Other than epoxy for bartops/counter tops

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Forum topic by Monte Pittman posted 02-06-2016 01:44 PM 1782 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Monte Pittman

28137 posts in 2241 days

02-06-2016 01:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have used a lot of 2 part epoxy for these. While I like the product very much for some applications, the high-gloss and hassles are not good for many applications. So when used properly, what is a good water-resistant finish?

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

19 replies so far

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2595 days

#1 posted 02-06-2016 02:02 PM

Oil and water don’t mix very well. Would BLO be acceptable?

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View johnstoneb's profile


2781 posts in 2076 days

#2 posted 02-06-2016 02:11 PM

What about lacquer?

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Bobsboxes's profile (online now)


1330 posts in 2567 days

#3 posted 02-06-2016 03:16 PM

Monte, I have used oil based poly on many tables, wood tops, ect. All look as good as the day I finished them. I tried lacquer a couple of times, but it didn’t hold up for me.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)


17528 posts in 1759 days

#4 posted 02-06-2016 03:24 PM

Ive not used the epoxy. Best thing ive used is just plain oil based poly. My dining table has about 8 coats brushed on. Its been impervious to water. I think it might be better if it was sprayed. Also you could call target coatings and see if they have something. Maybe their high build finish.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View hoss12992's profile


3990 posts in 1796 days

#5 posted 02-06-2016 03:32 PM

I’m a huge fan of tung oil to make the wood pop and then I put oil Polly on top. Looks great and holds up perfectly. This has stood the test of time for me. Hope this helps buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View TexPenn's profile


459 posts in 3591 days

#6 posted 02-06-2016 04:20 PM

I use famo wood sometimes. or you can make your own “tung oil” with spar urethane, boiled linseed oil & mineral spirits. equal parts.

-- Ted, TX or PA

View Snipes's profile


160 posts in 2148 days

#7 posted 02-06-2016 04:31 PM

I think if your looking to spray the 2k poly is the answer. I don’t like the look of pour on epoxy and lacquer generally doesn’t hold up on well used tables or bars. Like others have mentioned brush on poly is probably your best bet, I prefer old masters, water or oil both level out real nice.

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View DocSavage45's profile


8450 posts in 2745 days

#8 posted 02-06-2016 06:09 PM


You have mastered epoxy finishes. Some pines are as hard as some hardwoods. I’m guessing the application would be with Beetle Kill Pine?

I have built a few houses from ground up with current construction materials. Finishing floors use to be with oil based Poly. It truely stands up as it is a plastic finish and almost as hard as epoxy but easier to work with? At least given what I’ve seen in finishing with epoxy, especially if there are bubbles in the finish?

I’m impatient…really. LOL and I’m working without fresh air flow as you might in winter. If I’m not messing with the color of the wood I use Seal Coat with light sanding and a waterborne Poly.

The butt bench step stool was of concern as I use it in and out of my shop. I asked my mentor Charles Neil if I should go with waterborne or oil based. He said I could continue with waterborne. It’s been working well. I use satin finish as it’s similar to danish or tung oil.

A caveat: I have refinished a stool seat (toilet) with the waterborne finish and the underside seems to have moisture broken through near the bumpers.

I have also used it on my chainsaw bench ( not yet posted) which is sitting outside in the MN winter.

It seems you are selling a lot of your style furniture. I’m guessing the epoxy is time consuming. You might check out an Erlex hvlp self contained sprayer? Charles Neil and Marc “The Wood Whisperer,” have video on this tool.

I’m trying to figure out where I can have a spray booth, but it’s not high on priority list.

Hope this gives you some options to consider.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View chrisstef's profile


17163 posts in 2909 days

#9 posted 02-06-2016 06:30 PM

Arm r seal or waterlox original are good choices on my opinion. Both oil based.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View 7Footer's profile


2569 posts in 1851 days

#10 posted 02-06-2016 06:53 PM

Interesting thread, you guys should be add some of your tricks to Dave’s What are your shop recipe's thread ... Half the mixes in my cabinet I use I got from there…

Every time I use Arm-r-seal I like it even more, I tried it per Stef’s recommendation, stuff seems pretty minimal as far as building up a finish, but is also surprisingly durable. Imo it even better if used with seal-a-cell first.


View JackDuren's profile


388 posts in 862 days

#11 posted 02-07-2016 02:08 AM

We use a epoxy then I believe a urethane is used on top to cut the gloss. If interested I’ll double check this on Monday…

View Tooch's profile


1698 posts in 1779 days

#12 posted 02-07-2016 02:15 AM

Monte I’ve used mainly Minwax oil based poly for most of the tables that I’ve done. It takes a few more coats (normally at least 5 w/light sanding in between) to build up a good finish, but it has held up the test of my 2 young daughters doing everything from eating lunch on them to painting pictures and still looks great.

A while back I read a brief article on different types of minwax poly. It suggested a 3-step process, starting with wipe-on poly for the first coat, allowing you to really rub into the grain. Next, follow that up with 2-3 coats of brush-on poly to build up a finish. Finally, use the shaker can poly on the last coat to get a real even finish.

as a side note- I just picked up a HVLP sprayer at Rockler for a hundred bucks. I’m not sure if i’ll like it, but figured the upside would far out-weigh the investment if it works out.

good luck!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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1698 posts in 1779 days

#13 posted 02-07-2016 02:16 AM

We use a epoxy then I believe a urethane is used on top to cut the gloss. If interested I ll double check this on Monday…
- JackDuren

Jack those things are beautiful- what are they for?

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View JackDuren's profile


388 posts in 862 days

#14 posted 02-07-2016 03:14 AM

I’m not in the finishing department. I just build them from Parallam beams. But there Restaurant tables.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2593 days

#15 posted 02-07-2016 03:43 AM

Jack, That wood is amazing. (but I can’t figure out what it is?) That finish is flawless!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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