Best Finishes for Kitchen Table

June 17, 2023

Walnut warm color tone finish on the kitchen table top.

Using the right finish for your kitchen table can bring out its elegance and natural warmth. Besides, the right finish can give your kitchen table long-term protection from damages. Finishes, however, provide varying hues and levels of protection for wooden kitchen tables. As such, you need to carefully choose the appropriate finish to maximize protection and optimize the glossiness of your kitchen table.

When choosing a finishing product for your kitchen table, it will be good to remember that how a piece of furniture stands up against wear is as crucial as how it looks. Of course, it is but natural to go for looks as your primary consideration. But you should also highly regard durability, for it is a crucial consideration likewise.  

What Finishes Recommended for Kitchen Table?

Wood finishes come in a wide variety of brands and models, making the choosing process a bit challenging. Yet, if you are cognizant of the following finishes most recommended by experts for kitchen table, you can quickly zero in on the right choice:

1) Wood Welded Emmet’s Good Stuff Wood Finish

If you’re a bit confused about which finish you should choose for your kitchen table, you should check out the Wood Welded Emmet’s Good Stuff Wood Finish. This one will not let you think twice about whether you will have an excellent finish for your kitchen table. The reason is that this is the best finish, most recommended by experts. 

Aside from giving your kitchen table a glossy finish, it also provides it with a durable finish. It makes the wood surface entirely impervious to liquid spills. 

The good thing about this product is it is non-toxic and doesn’t carry a foul odor. It is likewise easy to apply. Moreover, its consistency appears more like gel, making it easy to apply on the wood surface. You can use a clean cloth when applying this finish. 

What We Like:

  • Provides a waterproof protective layer
  • Easy to apply
  • Durable
  • Provides excellent looks

What We Don’t Like:

  • A bit expensive

2) Minwax Wood Finish 70012444

The best polyurethane finish out there for tabletop is the Minwax Wood Finish 70012444. You can apply this finish on both finished and unfinished wood. Hence, it will be an enticing idea to use this one if you’re not sure whether you need to apply primer or not. 

This finish is easy to apply. You can apply it using a bristle brush or foam brush. You can also use a lambswool applicator. 

Minwax 70012444, when applied thinly, dries quickly. Thus, if you want to work on the finishing process quickly, this product is best. Each coat, likewise, dries quickly after a few hours. So, you can apply another coat after a few hours. 

What We Like:

  • Longer lasting and durable
  • Prevents staining
  • Easy to apply using different application methods

What We Don’t Like:

  • Might appear yellowish when applied to a painted surface
  • Should be used in multiple layers
  • Needs sanding in between coats

3) General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil Based Topcoat

This finish is likewise durable and comes in various packages or sizes. Hence, if you only do a small project, you can opt for a small-sized package. 

With this finish, you can spruce up the appearance of your kitchen table while providing it with optimum protection. This finish can protect your table from spills and chemicals like disinfectant wipes. 

It is also easy to apply, and you can use a cloth or foam brush to apply it. The use of cloth has an advantage over foam brush because it allows you to remove drips quickly. When this finish dries, it carries an amber color, which can later be an issue. Besides, the curing time is longer. 

What We Like:

  • Provides waterproof finish
  • Doesn’t leave a nasty odor
  • Durable
  • Comes in different packages or sizes

What We Don’t Like:

  • Requires longer curing time
  • Leaves an amberlike color
  • Might form bubbles

4) Rust-Oleum 9141H

If you’re after durability, you should consider this one. This one can streamline the wood’s coarse grain, highlighting it and giving it a warm tone. Nevertheless, this finish carries a powerful smell that is quite bearable and normal. But it will be best to apply it in a ventilated area. 

This finish dries fast, so you should be wary of drips and wipe any drips up quickly. This formulation leaves a golden glow on the wood. It makes the surface likewise scratch-resistant. If you finish a kitchen table with great grain, you should consider this one.

What We Like:

  • Can be applied in thin coats
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Easy to apply

What We Don’t Like:

  • Leaves a yellowish effect when used on a painted surface
  • Necessitates more coats

5) Minwax 63010444

If you’re an impatient guy type, you might as well check the Minwax 63010444. The Minwax 63010444 is a quick-drying finish. So, if you do not have much time, this one is perfect for you. Despite being fast-drying, it still delivers an excellent finish and would not sacrifice quality. 

The Minwax 63010444 is easy to use and apply. You only need a foam brush (soft) or a lambswool applicator to apply it. Using this applicator, you can finish the kitchen table and not wait long for the finish to dry. 

This formula, however, contains oil. Hence, it will change color over time. Yet, it doesn’t mean that you can’t choose shades, for these formulations come in different shades. 

It will also help apply more coats of this formulation to ensure that the finish will last longer. You can sand the surface after applying a coat. 

What We Like:

  • Quick-drying
  • Lasts longer
  • Offers variable shades
  • Can be applied on unfinished and finished surfaces. 

What We Don’t Like:

  • Necessitates multiple coats
  • Slightly changes color over time.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Finish for Kitchen Table

If you are at a loss as to which finish is best for your kitchen table, it will be best to learn the following succinct factors to consider when choosing the best finish for your kitchen table.

Type of Finish

Wood finishes come in different types. You’ll find wax-based finishes and water-based finishes. Furthermore, wax finishes are the most popular wood finishes. Moreover, this finish type has been in use throughout the centuries. The most popular wax finish form is the carnauba wax. You can buy it in paste form. It is easy to apply by simply brushing or rubbing the paste onto the grain. 

This type of wax finish is also called “Brazil Wax.” It is also often combined with beeswax and natural oils. Another wax finished contains tung oil. Tung oil is a natural product derived from tung tree nuts. If you opt for this product, go for pure tung oil instead of its derivatives.

You can also go for Shellac. It is a resin usually deposited by Asian beetle on trees. It can offer modest durability. Thus, it gets mixed with other formulations or products. 

Another type of finish is varnish. It might be oil-based or water-based. It is flammable when in liquid form. Besides, the ingredients of varnish vary from one brand to another. 

You can also find polyurethane or urethane finished. These are synthetic materials and offer better flexibility. They are also quite durable. Besides, they can also be water-based or oil-based.

You can also find wipe-on products that you can combine with wax. These products might be water-based or solvent-based gels or liquids. 

Knowing the different types of finishes will help you correctly choose the type of finish you will use. You should, however, bear in mind the wood you will finish when selecting a product you will use for that wood. 

Some wood types have more open grain, so they soak in more stains than other types of wood. Besides, some stains can slightly alter their color over time. Similarly, it will be best to use a finish that is non-toxic for your kitchen table.

Curing Duration

The curing duration is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a finish for your kitchen table. If you don’t have ample time to spare, you might as well go for quick-drying solutions. 

The thing is, finishes have different curing times. You can always go for any finish if you got ample time, regardless of the curing duration. But if you are impatient and lack time, it will be best to go for quick-drying solutions. 

Ease of Use and Application

Some finishes are easy to apply and use. Others, however, require a higher level of expertise and difficulty. Polyurethane varnishes are the easiest to apply. You simply need to brush them on the surface, and you can get an excellent result from these finishes. 

You might need to coat the surface two to three times to give it a complete and durable finish. Wax finishes, however, are applied using a brush or cloth. They required more effort than those of the polyurethane varnishes. Yet, they are also easy to apply. 

Aside from ease of application, you should also consider the clean-up process. Brushes used for applying oil-based products, for example, necessitate the use of solvents for clean-up. Moreover, the cloth you use to apply oil-based products should be disposed of with care, for they are highly combustible. Lastly, water-based products are easy to clean and pose not much fire risk.


Another crucial factor to consider is the durability of the finish. Some finishes might last for several months, while others last for years. Some products like oil and wax-based should be reapplied every year. So, if you are the kind of guy who doesn’t want to do refinishing every year, you should shy away from choosing the oil or wax-based products.

The polyurethane and urethane might last for years without needing reapplication. Varnishes, however, are easily scratched, and any scratch on its surface might be very obvious. 


The odor or smell elicited by the finish is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a finish for your kitchen table. The smell of oil-based varnishes, for example, might be strong and unpleasant. As such, you need to apply it in a well-ventilated area with open windows and doors. 

You can also apply it outside your house by bringing the kitchen table out. Moreover, you need to wear your safety gear when using such a product to protect you from the harmful smell. 


The prices of finishes vary depending on the manufacturers and the quality of the products, and many other factors. However, pricey products do not necessarily mean they are of quality or the appropriate ones to use for your kitchen table. 

Yet, if you have the money, you can always buy the most expensive ones with the best qualities. The thing is, your budget will determine the products you can buy or choose.


When finishing a kitchen table, you will find the preparation more time-consuming than the actual finishing of the table. If your kitchen table, for example, had been previously finished, you need to strip the wood of its old finish using coarser sandpaper. You can also manually sand using 150-grit paper to remove scratches. 

The choosing process of the finishing product can take more time, especially if it is your first time choosing a finishing for your kitchen table. Yet, if you know the most recommended products for finishing a kitchen table and the succinct factors to consider when choosing, you can indeed quickly zero in on the right finish for your kitchen table.

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