Finish for a desk top

Ericlassiter18

Eric Lassiter
User
Going to start making a desktop shortly for a standing desk, and wanted to know what kind of finish you all would recommend. I know you should be writing on some sort of pad to prevent pencil marks anyways, but I want a finish that is going to be durable for the long run.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
I agree GF ArmRSeal would be a good choice. ArmRSeal is a solvent based product, if you want a water borne product I would use GF High Performance, which actually creates a harder more durable surface
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
Any hard drying finish will work take your pick.

if you can spray it, water based urethane or acrylic is very easy to work with,
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
Maybe I am just old school, but anything that is going to get lots of human touch I always go with oil based. Arm-R-Seal works really well, but it is a week of curing over 3-4 coats application
 
Last edited:

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Eric, welcome aboard.

Knowing your capabilities and preferences makes a difference here. If you can spray, then some products make sense, but if you can't, then other products make sense.
I think most of the products recommended so far are wiping or brushing products - at least as far as I know. I personally prefer to avoid solvent based products, so that narrows my choice considerably.

I have finished table tops with Target's Coatings (sprayed) conversion varnish and lacquer. Both worked well, but neither has been used extensively As A Writing Desk. Both have held up to everyday usage. But that advice does not help if you can't spray.

There are lokely several good choices for you.
 

Ericlassiter18

Eric Lassiter
User
Eric, welcome aboard.

Knowing your capabilities and preferences makes a difference here. If you can spray, then some products make sense, but if you can't, then other products make sense.
I think most of the products recommended so far are wiping or brushing products - at least as far as I know. I personally prefer to avoid solvent based products, so that narrows my choice considerably.

I have finished table tops with Target's Coatings (sprayed) conversion varnish and lacquer. Both worked well, but neither has been used extensively As A Writing Desk. Both have held up to everyday usage. But that advice does not help if you can't spray.

There are lokely several good choices for you.
I don’t have a sprayer, so I think I’m going to go with the Armrseal recommended by a few of the people above. Thanks for the help!
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
Behlan's Rockhard Table Top Urethane is also a good brush-on durable finish. I put it on our main dining table, as well as on two daily-used computer desks over 5 years ago and all are holding up very well.
 

AllanD

Allan
Senior User
We have a large wood bar/island that I have refinished about three times over the years. The last time I used Minwax Oil Modified water based poly. Great product, applied easily with a good brush, dried quickly, no odor, easy cleanup, and best of all it has turned out to be really tough. It is slightly amber if that is OK for your application.
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
What’s the table top made of?

I’ve used GF poly, waterlox and Bona poly (flooring finish) for desk and table tops with good results.

I prefer waterlox for solid wood tops and have used it on cherry and pine without issues (pine table is nearly 10 years ago and is used for everything and two cherry tops are bathroom countertops going on 2-4 years old).
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
Second this, but I cannot get it here in Hawaii. This is also great top material.


Behlan's Rockhard Table Top Urethane is also a good brush-on durable finish. I put it on our main dining table, as well as on two daily-used computer desks over 5 years ago and all are holding up very well.
 

Ericlassiter18

Eric Lassiter
User
What’s the table top made of?

I’ve used GF poly, waterlox and Bona poly (flooring finish) for desk and table tops with good results.

I prefer waterlox for solid wood tops and have used it on cherry and pine without issues (pine table is nearly 10 years ago and is used for everything and two cherry tops are bathroom countertops going on 2-4 years old).
I think the top is going to be maple
 

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