The Best Way to Seal a New Wood Table

by Simply2Moms
4 Materials
2 Hours

Learn the best way to seal a new wood table. Protect your investment from water stains and scratches with these easy steps.

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Kitchen Table Before

Every good DIY project starts with a before picture. This is our original table. As you can see it’s fine…really it is. It did have several scratches on the tabletop that you can’t really see in this photo.

I bought a new table on clearance for an amazing price! A friend has the same new table but already had several water ring stains from glasses on her tabletop.

Between her advice and having a bunch of scratches on our old table, I wanted to protect my new table before using it.

The Best Product to Seal a New Wood Table

After lots of research, I decided to apply a polyurethane topcoat to my new wood table. I invested in General Finishes Flat topcoat. Click here to purchase it!

Although, it’s a bit more expensive than other brands, everything I read when doing my research said this was a quality product. I also didn’t want to change the sheen or color of the table and the matte finish of this brand poly was perfect.

How to Protect a Wood Table

After I made sure the table was completely clean, I applied the first coat of General Finishes. Using a 2″ paint brush I applied a thin layer of the sealer in the same direction of the wood grain. It will look a little milky when you start apply the topcoat. Just be sure to apply the polyurethane evenly and that milky color will fade away as you work.

After I finished applying the first coat of polyurethane, I waited and hour or two for it to completely dry. Then I lightly sanded the table using a extra fine 220 grit sanding block. You can use sand paper if that’s what you have handy at home. I like using a sanding block on project like this so I can get into all the curves of piece.

You’ll have some dust after you finish sanding your furniture piece. Using a vacuum with a soft brush attachment got the majority of the debris off the tabletop.

But there was still some dust left. As you know, dust and polyurethane don’t mix well together. To completely remove any debris left behind after vacuuming, use a tack cloth. You can skip the vacuuming step and just use a tack cloth, but you’ll probably need more than one to get all that dust off.

Not only did I use the General Finishes on the top of the table, but I also sealed the sides, legs and bottom on this furniture piece. I did one coat of poly on the entire table.

Should You Apply Two Coats of Polyurethane?

But decided to do two coats on the table top. I wanted to be sure the top would be protected from any water rings or stains since we use our kitchen table daily. You can see in the photo above the surface looks shiny as I was applying the polyurethane.

But after it was dry you can see it’s a completely matte finish. And the color of the table didn’t change at all either. Just what I wanted!

New Protected Kitchen Table

I’m loving our new protected kitchen table.

This project took a bit of time but it's well worth it to protect the table.

Suggested materials:
  • General Finishes Top Coate   (Amazon)
  • Extra fine sanding block   (hardware store)
  • Tack cloth   (hardware store)
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