February 06, 2024 2 min read

When it comes to determining the best finish for a live edge table, opinions may vary depending on who you ask. However, the choice of finish plays a pivotal role in enhancing the table's appearance and ensuring its long-lasting quality. In this article, we'll explore various finish options, shedding light on our preferred choice, acrylic 2K urethane.

We'll also explore the specific requirements for using this finish, share our experiences with oil-based and wax-based alternatives, highlight common mistakes to avoid, emphasize the significance of climate conditions during the finishing process, and guide you in selecting the ideal finish for your project.

Acrylic 2K Urethane: Our Preferred Finish

Acrylic 2K urethane is our go-to finish for most of our solid wood projects, especially live edge tables. It's an industrial-grade finish known for its exceptional durability. This type of finish is typically used in commercial settings, such as restaurants, where tables endure heavy use and abuse. However, it is equally suitable for home environments with kids and high traffic.

Requirements for Using Acrylic 2K Urethane

Before you consider using acrylic 2K urethane, it's essential to understand that it's not a finish you can simply buy and apply as a hobbyist in your garage. There are specific requirements for using this finish. You'll need an inspection of your spray area, a designated spray booth, and the necessary equipment. It's an industry-standard choice for commercial use but not recommended for casual DIY projects at home.

Experience with Oil-based and Wax-based Finishes

While acrylic 2K urethane is our preferred finish, we've experimented with various other finishes, including oil-based and wax-based options. Some oil-based and wax-based finishes can work well, providing a beautiful appearance and decent protection. However, not all of them perform equally.

Common Mistakes in Applying Finishes

One of the most common mistakes we encounter, aside from failing to finish both sides of a project, is applying finishes in inappropriate climates. For instance, trying to apply a finish in a freezing garage during winter won't yield the desired results. Most finishing products available today require a somewhat climate-controlled environment to properly cure and provide optimal protection.

Importance of Climate in Applying Finishes

The climate plays a crucial role in the success of your finishing project. Different finishes have specific temperature and humidity requirements. Applying a finish in conditions that don't meet these requirements can lead to issues like poor adhesion, uneven drying, or prolonged curing times. Always check the manufacturer's guidelines regarding climate conditions before starting your project.


Choosing the best finish for a live edge table is a crucial decision that impacts both aesthetics and durability. Acrylic 2K urethane is our preferred choice for its exceptional durability, making it suitable for tables in high-traffic environments. However, it's essential to understand the requirements for using this finish and to consider the climate when applying any finish. Additionally, select a finish that aligns with your project's specific goals and desired look.

If you have any questions or need further guidance on finishing your live edge table, please feel free to contact KC Custom Hardwoods today for expert advice and assistance. Your finished table will not only be a functional piece of furniture but also a stunning work of art.