Top 6 Best Finishes for Wood Kitchen Table in 2022 – Consumer Reports

Cabinets or walls are given a refined look when a primer is applied, before a lick of paint. In a similar manner wooden furniture also requires some form of shielding or protection from numerous factors. A sudden change in the environment may affect the structural integrity of the wood. It may swell, fracture, or may even become brittle if it is not protected well. 

This shielding coat applied on wood is called a finish that prevents the formation of spots, cracks, and the rest. It is mainly required during the remodeling of kitchen tables to give them a polished and finished appearance. So here are the top six best finish for wood kitchen table that can be used for this purpose;

Top Six Best Finish for Wood Kitchen Table

General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil Based Topcoat – Best Overall

The General Finishes Arm-R-Seal oil-based topcoat is one of the best finish products according to the customer reviews. It is composed of top-quality urethane resin that makes it more durable and robust. In addition to this, it is an oil-based, semi-gloss varnish that gives the wooden tabletop a smooth and sleek look. 

The product is commercially available in a one-quart container and can be applied conveniently. A minute quantity of this formulation is usually rubbed on the surface through a piece of cloth or a foam brush. This way the, oil-based formulation seeps into each wooden pore to provide complete protection. It is suggested, to apply this product in dry and arid weather conditions instead of the rainy season to get the best results.


  • The finish is available in different sizes, for instance, gallon, pint, or quart
  • It is available in different colors like gloss, semi-gloss, and satin
  • Unlike other products, this topcoat has a tolerable odor
  • It is not only durable but is also resistant to water
  • It is easy and simpler to use


  • It does not work well in wet climatic conditions as it may lead to bubble formation
  • It takes a longer time to dry and settle

Good Stuff Wood Finish For Maple Table Tops – Runner Up

This formulation is manufactured by Grizzly Industrial and is known for containing non-toxic and high-quality resin called urethane. The Good Stuff wood finish has secured the second position in the list of, best finishes for wood kitchen table. There are many reasons behind this first it, is highly resistant to water and alcohol.

Secondly, it gives less sheen to the tabletop, making it less slippery but producing a polished tone. Moreover, it is available in one-quart containers and is usually found in maple color. 

Their gel-like form permits them to be applied conveniently without any hassle. It also dries quickly hence producing rapid results.


  • It is ideal for refining wood-based kitchen utensils, cabinets, and countertops
  • It is resistant to water and alcohol
  • The formulation has fast-drying action
  • It is non-toxic which, makes it safe to use particularly in the kitchen
  • It can be used without any professional assistance


  • It can be a little steep as compared to the other finish product mentioned above
  • The use of inaccurate brushes may produce impressions on the tabletop

Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish

The Waterlox Original Wood finish is being produced since 1940. The formulation is made from Tung oil which means it also consists of flammable organic solvents.

Therefore a lot of caution and vigilance is required when using it. Apart from this, it is highly resistant to water that makes it very durable and lasting. It produces moderate sheen thus can be used to treat kitchen tables made of different kinds of wood. 

The Waterlox Original Finish can also function as a primer, tie-coat, or paint additive. The product works perfectly on porous surfaces, for instance, cement, slate, stone, and tile. The finish also can prevent chalking and dusting. It helps in preserving the structural integrity of the kitchen table.


  • It has a good area of coverage. One gallon covers 500 sq. feet while one quart covers 125 sq. feet per coat
  • Thinning or diluting the formulation is not required
  • It is simple and easy to use
  • The formulation is durable and long-lasting
  • It makes the kitchen table aesthetically pleasing by producing a soft gloss


  • It takes a prolonged time to dry and settle. Unsatisfactory ventilation may increase the drying hours
  • It can be hazardous if not used carefully, as it contains flammable organic solvents
  • It is expensive than most of the other formulations

Minwax 63010444 Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish

Minwax Fast-Drying Finish comes among the leading kitchen table finish or varnish due to various advantages. This clear oil-based liquid is extremely robust as it provides long-lasting protection to the interior wood surface.

Moreover, it can be used on both finished as well as unpolished kitchen table tops. It is not only durable but, it also has fast-drying action. This quality makes the entire process complete within a short period. 

It is an ideal choice when dealing with kitchen utensils, cabinetry, wooden furniture, doors, and flooring.

The formulation is available in different colors with different proportion of gloss in them. It is commercially available in a one-quart container.


  • It has fast-drying action
  • The oil present in the formula gives the table a natural yet polished look
  • It comes in different sizes and colors
  • It is highly durable
  • It also has a good coverage area


  • Multiple coats of finish are required for better results
  • It does not function well with white wood

Varathane Ultimate Polyurethane Oil-Based Finish

Like Waterlox finish, this formulation is also one of the oldest varnishes that are still being manufactured and are highly demanded.  The finish comes in three different styles that are gloss, semi-gloss, and satin.

Out of the three styles, satin is commonly preferred as it gives a more sophisticated and classy look to the table.  It is available in the form of a one-quart container and has a good coverage area of up to 150 sq. feet. 

Moreover, the formulation is resistant to scratches and heavy stains due to the presence of polyurethane. It has fast drying action as the first coat of the finish dries in about two hours.


  • It is long-lasting
  • It is economical
  • It has fast-drying action
  • The finish has a good area of coverage


  • Multiple coats of this formula are required for better results
  • It has a strong and unpleasant odor

Ecos Paints Clear Interior Gloss Wood Varnish

The Ecos semi-gloss varnish is one of the best water-based varnish available. The formula is environmentally safe and sound as it lacks volatile organic compounds as a result, toxic fumes are not liberated.

The Ecos paints interior gloss wood varnish is an ideal option for people suffering from severe ailments like asthma.

In addition to this, the formula is highly durable and forms a hard, washable film upon drying. This interior wood varnish has a good area of coverage of up to 500 sq. feet per gallon. 

Also, the formula has a fast-drying action and provides the best result upon the application of three coats. Although it takes 30 to 40 minutes to dry, it is suggested to wait for at least 2 to 4 hours to apply the next coat.

The formula is suitable to use on wooden furniture, floors, and cabinetry while it is not recommended for teak wood, rosewood, and olive wood.


  • It does not liberate harmful odors
  • It forms a durable, water-resistant tough film
  • It is environmentally sound and safe
  • It dries rapidly within 30 to 40 minutes
  • It has a good area of coverage of up to 500 sq. ft per gallon


  • It is one of the most expensive finishes currently available in the market
  • Although it is environmentally sound it still has some potential to elicit adverse reactions in the human body

Best Finish for Wood Kitchen Table Buying Guide

The kitchen is no doubt one of the most significant parts of a household. Since a lot of time is spent here, therefore, people go out of the way in its decoration. Special efforts are made when it is being remodeled just to give it a homelike yet contemporary look. The result turns out to be awesome when ideal materials are used in the making of the kitchen. 

Finish or varnish is a chief material that is responsible for making all the wooden articles look polished and refined.  So here is what you need to know when buying the best finish for wood kitchen table:

Ease of Application:

Always go for a product that is simple and less complex to use. For instance, paints can be applied through a roller or a paintbrush without any trouble. Similarly, you should buy those finish products that can be applied conveniently. Usually, such formulas can be used through a piece of cloth or a brush. 

Suitable Finish for a Particular Wood:

Finish must be selected based on the type of wood. Therefore to treat different wood types different types of finish products have been produced. They are as follows;

Oil-Based Finish:

As the name implies they consist of oil that is in combination with volatile solvents. The oil forms a protective layer that surrounds the entire article and gives it a polished tone. The oil-based finish is considered suitable to treat the unfinished kitchen articles.    

Water-Based Finish:

They are clear liquid substances that not only polish the unfinished wooden surfaces but also give glossy look to them. 


Although the finish is also referred to by the name varnish still they are an entirely different type of finish. Varnishes are clear liquids that have dry at a very slow pace. Due to this characteristic, they are often combined with fast-acting formulas. 

Longevity of the Finish:

It is a universal fact that people prefer to buy long-lasting products. There could be many reasons for it but the major reason is to save time and money. Hence, the durability of a finish formula is a very important factor that must never be overlooked.

Finishes with high durability can be a little steep. However, it is better to spend some money rather than buying a low-quality product again and again. 

Oil-based finish and varnish, Tung oil are long-lasting than other finish formulas. 

Finish Odor:

These formulas must be handled with extreme vigilance as they are made up of substances that can be toxic. Alcohol or volatile oil-containing finish has a very strong and obnoxious odor which can be detrimental if inhaled. Therefore the working area must have a proper ventilation system that would efficiently eliminate toxicities from your surroundings. 

Paint over Varnish:

You can opt for paints instead of varnish to enhance the appearance of your kitchen table. However, paints if not properly sealed are not long-lasting and will fail to produce a sleek look. On the other hand, varnish not only sustains the raw form of wood but also makes it look glossy and sleek. Hence now a day’s varnish is usually preferred over paint.

Final Words

As the name implies, the finish is a substance that enhances the look of a wooden piece of furniture. Since you don’t want to keep an unfinished kitchen table at your house it would be better if you buy this formula.

The General Finishes Arm-R-Seal oil-based topcoat is the high-quality finish formula you will ever find. Numerous benefits could be achieved from a single pint of it. For instance, it is resistant to water and has non-toxic constituents. The formula is also very simple and convenient to use. 

So make use of this buying guide to select a suitable best finish for wood kitchen table for your use.