walnut + maple end grain drink coasters finish?

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Forum topic by Gary Fixler posted 1317 days ago 2195 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2013 days

1317 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: walnut maple coaster coasters finish question

I had some leftovers from a walnut and maple end grain cutting board, and realized I could make end grain coasters to match it. I have 4 little ~4”x4” striped square blocks, about 1/2” thick now. I’ll be finishing the cutting board with butcher block oil, which will significantly yellow the maple. I considered using it for the coasters as well, but I don’t think it’ll work. You’re not supposed to really soak end grain cutting boards, and coasters need to handle quite a bit of moisture. Any idea of a good finish that will allow someone to put a glass of ice water on it in the Florida heat? I’ve considered something like a cork appliqué on top, but it would hide the alternating wood stripes.


-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

7 replies so far

View Dez's profile


1113 posts in 2709 days

#1 posted 1317 days ago

You could use a drying oil like tung oil to get the color and then when dry a poly finish would make it pretty water resistant.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Galirex's profile


37 posts in 1619 days

#2 posted 1316 days ago

How about fiberglass resin ? That would exclude moisture from ever permeating the wood, yet allow you to see through.

-- Don't complain about growing old, it's a priviledge denied many...

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2013 days

#3 posted 1315 days ago

Thanks for the ideas. I hadn’t considered fiberglass resin, but I think it warrants some tests.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View travisowenfurniture's profile


91 posts in 1322 days

#4 posted 1315 days ago

I would go with Dez on this one, tung oil and poly, plus a coat of wax applied every few years for that extra amount of water deflection. The two part pour on finishes may work well for this, but I havn’t tried them so I can’t say for sure


View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2013 days

#5 posted 1315 days ago

Thanks, Travis (and Dez!). I finished the board today and am shipping it off tomorrow to mom. I’m going to hang on to the coasters for a bit while I think about exactly what I’d like to do. They can be a surprise extra gift later. I’ll run some tests. I think I have tung oil, but I need to check.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View HokieMojo's profile


2098 posts in 2360 days

#6 posted 1294 days ago

i might be too late, but what about bar top finish? I don’t know a lot about it (or whether you can get smaller quantities) but I assume that it would be pretty water resistant.

View ellen35's profile


2566 posts in 2064 days

#7 posted 1294 days ago

I sprayed mine with spray on spar varnish. I used 4-5 coats and they are as good today as the day I sprayed them and we use them every day. I used Man-o-War spray on.
It was very easy to do and the finish looked like a poly finish.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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