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Best Varnish for Table Top Reviews in 2024 [Top 10]

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Tabletops are very vulnerable to scratches and stains. It is a bit hard to keep your beautiful finish lasting long. People generally, use varnish to protect their tabletop. But you must be selective if you want to use the best varnish for table top.

Otherwise, a low quality varnish can not withstand moisture, heat, and other elements and the coating will destroy. They may also leave behind an unpleasant smell and darken the color of the wood over time.

But choosing the appropriate protective varnish can be a daunting task because of the many options on the market. In this article, we will share some of the high-quality varnishes for your tabletop.

Rust-Oleum Varnish for Table Top

TotalBoat Varnish for Dining Table

General Finishes Varnish for Kitchen Table

Top 10 Recommended Best Varnish for Table Top

A smooth and glossy table top enhances the appearance of your table furniture. So you need to use varnish to seal the wooden kitchen table top surface so that it does not get water stains or discoloration.

When it comes to varnish, there are many types and brands to choose from. So, which one is suitable for your table top project? The following are reviews of the top 10 varnishes for table tops. Each review includes some helpful specifications to help you choose the right varnish.

1. Rust-Oleum Varnish for Table Top

Rust-Oleum has been creating some of the best varnishes on the market for many years. They have a product that’s perfect for people with kitchen tables in their homes.

For outdoor wooden surfaces and table tops, Rust-Oleum Varnish is a great product. It can be used on trim, wood furniture, railings, and any other object that is above the waterline.

This product is an oil-based finish so it will expand and contract with changing weather conditions. You can expect this product to dry within 2 hours with 150 sq. ft. coverage.

As the kitchen table varnish is salt and mildew resistant, it will not be damaged by even the most humid of days. Moreover, it also has UV protection, so it keeps its shine while resisting sun damage. It leaves a crystal-clear varnish finish with maximum protection.

The Rust-oleum varnish has twice the durability of other wood finishes. You cannot purchase this product if you live on Catalina Island. If you’re looking to buy some varnish for your kitchen tables, Rust-Oleum Varnish For Table Top will be the right product for you!

Highlighted Features:

  • Dries in 30 minutes or less
  • Protection against salt and mildew
  • Seals and protects wood from weather
  • Maximum protection from the elements
  • Crystal clear and has a UV-protective finish
  • Provides a professional look
  • Has twice the durability of other wood finishes

2. TotalBoat Varnish for Dining Table

If you’re looking for a finish that will protect your dining room table from wear and tear, varnish from the TotalBoat brand is a great option. You can use their varnish products both outdoors and indoors, so they fit perfectly into your needs.

It will create a durable, waterproof finish that won’t fade. Additionally, it imparts a rich, clear amber tone that enhances wood texture. The TotalBoat Varnish For Dining Table is also a great product to use on boats and outdoor furniture.

With this fast-drying varnish, you can cover a large area quickly and again the next day to ensure a durable finish. Plus, there’s no need to sand between coats. Just give it a light sanding before the final coat for the best results.

All kinds of marine wood and household wood look great with this oil-based varnish. It won’t crack or peel when the wood expands and contracts with changes in temperature, making it a great choice for a dining wood table.

Lust Gloss and Lust Matte are both high-quality varnishes that will give your table a beautiful finish. With Lust Gloss, your table is left with a high gloss shine, while with Lust Matte, it is left with a smooth satin finish. They are both easy to apply and will protect your table from scratches and damage.

It comes in three different sizes, which are perfect for completing your project without worrying about needing to purchase more. The gloss option will also create an eye-catching finish you’ll love to show off while the matte option will provide a more subdued appearance.

There are some varnishes out there that leave brushes and rollers feeling sticky and gummy, but not this one! It’s easy to work with and won’t clog or gunk up. TotalBoat varnish provides your table with 360-400 square feet coverage per gallon.

Highlighted Features:

  • Protects kitchen tables from wear and tear
  • Imparts a rich, clear amber tone
  • Waterproof finish that won’t fade
  • No need to sand between coats
  • Comes with oil-based varnish
  • Won’t crack when the wood expands
  • Won’t peel contracts with changes in temperature
  • Comes in three different sizes
  • Has Lust Gloss and Lust Matte varnish
  • Provides 360-400 square feet of coverage per gallon

3. General Finishes Varnish for Kitchen Table

If you’re looking for a beautiful finish that will age gracefully and darken over time, then the oil-based penetrating finish is a perfect choice. This finish will add a rich depth of color to your kitchen table and help protect it from spills and scratches.

The General Finishes Varnish For Kitchen Table dries relatively quickly and is easy to apply. It is also important to note that the varnish should be allowed to cure for at least 30 days before use.

For a better look, you need coats at least 3 times. You can apply it with a natural bristle brush, cloth, foam brush, or paint pad applicator.

It’s perfect for detailed pieces and can be used on any size project. Mineral spirits cleanup makes it easy to get the job done right.

As it’s oil-based, it will protect your table from moisture and UV damage. It also has a satin finish, which will help to disguise any scratches or blemishes. This varnish comes with 1/2 pint, so it will be enough to cover a small kitchen table.

Highlighted Features:

  • Oil-based penetrating finish
  • Adds rich depth of color to the kitchen table
  • Protects the table from spills and scratches
  • Allowed to cure for at least 30 days before use.
  • Coats at least 3 times
  • Perfect for detailed pieces
  • Can clean with mineral spirits
  • Stains for extra protection
  • Comes with 1/2 pint

4. Epifanes Varnish Kitchen Table

If you’re looking for a clear topcoat to protect your kitchen table against weathering and environmental conditions, this is a great option. 

Epifanes has a marine spar varnish that is world-famous for its quality. This varnish is created with tung oil, phenolic, and alkyd resins. These ingredients make the varnish flow better, have higher gloss, be more durable for exceptional longevity.

It is used to protect the wood from ultraviolet light where UV has the ability to break down the color of the wood over time. Moreover, this product is very shiny and is resistant to water due to its ultra-high gloss finish.

The Epifanes Varnish Kitchen Table can be used on exterior or interior projects, as well as household or marine projects, by brushing, spraying or rolling, and tipping.

You can use it on new wood for restoring old wood to a deep clear finish. This product is suitable for softwood or hardwood, marine, or household applications.

Highlighted Features:

  • Has tung oil, phenolic, and alkyd resins
  • Provides higher gloss, be more durable
  • Has tung oil, phenolic, and alkyd resins
  • Provides higher gloss, be more durable
  • Protect the wood from ultraviolet light
  • Can be used on new wood or restoring old wood

5. TotalBoat Dining Table Varnish

If you are looking for varnish for your dining room table, the TotalBoat brand is a great option.

This wood sealer is perfect for creating a smooth wood surface to varnish. You can apply this sealer to every type of wood, including oily hardwoods like teak and mahogany.

The TotalBoat Dining Table Varnish creates an excellent protective layer that is durable and long-lasting. This varnish will keep wood from chipping or cracking, contrary to many other brands which only provide a temporary shield.

Additionally, it provides protection down to the wood grain to ensure your varnish won’t peel or delaminate. This varnish is perfect for 1-part marine varnishes like Lust, Gleam, or Halcyon.

It is easy to apply, and it can be used on exterior or interior wood surfaces. If it needs to be thinned, 5-10% brushing thinner 100 can be used. For spraying, the product can be thinned 10-25% with xylene.

This dining or kitchen table varnish is a fast-drying, deep penetrating sealer that lets you recoat in as little as 2 hours. It does not need sanding between coats, making it an easy and convenient way to seal your kitchen tables.

The deep penetrating sealer will help to protect your table from any damage. It dries to a clear amber color.

To get a better outlook, recommend applying 2-3 coats, with each coat being 3mils wet film thickness. This will provide coverage for 60-100 sq ft.

Highlighted Features:

  • Creates a perfectly smooth surface
  • Fills and seals the grain on new or bare wood
  • Can be applied to oily hardwoods like teak and mahogany
  • Provides a durable and long lasting protective layer
  • Protects your varnish from peeling and delaminating
  • Needs to be thinned with 5-10% brushing thinner 100
  • 10-25% xylene for spraying
  • No sanding between coats
  • Dries to a clear amber color
  • Covers 60-100 sq ft

6. System Three Kitchen Prep Table Wood Varnish

If you’re looking for a quality finish for your kitchen prep table, then look no further than this Table Wood Varnish comes from the System Three brand.

It’s available in both gloss and satin finishes, and it cures properly over System Three epoxy products. This wood finish is also compliant with VOC regulations, so you can be sure that your table will look great and be safe to use.

Moreover, the System Three Kitchen Prep Table Wood Varnish is designed for marine and exterior wood surfaces. It offers excellent protection from salt air and water, making it an ideal choice for use in high-traffic areas.

The table wood varnish is a high-quality product that is designed to protect your kitchen table from scratches and other damage. It is pre-finished to withstand constant exposure to the sun’s UV light.

Furthermore, it is resistant to many cleaners and solvents, so it will stay looking good for years to come. So when you’re looking for a durable finish for your kitchen table, wood kitchen table varnish is a perfect choice.

Highlighted Features:

  • Available in both gloss and satin finishes
  • Epoxy products are compatible
  • Compliant with VOC regulations
  • Excellent product for marine and exterior wood surfaces
  • Offers protection against salt air and water
  • Provides a beautiful finish
  • Protects your table from scratches
  • Withstands constant exposure to UV light
  • Resistant to many cleaners and solvents

7. Furniture Clinic Varnish for Wood Table

If you’re looking for a way to enhance the natural color and grain of your wooden table, then you should try Furniture Clinic varnish.

It is a great product for those who live in humid climates as it can withstand those conditions. The clear finish dries quickly and it is easy to apply with a bristle or foam brush. It creates a durable wood finish that is non-yellowing and does not yellow over time.

This product is designed to enrich the colors of new and previously stained wood, making your table look better than ever. It has a low V.O.C content and virtually no odor, so it’s safe to use.

Moreover, it is a water-based varnish and designed for use on furniture and other interior wood. It dries to a matte finish, providing a subtle sheen that is perfect for furniture and other wood surfaces.

The Furniture Clinic Varnish For Wood Table is extra tough, making it ideal for use in high-traffic areas. It comes with a 250 ml bottle. So if you’re looking for a way to improve the appearance of your furniture, then be sure to check out this wooden table varnish.

Highlighted Features:

  • Enhances the natural color and grain of your wood table
  • Durable and does not yellow over time
  • Has a low V.O.C content and virtually no odor
  • Comes with water-based varnish
  • Dries to a matte finish
  • Comes with a 250 ml bottle

8. McCloskey Table Top Varnish

Looking for a tung oil based varnish that will protect the beauty of your furniture? McCloskey brings high-quality varnish that is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.

It resists weathering and the elements, including UV rays and saltwater. This varnish will provide your table with excellent protection from wear and tear, making it a great choice for furniture that needs to be durable.

The McCloskey Table Top Varnish is a new product on the market that has many benefits over other products. It’s superior to polyurethane because it can expand with your wood, resist cracking and peeling, and adhere well to oily woods like teak and mahogany.

You can use it for boats, outdoor furniture, exterior doors, sills, and more. It flows on easily and dries quickly, so it’s perfect for quick applications. However, it’s not suitable for continuous submersion, so be careful when using it around water.

Moreover, you can apply it on exterior wood entry doors, garage doors, and other entry ways. It can also be used on wood shutters, handrails, and outdoor furniture.

That’s not all. You can use it on interior window sills and frames, planters, lamp posts, and other wood trim on boats. It is an excellent product for finishing wood projects such as birdhouses and mailboxes.

You should not use it in areas such as decks, stairs, house siding, and log cabins. It is a heavy-duty varnish that can cover 300-500 square feet per gallon. It’s available in a gloss wood finish, and it comes in 1-gallon size.

Highlighted Features:

  • Tung oil based varnish
  • Protects furniture against weathering and the elements
  • Resists UV rays and salt water
  • Excellent protection from wear and tear
  • It is resistant to cracking and peeling
  • Can be used on exterior wood entry doors, garage doors
  • Suitable for use on window sills, and wood trim on boats
  • Comes in a 1-gallon size

9. MCCLOSKEY Wood Table Varnish

If you are looking for a way to protect your table top from everyday wear and tear, then varnish from MCCLOSKEY brand is an undeniable product.

This will resist your wooden kitchen table from cracking and peeling. In addition, it can stand up to salt spray from the ocean.

Your table will get maximum protection against the sun’s UV rays. Not only is it water-resistant, but it will also absorb any seasonal movement of the wood. So your table will remain in good condition for years to come.

The MCCLOSKEY Wood Table Varnish is also designed to beautify the surfaces. The varnish comes in a quart container. It’s perfect for use on entry doors, shutters, furniture, windowsills, and frames.

Moreover, it can also be used on planters and trim on boats that are above the waterline. This varnish is durable and will help keep your wood looking great for a long time!

Highlighted Features:

  • Useful for interior or exterior wooden surface
  • Resists cracking and peeling
  • Withstands salt spray from the ocean
  • Comes in a one quart container
  • Absorb any seasonal movement of the wood
  • Designed to beautify the surfaces
  • Suitable for planters and trim on boats

10. Pettit Dining Table Varnish

Pettit is a well known brand for producing varnish for a kitchen table project. So you can also try their products to get a very durable finish, ensuring your project looks great for a long time.

This varnish is a water-based polyurethane that gives a rich high-quality gloss finish. It is perfect for all interior and exterior brightwork applications, making it a versatile option for many different surfaces.

It is a clear varnish that provides a smooth, clear wood surface while bringing out the natural beauty of fine wood. It is also known for its leveling characteristics and superior clarity, making it a perfect choice for those who want to protect their wood furniture.

The Pettit Dining Table Varnish has a special UV blocker and provides ultimate protection from even the harshest marine environment. It comes in a quart size so that you can complete the coat on your kitchen table completely.

Highlighted Features:

  • Come with water-based polyurethane
  • Rich high-quality gloss wood finish
  • Interior and exterior brightwork applications
  • Brings out the natural beauty of wood furniture
  • Has a special UV blocking agent
  • Protects wood even in need marine environments

Factors to Consider When Buying a Varnish for Table Top

wood finishes

It is easy to appreciate the allure of a varnished table top. You can really help elevate the look of any space with this elegant element. But when it comes time to buy your own varnish, there are a few things you’ll need to take into account. Here, we’ll explore some of the key factors you should consider before making your purchase. So read on for all the info you need!

Type of Varnish:

The first thing you’ll need to consider is the type of varnish you want to buy. There are three main types: oil, water-based, and lacquer. Each one has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to research each option before making your decision.

Sheen Level:

Another key consideration is the sheen level you want for your kitchen table. High-gloss varnishes will provide a reflective, mirror-like finish whereas flat or low-sheen finishes will not be as reflective.

If you want to enhance the natural beauty of your wooden furniture, you may prefer a varnish with a low sheen. But if you need more protection against scratches and spills, high-sheen varnishes will likely be the better option.

Color and Appearance:

wood stain

Consider what color and appearance you want from your kitchen table varnish. There is a wide range of colors to choose from, so you can find the perfect one to match your furniture or décor.

Dry Time:

Another factor is the dry time required by the varnish you want to purchase. This is how long it takes for the entire project to fully dry after you have applied it.

You may not be able to use your kitchen table until this process completes. Some products also call for additional drying times after each coat has been applied, so make sure you are aware of this before committing to a product.

Curing Time:

The curing time of varnish is the amount of time it takes for the wood finish to harden and reach its final strength. Most varnishes require 24 to 72 hours of curing time, but some products will take longer.


You’ll need to consider how much coverage you will get with each application of varnishing your piece of furniture. The most common measure of coverage is square feet per gallon, with many varnishes having capacities of 400-600 square feet per gallon.

Coats Recommended:

It is important to know how many coats are recommended by the manufacturer when applying your varnish to your kitchen table. This will help you determine just how long the project will take and if multiple applications might be necessary.

Temperature Resistant:

good stuff wood finish

The varnish you choose should also be resistant to high temperatures. This is important if you plan on using your kitchen table near a heat source, such as a stove or oven.

Salt and Mildew Resistant:

Choose a wood kitchen table varnish that will be resistant to mildew in order to prevent the formation and spread of this potentially dangerous fungus. Similarly, the varnish should also be salt resistant to protect against potential spills of salty liquids.

Water Resistant:

If you have pets or children, being water-resistant is an important feature for your varnish. You’ll need protection against accidental water drops or spills if this is a concern in your home.

Crack or Peel Resistant:

You may also want a varnish that is a crack or peel resistant, which helps provide added strength and durability to your furniture so it can withstand heavy use. This can help ensure a long-lasting finish for the life of your tabletop.

Odor Free:

oil based polyurethane varnish

Another important consideration when choosing a wood kitchen table varnish is the odor of the product. If you plan on using this indoors, such as in your kitchen or dining room, choose a product that has little to no smell so there won’t be any unpleasant fumes or odors.


There are some varnishes that can release high amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be harmful to the environment and your health. Look for a wood kitchen table varnish with low VOC levels to prevent any potential damage or harm to those around you.

Sanding or Without Sanding:

Some varnishes require sanding before application, which you’ll need to consider when making your purchase. Choose a wood kitchen table varnish that doesn’t require extensive sanding.

Easy to Apply:

Be sure that you choose a product that is easy for you to apply yourself in order to save money on labor costs. Some varnishes need special tools or skills to apply, so be sure to research this before making your purchase.

East to Clean:

wood finishing

Another key consideration is how easy the varnish is to clean. If you are using a high-gloss finish, any spills or smudges will be very noticeable and difficult to remove. Choose a wood kitchen table varnish that will be easy to keep clean with regular wiping.


When purchasing a kitchen table varnish, it’s important to select a brand that you trust. Not all brands are created equal, so be sure to do your research on the quality and reputation of the company before committing to a purchase.


Finally, you’ll need to consider the overall cost of your varnish. Be sure that the varnish values for money by comparing the number of square feet per gallon to the number of coats recommended.

You should also take into account any additional costs, such as labor or sanding, to get a complete picture of the overall cost of the project.

While there are many products available for purchase at most retailers, choosing the best varnish for a wood kitchen table isn’t always easy. 

What’s right for one person might not be the best choice for someone else, so consider all of these factors before making a final decision so you can enjoy years of protection and beauty from your dining room table.

Top Three Brands for Table Top Varnish

Top Three Brands for Table Top Varnish

There are many brands of table top varnish on the market, but we’ve found three brands that stand out from the crowd and get consistently positive reviews from homeowners. Here are our picks for the best wood kitchen table varnish:


Rust-Oleum provides a water-based, low VOC table varnish that is ideal for protecting wood surfaces from stains and spills. It creates a hard, durable finish that resists peeling, cracking, or fading over time.


TotalBoat also offers an all-inclusive line of products to protect wood surfaces, including an oil-based varnish. This product is available in both gloss and matte finishes dry quickly and don’t require sanding before application.

General Finishes:

One of the most popular brands of kitchen table varnish is General Finishes. Its varnish provides a satin finish that is both scratch and water-resistant. General Finishes offers a range of products, including an eco-friendly option that is made without any harmful chemicals.

How to Varnish a Wooden Table Top?

How to Varnish A Wooden Table Top

Tabletops can be varnished in one of two ways: with a bristle or soft foam brush or with a cloth. Here we will show you these two methods.

Method 1: Applying Varnish With a Brush

Step 01: Clean Table Top Surface

Remove all dirt, dust, and debris from the surface of your kitchen table with a damp cloth. This will help the varnish adhere better to the wood and create a more even finish.

Step 02: Apply Thin Coat of Varnish

Apply a thin coat of varnish to the wooden surface of your kitchen table using a brush. This coat should be very thin and allow you to see the wood grain through it.

Step 03: Allow Varnish to Dry

Allow the first coat of varnish to dry before proceeding to the next step. This will give you an idea of how much additional varnish your table will need.

Step 04: Apply Second Coat of Varnish

Apply a second coat of varnish to the surface of your table, using a brush. This coat should be thicker than the first and will provide more protection for your table.

Step 05: Allow Varnish to Cure

Allow it to dry and cure before using your table. This will provide you with a good idea of the coloring and sheen that your final varnish will have on your tabletop, as well as how strong it is.

Method 2: Applying Varnish with a Cloth

Step 01: Remove Dirt from Table Top

The first step is to remove any dirt or debris from the tabletop with a damp cloth. This will help the varnish adhere better to the surface and provide a more even finish.

Step 02: Pour the Cloth

Pour a small amount of varnish onto the cloth. You don’t need a lot, as too much varnish can cause drips and runs.

Step 03: Rub the Varnish into the Table Top

Rub the varnish into the wood using circular motions. This will help it to spread evenly and ensure good coverage.

Step 04: Let the First Coating Dry

Let the varnish dry for a few minutes. You should then apply a second coat.

Step 05: Apply Second Coat

Repeat the same process as with the first coat. But be sure to use a new section of cloth to avoid any contamination.

Step 06: Let Second Coat Dry

Allow the second coat to dry and cure completely before using the table. You can learn the curing time from its manufacturer.


What is The Hardest Finish for a Table Top?

What Is The Hardest Finish For A Table Top

The hardest finish for a tabletop is typically a polyurethane or urethane finish. This type of finish is very durable and easy to clean, but it is also the most susceptible to scratches and marks.

Can I Apply a Polyurethane Coat Over a Painted Wooden Table Top Surface?

Yes. You can apply a polyurethane coat over a painted surface, but you’ll need to lightly sand down the paint before applying the finish. This will remove any excess paint and prepare the top for your varnish application.

Which is Better Oil based or Water Based Finsh?

An oil based finish is typically better than a water based finish, as it tends to be more durable and less susceptible to scratches and marks. It has less VOCs, which means they are also safer to use around the house.

How can I Clean Varnish for Wood Kitchen Table?

For wood kitchen table top varnish, you can clean it using a soft cloth and dampened with warm water. Use your fingers to gently rub away any marks or tarnish from the surface until the finish is restored. Finish with a dry soft cloth to remove excess moisture and let air dry completely before placing it back in your dining room.

You can also use mineral spirits to remove any varnish residue that is left on the tabletop. Simply pour a small amount of the spirits onto a clean, dry cloth and rub in an up-and-down motion to polish away marks and streaks.


Varnish is a great way to protect your table top from scratches and water damage. You can bring out more of the colors in your table’s top.

When choosing a varnish for your tabletop, it’s important to consider a variety of factors including the type of finish, odor, VOCs, and sanding required.

By considering these factors, you can choose the best varnish for table top needs, ensuring that your table is protected for years to come. We hope this article was helpful and provided you with the information you need to make a decision on the suitable varnish for your wood table.

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