Workbench Finish

Dear NH,
I am going to place a 1/4" plywood top on my workbench and was wondering about coating it with some type of finish. I am not looking for "gloss." I want the product to protect the plywood from oil stains, water, dirt and so on.

I looked at the local hardware store and noticed Watco product's Danish Oil finish. Would this be a good choice? Your recommendations would be appreciated.
TM from Edmond, OK

I'm sure your reasoning is that gloss is meant for furniture or hardwood flooring. However, from a practical standpoint, a gloss finish is much more durable since the gloss comes from a finish that is very smooth and non-porous, which is what makes it reflective or "glossy." (Plus, to this handyman, a glossy workbench is mondo chic!)

Oil finishes, in contrast, are not as durable nor are they resistant to as many chemicals as polyurethane. So I would suggest using gloss polyurethane, at least two coats, and sanding between coats. You will have a beautiful and functional work surface that will resist most common chemicals with the obvious exceptions of furniture refinisher and paint remover.
Take care,

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