Best Finish For Wood Kitchen Table in 2021 (TOP 5) & Ultimate Guide

If you’re begetting plans on renewing your wooden kitchen table, you shouldn’t miss out on the best finish for a wood kitchen table. After all, a wooden surface is a thing that comes in a constant application on a daily basis.

Since a dining table is an important item in almost every kitchen decoration, a bad-looking one may destroy all the charms and coziness of the dining space, or worse, it may make your dining space look meaningless. 

You may wonder, since there are lots of products being sold on the market that claim to be the best one for wooden interior, confusing in which to trust is easy to understand.

To solve the questions asked, here is a list of trustworthy items that are available on the market and facts around it, all based on purchased user’s comments and independent research.

Shall we begin?

In a rush? Let’s take a quick look at the highly recommended items of the best products and ratings.

The Top-Rated Finish For Wood Kitchen Table (Recommendation)







Useful Information Of The Best Finish For Wood Kitchen Table

Finish For Wooden Surface

1. What Is A Finish For Wooden Surface?

Basically, it is a thing used in the very last job for finishing the wooden surface.

Widely used by carpenters or woodworkers because it will help to seal up the material and prevent unexpected deep scratches or cracks, protects against stains, and enhances the appearance of the wood. 

best finish for wood cutting board

2. How To Use Them Correctly?

Firstly, you will need to well prepare the surface that needs to be finished.

Wood will have flaws like scratches and dents.

Whether marks have come from the machines at the mills, or it has become scratched or gouged during handling, or from wear and tear.

best finish for wood table

  • You will need sandpapers with grits of 180 to 220, start with the low grits papers first to remove all the big marks such as cracks or scratches, then keep moving on with the higher grit papers, this sanding process will give the surface a smoother look and feel.
  • After you have sanded the wood, wipe it down and remove any excess material. While you can use any cloth to do this, a tack cloth will pick up the most dust.
  • Next step, put the stain you have on the needed area and start staining the wood.

Pro-tip, professionals advised that you should apply a small bit of stain to an innocuous part of the wood, such as the underside, or on an extra piece of the same wood.

If you are satisfied with the color, you can begin staining the thing and wait for it to completely dry.

  • After all that, you can now put the best finish for the wood kitchen countertop you have to protect the wood from water damage, dirt, or stains. Just like what you did with the stain, use a natural bristle brush to apply the stain.

best finish for wood countertop

  • And then, once it is all dried, use the sandpaper with grits number of 280 to sand down the surface.

You can repeat the finish and sanding steps two or three times to coat the countertop to add more protection if you want to, and your wooden item is ready to be used.

best clear finish for wood kitchen table

3. Types Of Finishes

  • Shellac

shellac wood finish

Commonly available in most home supply centers, these types are made from combining a secretion from the female lac bug with a solvent such as alcohol.

Besides, to add a protective coat, it also can add a warm amber color to wood.

They could be affected by heat or chemicals, so a dining table might not be the most suitable place to use it.

Fine furniture items can be greatly enhanced with these.

Some shellac manufacturers recommend using it as a shielding coat on non-wood items.

Apply it with a natural bristle brush or with a cotton rag.

  • Varnish

varnish wood finish

Generically used for a finish or topcoat, this type of finish contains a higher ratio of solids, which makes it very durable.

These are ideal for outdoor projects and raw wood used for exterior doors and trims on rustic homes.

In addition to shielding the wood, it also offers natural ultraviolet light protection.

You can use them on items that will be in contact with water such as wood boats or decks.

  • Lacquer

lacquer wood finish

These types give an extremely bright gloss finish often used on many Asian-inspired or ultramodern furnishings.

And they are too, extremely long-lasting and strongly resistant to damages.

However, over time it may get to discolor and become damaged by itself.

The smooth look was given thanks to a high volume low-pressure sprayer (HVLP) that applied the lacquer, which means it is thinner than the others.

  • Polyurethane

polyurethane wood finish

These can be made oil-based or water-based, they have their popularity because of its low odor and low toxicity, and extremely fast drying.

Like shellac, polyurethane may not hold up quite to heat and chemicals.

It will be good for cabinets, desks, and picture frames, they might be the best wood stain for kitchen cabinets.

Best Finish For Wood Kitchen Table Shortlist (Updated List)

Product imagesProduct namesEditor's ratingPrice
WATERLOX TB 60444.7Check
RUST-OLEUM 2844704.3Check

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can be changed

The Best Finish For Wood Kitchen Table

best finish for hardwood floors


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Key Features

  • Fast Drying
  • Long-lasting
  • Perfect for all woods
  • Multiple shades

This item is a good choice for finished or unfinished woods, which means almost every kind of wood.

You can use it on cabinets, doors, or even floors without worrying that it may be scratched easily thanks to the beautifully long-lasting made recipe.

Being made to give you a withstanding and elegant coating, it will shield your wood and furniture against outer harms.

Classified as an A-class item, the best finish for wood coasters to be used.

This top-grade finish will let you choose from various shades for maximum satisfaction.

With this oil-based product, you can stop spending your time doing something else for hours while waiting for the applied finish to be fully dry.

No more fear of mess!


  • Durable
  • Clear finish
  • Fast dry
  • Easy to apply
  • Famous manufacturer
  • Easy to clean
  • Multiple packs offered
  • Shiny coat
  • Can be used for multiple types of wood


  • Requires many coating
  • Strong odor

All you need to do when working with this oil-based product is stir it up and you are ready to work with your project, do not shake it up because it will create bubbles, and bubbles are not ideal for finishing any kind of countertop.

Overall, this may be the most trustworthy wood coating for your needs.


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Key Features

  • Safe for food contact
  • Fast drying
  • Water and Alcohol resistant
  • Non-toxic urethane

Made by a famous manufacturer, earned the trust of many professional or novice woodworkers, this product is going to be the most trustworthy product you will ever purchase, let’s find out why.

First of all, this product will be a protective shield to your piece of wooden furniture, waterproof is always an amazing feature in almost everything in the world.

Almost forgot, the finish will prevent unexpected scratches on the surface too.

One more, if you are not a fan of odor, then you can stop worrying about it with this product.

Right after the finish is applied, the smell vanishes immediately.

The fact is there won’t be any need to avoid the kitchen after applying this thing.

Besides all that, your wooden furniture will be coated with a natural wood looking, awakened by the finish as soon as it is applied, giving an impressive yet natural wooden looking.


  • Easy to apply
  • Giving an impressive look
  • Very durable
  • Waterproof
  • Famous manufacturer
  • Fast drying
  • Easy to clean
  • Safe food contact
  • No annoying odor


  • A bit expensive

In short, if money is not a big deal for you, then this product is going to be the best finish for the wood kitchen table you will find available on the market.


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Key Features

  • Oil-based
  • Waterproof
  • Smooth coating
  • Long-lasting

Being made by a manufacturer with a reputation, probably the best wood stain for kitchen worktops out there, you will find this product right where it should be and claimed to be the most reliable finish on the market.

The fact is they are telling the truth, let’s dig a little deeper about this one.

This is another product with outstanding quality, creates a protective coating for your dining table, and still has an amazing look, it can even have a better look if the wood is already good by itself.

Scratches and cracks are now finely prevented with this product.

While applying the finish, you will be hit by a weird smell right in the nose, which is much common with oil-based coatings, the smell comes from the mineral spirits used in the finish to be informed.

Although, the smell isn’t so wicked and absolutely will not cause any interruption in your job.

With this product, you can surely mind-free for over a year without worrying the coating will be expired someday because this one is made to be extremely durable and long-lasting.


  • Very durable
  • Provides a natural look
  • Waterproof
  • Famous manufacturer
  • Easy to use
  • Value for money
  • Easy to clean
  • Safe food contact


  • Has a weird smell
  • A bit expensive

Short term, surely this one is going to be one of the many best clear finish for wood kitchen table out there and should be carefully considered by anyone.


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Key Features

  • Durable
  • Oil-based
  • Quickly dried
  • Made of urethane

Another oil-based coating from a reputation manufacturer being sold widely on the market, made in a premium grade urethane resin that makes it extra-ordinarily durable and everlasting.

This coating offers a high-protective shield that prevents unexpected damages to your wooden surfaces such as cracks or scratches (those can be annoying) and still giving a smooth and nice-looking to the applied surfaces.

Some purchased users and professionals advised that you just need to do the coating process just three or five times with brushes or rollers and you are all ready to go with your brand new fancy-looking piece of interior.


  • Very long-lasting
  • Provides a fancy look
  • Waterproof
  • Famous manufacturer
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • No smelly odor
  • Easy to clean
  • Safe food contact


  • May creates bubbles
  • Takes time to be fully dried
  • Poor container design

Overall, if you are looking for the most reliable product yet comes at an affordable price, this might be the one for you with all the mentioned features above.


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Key Features

  • Three times thicker coating
  • Fast drying
  • Water-based
  • Made of polyurethane

Just like the name of it, this product featured by Rust-Oleum and made of polyurethane is three times thicker coating compared to many other products out there, you can easily find this one at almost every home supply store in town.

Sounds great, isn’t it? There’s more!

Are you that person who hates to wait for the finish to completely dry?

Then this product may be the most trustworthy solution for you, the thick coating only needs 3 hours to be fully dried yet still very tough and durable, protecting the surface from scratches and cracks.

Based on many novices and experts in the game, you can use this finish in almost every piece of interior wooden furniture that you have in your house.

The water-based formula ensures stain resistance while the smooth polish contributes to another level of beauty to the wooden furniture.


  • Very durable
  • Provides an elegant look
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to use
  • Dries quickly
  • Easy to clean
  • Reasonable price tag
  • Safe food contact


  • Strong odor
  • Can not be used on whites

In short, if you are not in a white project and a bit of odor isn’t a big deal to you, then this might be a very reliable piece of product for your needs, perhaps the most desirable coating for a wood table.

Things To Keep In Mind To Get A Very Best Finish For Wood Kitchen Table

what is the best finish for a wood kitchen table

As you may already know, each one of them has its specific specialized features and benefits.

Depending on many features, having the most suitable wood polish for yourself is much better than a ‘’just fine’’ one.

So, here are some important things to have in mind to have the best product for your needs and projects.

1. The Smell

If you are not a big fan of odors, then you should go with products that offer the least odor possible, that way, your woodworking process will not be interfered and they are most suitable for dining spaces.

In fact, products with odors and products without it are quite the same in terms of quality.

The only thing that matters is the smell created by some elements in the formula, which is there to help in fastening the drying process.

2. Durability

Everyone loves things that last for years so they will not have to refresh the look continuously, purchasing a polish that has impressive durability is a wise investment, I’m sure that a worn-out looking piece of furniture is not a good way to impress the guests nor yourself in terms of joy.

According to professionals, you should be looking for the best finish for hardwood floors, they are made for floors, which is made for extreme environments, and obviously, they are almost the most long-lasting coating for furniture.

best wood stain for kitchen cabinets

3. Ease Of Use

If you are a professional in this whole woodworking game, you can skip this one right here. If you are not, here are a few tips shared by experts via studies.

The product must be user-friendly.

If it’s too challenging to apply, the possibilities are that you are going to mess up which will make all your purchases go down the drain.

Obviously, you no one wants that, even a billionaire like Mark Cuban.

Something you desire is something comfortable to apply on the surface of your interior.

Providentially, all of the recommendations above are very easy to use.

You can simply pick one of them and start working on your project.

4. Price

Surely nobody wants to pay loads of money or you can say over the roof for a product that isn’t worth it.

But, some products might seem too costly for the naked eye, however upon further review of the features, you will realize that the price is not unreasonable.

Yet don’t worry, this article has included both valuable, and budget finishes on the recommendation list so that you can make your most ideal pick.

Things People Also Wonder About The Best Finish For Wood Kitchen Table

1. Which Is Better Oil-based Or Water-based Polyurethane?

best finish for wood kitchen countertop

Each one of them has its specific features, let’s take a quick look at the highlighted feature of them.

Oil-based polyurethane:

This type of polish gives a nicer look to the wood and lasts longer especially natural woods.

It has more depth – both in color and shines.

Most importantly, oil-based products cost less than water-based products


On the other hand, water-based products take less time to dry, are less harmful to the environment, and leave no weird smell, these are the greatest advantage of water-based polyurethane.

Besides, water-based polyurethanes just hold 30-35% solids, you will want to add more layers of water-based.

Water-based polyurethane leads to cost more than oil-based products.  And, if you add in an extra one or two layers, your cost will increase extra.

2. Is It Safe To Use Polyurethane On The Kitchen Table?

best wood stain for kitchen worktops

Polyurethane is a nice pick to use on a dining table, as long as you don’t use it as a cutting board.

If you do cut the foods directly on the polyurethane surface it will be damaged.

Mineral oil would be a good coating for a wood table as a cutting board, but it needs to be renewed fairly often.

As you may be known, shellac is not a proper option for an area that will get wet constantly.

Nevertheless, you will not have any problem applying polyurethane over the shellac and to add more safety, use the best finish for the wood cutting board you have.

3. How Do You Protect Your Wooden Dining Table?

best finish for wood

To keep any piece of furniture in its best condition, I would say cleaning it frequently, all you need is some drops of vinegar and a piece of cloth or a whole one if you want and just simply wipe it down.

By doing this simple task, you can prevent water rings, build up, and scratches.

Do this right after-use or after an accident to have your kitchen table in its best condition.

4. What Is The Most Durable Clear Coating For Wood?

what is the best finish for wooden kitchen worktops

The first step, determine if you want to modify the original look of the wood.

If so, you will want to use an oil-based finish to darken the wood while giving it a rich shine.

If not, a wood sealer or polyurethane top-coat should bring out the character accurately without changing the natural appearance in any way.

Moreover, if the best option has to be made, an oil-based polyurethane product is highly recommended.

These products will give the fancied level of smoothness while also giving the most durable polish.


Before buying anything, studying about things you are going to get is certain to prevent money loss and time-wasting. In case you have skipped all that, here are two highly recommended products that should be carefully considered.

The MINWAX POLYURETHANE is the one that has the best overall quality and price. On the other hand, the GENERAL FINISHES ARM-R-SEAL OIL BASED TOPCOAT is more like a budget choice if you are looking for an affordable product.

Hope that throughout all the noticeable things mentioned above, you will have the most reliable product as the best finish for wood kitchen table for your project.

Further Reading: 

Tags: dining room table, water based finish, drying time, durable finish, wood grain, oil finishes, wood surface, high gloss

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