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By Co1
#1216362
What would you recommend for a busy restaurant table top? I’m putting together an oak table and domestically I’d use an oil finish, but not sure this would be up to the job in a busy place. It doesn’t want to be high gloss, just hard wearing.

What would you recommend? is a wipe on poly finish the way to go and if so has anyone got any tips on application?

Cheers
Col
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By custard
#1216388
Co1 wrote:What would you recommend? is a wipe on poly finish the way to go and if so has anyone got any tips on application?


I tested a few finishes for resistance to spills. The killers were fruit juices and red wine when left on the surface for an hour or more. Surprisingly (at least to me) was that water based poly wasn't very good at resisting red wine or fruit juice, in fact it was a bit less effective than Osmo PolyX. It was fine as long as the spillages were wiped up in a few minutes, but left for an hour or more then water based pu was a disappointment. Another problem is if you decide to re-finsh after a couple of years, pu varnishes don't adhere to themselves very well once the base coat has fully cured, so any subsequent coat is liable to delaminate. The best solution for re-finishing is to completely strip the old pu finish, but that's the labour of Hercules!

Two pack finishes, like Rustins, are certainly bulletproof, but they're very thick and can make the furniture look encapsulated and plastic-y, plus unless you're careful in the application (or spend hours burnishing) the surface is liable to show runs and brush marks.

If you don't have spray equipment two to look at are either Osmo (it's not perfect but its easy to re-finish) or a traditional spar varnish. In truth a good spray finish has so many practical benefits it might be worth subbing the finishing out.
By Co1
#1216427
custard wrote:
Co1 wrote:What would you recommend? is a wipe on poly finish the way to go and if so has anyone got any tips on application?


I tested a few finishes for resistance to spills. The killers were fruit juices and red wine when left on the surface for an hour or more. Surprisingly (at least to me) was that water based poly wasn't very good at resisting red wine or fruit juice, in fact it was a bit less effective than Osmo PolyX. It was fine as long as the spillages were wiped up in a few minutes, but left for an hour or more then water based pu was a disappointment. Another problem is if you decide to re-finsh after a couple of years, pu varnishes don't adhere to themselves very well once the base coat has fully cured, so any subsequent coat is liable to delaminate. The best solution for re-finishing is to completely strip the old pu finish, but that's the labour of Hercules!

Two pack finishes, like Rustins, are certainly bulletproof, but they're very thick and can make the furniture look encapsulated and plastic-y, plus unless you're careful in the application (or spend hours burnishing) the surface is liable to show runs and brush marks.

If you don't have spray equipment two to look at are either Osmo (it's not perfect but its easy to re-finish) or a traditional spar varnish. In truth a good spray finish has so many practical benefits it might be worth subbing the finishing out.


Just had a look at Osmo. There are a few different variant, which would you recommend and have you any tips for application?
Thanks
By Beau
#1216430
I would go for the two pack coating. Yes it's a bit glossy but as Phil says you can knock the gloss back and the last thing you want is to be called back to refinish it. Not difficult to get a run free finish on a flat top and lets face it lighting in restaurants is not exactly revealing of fine detail. I have used oil based PU varnish successfully on domestic tables but not sure how well it would old up to the use/abuse it would get in a restaurant.
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By custard
#1216436
Co1 wrote:Just had a look at Osmo. There are a few different variant, which would you recommend and have you any tips for application?


PolyX in whatever sheen level you want, in truth the Osmo sheen spectrum is pretty compressed, the matt isn't particularly matt and the glossy isn't particularly glossy. On Oak I'd sand to 180 and wipe on three coats.

Osmo offer small sample sachets for not much money, try it on scrap first and assure yourself it does what you want. I wouldn't trust anything I was told on the internet!
By Beau
#1216439
Custard you are a star on here but PolyX for a restaurant table :shock:

Used it on a coffee table at home and it was pea poor and needs stripping and doing again with just light domestic use.
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By ED65
#1216441
I presume this is the type of place where having the wood unfinished wouldn't fit? The wood can definitely take being unfinished, although obviously it will accrue stains and become parched looking over time as it gets wiped down again and again.

If you're not going to go with the Rustin's stuff, or one of the pour-on finishes that look similar, then the toughest finish you probably have available to you is poly.

Polyurethane is impressively waterproof, wear resistant and the most scratch-resistant of the common coatings (precisely why they add the poly to the varnish).

Now you do need to apply enough to build up that impressive resistance to water which means on the order of 3-4 coats of full-strength varnish, or whatever the equivalent is of wiping varnish. This will depend on the dilution ratio and how much, if any, of the excess you wipe off. So you'll just have to keep on applying it until the build looks about right.
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By Droogs
#1216444
Try Ronseal Diamond Hard floor varnish it comes as matt, satin and gloss. Ive used this before on a pub bar and never been asked to redo it.
By phil.p
#1216456
One good reason for RPC over polyurethane is the drying time - you can use three or four coats of RPC in 36 - 48 hours. Try doing three or four coats of Polyurethane in that time in winter.