I Waterproofed my WorkBench!

The workbench I bought last year at Home Depot was very affordable [$70]:

my new workbench in the girl cave

And I LOVE it.  But I have been having issues lately using it for stained glass work [which is what I bought it for].  The cutting oil soaks in and makes ugly marks, which you can see in this picture:

And when water from my glass grinder gets on it it swells up:

Leaving permanent ugly marks.  So this week after work I stained it – just the top, I will probably do the legs & shelf at some point in the future.  I also stained the 2 work boards I use – one for copper foiling and laying out projects & one for cutting and soldering on.  Here’s my workbench and 2 work boards before I started, and my workbench after a coat of stain:

        

I let it & the 2 work boards set overnight, then added a coat of polyurethane sealant:

        

My polyurethane is the consistency of hot caramel – I have no idea if that’s how it’s supposed to be… I can’t remember.  The last/only time I used it was to finish the TV cabinet.  But it worked fine and looks nice & shiny:

        

I let everything cure overnight then added a 2nd coat of polyurethane.  By yesterday after work my workshop was ready to be set up again.  It’s amazing how good MDF & 2x4s look when stained!

        

I tested it out by creating another stained glass project which I’ll share later.  The oils and solder didn’t stick or harm the polyurethaned surfaces at all.  Score!  So shiny & beautiful:

        

One odd thing was that when a drop of hot solder landed on my work board the burning polyurethane brought back instant memories of my old nursery school… random and disturbing!  Just like whenever I give one of our rats a bath their wet fur smells exactly like my freshman dorm at URI… also disturbing!  But wet rat actually smells kind of good, kind of like how sun-warmed cat fur and dog feet can also smell good…

Here’s the stain & polyurethane I used – same stuff I used 2 years ago for the TV cupboard topper:

zar interior oil based wood stain in salem maple        zar interior ultra max waterborne oil modified polyurethane in satin finish

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6 Comments

  1. The stain and poly give the bench a worked-on/vintage look. It goes so well with your art. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Thanks so much, Jo!
      I was showing my husband your conservatory bathroom today – we both love your frost subway tile and penny tile border in the shower – we want to do something very similar with our shower!

  2. Looks so good!! You have a nice art space and a view!

    • I am very lucky to have the girl cave! The views are amazing, especially out the 2 south windows which you can’t see in this post – they look right out at the river, dam and fish ladder. The 2 east windows you can see in this post are nice, too – they look out over our shared driveway, the main road, and the field and pond beyond. Very lucky!

  3. Your workbench looks incredible. What a difference!

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