Ash kitchen table finish

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Forum topic by Ben posted 07-05-2018 06:42 PM 659 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ben's profile


482 posts in 3741 days

07-05-2018 06:42 PM

Hi all,

I have a small, 32” round kitchen table ready for finish. Top is clear, very blonde Ash.

I’m wondering how best to go about finish this. The pedestal base is Walnut. I want to preserve the nice contrast without yellowing the ash too much, but I want the finish to be tough.
Pedestal is unfinished but might wind up being wipe-on poly or Danish oil (also looking for suggestions on that).
Should I go with a water-based poly on top?


5 replies so far

View LesB's profile


2626 posts in 4327 days

#1 posted 07-05-2018 06:51 PM

I would use a poly, either oil or water base. Some poly is rated for use on floors which makes them a bit more durable. I find that to get a nice smooth finish the ambient temperature can be critical. Right around 70 degrees works for me. Cooler and it takes longer to dry and can collect more air born dust particles. Warmer it drys too fast and the brush strokes can show. Sand with 320 or 400 grit between coats (3 to 4) and I usually apply a paste wax with a White 3M pad several days after the last coat had dried….usually no less than 72 hours.
Most poly is very clear but some have a little color (yellow) added so read the labels.

I finished a large kitchen table this way about 10 years ago and it still looks great. It gets daily use.

I think I would use the same poly on the base but wipe on would work too.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Woodknack's profile


13503 posts in 3264 days

#2 posted 07-05-2018 06:52 PM

This is ash with wb poly. I don’t think you can keep it natural color and use a tough finish.

-- Rick M,

View ocean's profile


216 posts in 1718 days

#3 posted 07-05-2018 06:54 PM

I would go with the water based poly, it will about the clearest finish (no tint) you can apply . I would first wet the top surface to raise the grain and let it dry, then give it a final fine sanding before applying several coats of poly.

-- Bob, FL Keys

View Aj2's profile (online now)


3415 posts in 2682 days

#4 posted 07-05-2018 08:54 PM

I have used Generals Enduro water based lacquer. It’s very clear adds almost no color. But it’s not as tough as Enduro conversion varnish that adds a yellow.
Not a easy choice

-- Aj

View Ben's profile


482 posts in 3741 days

#5 posted 07-05-2018 09:37 PM

Thanks, everyone.
I think I’m going to try the water-based poly. Have a quart of “Benwood StayClear” low lustre.

Woodknack – I think that looks pretty nice. Thanks.

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