Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks finish on basement bar, woodworking store, polyurethane products

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks finish on basement bar, woodworking store, polyurethane products

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks /finish on basement bar


I have built bar in basement. I want to put a few coats of polyurathene on top. Is there a difference in such. I heard there is one for floors which would wear better on the top of bar. Is this true?

Thank you


Hi j molen,

I have a couple of suggestions for your bar top; hopefully I can help you solve your problem. But I have to be honest about something, however- I’m not a polyurethane expert by any means.

I rarely use polyurethane because it’s a surface finish. That means it sits ON the wood, as opposed to a penetrating finish, which soaks INTO the wood. I prefer the feel of wood, rather than a plastic feel, which is what you get with polyurethane. Don’t get me wrong- there are times when you absolutely need the protection that polyurethane offers, and your bar is a perfect example of when to use it.

There are quite a few different polyurethane products, and they offer various levels of protection. A simple polyurethane will protect, but some are better suited for certain jobs. Spar varnish is superior for blocking moisture, which is why it’s often used in boats. Floor finishes have hardeners, which help reduce scratching and moisture. So you see, there are a lot of choices out there for you. I think moisture and scratching are probably going to be the two top things you’re going to deal with, don’t you?

There are a couple of finishes specifically design for bar tops. One is Mirrorcoat Bar & Counter Top Finish, made by System Three. Check out and click on their link to «Mirrorcoat» and you can read about this product. I’ve used some of their products before, and they are really great, although fairly expensive. Worth every penny, though. You can buy this product at, which is a one-stop woodworking store.

Another great product is BEHLEN Rockhard Table Top, which is very durable and easy to use. The literature I found online said this: This top of the line natural oil and resin varnish lives up to its name. The extra hard, high gloss finish offers maximum resistance to water, alcohol, abrasion, heat, chemicals, detergents, and other damaging liquids. Furnished in brushing consistency, it will set dust-free in 30-60 minutes, dries in 4-5 hours depending upon conditions. For interior use only. Use Rockhard Reducer for thinning and cleanup. You can find this at:, which is another woodworking supply house that I often use.

I think any spar varnish will provide superior protection on your bar. Spars are designed for maximum moisture protection. McCloskey makes a very nice spar varnish called Man O’ War, you might want to check that out.

Finally, this is just my opinion, but I think any decent polyurethane will probably give you good results, rather than using a specialty product, like the ones I’ve listed above. My big concern would be the «feel » of the top, and personally, I would want that to have a satin sheen. I’m assuming that you’re going to take reasonable care of your bar top, like wiping up spills or not letting wet beer bottles sit on the top overnight. Coasters and napkins really go a long way in keeping your bar top looking nice. So if I were looking for a finish, I would consider the sheen of it, as well as the protection that it offers.

OK, I hope this helps. Please write back if you have any other questions after reading this.

Jamie Yocono

Wood It Is! Custom Cabinetry

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