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Finish for plywood work bench

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  • Finish for plywood work bench

    Hi all,
    My brother in law just finished a simple L shaped work bench in his shop in the basement. The top is plywood, with a good side facing up. He wants to put a finish on it to prevent it from absorbing oil/grease/stains. What is good and simple to apply? He doesn't want to use anything with strong odours, as it's inside the house and doesn't want the kids breathing it in. The only stuff I ever worked with is stinky and toxic, so I can't help.

    Name is Kamil
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    Re: Finish for plywood work bench

    Re: Finish for plywood work bench

    My first suggestion would be Formica or other laminate. Apply with industrial strength contact cement (stinks while being applied, but goes away nearly as soon as the laminate is down) and add a hardwood nosing to protect the edge of the plywood and laminate. Lots of colors/pattern to choose from, relatively cheap, and nothing sticks to it.

    If he wants to maintain the wood surface, find a waterbased polyurethane meant to be used on flooring. Apply 2 coats, lightly sand, and then apply a final coat. After a week, wax it, and maintain it by periodic waxing. Relatively odor free, and easy to apply, but make sure to wear a mask and ventilate the area while it is being applied. With the wax on it, it will clean up easily. Poly is quite durable, but some chemicals can damage it.
    Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design