Top 10 Best Finish For Wood Kitchen Table [Reddit Choices]

The quality of your kitchen table plays a considerable role in the overall look of your kitchen. If you have a lovely kitchen décor and the table doesn’t look nice, everything will be meaningless. 

A kitchen table comes into contact with food every day, so you need to ensure that you have the best finish for wood kitchen table.

When it comes to the types of finishes to choose from, you might not have plenty of options to choose from. They all vary because some are easier to use while others are hard to apply. You can also find some finishes that take time to dry because they need several coats while others are not durable.

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All these factors can make picking the right finish for your wood kitchen table difficult. If you need to do a quick DIY job when renovating your kitchen, it is excellent to consider a finish that is easy to use. It should also provide a good protection surface and dry faster. Our guide will give you 10 quality finishes for kitchen wood tables that will give your table an outstanding appearance.

Top 10 Best Finish For Wood Kitchen Table Reviews 2022

Of course, you cannot forget to finish your kitchen table when renovating your kitchen. Choosing the right finish is essential to complete the overall look of your kitchen. The following are top finishes from reliable brands we recommend.

1. Minwax 63010444 – the best finish for wood table top.

Finding a quality wood finish that is durable, easy to use, and gives fast drying can be hard. If you are doing a DIY kitchen renovation project, you can get the Minwax 63010444 wood finish. Unlike other finishes, this one provides more protection and long-lasting beauty on the interior of wood surfaces.

You can use the finish on various applications like woodworking, floor, doors, cabinet, and furniture. The finish provides the most durable coating to protect your wood surfaces. Additionally, you can use the finish on both finished and unfinished wood. 

best finish for kitchen table

Some finishes take time to dry, which makes them hard to work with. This one dries fast, and you will give your kitchen table a beautiful look for a long time. The finish is clear and oil-based and gives the most durable protective coating.


  • It gives a durable coating on wood surfaces.
  • It works well on finished and unfinished wood.
  • The finish is easy to use, and it dries fast.
  • Penetrates deeps and give long-lasting protection.
  • The finish provides versatile applications.


  • Excellent finish, but it has a strong odor.
  • The finish turns out yellowish.
  • It works well but not waterproof.

2. General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil Based  –  The Best Finish For kitchen Table.

This is another durable top-coat that is made of quality urethane resin to give a long-lasting appearance. You can wipe the coating with a cloth or apply it using a foam brush to do away with sags and drips. It penetrates easily to give you deep-down protection and a more natural-looking wood. 

You can apply this finish to your kitchen wood table to give it a protective and nice look. The coating has a lovely satin color, and you will get the package in 1 quart. Applying the finish is pretty easy, and you will end up with a glossy and beautiful finish. It also gives you a fast drying time, so you don’t have to wait for a long time.

Best Finish For Wood Table Top


  • Made of high-quality ingredients to give a long-lasting use.
  • It is easy to apply with a foam brush or a cloth.
  • It penetrates deeper into the wood to give a natural look.
  • You will get a beautiful and glossy finish.


  • Great but requires practice and patience.
  • It is thinner than other finishes.
  • The can is of poor quality and has a bad design.

3. Waterlox 5284qt TB5284 Stain – The best durable kitchen table finish.

Give your kitchen wood table a new look with the Waterlox finish. You need to apply several coats on your table to get a gloss finish. The stain penetrates and gives waterproofing capabilities if you apply multiple layers.

This stain gives a medium sheen appearance, so you will achieve a 75-degree gloss when finished, and within 3-6 months, the fading will be between 50-55 degrees. This stain is long-lasting, and it forms an elastic protective layer. It will work well against foot traffic, moisture, and spills. 

You will also love it because it gives versatile applications. Not only can you use it on your kitchen wood table but also on other projects that require finish coats. The results are exemplary since it has been tested since 1910, so you can be sure you are using a quality product.

the best durable finish for dining room table


  • It provides a stunning finish.
  • Durable and waterproofing capabilities.
  • The coating provides versatile application.
  • It provides a protective and elastic finish.
  • It works well, and it is easy to use.


  • Many air bubbles leave bumpy surfaces.
  • Sticky and not very protective.
  • Complaints of poor packaging.

4. Varathane 200241H Water-Based – The best finish for dining room table.

A beautiful kitchen table enhances the overall look of your kitchen. If your kitchen table doesn’t look as appealing as it looked when you bought it, you can make it look better with the Verathane water-based finish. This is an incredible formula that offers fast drying, and it is easy to clean with water and soap.

After applying the finish, it will only take around 30 minutes to dry if the coverage is 125 square feet. After that, you can apply a second coat after two hours. The finish is great for protecting indoor wood surfaces like trim, cabinets, windows, and furniture. 

The durable double formula offers excellent scratch and stain resistance with better clarity. Your kitchen table will look better with the satin finish hence giving it a classic look. You can use this clear formula on indoor projects like doors, cabinets, and furniture, among others.

best finish for table top


  • It creates protective layers on wood.
  • It is stain and scratch-resistant.
  • It provides fast drying hence save time.
  • The finish gives your interior wood projects a better look. 
  • It is easy to use and provides great results.


  • The finish would have been thicker.
  • Not water-resistant like other finishes.
  • It leaves scratch marks on the coating.

5. Waterlox TB 6044 Original Satin Finish – The best table top finish. 

Your kitchen table is the most commonly used every day, so it deserves better treatment. If the original finish has deteriorated with time, you can revive it with the Waterlox satin finish. It forms an elastic and protective layer against many household spills, foot traffic, and moisture.

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The finish penetrates easily, and it waterproofs when you use it with the Waterlox original sealer. It is made like the traditional interior penetrating tung oil finish, and you will get a satin sheen appearance of 20-25 degrees gloss level. Unlike other finishes, this is made of 90% renewable natural resources, making it safe to use.

best finish for dining table


  • Better sealing and creates a beautiful finish.
  • It gives your kitchen table a fantastic look.
  • It is waterproof and doesn’t leave streaks.
  • Made with 90 percent renewable natural resources.


  • The sealer is difficult to use.
  • Excellent finish but poor packaging.
  • It doesn’t provide a versatile application.

6. Rust-Oleum 284473 – the best durable finish for dining room table

One of the problems that you face with many finishes is being too thin. This means you have to apply several coatings to get a better look. However, the Rust-Oleum finish is 3 times thicker than other finishes. It features an advanced self-leveling formula that enables you to make a single coat without compromising stain and scratch resistance. 

With its thickness, you will be surprised that the finish takes less time to dry. Additionally, you will achieve a faster cleanup with only water and soap. This finish is suitable for interior wood surfaces like trim, doors, and furniture, among others.

best polyurethane for kitchen table

You will also love this finish because it provides ultimate durability. It also gives excellent protection to your wood kitchen table.


  • It is thicker than other finishes.
  • Provides fast drying and easy cleanup.
  • You only need one layer of the finish.
  • Great for all interior wood surfaces.
  • It is stain and scratch-resistant.


  • The finish doesn’t self-level.
  • Thick, but the surface is of poor quality.
  • It leaves streaks and makes items yellowish. 

When choosing the right finish, it is essential to ensure you pick a trusted brand. There are many companies out there who all claim to produce the best products. However, not all the products they make are up to the mark. Minwax is one of America’s top trusted brands that provide quality finishes for wood and other wood care essentials. 

They offer quality products for maintenance, preparation, repair, and clearing, among others. If you would like to give your wood kitchen table a better finish, the Minwax wood finish will be a great selection. It keeps the wood beautiful, and it is easy to apply.

most durable finish for dining table

You can find it in 28 beautiful colors, and it works well on stripped or bare wood. This finish is ideal for cabinets, furniture, door, trim, hardwood floors, and molding. It provides deeper penetration in the fibers of the wood while highlighting the grain. This gives your wood an appealing and beautiful look.


  • The best finish for kitchen table that is easy to use.
  • It provides deeper penetration for a natural look.
  • The wood stain works well on various unfinished wood items.
  • You can choose up to 28 colors as per your liking.
  • Good-quality finish for the price.


  • The packaging is poor, and many people receive the item opened.
  • It is too smelly for people with asthma.
  • Leaks, and it is messy.

8. Grizzly Industrial H2372 – The most durable finish for dining table.

When picking the right finish to renovate your kitchen table, it is crucial to consider a food-safe finish. Your kitchen table will contact food, so you don’t want harsh chemicals that can be toxic to your health. The Grizzly Industrial finish is safe, so you don’t need to worry about food contact.

The finish is alcohol and water-resistant, and it is clear to give you’re wood a glossy finish. It is easy to apply, and you will achieve fast drying without brushing. The finish contains synthetic oil that will enhance the wood’s natural beauty while giving it a protective finish.

dining table finish recommendation

Apart from your kitchen table, you can also use the finish on finishing and refinishing jobs like cabinetry and woodworking, among others.


  • It gives your wood a natural finish.
  • It is resistant to stains, solvents, and moisture.
  • It works well for both unfinished and raw wood surfaces.
  • It is safe to use for food contact and the best finish for dining table too. 
  • Easy to apply and dries fast without brushing.
  • The finish is alcohol and water-resistant.


  • It comes at a high price.
  • The cans come damaged.
  • The seal is not good.

9. Rust-Oleum 9141H Oil Polyurethane – best polyurethane for kitchen table.

Protect your kitchen wood table with the Rust-Oleum satin finish. It also works well to protect the interior surfaces of other wood surfaces like trim, doors, cabinets, and much more. This is an oil-based formula that offers optimum durability and gives an even finish. As a result, you will end up with a smooth and good-looking surface.

Applying the finish is straightforward, and it doesn’t take much of your time. It also tries within two hours with a coverage of 150 square feet. You can apply a recoat after 4 hours. This satin finish gives your wood surfaces a natural and classic look.

best finish for dining room table

The finish contains a unique formula that offers stain and scratch resistance. It is also extra-durable than other wood finishes. Additionally, it is self-leveling, and you don’t need to use brush strokes to get a clean look.


  • It works well to seal your furniture.
  • Easy to apply, and it takes less time to dry.
  • It gives your table a beautiful look.
  • It provides excellent scratch and stain resistance.
  • Self-leveling and offers maximum durability.


  • It is too thick hence take more time to dry, contrary to the advertisement. 
  • The finish has a strong smell.
  • Hard to use for newbies.

10. General Finishes Enduro-VAR Water-Based – the best finish for table top

Lastly, we have the Enduro water-based finish that is a cross-link of oil-modified and water-based polyurethane. This gives it more oil to vanish, contrary to a water coating. The finish is water-resistant, and you can choose to apply it through spraying or using a brush.

The water-based coating adheres perfectly to raw wood, dye stains, and water stains. Do not use this coating on other surfaces.

finishing wood table top


  • The coating is water-resistant.
  • It looks nice on your wood surfaces.
  • You can apply it easily by spraying or with a brush.
  • No foaming as seen in other water-borne polyurethanes. 
  • It works exactly as advertised. 


  • It works well, but it is pricey.
  • It stains permanently from kitchen oils.
  • Using a brush leaves marks.

how Choose The Best Finish For Kitchen Table 

Applying a wood finish is vital as it protects the wood surface. Wood tends to dry and crack if not properly finished. A good finish prevents the swellings and cracking and protects wood from stains. There are various ways to finish a wooden table. To choose the best finish for your table, you must know more about the different finishes in the market. 

Finishes are available in different categories: shellacs, waxes, water-based, varnishes, and oil finishes. Before choosing a finish, there are several factors to consider. You have to consider how much protection your wooden table needs. Some finishes offer protection, while others make your table attractive. This is why you have to identify the purpose of the finish. Go in for a durable finish to avoid refinishing your table frequently and save on costs.

Different finishes have different methods of application. Some require complex tools, while others require simple ones. Before you make that purchase, ensure you are comfortable with the tools and method of application. Please do not settle for a product that will give you a headache when applying it. In case of any problems, consult with the shop owner. You may also talk to an expert to assist where possible.

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1. Wax

Over the years, wax has been used as a polish and protective coating for wood. Wax comes from vegetable, mineral sources, or animals. The oldest type of animal-based wax is beeswax. Pure beeswax stays sticky for a long time and does not offer maximum protection.

Carnauba is the most common vegetable wax obtained from Brazilian palm tree leaves. It’s hard and offers durability and a great shine. However, it isn’t easy to buff and obtain the shine. This is why it is mostly combined with beeswax. 

Contrary to unwaxed surfaces, waxed surfaces are easy to clean and maintain. Wax is not waterproof but prevents the wood if spills are wiped out immediately or within a short time.

2. Epoxy

If you have a wooden table that is discolored or heavily scratched, an epoxy coating can help hide the mess and create a new surface. Epoxy resins are mostly used to make high-gloss coatings. Talented artists use them to create wooden artifacts such as river tables. 

Wooden surfaces should be roughly sanded to remove any seal or stain before applying the epoxy. If the wood has not been finished, it must be sanded to create a rough surface for the epoxy to bind. Epoxy resins do not blend well with other types of finishes or stains.

Most hardware stores have epoxy resin coating kits that can help you install it by yourself. However, such products do not work well on wooden surfaces. A DIY epoxy finishing kit does not adhere properly to wood. It makes the resin crack and peel, creating an ugly look on your table. If you have to use epoxy on your wooden table, I suggest you get an expert to do the work.

3. Polyurethane

Polyurethane is both a water and an oil-based type of varnish. This water-resistant finish is a good alternative to traditional finishes such as lacquer and shellac and offers durability. 

Polyurethane is plastic in a liquid and comes in various finishes, from glossy to satin. Water-based polyurethane has a low odor and is less toxic. Unlike oil-based polyurethane, it is clear and dried up so fast. Besides, it does not add color to your wood.

However, water-based polyurethane does not hold up well to chemicals and heat. It is ideal for desks, picture frames, side tables, or any other item that won’t be exposed to much heat. You can apply oil-based polyurethane with a synthetic or natural brush. It is more durable and heat resistant. Furthermore, it adds a slight color tone to the wood. 

However, oil-based polyurethane takes too long to dry. When applying, do not shake the varnish as it may produce bubbles that eventually dry into the surface. The proper application enhances the appearance of the item and protects the surface from scratches. 

Once dry, polyurethane produces a hard and more durable finish. It is mostly used to treat worn surfaces. These two differ in characteristics but produce excellent results when properly used.

Semi-Gloss Or Satin- Which Is Better?

Semi-gloss and satin finishes can lead to a beautiful sheen on your table surface. Nevertheless, it is not easy to choose between the two. Both paints are available in modern latex paints and traditional oil-based paints. A semi-gloss finish tends to have more sheen than a satin finish. This may change how your paint color or stain appears on the surface. The paint color appears slightly darker in a semi-gloss finish. 

Semi-gloss lasts longer than a satin finish and is easy to clean. It is ideal for surfaces that need frequent wipe-downs, such as kitchen tables. Surfaces with this finish are resistant to moisture and easy to clean with a wet cloth. A semi-gloss slick finish allows it to handle more scrubbing. 

Satin finishes are cheaper compared to semi-gloss stains. It has a soft sheen which makes it reflect light softly. Satin is an ideal choice for living rooms and bedrooms. However, surfaces with this finish require keenness when cleaning to prevent marring. Before choosing any finish, familiarize yourself with the characteristics of each. 

Also, test your colors since satin and semi-gloss reflect colors differently. It’s possible to switch from a semi-gloss to a satin finish. Just make sure you prepare your surface well. Use a semi-gloss finish for dimpled or uneven places.

How To Finish A Wood Tabletop With Polyurethane ?

First, lightly sand the table. Ensure you work in the direction of the grain. Begin standing with the 120-grit sandpaper. Then use finer sandpaper of 180 grit. Apply a coat of wood conditioner on the wood through brushing. This will prevent bloating by allowing the stain to soak evenly.

Let the conditioner sit for at least 15 minutes before applying the stain. Use a paintbrush or a clean cotton cloth to apply the stain. Leave the stain to soak for about 10 minutes. Wipe off the excess stain using a dry cloth. Leave the stain to dry thoroughly for 8 hours or overnight. Gently stir the polyurethane varnish. Use a paintbrush to apply it to the table. Allow it to dry overnight and gently sand with 220-grit sandpaper. Use a damp cloth to wipe off the dust and brush on another coat of polyurethane.

Types Of Wood Finish

If you are thinking of buying wood finish for your DIY projects, it is great to know the types that are available so that you can buy wisely. Here are the most common types of wood finish that you will find.

1. Oil Finish

Oil finishes boost the appearance of wood surfaces. Natural oils found in wood dry over time. When you apply oil finishes, it replaces the natural oils hence nourishes the wood grain. It adequately protects the wood internally and externally. 

2. Dye

A wood dye contains two elements; a solvent and a colorant. Dyes are available in water and oil-based types. To make a colored solution, add different colors to a solvent such as alcohol or water. Dyeing of wool is the same as dyeing clothes or any other items. Wood dyes are considered transparent since they change the wood color but still expose the grains. You can apply wood dye by using a brush, sponge, or a spray gun.

3. Varnish

Varnish is a great choice of wood finish. Varnish provides different types of sheets, such as transparent, glossy, or satin. Although it is oil-based, varnish contains synthetic resins like alkyd, phenotypic, and urethane compounds. Moreover, it is tough and durable.

4. Shellac

Shellac is a wax finish extracted from a bug. for better consistency, mix shellac with an alcohol solvent. It is available in various colors. Shellac is easy to use and dries up quickly. It gives the wood a glossy look.

5. Lacquer

Unlike other finishes, lacquers are thin solvent finishes that are applied by spraying. They dry so fast as they contain evaporating solvents. It brings out the natural look of wood as it gets deep into the wood and nourishes the grains. They provide wood with a glossy look.

6. Stain

A wood stain is prepared by mixing opaque, large, and insoluble particles in a solvent such as oil or water. Wood stains enhance the color of the wood. Wood stains exist in a variety of colors and finishes. They help blend the color of wood into a continuous color. However, use wood stains sparingly. Opaque wood stains cover the good appearance of the wood grain.

Ultimate Buying Guide:

There are many wood finish options in the market today. Choosing the best among the many choices is a hard task. You must have enough information on the finishes to settle on one that suits your needs. Go through all the characteristics before making your final decision. 

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Some products have similar characteristics but are made to suit different materials. There are several qualities that you should look at before buying the product. Anyone who wants their kitchen table to look attractive has to be very familiar with the following factors. This is to prevent destroying your wooden items.

How Easy Is It To Apply The Product?

If you are a newbie in the finishing and application matters, you have to choose a finish easy to use. Buy a finish that does not require complex tools or one in which the steps are easy to understand. Products with complex application methods will waste your money, time, and energy.

Contrary, if you are an expert, you can go in for any finish. Ensure you go through the manufacturer’s instructions if you decide to use a spray-on finish. The wood type should be suitable for the spray method.


A wooden kitchen undergoes several activities in a day. Choose a durable finish that can protect your table from wear and tear. Using a durable finish prevents you from frequent refinishing and enhances your table’s appearance for a long time. Also, a durable product can resist frequent frictions, therefore, protecting your table. 

Buying a low-quality product will make your work tougher. You will be forced to have a finish yearly or after a short period. It’s better to spend more on a long-lasting product than buy cheap products that you wear after a short time.

Curing Duration 

The duration period is the time taken for the finish to completely dry. If you have pets or toddlers in your house, you have to buy something that dries fast. This will prevent things from getting messier. Pets and children tend to touch everything in the house. 

Many toppers finish dry so fast give you that shiny look on your kitchen table within a short period. On the other hand, if you are free from children, choose one that takes time to dry. Such finishes rarely crack or peel as the finish is fully absorbed in the wood.

Ease Of Application

When looking for your kitchen table finish, you have to identify how the product is applied. This will prevent you from choosing a complex product that requires expertise. If you are a DIYer, an easy to apply product is the best. The easier the method of application, the lesser the mistakes. 

A product with several procedures is likely to have poor final results. This means that you’ll have wasted your money and ruined your kitchen table. In such cases, you have to get an expert, therefore, spending more money. Go through the manufacturer’s instructions and follow instructions carefully to avoid errors.

Wood Type

Every finish is suitable for different types of wood. Before buying any wood finish, identify the type of wood. Applying the wrong type of wood finish is a waste of time. The wood finish will not sit for long. It will chip or destroy your wood. 

There is a wide variety of wood finishes you can choose from. If you are not sure of the finish you need, ask the shop owner. You may also go through the internet to get answers to your questions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to finish a wood table?

There are different ways to finish a wood table. You can spray or brush it. Sand the table first. Sanding allows the finish to set in properly. Apply the finish after sanding. Let the finish dry for about two to three hours. 
For good results, you might be forced to apply another layer. Finally, sand the table using 220-grit sandpaper. Use a clean piece of cloth to remove dust. You may slightly dump the piece of cloth. Apply the last layer of finish and let it dry for a day before using the table.

How to stain a table?

Gently sand all the areas on the table. Use fine-grit sandpaper on flat surfaces. Wipeout dust with a damp piece of cloth. Wipe with a dry cloth to remove any traces of water. Cover the floor with old newspapers to avoid staining it. Mix the stain properly before opening and use a paint stick to stir the stain. Apply the stain on your table. 
Work on a section at a time, starting with the bottom. Work on the most noticeable areas first. Wipe the excess stain to expose the grain of the wood. Allow the stain to dry and apply the final finish.

How to sand a table?

Wipe your table with a cloth to remove dust and food remnants. Use a tack or lint-free cloth. Place the sandpaper on the bottom of an electric or hand sander. Sand the entire table with 80 grit sandpaper, then change to 150 grit sandpaper. Finally, use 220-grit sandpaper. Sand the whole table with each grit sandpaper before progressing to the next. Sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid scratching the wood. Wipe the fable to remove the dust particles. In case of an old stain, use a chemical stripper to remove it before sanding.

How to make a wooden tabletop?

Pick out the tabletop boards. Square the edges of the tabletop boards. Clear the rounded corners on the boards using a table saw. Glue the boards together to create a top. Gluing up multiple boards takes long. It is easier to work on two boards at a time. Wipe the sawdust off the edges before gluing. 
Trim the top to an exact size. Sand the tabletop to make it smooth. A belt sander works perfectly. Fill the cracks. It is rare to encounter cracks. Apply finish. Use a finish that suits your wood. Also, consider the use of the table.

How to refinish a dining room table?

Collect all the required materials. Clean the surface by use of soap and water to get rid of dirt. If it is a stained table, you have to sand it. If varnished or painted, you have to strip the surface. Put on protective wear when applying the stripper. 
Work in a room with proper ventilation. Clean the table with steel wool. Wipe the surface with mineral spirits to remove any traces of the stripper. Leave the table to dry completely before sanding. Sand the table and wipe to remove all dust. Apply stain. Finally, apply the finish. Leave the table to dry overnight.

Final Verdict

Before you settle on any finish, it is great to do thorough research to ensure you are getting the right product. We have made your work easier by recommending the best finish for a wood kitchen table that is easy to use. We hope you will find it easy to compare the finishes when shopping with the comprehensive reviews and buying tips.

If you still find it tough to determine which one suits your needs the most, our top pick is the General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil Based. This is a long-lasting and durable finish that gives your wood kitchen table an appealing look. The finish is easy to use, and it penetrates down to give the wood a natural look. You will also apply it without creating any messes.

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