Staining, poly or nothing

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Forum topic by MikeOB posted 02-05-2010 02:57 PM 1105 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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89 posts in 2210 days

02-05-2010 02:57 PM

I am almost done with my 1st project – my mobile work bench. Here is a picture from Nov 09 wood mag.

I have a light colored, almost like this picture, solid core door that I’m going to use for the top instead of the 2×4s.

Any suggestions on what I should use? I want to keep it light colored, but then again a dark bottom light top would work too.

I’m kinda new to this so any suggestions would be nice.

Face is pine, shelves and sides are birch plywood.


-- Mike, Portage, WI

7 replies so far

View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 2525 days

#1 posted 02-05-2010 03:34 PM

if you are new at wood working and are looking to put an easy finish on your bench, I would suggest oil or (tung oil for example). Its easy to apply and does not require spraying, and goes relative quick. not to mention, if is going to get a bit scratched or dinged up, if you want to spiff it up in the future a light sanding and a bit more oil is easy and quick for time to time maintence.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View suds1421's profile


6 posts in 2220 days

#2 posted 02-05-2010 03:37 PM

I would put on “Witches Brew”, easy to put on and easy to repair….

(1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 gloss poly and 1/3 naptha).

View a1Jim's profile


113826 posts in 2666 days

#3 posted 02-05-2010 04:54 PM

Wipe on poly

-- Custom furniture

View PurpLev's profile


8522 posts in 2738 days

#4 posted 02-05-2010 05:00 PM

Boiled linseed oil – like Barry mentioned, slippery workbenches (hard finish like poly or laquer) won’t hold your work pieces as securely.

boiled linseed oil is easy to apply like Nicholas mentioned, in penetrates the wood and seals it against moisture, but still leave that soft warm wood feel to it.

it WILL however darken the wood. the only thing that I know of that won’t darken the wood is water based finishes like waterbased-poly. but I would not use that for a workbench.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Mogebier's profile


170 posts in 2122 days

#5 posted 02-05-2010 05:06 PM

My work bench is for working, not looking at, so I just put a couple of coats of gloss white primer on it just to protect the wood from spills. It’s very rough looking and “worked on” :)

-- You can get more with a kind word and a 2 by 4, than you can with just a kind word.

View Icemizer's profile


88 posts in 2629 days

#6 posted 02-05-2010 05:46 PM

I also use a solid core door and covered it with some Varathane Floor Finish. Better at handeling scuffs and scratches. Also a little less smooth than the stuff used for furniture.

-- Say what you mean and mean what you say.

View MikeOB's profile


89 posts in 2210 days

#7 posted 02-06-2010 12:10 AM

thanks for the advice!

-- Mike, Portage, WI

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