Greetings from Texas!
I have built a workbench using good quality 2x4's and Simpson Strong-Ties for the frame. For the bench top, I glued/screwed two pieces of 3/4" plywood together and the bottom shelf is one piece of 3/4" plywood cut to fit in the bottom of the frame. The bench top and bottom shelf is C-3 Birch Domestic Plywood from Home Depot and just appears to have a thin piece of birch veneer glued to the plywood.
I have already applied two coats of Cabot Quick-Dry Sanding Sealer (oil-based) to the underside of the top and the edges, sanding with 220 grit between coats. I am really confused as to what to use for the exposed work-top surface and the bottom shelf.
Since I'm such a noob at woodworking (and have asked others who are knowledgable), I'm still looking for opinions as to what will be the best finish for the top of the work surface and the bottom shelf, keeping in mind it will be subjected to SOME abuse, but not much since I'll put down towels and/or pads when working on it. My mantra has been "this is a workbench, not a piece of furniture", so the simpler the better and it doesn't have to be "beautiful"...just functional, sturdy, and low maintenance.
The question I've been asking is whether or not a Spar Varnish or Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane will work and whether or not I need to apply Sanding Sealer BEFORE applying either one of these, if they're even compatible with each other.
I'm so confused....thanks for any input!!!