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Thread: What FINISH for oak bath vanity top?

  1. #1

    What FINISH for oak bath vanity top?

    I am looking for a recommendation for a durable waterproof finish for a white oak vanity top.

    Objective: a satin or flat finish, not glossy, leaving the wood as natural as possible and not darkening right away or with time as it ages. This is an area that will get a bit wet.

    Background: The top is solid white oak, 1 1/8 thick x 22" x 40 " made up from widths varying from 3 to 4 ". I used a reverse glue joint router bit to pattern the edges for perfect alignment for the top glue up.

    But what finish to apply? I dont mind lots of work, Im not in a hurry. Do need something that can be maintained.

    I was at our "Finishing Touch" hardwood flooring store and they recommended a flooring product called Rubio Monnocoat. Anyone tried that?

    I have also heard of people using "catalyzed lacquer" but I am not sure about that.

    Water based Varathane diamond finish was something I thought I would look into.

    Here is a review of several finishes, including Rubio Monocoat which the author did not like, an the Minwax oil-based, wipe on polyurethane finish that the author did like.

    I would appreciate some suggestions. Thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    New England
    No matter what you use, you need to fill the open pores of the oak first.

    I'm just starting a vanity with a wood top too, but I'll be using a closed grain wood, just not sure which one yet. I'll be using General Finishes Arm-R-Seal, probably 8 to 10 coats lightly sanded with very fine sandpaper (400?) between coats. The kids are grown and on their own so no real concerns about standing water or abuse.

    If you are using an under mount sink I'd be interested in which one- we're looking.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Northwestern Connecticut
    Suggestions? Smiths CPES as a seal coat (or perhaps at least two applications) and a good water based acrylic top coat like Target Em9300 urethane or General Finishes enduro var. Both offer durability and are highly water resistant.

    I have been told that scraping or planing the surface as a final preparation is preferable to sanding in cases where water resistance is desired as planing leaves a surface more closed, sanding tends to grind open all the wood fibers and allow absorption more readily.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    The Little Tennessee River near Knoxville.

    Sometimes Wet Vanity Top Finish

    Sealing the pores with a paste wood grain filler is a matter of personal preference for the final 'look' and should have no affect on how waterproof the surface will be. Even a smooth wood surface will rot when wet often.
    For a nice furniture finish that will afford a good amount of protection, I use a vinyl sealer followed by a pre-cat lacquer and top coated with a 2 component urethane.
    As for the sheen, that is always downward adjustable by adding flattening agents.

  5. #5

    Lee Valley - Polymerized Tung Oil and Sealer

    I am testing Lee Valley Polymerized Tung Oil Sealer, and Polymerized High Luster Tung Oil. (HLTO) The 2 are used together, first 2 applicatins of the sealer, then because I want a flater finish, I add 2 parts sealer to 1 part HLTO. Did not go to the pure tung oil (PTO) as it is soooooooo slow to dry.

    Besides this solid white oak top, I also have to do the cabinet, inside and outside. The outside I think I will do in the same finish as the top, to match. The inside however I am thinking of going to an easier to apply method, maybe a water based varathane. All the rubbing and fumes .....not for the inside of a cabinet I would think.

    Has anyone used the Lee Valley TO this way?
    What treatment between coats? Did you use steel wool?
    Did you ever use sandpaper? What is the purpose of it to generate some heat as well as just remove the oil that has not soaked in?
    Thanks, RK

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