Sign In to join the community | Help

Need help with Staining


I am building a bar counter for eating for our home.

I am building it out of finish plywood and 2x4's, and I need to know a good, in-expensive stain/sealant to put on it that is safe to be a countertop that will be eaten at and worked at.

I would like something that is easy to clean if anything is spilled on it also.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Jon & Jeri N


Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2013-04-01T03:51:14+0000  by Jon-JeriN Jon-JeriN



The wood finish of choice for a durable, water and alcohol reistant finish would be a polyurethane, either water based or oil based. Both finishes are food safe once dried. In fact, all such finishes are food safe, but the manufacturers choose not to apply for such a rating because of the time and expense of getting such a rating from the government.


Your best finish will be had by using a pre-stain sealer if a soft wood is use, followed by a stain and then at least three coats of of oil urethane or 4 coats if a water base is used.


Oak is a hardwood and takes stain beautifully without a pre-stain conditioner . Birch and maple, although relatively hard woods, still require a pre-stain conditioner to lessen the blotchiness which can result when using stain alone. A pine or fir hardwood definitely require a pre-stain. Plywood veneers are treated the same aswould be solid lumber.


If you are using a grainy wood such as oak, a still better finish can be had if a coat of univesal sanding sealer is applied after the staining and before the urethane varnish coats. The sanding sealer will help fill the grainy pores of the wood. Sanding sealer dusts up when lightly sanded with fine sandpaper (220 grit) and leaves a very smooth surface. Be sure to wipe the sanding sealer dust before commenceing with the urethane varnish.


If you decide not to use the sanding sealer, you will need to give a light sanding after the first coat of urethane varnish. It  will dust up somewhat when sanded and the dust must be wiped away before the next coat of varnish.If you stay within the time window suggested on the urethane instructions, no further sanding will be neccessary between coats, unless the surface gets blemished with dust or other matter.


Hope this has helped

Posted 2013-04-01T06:31:22+0000  by ordjen
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question