Best finish for a kitchen counter top

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Forum topic by Don posted 01-26-2015 12:22 PM 818 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Don's profile


550 posts in 2660 days

01-26-2015 12:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hey folks,

I have been commissioned to build a countertop for a client’s kitchen. The counter top will be around the sink water and over the dishwasher (steam) so I want to use a finish that will make sure this thing lasts a very long time.

Looking for suggestions.


-- -- Don in Ottawa,

5 replies so far

View Bluepine38's profile


3336 posts in 2503 days

#1 posted 01-26-2015 04:25 PM

Not trying to be a smart ass, but what material are you going to use to build it? Corian will not need a finish,
but will need a lot of tools and training. The new expoxy pour finishes are good, but will require some study
and a little practice with small portions before you do a large surface. Wish you lots of luck.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1080 posts in 3225 days

#2 posted 01-26-2015 04:44 PM

I assume you’re using hardwood in the counter top. I have recently finished a Bamboo counter top and I used a MinWax, two part epoxy varnish. In effect, it’s like putting 30 coats of vanish on your counter with the additional strength and durability of epoxy. I love it. Looks great and even tolerates hot pots being ‘mistakenly’ placed on it. Not too expensive for my 6’ X 2’ counter top. You might consider consulting a local contractor who has more experience. good luck.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View Don's profile


550 posts in 2660 days

#3 posted 01-26-2015 04:51 PM

Yes, it will be all hardwoods, mixed flavours.

Thanks guys

-- -- Don in Ottawa,

View Kelly's profile


1039 posts in 2362 days

#4 posted 01-26-2015 06:42 PM

Whatever you put on it, you want to, also, focus on the underside, several inches in from the sink.

After that, I’d try to thin the hell out of whatever I put on first to get as much penetration of the finish as I could.

In the past, I’ve flood coated and stayed on the process to push as much finish into the wood as I could. To that end, after it quit sucking up material quickly, I kept the bucket of thinned (about sixty percent thinner) finish sitting there and added more every time I walked by.

I let that dry over night, then switched to a 50/50 mix. Then a 25% mix and and final straight coat.

When I did this to a six inch thick piece of cedar, the finish bled all the way through. Essentially, after all the thinner evaporated off, I had a piece of poly wood.

The killer of wood, as we know, is gain and loss of moisture. The more stable you can get the wood, the longer it will hold up. The cedar piece above sat in front of a fireplace, used in the winter, for over thirty years and developed no new splits or cracks. Of course, every side has to be treated to achieve this.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1779 days

#5 posted 01-26-2015 08:33 PM

Kelly—What you saw that soaked through was just solvent/thinner. The actual finish only penetrates the wood for a couple millimeters. The initial one or two coats sets the limit, as polymerization presents a barrier to greater penetration.

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

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