9 Best Finishes for Wood Kitchen Table | Reviews & Buying Guide 2022

Are you tired applying finishes to your furniture that easily wears out? Is your kitchen table suffering a lot due to the scratches and spills? Then fret no more as we have just the right set of products for you. For your utmost convenience we have handpicked the 9 best finishes for wood kitchen table in this article.

As professionals, we know all the different issues you have to face when maintaining a kitchen table. The food and ingredients you cut can secrete acids that can dampen the wood’s quality. With the right wood finish, you will never have to worry these problems for years to come.

General Finishes High Performance Water Based Top Coat

We begin this list of reviews with this high performance top coat with several benefcial features that keeps your table top perfectly furnished. It has an incredibly low drying time that lets you use your furniture as fast as possible. It dries up within 1 to 2 hours between coats for faster completion.

This will allow you to get the job done much quicker than regular tabletop coats. It offers optimal performance as it consists of a modified mixture of urethane and acrylic technology. Due to this mixture this top coat provides utmost durability for extended high performance.

Certain pieces of furniture such as tables and cabinets need to tolerate rough use on a daily basis. Hence, the finish can easily wear off before you expect it. With this exclusive table finish you won't have to worry about this anymore. It's not only tough but also water resistant.

On top of that it also consists of UV absorbers that protects the wood on the long run. The paint remains unharmed as well due to the UV absorbers. Even though it contains some potent raw materials, it's not highly flammable. It emits barely any odor and is a suitable choice for interior applications.


  • Dries within 1 to 2 hours
  • Consists of a urethane and acrylic mixture
  • Highly durable
  • Contains UV absorbers
  • Nonflammable and odorless


  • Fairly expensive

2. Varathane 200241H Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane

Varathane 200241H Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane

Next up on this list is an attractive table top coat that will give your kitchen table a desireable satin finish. It's an ideal choice if you prefer a neat and simplistic look for your furniture. This water based table coat has been especially made for interior wood surfaces.

It offers the same level of efficiency to almost all types of indoor furniture such as kitchen tables, cabinets and even windows. What really sets this apart from other table finishes is that it only takes about 30 minutes to dry up.

However, you would have to wait a couple more hours before applying the next coat. The waiting time is still a lot less than most products of this kind tend to offer. This will allow you to apply as many coats as you like within a matter of hours.

Unlike most tabletop coats, this product gives you the option to correct your mistakes. You can instantly wash off the finish with a mixture of soap and water, within the first few minutes. Therefore, it's also suitable for those DIY enthusiasts out there.

Once you apply this coat on your kitchen table, it will protect it from harsh stains and scratches. This makes the finish more long lasting and reliable.


  • Dries to touch within 30 minutes
  • Ready for next coat in 2 hours only
  • Can be washed off easily
  • Perfect satin finish
  • Stain and scratch resistant


  • Not compatible with certain colors

3. General Finishes Oil Based Gel Top Coat

General Finishes Oil Based Gel Top Coat

Contrary to the previous porducts, we have decided to add an oil based top coat that provides efficient performance. This gel top coat might take a bit longer to settle permanently but offers better durability. The finish takes less than a day to dry off.

One unique feature of this gel top coat is it gives your furniture an amber hue after a while. This will give an ethnic look to all your indoor furniture. Once you're done with the application, your kitchen table will be a sight to behold.

The amount of compliments you'll receive afterwards is surely worth the investment if not anything else. With this oil based top coat you will be able to coat any size project within a very short time. This finish has been particularly made for detailed art pieces.

So, if you have any DIY projects that need a bit of finesse, this is a suitable alternative. This product also gives you the option to correct any mistake by washing it off using mineral spirits. After applying this top coat you won't need to worry about the paint wearing off.

It's a sure fire way to maintain your kitchen table's top notch condition. Your furniture will last longer than it was initially supposed to.


  • Darkens over time
  • Attractive finish
  • Protects the paint
  • Suitable for detailed pieces
  • Washes off with mineral spirits


  • Takes comparatively longer to dry

4. Minwax 64444444 Polycrylic Protective Finish Water Based

Minwax 64444444 Polycrylic Protective Finish Water Based

Coming in at number 4 is another water based tabletop coat with quick drying time and easy applications. It provides an attractive finish to all your indoor furniture, and brings them to life. Besides that, it’s equally good at protecting your furniture and other wooden surfaces from long term damage.

The best thing about this protective coat is that it allows you to choose between different types of finish. No more bland colors that looks more like an eye sore. The available finishes include satin, matte, gloss, semi-gloss and ultra flat. Now you can choose just the right type of coat for each piece of furniture.

This polycrylic table top coat is mostly suitable for furniture made of light wood. It’s ideal for maple, ash and birch tables and cabinets. Moreover, it only takes about 2 hours to dry off after application. This allows you to apply multiple coats at a much quicker pace.

You can quickly finish the projects at hand within less than a day’s time. The water based coating can be easily washed off with some soap and water. But only before it settles permanently. This gives you some room for error, in case you decide to try a different finish after the first coat.

Contrary to most models, this highly efficient wood coat doesn’t leave any odor.


  • Best choice for indoor furniture
  • Can be washed off easily
  • Available in matte, gloss, satin and more
  • Dries off quickly
  • Minimum odor


  • Doesn’t add an amber tone

5. Vermont Natural Coatings Poly Whey Furniture Finish

Vermont Natural Coatings Poly Whey Furniture Finish

This next kitchen table coat is an environment friendly alternative of regular wooden finishes. It’s entirely made of natural and essentially nontoxic raw materials. Due to this feature, you don’t have to worry about the air being tampered by harmful fumes.

On top of that, there is hardly any lingering odor in the room when it’s drying. So, you never have to leave the room during the drying process. This high performance clear finish is made of renewable whey polymer proteins, and contains zero to low VOC.  It also allows them to protect your kitchen table from harm.

Even the furniture made of light wood will achieve the durability of steel with this protective coating. The paint beneath the coating—whether it's among the best wood exterior paints or not—also remains unharmed. This is highly beneficial for maintaining the ethnic look of your wooden tables and cabinets. Its unique whey formula makes it fairly easier to apply as well.

Applying a single coat will only take few minutes even with no prior experience. Even if you make a mistake, it can easily be corrected with some soap and water. The 2 hours drying time allows you to apply multiple coats swiftly. You don’t need to be a professional woodworker to make your projects look appealing.

After applying this protective coat you can work on your kitchen table without a care in the world.


  • Environment friendly
  • Made from whey polymer proteins
  • Easy and smooth application
  • Protects from scratches
  • Easily removable 


  • Not suitable for white paint

6. General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish

General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish

Speaking of wooden finishes, we also reviewed this particular coat that is suitable for different types of wooden objects. Apart from tables and cabinets, this product is also useful for coating wooden spoons, bowls and decorative countertops. It’s a highly versatile protective coat to say the least.

You can effortlessly decorate all the wooden utensils in your kitchen to make them look more enticing. In fact, this exceptional table top coat has been especially made for surfaces that constantly come in contact with food. Your kitchen table will never lose its shine or wear out due to regular use.

It’s a perfect choice if you want to keep your kitchen table in top notch condition on the long term. Your furniture can even outlast its predetermined lifespan. This oil based wood coat is also easy to apply for newbies. The best wood oil coats might take longer to settle than others but they are also more durable.

Furthermore, the finish reaches a honey colored hue by the time it completely dries off. This can make your furniture stand out to the naked eye. Applications are hassle free as it rarely drips from the brush. It doesn’t contain any harmful materials either.

Thus, it doesn’t tamper the food it comes in contact with. As it dries with 3 to 4 hours, applying multiple coats is not much of a trouble. This will give you an upper hand when you’re trying to finish the task within a short time.


  • Recommended for countertops and wooden utensils
  • Safe from regular food contact
  • Dries within 3-4 hours
  • Hassle free application
  • Highly versatile


  • Not suitable for butcher countertops

7. Waterlox TB 6044 Original Satin Finish

Waterlox TB 6044 Original Satin Finish

As the next addition to this list of reviews, we have included this oil based satin finish to effectively enhance the looks of your furniture. This product has been specifically made for keeping wooden surfaces from imminent damage. It’s a highly efficient way to bring your kitchen table to life.

This high performance satin finish will provide a decent level of durability to your indoor furniture. Besides keeping the wood safe, it also manages to seal in the paint. Hence, your kitchen table can retain its shine for several years to come. Unlike most products of its kind, this oil based finish environment friendly.

It’s mostly made of renewable resources gathered from nature. This feature makes sure the user isn’t harmed in any way during application. Applying the finish is also less time consuming. Every coat settles evenly with just a few strokes of the brush. This makes the tasks less tedious.

What really sets it apart from other table top coats is its ability to make your furniture waterproof. It stops the wood from soaking in the water and restricts internal damage. As an added bonus, it enables you to quickly renew old furniture with just a few strokes of the brush.

Scratches and stains don’t stand a chance against this satin wood finish. It’s especially beneficial for those you like to do most of their time near the kitchen table.


  • Oil based satin finish
  • Makes the furniture waterproof
  • Effortless application
  • Prevents scratches
  • Makes your kitchen table appealing


  • Comparatively expensive

8. General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil Based Topcoat

General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil Based Topcoat

This is another excellent oil based table top coat that can give your kitchen table a natural look. As it’s made for all types of indoor furniture, you can think use it to keep them in proper condition. This efficient top coat offers remarkable durability to your all types of wooden surfaces.

It can also resist the amount spills and moisture your kitchen table needs to tolerate each day. This table top finish is made of superior quality urethane resin. Therefore, you can always rely on its protective abilities. It acts as a safeguard for all your indoor furniture.

You can also try applying it on small wooden DIY models. So, aspiring woodworkers can also enjoy its perks. On top of that, it takes little no effort to apply it on your table or cabinet. Simply apply it with a foam brush or a table cloth. Applying this wood finish doesn’t feel repetitive either.

The amount of durability you will achieve with this topcoat is surely unparalleled. No other finish can offer this level of maintenance for such a small price. It doesn’t take more than a few hours to dry off. The furniture will be ready for a second coat by the time you’re done with your other chores.

It’s an ideal product that saves your time, money and energy.


  • Natural wooden finish
  • Made of high quality urethane
  • Drying time is significantly decreased
  • Can be applied with a table cloth
  • Protects your furniture from damage


  • Needs to dry quicker

9. Minwax 63010444 Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish

Minwax 63010444 Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish

Last but definitely not the least, we have for you this amazing tabletop coat that retains both the beauty and durability of wood. It’s a fruitful way to apply a smooth finish to your woodworking projects as well. Now your DIY woodworking artifacts will boast the touch of a professional.

This versatile and clear finish can provide ample amounts of protection to different types of wooden surfaces. You can not only use it on cabinets and kitchen tables, but also on wooden floors, just like the water-soluble polyurethanes. Each piece of wood you apply it on will give off a special shine that you can’t help but admire.

Moreover, this product is considered to be one the most recommended wooden finishes on the market. Its impressive durability and ease of application has made it worthy of this title. This makes it way more reliable than most tabletop coats out there. Only the most high quality materials were used in its manufacture.

This efficient wood coating also gives you to choice to choose the level of glossiness. You can choose different variations for each piece of furniture. Most importantly, this topcoat excels at protecting any wooden surface from scratches and stains. It also keeps the paint intact and fresh for a long time.

And I think it’s needless to mention how fast it dries off. It gives you the chance to finish multiple woodworking projects in less than 24 hours.


  • Beautiful and durable finish
  • Suitable for all types of wood
  • Less drying time
  • Resists stains and scratches
  • Recommended by professionals


  • Emits a strong odor

What to Look for Before You Buy?

Although you might have a general idea about the different types of tabletop coats out there, you still need to mull over some key factors before buying one. These factors define the efficiency and reliability of the product. Without this information you might feel lost in the sea of choices.


When it comes to buying a finish for your wooden furniture, durability is the initial factor to look out for. However, the durability of these products doesn’t define what you might expect. Its durability is determined by its ability to withstand regular heavy duty use every single day.

Finishes for Wood Kitchen Table

A table top coats primary job is to protect the wood and the  paint underneath from damage. Basically, a good finish will be able to endure water damage, and resistance to acidic and alkaline solvents. This is particularly crucial for finishes that are used on kitchen tables, including the ones known as the best epoxy for river table.

The cleaners you use to clean a kitchen table contains alkali that can damage the finish. Food can also secrete acid that is harmful for the wooden surface. This can eventually cause the furniture to wear out. Different types of finish come with different properties which make them durable.

For example, most water based finishes will deteriorate upon constant exposure to water. They are also prone to scratches and stains. However, most of these finishes allow you to clean up easily. You can effortlessly wipe it off with a mixture of water and soap. So, it isn’t that big of a deal.

Oil based finishes are by far the most durable ones out there. They might take a bit longer to settle permanently but they are more reliable on the long run.

Safety and Environment

Another key factor to remember is the level of safety the finish ensures during applications, and even afterwards. There are some table top coats and epoxy resin for bar top on the market which contain ingredients that increase its flammability. You must always remain cautious when working with these types of finishes.

Apart from that, they also contain certain solvents that can cause to the environment. Inhaling the toxic fumes they give off can also be hazardous. So, wearing a mask is recommended. Keep in mind that most water based finishes don’t run the risk of catching fire.

finishes for wood kitchen table

They are also more environment friendly, and safe for the user. You can also rely on finishes made from pure oil to mitigate this problem. Some finishes for wood (like the ones mentioned above) are entirely made of natural resources. These products hardly pose a threat to the environment.

Another issue you might face is the intolerable smell that the finishes emit. This can be harmful to humans if they are exposed to it for certain duration. Fortunately, there are some products on the market that limit the odor by a great extent. So much so, that you won’t even have to leave the room for it to dry off.

Skills and Workplace

There are several different factors that can determine whether or not a wooden finish is suitable for you. The first thing you need to consider is the environment of your workplace. Weather, temperature, and dust accumulation in the atmosphere should also be taken into account.

If there is a lot of dust flying around in the workplace, you should rather pick a table coat that dries off quickly. Water based finishes might be ideal in this case since they dry faster. Alternatively, if your workplace temperature is noticeably high or humid, a quick drying finish is preferable.

Finishes for Wood Kitchen Table

You should also pay attention to the process of application of the finish you choose. Some of them need to be sprayed on to the surface, which can cost you more money. Most of the models we included in this article can be easily applied with a foam brush or a table cloth.

Types of Wood Finish

As any other product wood finishes also come in different forms. Each of these types has different significant features that make it suitable for a certain task. Today we are going to talk about some of the more important types of wood finish.

Types of Wood Finish

Wood Dye

This type of wood finish mainly consists of a colorant and a solvent. The process includes mixing the color you desire with alcohol or water. Applying wood dyes to your furniture is a clever way to add some beauty to it. It’s transparent enough to keep the grains and grooves underneath visible.

It’s possible due to the smaller molecules of the dye that let light pass through easily.

Rub-in Oils

There are mainly two different types of oil based finishes available on the market – boiled linseed oil and tung oil. Oil based wood coats tend to get soaked by the wood rather than staying the surface. This makes the wood fairly translucent, and enhances its appeal.


Varnish is arguably the most popular type of wood finish among professionals. It is highly durable and is also available in different types of sheens ranging from glossy to satin. However, you need a certain amount of skill and experience to achieve the perfect level of smoothness with this product.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you finish wood without changing color?

If you want to finish wood without altering its color you want to avoid oil based coats. A water based coat made of polyurethane will be much more suitable for this purpose. Alternatively, you can also use an acrylic finish to achieve a flawless result.

2. Is it better to oil or varnish wood?

If you consult a professional they will tell you that oil based finishes are much superior that varnish. In most cases that’s true. Oil finishes are certainly more durable and can protect the wood better. They can resist water and stains. It’s easy to apply and offers a wide range of choices as well.

3. Can you stain wood without sanding?

Yes, it has been made possible due to modern technological advances. There are several wood finishes out there that can change the color of the wooden surface. They don’t require heavy sanding of any kind. You simply need to apply it and wait for it to work its magic.

4. Does tung oil darken wood?

Tung oil has several benefits when it comes to wood finishes. It is easy to use, highly durable and can increase furniture’s lifespan. Unlike most oil based finishes, tung oil doesn’t darken after drying.

5. Which finish is best for wood?

Most expert woodworks consider lacquer as the best form of finish for wood. This is because it dries fast and offers a good amount of durability. It also enhances the quality of the wood.


If you have reached the end of this article you probably have all the information you need to make the most suitable purchase for you. Make sure you consider the key factors we mentioned when you’re shopping. No matter which finish you choose you can never go wrong with the 9 best finishes for wood kitchen table. And if you're for outdoor cedar finishes, do consider giving this content a read.

Leave a Comment