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Hello all,
I'm in the process of building a rustic bar in the basement. The bar was skinned with some reclaimed oak timber that I had sawn down to about a 1/2" thick and planed on the backside. I rough sanded the front with some 50 grit and then wire brushed it. Blew out the dust and then coated it with some Varathane. It started out with a gray patina even after prep, but when I coated it, the brown tones reappeared. I was actually more pleased with the outcome. Any how… For some contrast on the top (and because it was free, LOL), I'm going to use some southern yellow pine. It is rough sawn but it'll be planed on both sides and sanded at least on the topside. Since this is a bar top / counter top, and liquids are a concern, what would be a suitable finish for the top?? I lean towards a satin finish when going rustic. I plan on leaving it natural (no stain) and may even experiment with some torching accents for a more rustic appeal. I do like to accent the grain on woods, so what is a good method to make the grain on this species pop before the topcoat? Also, should I coat both sides for humidity control? Thanks in advance for your help. Pics to follow so you can get a feel for the setting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A lot of people use pour on two way epoxy on bar tops and varnish for the bottom. I have used just varnish and it lasted a long time.

- mrjinx007
I thought of using the two part, but doesn't it require some type of dam to keep it from spilling over the edges as it is poured in place? At this point, there will be no banding/edging/rail on this top.
 

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No, no dam needed… It is a messy job and several way of doing it. Here is a youtube video of one. There are bunch more out there. Main thing is having a good pair of tweezers to remove dusts and particles and off course the torch. But varnish, maybe a marine varnish would be a lot easier to apply and do just as well. The two way epoxy will have a thick glass film over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, I've been doing a little research on finishing this top. Because of funds, the epoxy is out. I think I'm going in the direction of Zinssers Seal Coat followed by Arm-R-Seal. Any input on this path?? I may want a little color on this, nothing too drastic. I read on the can about tinting the Seal Coat with a dye or stain at about two ounces per gal. Anyone have experience on this ??
 

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The entire piece should be sealed for moisture control. To highlight grain, stain with somewhat darker color, then sand until you get the affect desired. The Seal Cote is not really needed. The Arm-R-Seal is all you really need (or any other poly). I tint shellac or sealcote with Transtint dye.
 
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