After you've finished building your bar top there is still one last process that must be done to it. Protecting your new bar top is extremely important to the longevity of the top and retaining its natural beauty. Using a resin, stain, or polyurethane type product on your new bar top are all great choices. Some, however, work better than others and are more suited for protecting, and preserving.
Polyurethanes do a great job of protecting your bar top, but they do not penetrate the wood. They usually sit on top of the wood producing a plastic like feel to the finish. A bar top is something that should shine in the light, but also feel like wood.
A spar varnish is a great finish for a bar top. This type of varnish works great protecting the wood not only against scratches and stains, but also moisture. Liquid sits on top of the varnish instead of seeping down into the wood.
Choosing the Right Finish
There is a wide variety of different types of finishes you can use for your bar. Anything from a mahogany colored finish to a clear, table top type finish can be found. What you choose depends on your taste and room decor.
Prepare the Surface
The surface of your bar top must be absolutely clean and free of any dust particles. Another part to cleaning the surface is to make sure there is no other color on the top. Once the finish is applied it will bring out all the colors, natural and unnatural, that are on top of the wood.
According to your own desires, you may end up using several coats of stain to get the desired darkness and/or look. Apply with a foam brush so as not to leave any brush strokes and work from one corner to another rather rapidly. You don't want leave any areas darker than others.
Seal Bar Top
Once you have reached you desired color then it is time to seal your bar top against moisture and spilled drinks. Glasses also leave wet stains when left for a period of time and the clear sealant will keep that ring off your top. A couple coats of sealant will help bring out a clear shine and create a smooth surface on your bar top.
A family bar is a great way to keep people entertained and feel welcome in your home. Being able to enjoy it for years to come is one way to make back the investment you had when you built it. Protect your bar top the right way with a combination of stains and sealants.