Restaurant Table Top Finishes

For this post we’ll consider a restaurant table top finish to be what the top is sealed with not its overall look or color. I only make this note because many wood related industries include the stain, texture or anything else that “finishes” the surface’s look to be its finish.

Our Standard Restaurant Table Top Finish

The standard finish used at Sir Belly is a satin or matte sheen 2K polyurethane. It’s extremely tough without smothering the wood’s natural grain and character like a thick epoxy does. In the name is the word polyurethane but if you’ve done your research you know about polyurethane and know it may not be the ideal product for a commercial table top. Don’t be confused by the name and take my word for that a 2K poly is far superior to a standard one part polyurethane available from a home improvement store.

The Look Of 2K Poly

2K poly looks much like you would think a fully top coated wood surface wood. It has a sheen, matte up to high gloss, and is very smooth to the touch. Similar to typical wood furniture but much more suited to the hard work life of a restaurant table top.

Care & Cleaning

Daily cleaning can be done with most commercial surface cleaners. There are products out there designed to remove heavy grease build up that can damage the surface so do a test before using. Products like 409 and Simple Green are recommended.

There is no required maintenance requirements for the 2K poly.


The “Green” Table Top Sealer

Our “Green” option is a penetrating oil finish by the company Rubio Monocoat. It’s a zero VOC oil sealer which is applied and allowed to penetrate the wood’s fibers then buffed off the surface. It’s a wonderful product for individuals which prefer a earth friendly sealer and don’t mind some yearly maintenance.

The Look of Monocoat

Monocoat has a very natural look and feel. Unlike the 2K poly it is not a top coat and you can feel the wood, not the sealer.

Care & Cleaning

Restaurant table tops sealed with monocoat should be re-sealed once a year. The guys at Rubio Monocoat go over it better than I can so here’s a link to the recommended maintenance.

To clean the surface we recommend using a mild mixture of soap and water.


Our Sealers Compared

Sealer Options Stain/Water Resistance Scratch Resistance Certified Food Safe Maintenance Look Ease Of Repair Can Be Cut On “GREEN”
Monocoat Very Good As tough as the wood No, but fine for food contact Once a year Natural look and feel Easy Light cutting is OK Yes
2K Poly Excellent Excellent No, but fine for food contact None Has the look and feel of furniture Advanced No No