We are making 30 tables for a new Toronto restaurant. All the tables are solid walnut, butcher block style. They want an oiled finish. I have explained to them that this is going to patina and wear, and they say they like this look; that this is what they want. But I have heard that there are laws about finishes on restaurant tables. Does anyone know about this?
Also, what kind of oil do you think I should use, how many coats to put on, and how often is the restaurant going to have to re-oil to keep these in decent shape? My partner and I also proposed a matte catalyzed lacquer for an "invisible" natural looking finish. What do you think about this? Catalyzed lacquer on a restaurant table top?
From contributor A:
I would definitely rule out the oil finish for this application, and yes there are rules in place - the regional health inspector will know. Just last week a friend installed some alder table tops in a restaurant in Calgary. They wanted a rustic look. Well, the food inspector did not like the rustic look of alder and made him close every crack, small knot, etc. So it's not always what they want, but it's what makes sense for the job. As far as what finish, I'm still looking for the best one to use on a table top. Remember, walnut is really not that hard.