Durable Finish for a Kitchen Table

Advantages of conversion varnish versus two-part bar-top resin. July 9, 2005

I'm refinishing a kitchen table in our shop (maple) and the customer wants a hard, durable finish on it (at *least* the top, if not the whole thing, legs and all). For the cost, would you go with something like ML Campbell's Krystal/Duravar, or with the pour-on bar-top two part resin? Does bar top resin tend to yellow the wood like cheap polyurethane?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor S:
If I'm going to use real wood, I wouldn't want to cover it with resin. I use conversion varnish just about every day of my life and much prefer it because I don't need a super thick coat for it to be a hard, durable finish that will last many years. Campbell's isn't what I use, but I have used it and it is a good product.

From contributor J:
I would use pre-cat lacquer. The table top with prior finish on it might have adhesion problems with any catalyzed product, unless you apply a linear polyurethane first. What a pain that would be, though.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the info. Curious about why you wouldn't use the resin over real wood - does it yellow or darken it a lot? I decided to go with the Campbell stuff. The table's previous finish is totally removed, thanks to some killer paint stripper, a belt sander, and a lot of grunt work. I'll be spraying it tomorrow.

From contributor J:
Resin doesn't hang well. It would drip over the sides and be a nightmare trying to make it look nice. It only comes in gloss and particles of dust stick in it while it is drying. Then you would have to polish it to look nice. Talk about grunt work.