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Hello All,
I've built myself a Cherry Island Top, about 4' X 8', and need to decide how to finish it. I feel like a basic oil finish will me too much maintenance, and a Polyurethane is too much finish on this nice wood.

Does anyone have a suggestion of a finish that will...
1. Be Durable
2. Stand up to Stains and lots of use
3. Bring out the natural colors of the Cherry
4. not require weekly maintenance

I really like Australian Timber Oil, but have been warned off it by some paint professionals as not suitable for a food preparation environment.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
-Steve
 

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A wood counter top is always going to be more maintenance.
A multi layer poly finish is the only thing that would hold up and not stain unless you set something hot on it.
 
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I built a cherry top for my island as well. I finished it using one coat of a clear minwax oil, then two coats of polyurethane varnish. The top has held up very nicely for about ten years now. The minwax and polyurethane slow down the natural colorizing of cherry, but do not stop it, so after a year or so it will get the typical reddish cherry color.
 

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ZZZZZ-Can you apply this over Tung Oil?
I would say you can, but that may not be ideal.

Check with the product manufacturer (not the guy in the apron at the store). if you go to their web site, if the question isn't already answered in their FAQ, they usually get back to you in a day or two.
 

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Two years ago I would have said polyurethane, today you should look into “Conversion Varnish”. www.targetcoatings.com . Pre catalyzed and catalyzed. This is what furniture refinishers use for kitchen tables and chairs.
 

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Danish oil is a soft finish that resists moisture but scratches easily. Poly is a much harder surface which would last a lot longer. The down side to poly is it's harder to apply, and if it ever needs to be redone it will usually require chemical strippers.
 
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