Q&A: Any ideas on a super durable finish that will take a beating?

Wife wants a dining table. I’m sketching it out. We discussed finishes. She wants an epoxy finish because she thinks it’s durable. I’m not sold on that 100%. First of all, I plan to bevel the underside edges and I’m not sure how to “wrap” the epoxy around the edge. Secondly, I’m not crazy about the look. I also don’t think she understands what the look will actually be.

Losing fingers since 1969


Right there with you Jim … epoxy would not be my first choice. I just recently made a desktop for a customer and used Arm-R-Seal for the first time. It appears to be holding up quite well for him.

Brian, I guess the big question is does your wife truly want an “epoxy” gloss finish?

If she does… there’s a product out there called, “liquid glass”. It’s used on bar tops and the like.

When people ask for a hard finish I go with post catalyzed Krystal Conversion varnish. It’s my go to these days. I’ve sprayed it on commercial and residential bars etc. Quite durable. On furniture I often wet sand it with 1200g-1500g after and it gives it a beautiful silky texture (and takes the sheen down some)


Brian: What about using floor varnish for the the top. That is pretty durable.


Tor and Odin are the greatest of gods.

I’ve done several tables using poly finishes and they hold up just fine. More so it you remember NOTHING is bullet proof and everything, eventually, requires maintenance coats.

The trick is, just as with floors, don’t wait until you break through the finish into the wood to freshen the coat. That way, you only have to scuff it and apply a new coat.

This is one I did for a farmer. It was beat, after years of neglect. This finish is, now, about seven years in and suffered use by the farmer, his two boys, a ranch hand and many a visitor.

By the way, rather than spray for a mirror finish, I brushed and wiped on about seven coats. Then I used a pad sander, some 600 and oil to bring it to smooth with no brush marks, then wiped on a couple more coats.

For some coffee tables, I brushed on coats, then used the sander and oil with pumice, rottenstone, then went to polish mode with plastic polish.