option than this wood finish. Also, it’s waterproof. And I know people that have been using this on a wood top for an undermount sink and have found this totally waterproof. So, yeah, you can trust this finish.

One thing that I’d like to warn you about is that it produces a lot of bubbles. So, you gotta use only the cotton for this thing. Using materials like polyesters would be a recipe for disaster.

Moreover, the level of smell has been kept to minimum, which makes it one of my favorites. So, if you hate dealing with the smell, and want something low-key, then this can be your ideal option.

It comes in three different colors and 2 different sizes. So, the makers allow you enough room to go with your preferences. I personally think that the satin one is gorgeous, and it would make your kitchen table a delight to look at.

Another thing that I’d like to warn about is applying this in wet weather. That wouldn’t be the ideal condition to use this thing. I’d suggest that you apply this finish when the air is dry. That would help you to get the perfect result.


  • Highly durable
  • The smell isn’t a problem
  • Gorgeous colors
  • Comes in different sizes
  • Waterproof


  • Crates a lot of bubbles

3. Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish for Wood, Brick, Stone, Tile & More – 1 Quart

Title- Waterlox Original Sealer-Finish for Wood

Seldom you will come across a product that is as good as this one. In fact, it can be considered as the best wood finish out there. The fact that it comes from a well-reputed company like Waterlox makes the deal seem far more attractive.

You’ll see the makers claiming on their website that this one offers a medium-sheen. Well, they are telling the truth. The gloss level will be more than 70 when applied, and gradually over the next few months, it will drop down to around 50.

While applying the finish, your nose will be hit by a smell which is pretty normal with oil-based finishes. You should know that the smell comes from the mineral spirits used in the finish. Nevertheless, the smell isn’t very bad and certainly won’t cause any disruption in your work.

Also, I need to inform you that if you have budget issues, you shouldn’t go for this one. That’s because it’s almost two times more expensive than regular options. However, despite that, I won’t claim it overpriced due to the performance it offers.

When it comes to durability, it shines heavily. If you buy this product, you can be sure that you won’t have to look for another finish in years. Needless to say, it’s waterproof and can easily resist any spill or food.

You won’t have a hard time while applying this one. On the level of this finish, there’s proper instruction for ventilation and other stuff. If you follow them, you should not have any issues.

Just like any other oil finishes, this one also takes a little bit of time to dry. However, that’s expected and not a major problem.


  • Great performance
  • Will easily last years
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to work with


  • Comes with an expensive price tag
  • Takes time to dry

4. Minwax 63010444 Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish, quart, Satin

Minwax 63010444 Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish

If you ask any friend or woodworker for a recommendation, then I can guarantee that the name of this product will surely come up. This one is one of the most popular finishes for wood out there. And its incredible performance and stunning colors justify its popularity.

You’ll be glad to see that it comes in several sizes. That way you’ll be able to buy according to your project. Otherwise, sometimes it happens that we have to buy more than we need and the extra amount then gets wasted eventually. It also comes in different styles which is pretty convenient as well.

Now, all the colors are amazing and will make the wood color pop out. The best thing about this finish is that it gives the kitchen table a natural wooden look. For this reason, I would term this one as the best finish for wood table.

However, if you are planning on to use this on white wood, I’d suggest that you drop that idea right now. For this one turns yellowish quickly if used on white wood. On the other hand, there can hardly be a better option for dark wood than this one.

Compared to other finishes on the market, this one dries pretty fast. That means you won’t have to wait very long after applying the first coat.

Remember that, this one is on the pricey end of the spectrum. But its durability and amazing look make it worth all that bucks.


  • Offers natural look
  • Dries fast
  • All the colors are awesome
  • Come in different sizes
  • Durable


  • More expensive than other options
  • Not ideal for white wood

5. Rust-Oleum 9141H Varathane Ultimate Polyurethane Oil Based, Quart, Satin

Rust-Oleum 9141H Oil Polyurethane

If you are looking for something that will give you nice-looking glossy finish, then this one can be your go-to choice. In fact, if the look was the only factor here, then it would have certainly been the best option for you. However, there are other factors involved that need to be taken into consideration.

What works in this product’s advantage is that it dries pretty quickly despite being an oil-based finish. You won’t have to wait for hours for this to dry. So, if you hate waiting and want to get an oil-based finish, then you should try this out.

This one is pretty durable too. If you are gonna apply this on a table, you can expect it to last long. However, if children are gonna play on it, make sure you coat the surface 4-5 times with it.

I’d like to suggest that you buy inexpensive brushes for using this finish. Since this thing is oil-based, you won’t be able to use the brush multiple times. As you will have to toss away the brush anyway, why spend good bucks on it?

Keep in mind that the smell this one comes with is pretty strong. It’s tolerable even if you are someone who hates the smell. So, I won’t call it a deal-breaker.

The price tag is pretty reasonable, considering all the things it offers. So, overall, I’d say that this thing is certainly worth a shot.


  • Gives a beautiful finish
  • Will last long
  • Reasonable price tag
  • Dries quickly


  • Strong smell



I admire this brand a lot. That’s because they have never disappointed me. Not even once. And thanks to their consistency, they have managed to build a loyal customer base of their own.

One thing that sets it apart from others is its efficiency. You can get a good finish just after 2 coats while others take 4 or 5. And if you apply 4-5 coats of it, then the surface gets amazing. So, if you wanna save a few bucks, give this one a chance.

Not only is this thing efficient, but it’s long-lasting as well. Even if it goes through rough use, the finish can withstand it all. So, you need not worry about whether this thing will be worth your money.

When it comes to ease of use, this one shines brighter than anyone else. For you can use this perfectly even without any prior experience with this type of work. You can use a brush or a piece of rag to apply this.

Cleanup with this thing is also quite easy. It won’t take much of your time or effort. However, it might bother you a bit that it takes a lot of time to get dried. So, if you are gonna choose this for your kitchen table, brace yourself for some waiting.

The price is ok. It’s neither cheap nor expensive. And if we take its features into consideration, then I’d say that it’s a good deal.


  • Efficient
  • Price should be within the budget
  • Long-lasting
  • Maintenance is easy
  • Simple to use


  • Takes very long to dry

7. Varnish Oil, Quart

Varnish Oil

If you ask me to describe this thing in one word, it would be “beautiful.” The product will give your kitchen table a rich finish. However, that doesn’t mean it will look artificial. In fact, the surface will look totally natural.

The smell can be a good thing if it offers smell like this one. I can promise that you’ll love the smell it comes with. So, that’s a huge plus for this wood finish.

There’s no risk of it being out of your budget since it’s reasonably priced. And the features it comes with are amazing. So, it is safe to say that this one is worth it since it offers great bangs for the bucks.

If you are looking for something durable, look somewhere else. This one won’t get high marks in durability. Not that it’s worn-prone. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been on this list. It’s just that this one is not as durable as my other dining table finish recommendation.

I must admit that I have heard some complaints regarding the curing process. However, upon deeper research, I’ve found them to be exceptions and not a norm. so, that is something you shouldn’t worry about.

One thing I’d like to tell you about this item is that it wouldn’t be wise to use this as a finish for areas which might come into contact with water. This isn’t exactly waterproof and certainly not ideal for using as a wood top finish for sinks.


  • Will give the table a wonderful finish
  • Good value for money
  • Nice smell


  • Not ideal for wet areas

“You may love to check that out: Best Stainable Wood Filler Reviews

Buying Guide Of Wood Finish

If you wanna make the right choice for you while buying a kitchen table finish, then you gotta keep the below-mentioned factors in mind.

Finish Type

There are several types of finishes out there. You need to know about them to know which one is ideal for you. That’s why we gonna detail them in this section.

Water-Based Finish

If you are looking for an odorless finish, then go for a water-based product. That’s because they come with little smell which disappears after drying. Also, since they are a bit thin, they don’t require much time to get dried. So, individuals that are looking for time-saving finishing process will do well to get a water-based finish.

Another thing that I like about them is that they offer a very smooth and clean finish. That helps to make the table surface look natural, which is the most important thing for some people.


This thing consists of resin, oil, and also solvents. This one is ideal for outdoor use.

That’s because it offers protection against sun and its UV rays. So, if you want to apply finish on something, that will get a lot of exposure to the sun, then varnish should be your go-to choice. That way you will be relaxed knowing that the finish won’t get damaged from the sun rays.

The finish provided by varnish is vivid and nice as well. You won’t have any complaint with its look.

However, one thing that you might have issues with is its drying time. It takes up quite long to dry and can test your patience. So, unless you are willing to wait a few good hours for its drying process, I’d suggest against going for it.


If you are someone who wants to employ a natural finish, then try this one out. This wax is produced from a bug. However, alcohol is added to the wax in order to make it consistent.

You will find several variations of colors for shellac. And they are known to offer a glossy outcome. So, if you want your kitchen table to look glossy, shellac can be a good choice.

In addition, shellac dries pretty quickly in comparison to other finishes.

But is it easy to use?

Certainly, yes. You can apply this thing to any wooden surface without breaking a sweat.

Oil-Based Finish

When it comes to giving protection to the wood, then nobody comes close to oil-based finishes. They are also great for looks and enhance the wood grain.

However, quick-drying is not something they will offer. Prepare yourself for long waiting hours if you decide to invest in an oil-based finish.


You are buying a finish so that it will last for at least a year. However, if the finish starts coming off just after a few months, then it might seem like a bad investment.

However, there’s no point in crying over spilled milk as your money won’t come back. So, you gotta purchase wisely and spend on your money on something that will serve you for a substantial amount of time.


If you hate finish odors, then it would be better for you to purchase a minimum-odor product. That way the smell won’t interfere with your work, and you can go on with applying your finish on the kitchen table.

Ease of Use

Unless you are a professional carpenter, it’s important for the product to be user-friendly. If it’s too difficult to apply, then chances are that you are gonna mess up which will make all your investment go down the drain. Obviously, you don’t want that.

What you want is something easy to apply on the surface of your kitchen top. Fortunately, all my recommendations are very easy to use. You can pick any of them and won’t get disappointed.


It depends on you how much you are willing to spend after a can of finish.

You surely don’t want to pay over the roof for a product that isn’t worth it. However, there are products that might seem too expensive for the naked eyes, but upon further inspection of the features, you will realize that the price is not unreasonable.

But don’t worry, I’ve included both expensive, and budget finishes on my recommendation list so that you can make your ideal pick.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the most durable clear coat for wood?

I would say that varnish is the most durable clear coat for your wooden table.

2. How do I protect my wooden dining table?

By apply multiple coats of finishes on it.

3. Is it safe to use polyurethane on the kitchen table?

If you mean if they are food safe, then the answer is yes. You can use them on kitchen table without any issues.

4. Which is better oil-based or water-based polyurethane?

That depends on many things. However, if you prefer a transparent finish over a deeper one, then you should go with water-based finishes. Otherwise, oil-based ones would be perfect for you.

5. Is Tung oil good for the kitchen table?

If you are talking about the real ones, the answer is no.

Final Verdict

After reading this article now, you are fully prepared to make an informed choice.

I hope my article has helped you to get the best finish for wood kitchen table.

However, if you are still confused, then I’d like to make a suggestion; Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish for Wood. It would be a great choice overall.

Nevertheless, let me know your thoughts about the article in the comments.

About Sam Maxi

Hi, this is Sam Maxi. I love talking about woodwork tools and my reviews are mostly based on the experience I have from my work. Apart from reviewing, I am a huge fan of surfing. Also, I love watching horror genre movies.

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2 thoughts on “Best Finish for Wood Kitchen Table Reviews & Buying Guide 2022”

  1. I’m looking for a simple answer to this? What finish can I use for a kitchen table that won’t tint yellow and is waterproof? (as in a water glass won’t leave a ring). Please advise thank you!

    • Hey Connie!
      You should try a varnish finish for the kitchen table to resist yellowing. Some also say that varnish is good at avoiding scratches pretty nicely. The marine varnish is a great fit if you also wish for waterproofness.


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