The Best Finish for Wood Kitchen Table

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Last updated: April 8, 2023

A kitchen and dining table practically exist in typical households due to their significance. So, investing in the table’s wooden surfaces with the best finish for wood kitchen tables can go a long way in making the first impression in your kitchen. Moreover, renovating your kitchen and dining room table can also help improve the general appearance of your entire kitchen space. 

As you already know, you can use tabletops for various activities such as holding food before serving. There are numerous table finish brands in the market, and Linseed oil is among the most popular finish types available in most finish brands. So whether you are looking to make thick or thin coats, this article has you covered. As a guarantee using the table finish will grant you the best results that will last a very long time. 

Table of Contents

Old Masters Gel Polyurethane Clear Satin OLD


  • Easy and efficient to use
  • Easy to maintain because of its simple usage
  • has a fantastic unique shine
  • Relatively cheaper


  • Longer to dry since it is oil-based


If you choose to go with this wooden finish as your ultimate option, rest assured that you’ll be getting yourself one of the top best finishes in the market, just as the name suggests. Also, this will be the perfect choice for any of your more refined projects. 

However, it might not be the best choice if your project includes outdoor cabinets. The best thing is that the manufacturer of this wooden finish strongly advises against using it on your floor. Aside from being among the top best finishes, it’s also a durable finish with excellent results that will leave you mesmerized for a very long time. So, for those with durability at the top of their priorities, this finish will prove a good choice in your expeditions to make your tabletop and other wood surfaces look amazing.

Note that this wood finish is oil-based, and like its counterparts, it creates a smooth surface that easily scratches or dents. The wood finish commands a significant following, support, and reviews from multiple users worldwide who claim it renders the best results.

best finish for wood kitchen table - person holding black and gray brush

Minwax 63010444 Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish, quart, Satin


  • It dries relatively faster 
  • It gives off a natural appearance
  • It comes in various sizes 
  • All its colors are visually appealing
  • It is durable


  • It requires multiple layers for the best results


Another finish option to consider for your wooden table is Minwax 63010444, which has superb fast-drying properties. You can start using your wood table as soon as the finish is dry. If you aren’t sure of the best primer finish choice, this brand should be your fallback option.

Also, if you want to rip out the best in this finish formula, apply it to your table’s wooden surfaces using a foam brush. Other excellent alternatives include a lambswool applicator or a bristle brush. A critical feature of this finish formula is drying time. 

You should apply this finish in a series of thin layers if your want perfect results. Otherwise, the table surface won’t have an ideal visual balance if the layers are clumsily applied. Plus, it might take very long to dry. The Minwax 6301044 finish may have a strong smell like some finishes, but it will fade once it’s all dried up. 

Note that this finish is bright. So it might alter the general appearance of your tabletop color-wise. The oil in this finish formula is responsible for the natural color shift of the table’s wooden surface.

Tried & True Varnish Oil, Quart


  • It leaves your table with a beautiful appearance
  • It’s affordable
  • It is easy to apply


  • It doesn’t work well in wet areas


The Tried & True Varnish formula is an excellent choice that combines oil and water proportionately. That way, it will render extra magnificence to the final finish results. You’ll appreciate what this finish will offer your kitchen table from the topcoat down to the bottom. Since it’s among the best oil finishes, reviews from users who’ve had first-hand experience say it renders the best results.

Essentially, it’s logical that you include this perfect finish formula among your top best considerations. Also, if you want your table surfaces to adopt a luxurious feel and look, you won’t regret making this finish formula choice. While some wild finishes might have a discomforting solid smell, you’ll love the smell this finish emits. Which also makes it perfect for your projects.

Purchasing this fantastic finish is a small price for your wooden kitchen table. The smooth surface it will on your tabletop will leave you brimming with smiles of satisfaction. Bear in mind that it’s one of the finishes in the market that is high quality and affordable. Furthermore, it will render exceptional results for an extended period, and that’s because it neither wears off quickly nor scratches easily.

best finish for wood kitchen tabe - dinner table in kitchen

Grizzly H2372 Good Stuff Wood Finish For Maple Tops


  • It is durable
  • It is easy to use
  • Its both water and alcohol resistant


  • It is a little costly


Picking this finish formula as your best option comes at a price since it is expensive but worth the money as it delivers exceptional magnificence. Moreover, if you are willing to dig deeper into your pockets for this finish formula, it will guarantee you 100% waterproof finish results. 

As you’ll already know, appearances and looks are of utmost importance. And since the tabletop appearance will speak a lot about your kitchen, you must ensure you’ve got it right. Going with this finish will surely bring a combination of ambiance and sparkle to your kitchen. 

Most importantly, it can breathe life into a deadwood table’s surface. If you have a tabletop that looks 100 years old, it will appear as good as new. While transforming the old rusty look of your table, the finish won’t alter the surface grain. It has a minimum gloss, making it a perfect choice for your minor or major projects.

Since this finish is gel-like, applying it to your tabletop doesn’t limit you to a foam brush. You can also use a rag. 

Arm-R-Seal Oil Based Topcoat


  • It is very durable
  • It has a natural look on a wooden surface
  • It is easy to apply 


  • The finish takes longer to cure


The Arm-R-seal oil-based finish can’t miss being at the top of the list of the best yet durable finishes on the market. Additionally, it’s easy to apply, courtesy of its spray lid on the can. Moreover, it comes in multiple sizes to enable you to choose the one that’ll fit your needs. Since the finish last longer, it acts as a protective layer against scratching and spills of acidic liquids like fruit juice.

Note that it is a semi-gloss finish. That means only correct application to the wooden surface of your table can guarantee it will last long before repainting. 

Also, once the finish has dried off, you can use a disinfectant, i.e., Clorox wipes, to disinfect the wooden surface. Made from Urethane resins, you can use a rag or a rag to apply it. Remember to wipe out the drips as soon as possible before it dries up. In addition, you should work in a ventilated setting. 

Keep in mind that once this finish formula dries up, it will turn the table surface into an amber-like color, making it challenging to blend with the final coat. Though it renders excellent lasting results, you should be patient before cleaning it for a month since that’s the time it takes to cure. 

best finish for wood kitchen table - brown and white ceramic cup on white ceramic round plate

Varathane 284473 Triple — Best for Interior Surfaces


  • The manufacturing process involved a self-leveling technique
  • It bears a durable coverage
  • Made from polyurethane which makes it an excellent finish


  • It requires more than four coats to work well


The Varathane 284473 triple is a finish with a solid reputation in the finishing industry. And because of that, it’s considered a veteran finish. It is most commonly known for rendering thicker and more durable coating than its counterparts. Also, this veteran choice is a better option for those who don’t like using a finish that causes thin layers.

And because it has up to 3 times thicker layers, rest assured that it will act as a solid protective layer for your table surface against scratches and acidic liquid. On the other hand, though thicker than most finishes, its drying time is relatively shorter, and you can expect to use your table after two hours of drying.

The Varathane 284473 triple is the right finish for your DIY project. Since it is water-based and stain resistant with a silky texture, it will surely make your dining room table and kitchen table the center of your kitchen’s attention. 

Rust-Oleum 9141H


  • It has a comfortable grip 
  • It has a quality wood body
  • It can last longer if maintained properly
  • Its ferrule that’s responsible for holding the bristle is free


  • It has a yellow effect on painted surfaces


If you have a kitchen or a dining table or any wood furniture that’s always constantly in use, this finish formula will be the right choice to render the best results. Aside from creatinine thick layers, it’s also durable, withstanding acidic spills from fruit juices and scratching.

This finish is also among the best options for highlighting a warm tone and coarse grain woods, which give your wood furniture surface a superior and complex appearance. The finish has a powerful smell but is safe and normal to use. However, it’s good to use it in a well-ventilated space. 

Like the previously reviewed finish formula brands, this opt renders the best results, giving your table natural beauty aside from protection against scratches and spills. The wood finish formula excels well in drying up quickly. So, once it’s dried up, use a soft clean cloth to wipe up the table’s surface.

The Rust-Oleum 9141H is arguably the best finish for any wooden surface, including your cabinets and bathroom vanities. 

Minwax, Dark Walnut 70012444


  • It is stain resistant
  • It is durable 
  • You can apply it through multiple options


  • It requires more layers for the best results


One striking feature of this finish is using it on an unfinished wood surface. Moreover, it’s an excellent polyurethane finish that’s among the most sought after universally. If you’re unsure about applying a primer, this option guarantees you the best results, incredibly since ifs easy to apply. As for the application, you can use a bristle brush, lambswool applicator, or foam brush.

It would be best to properly use this clear coat finish with urethane resins, i.e., applying thin layers for the best results. Apart from being stain resistant, it’s also dust resistant, making it ideal for areas prone to dust build-up. Applying the finish in thin layers also guarantees it will dry fast, so you can start using the kitchen table soon.

Since each layer dries up separately, once you’re done with each layer until it’s dry, you should roughen the surface by sanding before applying another layer on top. The layer formed through other thin layers provides a protective coating against dust, spills, and scratches. Though the results are exemplary, this finish will likely cause a color change on the wood underneath.

best finish for wood kitchen table - Red apples on green ceramic plate and wooden kitchen table

Waterlox Original Satin Finish


  • It is water-resistant
  • It works with a varnish brush
  • It has a soft gloss
  • You can easily clean it out


  • It has a strong smell


Generally, the Waterlox original satin finish does a fantastic job ensuring your table adopts a superior appearance and sparkling beauty that will light up your entire kitchen space. This finish formula has impressive features that provide your table’s wooden surface with a good texture while protecting it. 

While you might be worried about a fingerprint smudge with some vanishes, you can be sure that this one will prevent any fingerprint from showing on the surface. The Waterlox original satin finish comes from tung oil, marking it as a tung oil finish.

Reviews from users indicate that this right product is ideal for your dining room finishing expeditions. Notably, this is an excellent wood finish that can penetrate the wood grain of your kitchen table, making it water-resistant while also resistant to acidic juice spills. 

Since it is one of the best general finishes, it’s easy to maintain because of its resistant features. You only need a natural bristle brush or a foam brush to apply the finish. When using this finish formula, it’s best to use a sealer for the best results. It would be best to use a Waterlox-based sealer that works perfectly with it.

Waterlox Original Satin Finish


  • It protects the wood from Uv sun rays
  • It dries relatively faster
  • You can use it on the floors and also outdoors
  • Relatively cheaper in gallons
  • It is highly water-resistant and durable


  • It is generally expensive


A unique feature of this finish is its ultraviolet ray protection ability, making it generally expensive compared to regular wooden finishes. Also, if your table is prone to spills from alcoholic beverages, fruit juices, or scratching, this finish will form a protective barrier against all these external factors.

Aside from protecting the table surface, it also helps leave your table with a beautiful yet natural look that lasts longer before repainting. This excellent finish will have your guests mesmerized every time they look at your table. Moreover, this finish formula also adds natural beauty to the overall look of your entire kitchen space.

While some finish formulas are ideal for kitchen cabinets and wooden countertops, this one gets used for transforming the look of kitchen table surfaces. Generally, this wood finish can work on any surface of the wood like all wood finishes—the drying time of this finish formula. Also, the finish penetrates the wood grain, making it durable as it turns yellow over a long time. 

best finish for wood kitchen table - White textile on wooden table

Vermont Natural Coatings Polywhey Furniture Finish


  • It is best for interior spaces
  • It produces precise finishing results
  • It is straightforward to apply 
  • It produces little odor


  • Not suitable to be used with bright-colored paints


Note that the Vermont Natural Coatings Polywhey Furniture finish is environmentally safe. Wood kitchen table reviews from individuals who’ve had first-hand experience with this finish say it has worked wonders in transforming the general look of their kitchen tables. Plus, it is easy to work with and is almost odorless.

Notably, this is a water-based polyurethane foam wood finish that transforms the appearance of your kitchen table and shields it from external impacts such as scratch. Since this finish is environmentally friendly, its content is low on volatile organic compounds, making it almost odorless, so you don’t need to take your wooden kitchen table out to dry.

The finished formula is available in two types, i.e., the satin finish and the semi-gloss finish. Aside from the kitchen table itself, it is best for wooden utensils as it’s all-natural. Applying this wood finish is easy, and you only need to use a paintbrush. Since the finish is mainly water-based, cleaning is easy with a soft rag, water, and soap.

best finish for wood kitchen table - person holding blue and white toothbrush

Buyer’s Guide

All products in this review are among the top best in the market. However, it can be overwhelming to decide on the ideal choice to suit your DIY project needs. Below is a highlight of the factors you need to consider to assist you in making the right choice.


It is logical for people to like something durable with the best performance. And as highlighted before, most of these top Best wood finishes are durable. Going blindly into buying a wood finish without prior consultation can make you purchase something that won’t work well. 

Suppose the finish you’ve bought stays a few months before and starts peeling off, then it would be a waste of money. So, it would help if you were careful with choices based on durability.

Finish type

The type of finish you choose is vital in determining its efficiency. There are many types of finishes, e.g., oil-based finish, shellac finish, was finish, etc. Depending on the type of finish you choose, the drying time will also be different from finish to finish. For example, fast-drying polyurethane clear finishes are mainly water-based. 

On the other hand, the oil-based finish takes a little longer to dry but still exhibits terrific results. On the other hand, Varnish finish has a unique property that most of these different finish types lack, i.e., protecting the wood surface against ultraviolet rays. However, it’s also more expensive but highly durable than these other types. If you want to spend more for durable and quality results, then varnish type is the best bet.


Affordability is one major factor determining the quality of finish you’ll choose. Generally, most of these finishes are very affordable. However, only a handful are expensive depending on the composition, such as the Waterlox Original Satin Finish, which is vanish-based and high quality. Advisably, it’s best to invest more in a high-quality finish that will last longer than a low quality that will constantly send you back to the market.

Ease of use

Ease of use is essential so that the result doesn’t feel like you’ve flushed your investment down the toilet. If you’re a DIY person who likes to do home projects without help, consider choosing the easy finish to apply to avoid wasting your hard work. Luckily, the Majority of these Best kitchen table finishes are easy to apply. However, if you prefer those that are difficult to use without knowing how to use them, you should hire an expert Carpenter who knows his way around wood finishes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I seal a wooden kitchen table?

Begin by preparing the surface through sanding and cleaning. When sanding, the sandpaper grit is crucial, and depending on the type of table, you’ll need a sandpaper grit between 150 and 320. Using a high-quality brush, apply to vanish quickly on the surface. Ensure the varnish is spread evenly and avoid runs or streaks as much as possible.

How many polyurethane coats are suitable for a wooden kitchen surface?

If you want to ensure you’re applying the correct number of layers to your kitchen table, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations. A typical manufacturer will recommend 2 to 3 layers. However, manufacturers don’t recommend using polyurethane products since they are toxic and instead would prefer the natural wood finish.

Is it necessary to apply finish to my wooden kitchen table?

The short answer is yes. Wood finish protects your kitchen table’s surface from accidental spills that might seep into the wood grain, decreasing the life span of your wooden kitchen table. Also, the bare wood surface isn’t visually appealing. 

Essentially, it’s hard to come by household wooden furniture without a finish on the surface. You can be sure that getting yourself a wooden finish will go a long way in transforming the appearance of your kitchen table. 

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