Shop furniture…Leave natural or add a finish?

Fred J

Fred
User
Do you leave your shop furniture natural or do you add stain with a protective coating or just a protective coating? Looking for opinions and if you added a finish, what did you use?

My small bandsaw sits on a plywood oak cabinet and the other carts are BORG sande plywood.
 

AllanD

Allan
Senior User
I have left some plywood items unfinished in the past but generally finish everything now. It just cleans up so much easier in addition to looking better. For the the vast majority of my shop stuff now in my newer shop I used melamine. So no finishing needed, assemble and done.
 

creasman

Jim
Staff member
Corporate Member
I apply finish for the reasons mentioned above -- protection, ease of cleanup, etc. Shop furniture is also a good place to practice your skills or experiment on something you haven't tried before (e.g., dovetailed drawers). This includes finishing techniques. Better to learn and fail on a piece of shop furniture made of pine and plywood, rather than on a mahogany table.
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
I finish with oil if I do not stain, That way nothing sticks, easy to clean.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
In the past, I've taken the cheap and easy way out and put a finish only on the front. I won't do that again. That shortcut is almost a gesture of casual disregard.
 

AllanD

Allan
Senior User
When I built the shop I wanted a bunch of cabinets soon and didn't relish the finishing like I mentioned. Here is what the melamine cabinets look like:
tempImage2fvDUB.jpg
 

Fred J

Fred
User
Thanks for your opinions and replies. Especially the reference to “easy to clean.” I used black pipe for a flip top CNC cart and I have unsightly fingerprints everywhere. I’ll be sure to clean it and experiment with a staid and finishes.

Beautiful shop and cabinetry. I’ve got a long ways to go on organization since the 2-car garage serves as a multi-use space.
 

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