Learn with our 2023 Guide on Discovering the Best Finish for an Oak Dining Table

Discovering the Best Finish for an Oak Dining Table

Best Dining Table Finishes for Oak Tables


Now if you’re after discovering the best finish for an oak dining table, then welcome to our guide!


We all know that when it comes to furnishing your home, there is no doubt that the dining table can be a focal point.


You must choose the correct finish to ensure your oak dining table looks its best and lasts years.


Knowing the best finish for an oak dining table will help protect and preserve this vital piece of furniture in your home.


In this article, we’ll look at different finishes available for an oak dining table, including oil-based finishes, water-based finishes, waxes and varnishes, and lacquers. So you can decide which one works best for you!


We’ll also discuss how to prepare your wood before applying any coating or sealant to protect it from wear and tear over time.


So read on if you want to find out more about discovering the best finish for an oak dining table!



oak table finished

Preparing Your Oak Dining Table for Finishing


Preparing your oak dining table for finishing ensures a beautiful, long-lasting finish.


Before applying any finish to the wood, it must be appropriately prepared. This includes sanding, cleaning and priming the surface.




Sanding your oak dining table will help create a smooth surface ready to accept the finish. Start with coarse-grit sandpaper (80-100) and work up to fine grit (220). Be sure to move in one direction only when sanding so as not to scratch or gouge the wood.




After you have finished sanding, use a damp or tack cloth to remove all dust particles from the surface of your table before moving on to priming or staining.




Primer helps seal and protect your furniture from water damage while providing an even paint or stain application base. Apply primer with a brush or roller, whichever works best for you. Allow it time to dry completely before the painting/staining process begins.


Preparing your oak dining table for finishing is essential to ensure a long-lasting and beautiful finish. With the proper preparation, you can apply a finish that will make your table look stunning.


Ready to give your oak dining table a makeover? Remember the most essential step: sanding, cleaning and priming! With these steps, you’ll surely get a beautiful finish lasting for years. #OakDiningTable #FurnitureMakeover Click to Tweet. 


Now let’s jump into the types of finishes available.



Applying an Oil-Based Finish


Oil-based finishes are a great way to protect and enhance the natural beauty of an oak dining table. The right type of oil should be chosen for the job, as some oils can darken or yellow over time.


Tung oil is a popular choice for oak furniture, providing good protection while allowing the wood grain to show through.


Before applying any finish, it’s crucial to prepare the surface by sanding with progressively finer grits until smooth.


After sanding, wipe off any dust and debris with a damp cloth before applying the finish.


When ready to apply an oil-based finish, use a lint-free cloth or brush and spread evenly in long strokes along the wood grain.


Allow each coat of finish to dry completely before adding another layer; this could take anywhere from several hours up to overnight, depending on temperature and humidity levels in your home.


Generally speaking, three coats will provide adequate protection without obscuring too much of the wood’s natural beauty; however, you may want more if you use your table frequently or have young children who might cause scratches or spills that need extra protection against staining.


Once all coats are applied, allow them plenty of time (at least 24 hours) to cure before using your newly finished table.


Applying an oil-based finish to your oak dining table is a great way to protect it and make it shine.


However, other finishes may be better suited for your needs – let’s explore the benefits of applying a water-based finish next.


Protect and enhance the natural beauty of your oak dining table with an oil-based finish! With a few coats, you’ll be ready to enjoy dinner in style – no matter how many spills or scratches come your way. #diningroomgoals Click to Tweet. 



Applying a Water-Based Finish


Water-based finishes are an excellent choice for oak dining tables because they are durable and attractive.


They also dry quickly, making them easy to apply. Before you begin, ensure you have the right supplies:


  • Water-based finish
  • Lint-free cloth’s or rags
  • Sandpaper in various grits (120 to 220)


Start by preparing the surface of your table. Use 120-grit sandpaper to remove dirt or debris from the wood’s surface.


Then use progressively finer grits of sandpaper until you reach 220 grit. Wipe away any dust with a damp cloth before applying the finish.


Next, apply an even coat of water-based finish using long strokes in one direction; avoid going back and forth, as this can create air bubbles that will ruin your final result.


Allow it to dry completely according to product instructions—usually overnight—before adding additional coats if desired for added protection and shine.


Once you have applied your desired number of coats (typically two), allow at least 24 hours for drying time before using your newly finished oak dining table.


Applying a water-based finish to an oak dining table is a great way to protect the wood while maintaining its natural look.


Now, let’s explore how wax can be used as another finishing option.


Give your oak dining table the perfect finish! Use water-based finishes for a durable and attractive look. Sand, apply coats, then enjoy your new masterpiece! #oakdiningtable #furniturefinish Click to Tweet. 



Applying a Wax Finish


Choosing the Right Wax Product


When selecting a wax product for your oak dining table, choosing one specifically designed for furniture is essential. Many products are labelled as “furniture wax” but may not be suitable for use on an oak dining table.


Look for a product that contains natural ingredients such as beeswax or carnauba wax, which will provide superior protection and shine.


Applying Multiple Coats of Wax


Once you have chosen and prepared your wax product, begin by applying a thin layer using either a soft rag or brush in circular motions across the entire surface of your oak dining table.


Allow this coat to dry completely before adding additional coats if desired; each successive coat should be applied in much thinner layers until you achieve your desired level of protection and shine.


Once finished, buff out any excess residue with another clean cloth, and you are done!


Applying a wax finish to an oak dining table will help protect the wood and give it a beautiful sheen. Now, let’s look at how to apply varnish for further protection and shine.


Ready to give your oak dining table a makeover? Choose the right wax product and apply multiple coats for maximum protection and shine! #OakDiningTableMakeover Click to Tweet. 


dining room oak finish

Applying varnish to an oak dining table


Varnish is a great way to protect and enhance the natural beauty of an oak dining table. It adds a glossy finish that will last years while protecting the wood from water damage, scratches, and other wear and tear.


Applying varnish to your oak dining table is relatively easy if you follow these steps.


  1. Clean the Table


Before applying any finish to your oak dining table, it’s essential to ensure it’s clean.


Use a damp cloth or sponge with some mild soap and warm water to wipe down the entire surface of the table. Ensure all dirt and dust are removed before moving to step two.


  1. Sanding


Once you have cleaned off any dirt or debris from your oak dining table, use fine-grit sandpaper (150-220) to smooth out any rough patches or uneven surfaces on the wood.


This will help ensure that when you apply varnish later on, it will be even across all areas of the tabletop without any lumps or bumps between coats.


3 . Apply varnish


Now that your tabletop has been appropriately prepped with cleaning and sanding, it’s time for you to apply varnish! Start by using a foam brush dipped into a can of oil-based polyurethane varnish (make sure this is specifically designed for outdoor furniture).


Apply one thin coat evenly over every inch of your tabletop – remember the edges! Let this dry completely before adding another layer – usually overnight should do just fine depending on temperature/humidity levels in your home at that time.


4 . Add More Coats


Depending on how much protection you want for your oak dining table and what kind of look you’re going for (glossy vs matte), add additional layers until the desired effect has been achieved – anywhere from 2-5 coats should do just fine here! Remember not too thickly, so each layer dries evenly without pooling up anywhere else along its path.


Finally, seal everything together by applying one final coat of clear wax polish, which helps lock moisture inside while protecting against future spills and scratches.


A varnish is an excellent option for protecting an oak dining table and adding a glossy finish.


However, lacquer may be the best choice if you are looking for even more durable protection.


Key Takeaway: Varnish is a great way to protect and enhance the natural beauty of an oak dining table. To apply it, clean any dirt or debris with a damp cloth or sponge, then use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out rough patches.



Applying lacquer to an oak dining table


Lacquer is a popular finish for furniture, and oak dining tables are no exception. It provides an attractive, glossy sheen that enhances the beauty of the wood grain while protecting it from scratches and other damage.


Applying lacquer to your oak dining table requires preparation and careful application techniques.


Preparing the surface is the first step in applying lacquer to your oak dining table.


When applying the lacquer, sanding any rough spots or imperfections will ensure a smooth finish.


Use fine-grit sandpaper (220-400 grit) for best results. Wipe away any dust by sanding with a damp cloth before moving on to the next step.


Next, use a tack cloth to remove all traces of dust from the surface of your table before applying lacquer.


This will help create an even coat without leaving behind streaks or lumps caused by trapped particles of dirt or debris in the finish layer.


Applying lacquer to an oak dining table is a great way to protect the wood and bring out its natural beauty. Following instructions carefully and taking safety precautions when using lacquers is essential.


Let’s look at how this finish can be used differently for an attractive result.


Key Takeaway: Lacquer is an ideal finish for oak dining tables, providing a glossy sheen that protects the wood grain. To apply lacquer to your table successfully, prepare the surface by sanding down any rough spots and wiping away dust with a damp cloth. Then use a tack cloth to remove all traces of dirt before applying the lacquer for an even coat without streaks or lumps.



Applying a Stain Finish on an Oak Dining Table


Staining an oak dining table is a great way to add colour and texture to your furniture. It can also help protect the wood from scratches, dents, and other damage.


When choosing a stain for your oak dining table, there are several factors to consider, such as type of finish, colour, and application method.


Types of Finish


When selecting a finish for your oak dining table, you have two options; oil-based or water-based stains. Oil-based stains penetrate deeper into the wood giving it more protection against wear and tear while providing richer colours than water-based stains.


Water-based stains are easier to apply but provide less protection against everyday use or fading.




The colour of the stain will depend on what look you’re going for with your furniture piece. If you want something light that will show off the natural grain in the wood, then choose lighter shades like whitewash or honeycomb tones.


For darker colours like mahogany or walnut, try using dark browns or blacks, giving it a more dramatic effect when finished.


Application Method


Once you’ve chosen your desired finish and colour, it’s time to apply it!


The best way to do this is using either brush strokes (for larger areas) or wiping motions (for smaller areas).


Make sure that each stroke wipe is even so that no streaks appear once dried – if necessary, take breaks between coats until satisfied with the results before moving on to the next step!


Clean Up & Protection


After staining, ensure all excess material has been removed from the surface area before applying any protective coatings, such as polyurethane sealant, which helps keep moisture out while preserving the original beauty of the stained piece long-term!


Finally, wipe down the entire surface one last time with a damp cloth just in case any missed spots were left behind during the cleaning process – this ensures maximum longevity without sacrificing quality appearance over time!


interior of modern dining room


Faq’s on discovering the best finish for an oak dining table


What is the best finish to put on a dining room table?


The best finish to use on a dining room table depends mainly on the material of the table.


For wood tables, polyurethane is often recommended as it provides a protective layer that will help keep your table looking new for years to come.


If you have a metal or glass dining room table, waxing or polishing with an appropriate product can help protect and maintain its shine.


Oil-Based Finishes are typically made of natural oils such as linseed or tung oil mixed with solvents like mineral spirits or turpentine.


They penetrate deep into the wood grain, providing excellent protection against moisture damage while giving off a beautiful sheen that enhances the look of any piece of furniture.


The downside is that these finishes require regular maintenance, such as reapplication every few years, depending on use levels, to maintain their protective qualities.


Water-Based Finishes – These consist primarily of acrylic polymers suspended in water which form a hard film when dried on top of the wood surface, creating a barrier between it and moisture damage while still allowing some degree of breathability so that expansion due to humidity changes won’t cause cracking or peeling problems down the line.


While this type offers quick drying times (usually within 24 hours), they don’t provide as much scratch resistance as oil-based products.


However, newer formulations have been developed recently, offering better performance without sacrificing their ease of application benefits.


Whatever finish you choose, apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions to get the most out of it.



How do you seal an oak dining table?


Sealing an oak dining table is a great way to protect it from scratches, spills, and other damage. The best finish for an oak dining table depends on the look you want to achieve and how much protection you need.


Here are some of the most popular finishes that can be used to seal your oak dining table:

  1. Varnish and sealers


Varnish is a clear coating that provides a glossy finish while protecting wood surfaces from water damage and staining. It’s easy to apply with a brush or roller but may require multiple coats for maximum protection.


When applied correctly, the varnish will last several years before needing to be reapplied.

  1. Polyurethane


Polyurethane is another popular choice for sealing an oak dining table. It offers excellent durability and resistance against moisture and wear and tear over time.


It comes in oil-based (which takes longer to dry) and water-based varieties (which dries quickly).


Both types of polyurethane offer superior protection against scratches, stains, heat damage, etc., making them ideal choices for high-traffic areas like kitchens or dining rooms where spills are likely to occur frequently.



What Is A Wax Finish?


A wax finish gives your furniture piece a soft sheen without changing its colour too drastically or creating any film over the surface like varnishes do when applied thickly enough; this makes wax finishes perfect if you want something subtle yet protective at the same time!


Applying wax requires more effort than other finishes since it needs buffing after each coat has been applied – however, this extra step ensures that your furniture will look beautiful even after many years of use!



What is the Best Finish to Put on a Wooden Kitchen Table?


Wood finishes come in many forms, from waxes and oils to varnishes and lacquers. Each type has different properties that make them better suited for specific applications than others.


Waxes provide protection while allowing the natural beauty of the wood grain to show through; they also offer easy maintenance since they can be easily reapplied when needed.


Oils penetrate the wood fibres, providing a protective layer without obscuring any details or colours; however, they require more frequent application than other finishes but can give a wonderful glow!


Varnishes create an even coating over the surface that provides good protection but may obscure some details or colours; these finishes are often used on furniture pieces with intricate designs or brightly coloured woods such as cherry or mahogany.


Lacquers provide excellent protection against moisture and wear but can yellow over time if not properly maintained; this makes them ideal for tables with heavy use, such as dining room tables or outdoor patio tables.



How do you finish raw oak wood?


Once your raw oak has been prepped for finishing, it’s time to choose what type of finish you would like for your piece of furniture.


Many different types are available such as lacquer, varnish, shellac, waxes etc. Still, one popular choice when dealing with natural woods such as oak is tung oil, which provides protection against moisture while enhancing its natural colouration at the same time!


Tung oil should be applied in thin coats. Each coat is allowed ample drying time between applications (usually around 24 hours).


It’s essential to take your time with this step, as the proper application will ensure better results in terms of durability and appearance.



What oil should I use on my oak dining table?


It is best to use a penetrating oil such as tung or Danish oil for oak dining tables.


These oils penetrate deep into the wood grain and provide protection from moisture while still allowing the natural beauty of the wood to shine through.


Tung oil is especially effective in preventing water damage, making it an ideal choice for protecting your oak dining table.


Additionally, these oils are easy to apply and can be reapplied periodically for maximum protection.



How do you finish an oak tabletop?


To finish an oak table top, you must sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper, which will help smooth out imperfections and prepare the wood for staining or sealing.


Once sanded, apply a coat of sealer or stain in your desired colour and let it dry completely before applying a protective topcoat such as polyurethane.


Finally, buff the surface with steel wool to create a beautiful shine lasting for years. With proper care and maintenance, your finished oak table top should remain to look great for many years!



Wrapping up our discovering the best finish for an oak dining table article


When discovering the best finish for an oak dining table, you can choose from oil-based finishes, water-based finishes, waxes or varnishes.


Preparing the surface of your oak dining table is critical to achieving a professional-looking finish that will last for years. With proper preparation and application techniques, you can create a beautiful piece of furniture that will be enjoyed by family and friends alike.


At E Furniture UK, we understand this. We want to provide you with the resources to decide which furniture will look best in your home.

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