Asked on Apr 26, 2015

What kind of top coat is best at finishing a dining table?

by Martinigal
After many mistakes, my first attempt at Chalk Painting my little dinette table is almost done. What I need now is advice on what sort of top coat would work best on a table that needs the protection of what most eating tables endure. IE: moving plates across it.
  9 answers
  • You can coat CP with any top coat. Be aware that Poly will yellow over time. I like General Finishes Arm r Seal Urethane. Comes in satin,semigloss and gloss. Get the wipe on kind. No brush marks. Give it about 4 coats, sanding very lightly with a 320-400 grit sand paper in between coats. Super durable. You can order it from Amazon.
    • See 5 previous
    • @Martinigal Oh absolutely Beth. I have my days when I don't feel up to par. Stenciling can take some time. So if you have to spread it out, then do it. There's really no rush.
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Apr 26, 2015
    @Martinigal I have always found that poly works best - have used for years. I usually use the sating finish and put several coats on with light sanding with steel wool between coats and of course wiping down before applying next coat. Depending on the use of the piece determines the number of coats - high use translates into more coats. I have never had a problem with yellowing, even with light coloured stains.
    • Martinigal Martinigal on Apr 26, 2015
      @Gail Salminen Thanks so much for your response! I used a gold tone base with red over it, then distressed it. so the piece is not typical of chalk paint. I appreciate the information!
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Apr 27, 2015
    I use water base polyurethane not oil base. Oil base will yellow. But I do several costs of poly and the jey is curing time. 30 days.
    • See 8 previous
    • Sherrie Sherrie on May 26, 2018

      I always use two coats sand in between or use a greenie Or use steel wool.

  • Sahoma Sahoma on Apr 28, 2015
    I was a wax coating. I touch it up 1-2 years. I like seeing my finished product. The wax protects against stains, spills and sliding plates. I also teach my kids, now adults to use a mat under their plates.
    • Martinigal Martinigal on Apr 28, 2015
      @Sahoma Thanks Sahoma! How difficult is it to apply the wax? I have Fibromyalgia and just painting the table has been painful. Is it hard on the muscles/joints?
  • Sahoma Sahoma on Apr 29, 2015
    Wax is easy going on, but you have to let it dry a bit, then you take a soft rage and buff it out. It does take a little elbow grease. But I don't think it is anymore difficult than painting. In fact you can apply the wax, let it day, and buff out in sections. Rest as you go.
  • Do not use a wax top coat on a table that you will be eating or drinking on. Wax is the worst when it comes to water marks. It is not the least bit protective. Go with the acrylic topcoats I gave you pics of. They are easy to brush on or wipe on.
    • Martinigal Martinigal on May 04, 2015
      @Beth H. Makemeprettyagain.blogspot Thanks Beth! I purchased a General Finishes Polyurethane top coat so I think I am all set. Now I just have to start over, learning from my mistakes and I'm going to have to take my time. When it's done I promise to post photos. Thanks again for all of your help!
  • Oh good! If I can assist in any way, shoot me a message. You should be fine. Did you get the wipe on or the brush on?? Oil based ?? Or did you get the Arm r Seal?
    • See 1 previous
    • Martinigal Martinigal on May 05, 2015
      @Beth H. Makemeprettyagain.blogspot Hi Beth. No it is not Arm r Seal. It is High Performance water based top coat. . Very highly rated. Apply with foam sponge brush or a paint pad applicator. I'm just so anxious to get started. Waiting for Dover's Chalk Paint Mix, great reviews and much easier than some recipes I've found for making chalk paint. Picked my colors so will mix paint, repaint with new knowledge. Stencil then will let cure for 2 weeks before i topcoat. Will definitely sand between coats as you advised and will apply 2 to 3 coats. Let it cure again and finally hope to have what my vision was. I've also ordered 2 planters, wrought iron which hang over my patio railing. Nice and big (36" each). Have everything I need except the flowers, My patio is in the shade and am looking for some beautiful shade loving plants. Need to take a trip in SF to get what I want After all of that I start on finding a old fashioned desk on Craig's List or at thrift store to organize my bedroom and then I'll be set for awhile. Oops forgot my T.V. stand. Needs updating very badly! So many projects, such a bad back and Fibromyalgia so I have to go slow. More injections into my spine in a couple of weeks. Who knows when I'll finish, but like I said before I have to look at it as a journey and not a destination. Enjoy the process and don't be so quick to want the project finished. If I don't take on that attitude I'd just give up! Whew, long post, sorry if this is TMI. I can get chatty :-)
  • Sherrie Sherrie on May 05, 2015
    It will. I always seal my tops with poly. Show us your work when your finished!
    • See 3 previous
    • Sherrie Sherrie on Sep 07, 2018

      sand to rough it up and I also use a primer it isn’t hard and they have water base. The key for you will be sealing it. When you seal it that will protect the paint. If you are painting white don’t use a oil base use a water base. Oil will yellow. J would do at least 3 costs. Great luck!

  • Sherrie Sherrie on May 26, 2018

    water base