Total Finishing Supplies

Professional Finishing

You are not logged in. [ Login ] Why log in
(NOTE: Login is not required to post)

Restaurant table topcoat

KDBuilds Member

I am trying to find the best durable topcoat for restaurant/bar tables. I have been recommended to try General Finishes exterior 450 and Behlens rockhard tabletop varnish. Has anyone had experience with these who could compare them for me? Fast production turn around is important, but durability is imperative.

11/1/16       #2: Restaurant table topcoat ...

polyester sealer with a 2k poly topcoat... anything less and your asking for trouble

11/2/16       #3: Restaurant table topcoat ...

I concur with Shane.

11/2/16       #4: Restaurant table topcoat ...

+1 for the 2K poly.

Waterbase coating for restaurant tables???

11/2/16       #5: Restaurant table topcoat ...

I agree Shane's recommended approach would be the ideal way to go, with that said over the last 30 years l have finished and refinished 100s of interior restaurant tables in the town where I live with CV sometimes with a penetrating epoxy sealer first and sometimes without and I can honestly say I have yet to see one fail but (and this may be a fine distinction) I have seen them wear out in busy restaurants in as little as 10-12 years under hard use (abuse).

11/2/16       #6: Restaurant table topcoat ...
KDBuilds Member

I really appreciate the feedback from everyone. This reinforces my own opinion on the water base product as well. I watched a video on polyester sealer but not familiar with "2K" poly topcoat. Is that a type or a brand? The other point I didn't mention was the clients desire for a finish that doesn't appear "thick" like poured epoxy. Can I still achieve this with these products?

11/2/16       #7: Restaurant table topcoat ...
KDBuilds Member

Probably should have done a little digging before asking about 2ks. Seems pretty robust from what I've read, but my setup is also pretty low tech (precat lacquer through an air assisted cup gun and resperator is my norm) I would definitely need upgrades if I am to dive into the world of 2k.

11/3/16       #8: Restaurant table topcoat ...

You can achieve a low film thickness with the polyester sealer and the 2K poly.... When you dig into the how to's everybody talk about plural component yada yada.... Spray the polyester out of a dedicated pressure pot.with plastic liners.. have a clean liner and flush solvent handy.. mix carefully (you have to mix in certain order pay very close attention to details) and accurately... reduce to spray viscosity. Spray one wet pass... keep a paper cup with some of your batch in it and check it every five minutes... the pot life is very short and believe me you want to catch it before it starts setting up in your pot.... immediately flush with clean solvent twice and clean your lid and seal... done.. the pot is ready for another day and batch... Just sand the polyester down flat close to the surface to keep your mil thickness down... spray the 2k out of whatever you want usually has a couple hour potlife on most products... just clean your equipment well after spraying... the 2K itself is a very low viscosity and film thickness but very very durable...

11/3/16       #9: Restaurant table topcoat ...
Bill Richardson  Member


We build restaurant tables using reclaimed pine quite a bit. The previous shop used by our client used a water born finish and every thing they built has failed within 1year. I use Valspar CV and the results have been great. We've been building these for 3 years now and not a single failure.

View higher quality, full size image (2592 X 1944)

View higher quality, full size image (2592 X 1944)

View higher quality, full size image (2592 X 1944)

11/3/16       #10: Restaurant table topcoat ...
Bill Richardson  Member


My bad.....those tables were actually reclaimed maple gym flooring.

11/7/16       #11: Restaurant table topcoat ...
Dave Edgerton  Member

ok so i have a similar project where the topcoat is on reclaimed bc fir. 2 coats of cv and my nail still dents into the wood very easily. What would be best for getting a very hard finish that say a pen would not dent if one were writing on paper on the table?

11/8/16       #12: Restaurant table topcoat ...
Bill Richardson  Member


You're asking a finish to change the density of the substrate. The only way I know to accomplish what you're trying to do is to apply a thick plastic like coating like epoxy. No regular finish is going to be harder than the surface it is applied to.

11/9/16       #13: Restaurant table topcoat ...

We have just started using Mohawks new 2k ISO free poly. Very hard finish, easy to shoot. As has been mentioned, check your time when you mix and clean thoroughly before product begins to set up in the pot or cup. Mohawks product is a single topcoat.

11/9/16       #14: Restaurant table topcoat ...

May I ask, Thomas, do you apply the coating with a fresh oxygen 'air-supplied' respirator....or just a NIOSH cartridge based respirator?

11/9/16       #15: Restaurant table topcoat ...


I use a cartridge based respirator, This is an ISO free product. You can call Mohawk and talk to tech support. They are very helpful. I spoke with Phillip (I believe that was his name) several times before ordering from our rep. He is very knowledgeable about the product as he is one of the developers of this product for Mohawk.

11/9/16       #16: Restaurant table topcoat ...

Bill, great looking tables! I had planned on using a 24 hr pot life CV, from my Diamond Vogle supplier but they don't currently carry anything in gloss so I am going to try the 2K poly instead. I am not sure if it's ISO free or not but planning on just a cartridge respirator and my trusted Binks cup gun. Ill post the pictures when they're done.

11/9/16       #17: Restaurant table topcoat ...
Bill Richardson  Member


I would caution you against a gloss finish. We originally used a satin finish but found showed to much water spotting. We now use a matte finish and our client seems to like it better. Restaurants are a brutal environment.

Post a Response
  • Notify me of responses to this thread
  • Subscribe to email updates on this Forum
  • To receive email notification of additions to this forum thread,
    enter your name and email address, and then click the
    "Keep Me Posted" button below.

    Please Note: If you have posted a message or response,
    do not submit this request ... you are already signed up
    to receive notification!

    Your Name:
    E-Mail Address:
    Enter the correct numbers into the field below:

    Date of your Birth:

    Return to top of page

    Buy & Sell Exchanges | Forums | Galleries | Site Map

    FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards (return to top)

  • WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
  • Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
  • A valid email return address must be included with each message.
  • Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
  • Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
  • "Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
  • Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
  • Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
  • Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
  • Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
  • Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
  • Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
  • Comments, questions, or criticisms regarding Forum policies should be directed to WOODWEB's Systems Administrator
    (return to top).

    Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.

    You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.

    WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.

    Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).

    Libel:   Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.

    Improper Decorum:   Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).

    Advertising:   The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).

    Repeated Forum Abuse: Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.

    There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).

    The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)

  • Forum Posting Help
    Your Name The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
    Your Website Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    E-Mail Address Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
    Subject Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
    Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    Thread Related File Uploads Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .MP4 (Image Upload Tips)   If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)