curly maple bar top

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Forum topic by jcmeyer posted 09-10-2013 07:07 AM 1493 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1892 days

09-10-2013 07:07 AM

I’m in the process of creating a bar using curly maple on top. How do you reccomend that I finish the bar top? In the past, I have used aniline dye and shellac for curly maple furniture. However, this time I want it to be able to withstand having cold bottles of beer, etc. on it.


6 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2748 days

#1 posted 09-10-2013 09:35 AM

Two finishes come to mind.
Crystalac makes a bar top and floor finish called polyoxide that seems pretty good. I’ve used it, but not on a bartop and it seems durable enough.

Epoxy would be the other bartop finish. Before either finish I’d use something to give the curly grain a bit of pop. For my waterborne clear coats I first coat with a coat of sealcoat tinted with a few drops of dark vintage maple transtint. I’m not sure if that will work under epoxy.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 1923 days

#2 posted 09-10-2013 12:40 PM

I’ve used regular polyurethane for table and bar tops with great success. My kitchen table was refinished 25 years ago with three coats of poly and has withstood constant water, impact, and other abuse, and still looks great. My bar top was done with three coats of gloss Minwax solvent base poly. The gloss is important because it does not contain flatteners that cloud the finish. The last coat to go on is semi gloss for the right sheen. Again here, it is holding up great.

The nice thing about this product is that it is easy to locate, sprays well, and does not cost a fortune!

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2533 days

#3 posted 09-10-2013 01:38 PM

Waterborne poly floor finish.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View jcmeyer's profile


3 posts in 1892 days

#4 posted 09-10-2013 01:57 PM

Thanks for the responses so far. Does anyone know how the poly or epoxy top coats would affect the aniline dye?

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2458 days

#5 posted 09-10-2013 02:07 PM

Waterlox. :)
I think it’s just a phenolic resin varnish but it’s tough stuff. Extremely easy to repair/refinish. I wiped my entire, 8 foot long, island top down with mineral spirits because I thought I’d be refinishing the entire thing when I had to recut a corner after the top had been in use for a year. The mineral spirits just cleaned it really well. Didn’t touch the finish. I recut and refinished the bare wood and then blended the new finish into the old finish by padding on a couple of coats and feathering them into the old finish. I can’t find a transition between old and new and I’m the one that did it. :)

Poly – I like it for times when it’s the best, but I have to admit I’m not in the “poly everything” camp. If you do go with a polyurethane, I’d definitely be looking for a floor finish type, and solvent based. I haven’t personally had to repair it, but I think you’d have to refinish the entire piece as opposed to doing any spot repairs. Others might dispute that and I will absolutely yield to someone more experienced with poly on that one.

Hard to beat the scratch resistance/chemical resistance of a good epoxy finish, but not easy to repair/refinish. And a bit harder to apply correctly.

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2748 days

#6 posted 09-10-2013 02:34 PM

I’ve used waterborne poly over dyes with no problems. Spray for best results.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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