Finish for Dining Tabletop

Dale Wallace

Chicago, Illinois
Hello to everyone! I hope you like this tabletop I made for a family friend. I want to find a good durable finish for it since it will be used as a dining table. My friend specified she wants a Satin finish. Initially I was going to use Arm-R-Seal but since it has a drying time of 30 days I don't want to have her wait that long. I've used Walrus Oil and Odie's Oil in the past for a Satin look on other tables but I don't want to risk it on a dining table. I am thinking to get spray lacquer today and make a few tests. Any ideas or advices ?


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Nitrocellulose lacquer will certainly dry quickly, but in terms of durability it's not all that good. i think I'd stick to an oil based finish of some kind and bite the bullet on the cure time.
Jim, Ted and Tom . . . can you talk a little about what makes it problematic to use the Behlen's product? I've got a table coming up.
I've only used the solvent-based one. The waterborne version may differ.
Drying time is hours long, so dust can be a problem. Cure is about 24~36 hours. Sanding between coats becomes necessary - both to break the gloss, and to remove any dust nibs.

I've uses 4 or 5 coats, brush applied. After it cures, it's pretty much impervious to ordinary dining room spills. Wear and tear resistance is great. I did one oak table about 25 years ago. It's since been moved across the country, used for more years, then given to my niece who'd still using it - and it still looks good!

Our current table was done about four years ago. Still looks like new.