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What Scot told you is true, you will get a good protection with either oil or water poly. I repair and conserve furniture and the school of thought there is to put on something that is easily reversible who they would say oil or shellac and wax is best, but for your kitchen table that is not an antique, you should use poly on the top. 6 or 6 coats with a light sanding between, clean up, coat, etc. The rest of the table can be any finish but poly is good as well. About 3 coats with sanding in between them. I have used oil poly for years, but I am beginning to switch over to water based. It has no smell, is non-toxic and dries quicker.
Good woodworking and let us see the finished table.
John
 
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