We have an oak dining table with a basic oil finish. It's lovely but if we have visitors, occasionally they might put a wet glass on it and make a stain which is depressing. So far, there's not too much damage.
However, shortly we will be adopting 3 young children aged 4-7 and we know that they will generally trash the place.
I'm thinking that we should just varnish the top and be done with it.
Origionally we were thinking of putting a glass top on it so that we could remove it later but we think that some liquids might dribble in between and do even more damage.
I was thinking of putting a clear polyurethane varnish on but I have also heard that its a nightmare to get off if it doesn't take or if its damaged.
it shouldn't be a nightmare to remove - a good sand with a palm sander, or belt sander at worst. coarse grade to start with, then finer and finish in line with the grain by hand. polyurethane varnish is definitely the way i'd go.
only problem that you may encounter is that oak can resist varnishes, lacquers, paint etc due to the natural resins in the wood - can be an issue with many hardwoods, teak is a particular problem.
but no reason not to give it a try. if it doesn't take then it would be easy to remove surely?
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