Looking for a wood sealer that I can put on a grill table that will protect from the elements and is food safe. The table is made out of a bunch of scrap pine and 2 × 4's, Any ideas?

  • As covered in many prior Q&As it's likely that all finishes are in fact food safe. Re. this project specifically, how much heat does the thing need to withstand? – Graphus Sep 14 '17 at 6:05
  • @Graphus I am not really sure that all finishes are food safe once cured – Gianluca Jan 1 '18 at 17:56
  • @Gianluca Opinions vary on this among woodworkers (including many pros) but most are going on a gut feeling, like "...it can't be safe to ingest [product name] because of the [resin, metallic driers]", and not on any hard data. And in fact there's no data that they aren't. – Graphus Jan 2 '18 at 6:59

A high quality, marine-grade varnish is the best option for this project. I advise against water based finishes in favor of an oil based, high solvent product. However, there does seem to be some evidence that there are water based products attaining a fair degree of respectability in some circles. Either way, go with a high end, relatively expensive coating, especially if you do choose to go the water based route. Since it is a relatively small project, requiring only a small quantity, the extra cost should prove fairly painless and will pay off in the long run.

Food safety is not an issue once the finish has cured.

As with all finishes and bonding of objects and substances in general, surface preparation will be one of, if not the greatest factor influencing your level of success regardless of the product used.

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  • A marine varnish is arguably the choice for this in terms of its weather resistance. But these are quite heat sensitive because of their high oil content, hence my question to the OP in the Comments that he never came back to answer. – Graphus Nov 2 '17 at 18:31
  • Ah, I didn't notice your question to the OP. I see now that there is important information missing. In my zeal to answer I assumed that it was an ancillary outdoor table next to the grill not exposed to much direct heat. However there are certainly designs of tables with grills integrated or atop that I had not considered. – Otto Nov 3 '17 at 1:01

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