Benchtop Finish

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Forum topic by DonJ posted 787 days ago 676 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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229 posts in 2029 days

787 days ago

I’ve just finished putting a coat of varnish on my benchtop. It is about 2 1/4” thick and is solid white oak laminated on edge. With that thickness, is it necessary to varnish the bottom side as well? It is too heavy to flip over and would really be a mess to varnish…but, if necessary, I will.

-- Don, San Antonio, TX

4 replies so far

View hhhopks's profile


550 posts in 879 days

#1 posted 787 days ago

I am currently building a bench. I got to keep the mass in mind. Maybe I’ll prefinish some of the pieces before assembly.

I would be concern about moisture migration, but I am no expert. I’ll definitely check back to see what inputs others may have.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View crank49's profile


3245 posts in 1473 days

#2 posted 787 days ago

I wouldn’t have put any finish on it if it were mine; maybe a little sealer since it’s oak.
But to each his own.
I don’t think you need to varnish the bottom from a warpage consideration, if that’s your concern.

-- Michael :-{| Diapers and politicians both need to be changed often; and for the same reason.

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


4450 posts in 1079 days

#3 posted 787 days ago

Maybe wax it, easy peasy done.
I would pass on the varnish.

View Offset's profile


2 posts in 1058 days

#4 posted 786 days ago

I think the recommended finish for benches is 1 part boiled linseed oil, 1 part varnish, and 1 part thinner. It is supposed to seal and protect the wood without without building up or hardening.

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