How Durable Is Polyurethane?
Oil-based polyurethane is a great finish for solid wood furniture. It's hard, durable, and scratch resistant.
We have a lot of families that homeschool on their tables and a finish that is durable and long lasting; not something they have to baby or worry about.
Here are a few of our favorite things about oil-based polyurethane:
1. You don't have to use coasters. You can leave a glass of ice water on the table in the summer and the condensation won't leave a water ring.
2. Spills wipe right up. Some finishes used on less durable tables would need to be stripped if you spilled something like kool-aid on them.
3. The oil-based polyurethane doesn't need to be reapplied and won't dry out over time like some oil finishes.
If something is too hot to hold, you'll want to put down a hot pad or trivet, like with practically any surface. You can also damage your top if you spill something chemically abrasive on it, like fingernail polish remover. You don't want to use harsh chemicals to clean your table, as that may wear down the finish over the years. We recommend a wet rag or a wet soapy rag for cleaning - but you can use any cleaning product intended for wood surfaces.
Please note, our Barn Wood finish is our only color that uses a water-based polyurethane. We can't achieve that color while using an oil-based polyurethane. While still durable, it is a little more delicate and coasters are recommended. Every other finish color we have uses our oil-based polyurethane.
We use a satin/low sheen finish by default. We find this low sheen looks the best on real, solid wood furniture and is easier to keep clean and smudge-free than higher gloss finishes.
We invite about 200 kids each December to come paint ornaments on our showroom tables. We also provide drinks and snacks. At the end of the day, all we do is wipe down the tables we're ready to re-open the store the next day. I'm not sure any other furniture store openly invites kids to paint at their showroom each year ;)