Re-finishing Workbench

Hey everyone,

I know area warden stuff doesn’t begin for another day, but I am eager to get started!

I am re-finishing the left side of the back work bench, and putting a water-proof, grease-proof, scratch resistant, alcohol resistant (etc.) finish on it, in the hopes that it will stay cleaner and be easier to clean. (I am using a laquer for those interested). This only affects the left work area and the vice, as it had to be removed.

I am hoping that people wont need to use it much as it is a holiday, but the finish will be dry by 3am tonight. (A note has also been left).

The right side will be done after the left side is in usable condition. I also hope to maintain the finish by touching up spots once a month. This is just an experiment, so we will see if it works!


In the name of science I say “Go you!”

Before and after!


That looks great


What a great job! I can’t wait to work on it!



wow! looks awesome!


That’s looking great Elly.

Isn’t it amazing how much better things look with a little sanding and planing, followed by the right finish? It’s no wonder wood is one of those beautiful materials that everybody loves to have in their home, and has survived so long in workplaces everywhere.

So exactly what finish(es) are you using? This might be good information for other makers who are looking to protect their workspaces.

Thank you!

The best finish for a heavily used area (like floors) and especially work benches, would be a polyurethane. That finish actually has to cure (not just dry) for 24 to 48 hours before you can work on it, so it is a bit inconvenient in a commonly shared space like the hive. The longer curing time also means it is susceptible to dirt and dust in the air embedding itself in the finish. It is also more expensive than what I used, but it is far more durable. There are different types, too.

I used a lacquer, the second toughest finish. It is much easier to work with and dries to touch in 30 minutes, for light work in 3 hours and completely in 8 hours.

The gloss of a finish also affects it’s durability. Glossy finishes are much more resistant to wear and tear than semi gloss, satin or matte finishes.

If this little experiment works well for 6 months or so: i.e. the bench is easier to clean, stays cleaner, and people respect it more… I will be buying some polyurethane to finish it properly.


The refinished workbench looks great! I'm really glad you're getting the head start, new years was probably the best time to do this while everyone has been out at holidays :slight_smile:

The right side is now being finished. This affects the drip press, but that can be placed elsewhere if someone needs to use it. It is on the ground next to the milling machine.