Durable tabletop

BakergirlApril 12, 2012


We have and old table that is too large for the nook seating area in our new kitchen. We are thinking about cutting it down to size, taking the four legs off, and making it a pedestal table. It's a solid wood, and in pretty good shape--but the wrong color for the kitchen. It's also a softer wood--not pine, but softer than will hold up to a household with two young kids. My husband wants to add a formica top to it. I *really* don't want formica in our brand new, modern style kitchen. If I stain it, would several coats of poly (or something else?) provide some protection from the scratches/dents that are otherwise inevitable with little kids?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No finish is going the be significantly harder than the underlying wood.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That's what I was afraid of. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 1:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

only thing you could do is to put down a thick epoxy bartop finish. Probably not the look you want.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 3:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Behlen Rockhard Table Top Varnish is significantly tougher than polyurethane, although in my hands it seems slower to harden fully. It's chemically similar to Bakelite, which is seriously tough stuff. You can order it from Rockler or Woodcraft or perhaps directly from Behlen. My dad used to finish table and bar tops with traditional (non-polyurethane) marine spar varnish. Soft (flexible) but very water resistant, and easier to repair than most varnishes. Flexibility might be a virtue on a soft table top. I recently revarnished a table top my dad refinished with spar varnish back in the middle '60s. The skirt and legs were still in pretty good shape so I just cleaned and wire wooled them and ragged on a couple thin coats of polyurethane gel varnish. We'll see how well gel varnish sticks to 47-year-old Dupont Dulux spar. (Not a recommendation.)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Even Rockhard over a soft base will not be all that resistant to very hard use.

The finish will simply crack when the underlying wood is dented.

A VERY thick pour on type finish can limit damage y spreading impacts out over a larger area of the wood without failing itself.

The problem is it is a ugly looking thing for residential use.

A 1/4 inch layer of 'plastic' over the surface.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 10:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Concur Rockhard might very well crack. Spar varnish might be a reasonable compromise in a clear coat, though it will scratch and do even less to prevent dents. It just won't crack as easily

It's occurred to me, however, that since you're going to have to live with dents between major refinishing jobs, almost regardless of what finish you use, you might consider making a virtue of necessity by going with a distressed paint finish. This approach would have the additional virtue of finessing the problem of getting soft wood to stain evenly.

Better yet, you could paint the table as if you were going to distress it then and let the kids distress it naturally. :-)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 9:43PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Wood Countertop Oil? Tung vs Mineral
I am going in 2 different directions for my Island...
Woodworking tools
If you're in search of high-quality woodworking tools,...
Cabinets splitting all over the house...
I live in a five year old construction. Over the past...
Can this door be repaired?
We're renovating a 1920 house and this bedroom door...
Will these trees make good lumber?
I've got 2 fallen catalpa trees that have remained...
Sponsored Products
Surya Frontier FT-607 3'6" x 5'6" Green, Olive Rug
$202.20 | PlushRugs
Lauren Leather Storage Ottoman - Textured Brown
Grandin Road
Le Corbusier LC5 Style Sofa Bed-White - 100% Italian Leather
IFN Modern
Remer by Nameeks N09L Diverter Valve Trim - REMER N09L
$273.00 | Hayneedle
Richard Schultz | Cover for PetalĀ® Collection Dining Table
Stonington Mystic Black 10.5-Inch Height One-Light Outdoor Wall Mounted
$79.99 | Bellacor
fluid Penguin Dual Handle Lavatory Tap
Modern Bathroom
Quarry Green Marble and Steel 51" Wide Wall Fountain
Lamps Plus
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™