this is the project I did last year, use Danish oil finish with about 5 coats. But I found this cup and water stain on it. I know I can sand it and put another coat to fix it. But I want to know how to prevent it from happening again?
Water marks are just part of a Danish oil finish. It really isn't a good finish for a table top for that reason. If you didn't put it on too thick you could use a flat polyurethane and retain the same appearance and be more water resistant. In order to make it really water resistant you would have to put enough coats of poly on it that it would start getting that plastic look I don't think you are wanting.
If you do decide to go with the polyurethane be sure to wash the table down with a wax and grease remover to get as much of the furniture polish off the table as you can and scuff sand it a little. It might also help to put a thin coat of Zinsser Sealcoat on as a primer for the poly.
Yep, you need a varnish, poly or otherwise. You don't have to use enough to obscure the pores and you'll still be plenty protected from watermarks. Poly gets a bad rap because so many people do a terrible job with it, using too much or going full on high gloss on everything. It doesn't have to look like that. A high quality satin finish would look very close to the oil finish (or better) and be pretty bulletproof. In the future I'd recommend avoiding most "Danish oils" as they are really just a blend of linseed oil and poly with extra solvent. That's not a bad combo but you don't know exactly what you're getting. I used to always use GF danish oil as my first coat and then varnishing, but I've even moved away from doing that because in side by side comparisons I did the 100% varnish sample almost always had better clarity and color.
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