What finish to use on outdoor restaurant tables

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Forum topic by sanfranciscocedarco posted 03-04-2015 03:33 PM 874 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View sanfranciscocedarco's profile


48 posts in 1455 days

03-04-2015 03:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question oak spray gun finishing

I am building 7 tables for a restaurant in Northern CA. They are made of white oak, with steel pedestal bases. They will be bolted down and live outdoors all of their lives. Now this is CA so outside is not to harsh it’s usually sunny here, but not too hot. They will have covers for when it does rain, but that’s not really my concern as the life of a restaurant table involves getting wet it’s part of the gig. What finish would you use? I do not want to use an epoxy. I am setup with a good HVLP system. would prefer a waterborne finish because that’s Al I want to spray through my only spray gun. Any help is greatly appreciated. THANKS!!!!

JD Goldberg

-- J.D. Goldberg, California,

6 replies so far

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1194 days

#1 posted 03-04-2015 03:41 PM

Spar Varnish is the only thing I know of that would give you what you want. And at that you would need a few coats and they would need maintenance periodically. I dont know of a water borne/base that will fit.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View CharlesNeil's profile


2385 posts in 3834 days

#2 posted 03-04-2015 03:49 PM

system three marine spar varnish , I have tested it , its the best I know of…. its expensive , but does the job.

View Earlextech's profile


1160 posts in 2654 days

#3 posted 03-04-2015 03:54 PM

General Finishes Exterior 450

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View frosty50's profile


46 posts in 2310 days

#4 posted 03-04-2015 03:54 PM

I am north of Sacramento, and my shop made up 4 tables similar to yours. We finished the tops with the same material and way Charles mentioned in his post. They have been in place for 7+ years and we have not had a single problem with the finish, vandalism yes but not the finish. Good luck, show us pics of the final product.

-- frosty

View sanfranciscocedarco's profile


48 posts in 1455 days

#5 posted 03-04-2015 04:03 PM

Thanks guys. I’ll post pics of the finished tops.. Here’s the Draft I dd of the design. It’s a Greek restaurant, I think they will love em.

-- J.D. Goldberg, California,

View HerbC's profile


1739 posts in 2822 days

#6 posted 03-04-2015 11:07 PM

If that’s board layout for a glued up top you are really asking for trouble with wood movement. I see oodles of crossgrain joints and they will crack up after a short time, no matter what finish you use.

Good Luck!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

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