Topcoats: Oil Based

Furniture Design Ideas featuring Oil Based Topcoats.

"Finished up this live edge, locally sourced Black Walnut coffee table today. Tapered brass legs, maple and purple heart bow tie keys. Finished with several layers of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal." - Kamarka Makerworks    
"Classic style mid century dresser redesigned in General Finishes Snow White Milk Paint with drawers sanded and left natural with GF Arm-R-Seal." - Just a Touch of Paint 2.0    
"Every inch of this one was sanded down and sealed. No stain. That’s all the natural wood shining. Sometimes I use stain, and others I don’t because the woodgrain is often so pretty as is. Sealed with General Finishes Arm-R-Seal." - Amost Simple Home  
"Modern, streamlined maple end tables. These are a perfect addition to a bedroom, guestroom or livingroom. These are built by my husband and sealed in General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Satin finish topcoat." - Upcycling by Amy    
"Y’all say ‘hey’ to Ben. He’s that guy standing in the corner of the room…… Filled with Utilitarian bulk and gorgeous eyes. Hefty and strong this old Empire guy has the bones of an ox and the mahogany burl veneers of a model. Top is a solid piece if chestnut toned walnut that makes all the brunette ladies out there jealous. One single swirled curl in the middle. He’s trimmed out in General Finishes Twilight, a rich deep navy with hardcore midnight blue-purple undertones- which agree with...
"The Annika Set. Annika reminds me of a beautiful blond hair, blue eyed Sweed. She's got strong features but gentle in stature and grace. Earthy and versatile, light and airy. Annika here is a modern dresser and nightstand combination set. She had some fabulous graining that we absolutely HAD to pair with a perfect white. Couldn't you see this literally ANYWHERE? Clean lines and ultra durable finish in a simple crisp white by Benjamin Moore. Drawers and base have been sealed in General...
"I call her Clara. Because our objective here was to "Clear" her up. You know what I'm talking about..... that old aged Lacquer look that tends to 'cloud' over all the wood grain. We could see the imprints of the fine woodwork below, but it was hard to distinguish the grain patterning below that thick old finish. Honestly I'm not sure I've ever had a buffet with THIS many different wood species in it! She wasn't in terrible shape. A little moisture damage here and there, a few pieces of...

These DIY Lawn Dice are a perfect summer backyard activity! 

"A Mid-1800's Empire redesigned into a kitchen cart, coffee or liquor bar or hallway storage. We removed two drawers and shiplapped inside to create a fabulous storage nook. Add some old wire baskets, or perfect for bottle storage! Inside finished in General Finishes Lamp Black for that slightly industrial feel. Outside has been fully stripped to reveal some pretty fantastic grain patterning even with a few pieces missing, and sealed in multiple coats of Arm-R-Seal Satin.... because I mean......
"This gorgeous live edge Walnut Desk and moveable riser is the perfect size space to get your work done without taking up too much space! This would also make an amazing sofa table or coffee bar. The wood is really the showstopper here and was completely sealed in General Finishes Arm-R-Seal in a Satin finish to protect the look for years to come ." - Upcycling by Amy        
"I must say the transformation of our den has been wonderful with the addition of the hand hewn beam. Finished with General Finishes Seal-A-Cell and Arm-R-Seal products." Aron Roberts    
"Thank you General Finishes for such great products. I designed and built this custom closet for a house in Palo Alto, CA. Figured sapele, all finished with Seal-A-Cell and Arm-R-Seal. The pictures don't do it justice, the panels feel like silk and absolutely glow. Arm-R-Seal for the win! The finishing took ~150 hours, and ~4 gallons." - David Zaret of Curl and Burl ( in Ann Arbor, MI.   L
"I can’t get over all the beautiful details on this tall boy. From the weaved cane drawer fronts to the coolest brass pulls I’ve seen, this one is just. I sanded off the original dark finish then sealed it with General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. No stain needed to make this one shine." - Amost Simple Home   Learn more about GF oil based Arm-R-Seal Topcoat in this video:
"Sven took me a little out of my comfort zone as I realized his hardware measurements are virtually impossible size to find nowadays. He looks to me like a beautiful blended piece between likely the 40's and late 50's as the decorative veneered waterfall style turned into the more moderne MCM style. His walnut-veneered body is fully stripped down to naked grain and sealed in General Finishes hand applied Arm-R-Seal in satin. No stain, no frills. Just the tones of the bare wood beneath! I...
"General Finishes in for the win! Lamp Black Milk Paint, Seal-A-Cell and Arm-A-Seal turned this project back to its former glory. The pulls are original solid brass. How cool is that!? Added legs to make it a little more modern and lighter and removed the dated glass. Overall very happy with the outcome. Thanks GF!" - Dianne Hunter    
"If you've ever wanted a statement piece in your dining room or large foyer, this is her! We like to call her Sunflower around here, but this beautiful 60" pedestal table has a circular granite center, surrounded by inlaid Walnut burl and Pecan veneered pieces. We painstakingly and cautiously stripped all the cracked old lacquer off, and recoated the top in a hand applied Arm-R-Seal Finish by General Finishes, that will last for years to come! Dark wood base." - Restoration Reserve  
"I picked up this hope chest so many months ago and it sat all alone in our garage. I felt so bad not giving it any attention but I had so many other projects to focus on. Luckily last week one of my favorite customers asked if I had a Hope Chest on hand....DING! There it is. So I pulled this poor lost soul out and started cleaning her up! The top and all four sides were completely sanded down. The veneer looked like it had amazing potential so I knew I had to do my best to preserve it....
"Just completed this Vintage Seven Drawer Solid Mahogany Federal Desk & Chair. The beautiful wood surfaces were all sanded down and clear coated with General Finishes Arm-R-seal. This is a lighter mahogany which isn’t as much red as it is golden. The remainder was painted in black chalk paint and heavily distressed and then sealed. I just had to keep the original vintage brass hardware but decided to spray it in black gloss."   
"The massive maple round coffee table is finally at home! The customer came to us with a rustic “stump” base in mind, and a maple cookie top, so we rummaged around and found a burled ambrosia maple crotch outside and went to work with the chainsaw! Love the flow of the entire piece! As we had this in the shop,I kept thinking, man,this is a giant coffee table, but it fits like a glove in this beautiful mountaintop home!!"     
Fun, unique table finished with GF Arm-R-Seal    Learn more about how to apply General Finishes Arm-R-Seal in this video:
"Made a box to hold all my Hanayama metal puzzles. Using the Rockler Woodworking and Hardware box joint router jig to make the box joints and also using hinges from Rockler. The box is made from padauk and curly maple from Ocooch Hardwoods and finished with General Finishes Seal-A-Cell finish. Now the puzzles all have a home."  GF's Seal-A-Cell is an unusual combination of oils, urethanes and waxes, and has served craftsman for decades as the best wipe-on clear coat to get that "natural"...
"Twenty eight feet of perfectly spalted live edge Red River Pecan joined together to make a conference table. We finished this with General Finishes Arm R Seal Satin."   Learn more about how to apply GF Arm-R-Seal in this video:
" 'The Caroline' OH Sweet Caroline. The update she desperately needed... including the salvation of some rare and amazing burl. This lady has been in my shop for over 6 months. I didn't know how I wanted to refresh her until I gently thinned that old lacquer off one door, to reveal a naked natural grain I KNEW we needed to preserve! Since the legs were what I felt was dating it I decided that would be the best place to add some painted details to bring her up to today's standards, without...
"Couch caddy! This beautiful piece is 10” wide 24” long made from solid walnut and African paduak. Finished with General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Gloss" - Check out out video to learn how to apply Arm-R-Seal at
Before and after GF Outdoor Oil   Learn more about Outdoor Oil here:
Stunning serpentine bathroom vanity finished with General Finishes oil based Arm-R-Seal Topcoat       
"I've used, and loved, GF products for many years. but nothing beats Arm-R-Seal. here's a hallway I did with curly walnut, finished entirely with Seal-A-Cell and Arm-R-Seal. Thank you GF for making such wonderful products." - David Zaret of Curl and Burl in Ann Arbor, MI    

"This pretty custom sofa table gave me the opportunity to work with a species of wood that I never have before. Bloodwood is an exotic dense wood that is sometimes referred to as cardinal wood, for its obvious beautiful deep rose color. So there was no stain used on this gorgeous cut! Just two coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal in Gloss for clarity and then a final coat of Arm-R-Seal Satin for a mellow glow." 

"The hickory top coffee table redo is complete! Not bad for a few hours of work and some scrap lumber. I'm finishing it with General Finishes Arm R Seal in semi-gloss. This is by far my favorite finish to use."   

This curvy vintage desk just received the warmest makeover using Marzipan Milk Paint by ...

I purchased this old Victorian dresser that's over 100 years old! It was in pretty rough shape and has come a LOOOONG way!
Now it's absolutely glowing thanks to General Finishes Arm-R-Seal oil-based poly in Satin, and a custom mix of Miss Mustard Seed in Artissimo + Typewriter. Did I mention the original drop pulls and the Knapp joinery?!

"Such beautiful wood grain on this cedar chest! This belonged to my client and was in the family for years. At one point a relative attempted to refinish this chest but left stain streaks and dried stripping agent. I completely stripped and sanded this and then used General Finishes Arm-R-Seal for a protective finish. I love the difference in wood tones and my client is so happy with the result!" 

Dancing Juniper Mountain juniper i cut from the datil mountains ,this piece is super rich in color and the turquoise really pops, this is a big piece at 10.5" in diameter and 13.5" tall ,finish is general finish arm-r-seal oil and urethane top coat gloss, then buffed with the three stage beal buff ,skipped the carnuba wax and used renaissance wax.

Finish is everything. If the finish is not good it can ruin the whole project. Many times it takes as long to finish a project as it does to turn it.

I generally sand as much as I can while the project is on the lathe and then hand sand the finishing touches.

Inlayng TURQUOISE and COPPER in the natural cracks and voids is the last thing I do before putting the final sanding touches on.

For my finish I use General Finishes SEAL-A-CELL clear and ARM-R-SEAL gloss topcoat...

This is a simple segmented bowl that endevors to use the natural colors of the various woods to make an attractive package.  The woods used are Purple Heart, Cherry, Olivewood, Mahogany, Padauk and Walnut.  The bowl is 5" high and 9" in diameter at the top and is approximately 3/8" thick.  The bowl was made in 2017 and contains 136 pieces. 

  • General Finishes Seal-a-Cell Clear and Gel Topcoat wipe on Urethane Satin

10 inch Spalted Ash bowl finished with GF Wood Bowl Finish


Finish is everything. If the finish is not good it can ruin the whole project. Many times it takes as long to finish a project as it does to turn it.

I generally sand as much as I can while the project is on the lathe and then hand sand the finishing touches.

Inlayng TURQUOISE and COPPER in the natural cracks and voids is the last thing I do before putting the final sanding touches on.

For my finish I use General Finishes ARM-R-SEAL clear and SEAL-A-CELL gloss topcoat...

"Just one more coat of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Gloss and this gorgeous cedar mid-century modern coffee table will be complete. But, it’s looking sharp already!" 

"Amazing how a little General Finishes Arm-R-Seal can bring a barrel to life!" - Unrefined Roots LLC

Chivalrous and sophisticated, this gentleman stands out in the crowd, being recognized as one with a high social standing. Burl wood is highly prized by artists and carpenters for it’s unique shapes and ring patterns. This outstanding specimen was refinished with care and sealed with General Finishes urethane. Eye catching and makes a statement indeed. With doors that open up to 2 shelves, and 3 drawers, there’s ample space for your wardrobe. Complete your design in class and style. 


"I think this is our best one yet! Top side is finished with General Finishes oil based Arm R Seal and the bottom has a coat of Odie's Oil. We can cast epoxy in almost any tabletop application! If you are in the market for something absolutely one of a kind, please visit our website and reach out to us to discuss your next dream project!" - Mountain Heart Woodworks

"Before and after with one coat of General Finishes Arm R Seal on the book matched ash slab island. This is truly going to be the centerpiece of the kitchen." - Lakeside Woodworks    
"Getting ready to send home this custom job soon. It was completely refinished and given several new coats of Arm-r-Seal, it’s now ready for another 30 years of use as the owner said. That’s one of the things I love about re-doing furniture, instead of them ending up in the landfill they get a new lease on life." - Hidden Treasures Refinishing    
"I could not be more proud of this chessboard. The Ash and Bubinga woods turned out great and I think the contrast is just right. We used General Finishes Arm-R-Seal to get that beautiful finish. I wish I could keep it for my self but this one is going off to a very luck member of the family!" - Gatta Ro.Am.    
Hutch by restored with General Finishes Arm-R-Seal oil based topcoat.    

A local Sawyer saved this sequoia tree from being disposed of in a chipper. I bought a set of book matched slabs and made a big dining table or conference table out of them. I stored the slabs for a while until they were dry enough to work with.

Using a circular saw, I made sure the joint in the middle was straight and met up nicely. I used a Festool Domino to align the two halves and glued them together. There was quite a bit of work to do with a router flattening jig on both...

This coffee table is made of Modesto Ash, that was destined to become firewood. I grew up with this Ash tree, it watched me and my brothers grow up. Unfortunately the tree was diseased and had to be taken down. I talked to the arborist and made a deal with them to leave me the trunk as a whole piece. They dropped it, my dad and I spent the next few days clearing up all of the brush and cut the limbs into manageable pieces of firewood. The next day I spent a few hours using an alaskan...

"Every year for my birthday I try to do something for my mother. It is usually something I make. This is the one for my 31st birthday. She “hinted” she had to have a new coffee table she could rest her legs on and something that is slightly lower than her current one. She actually requested knots aka something with character. 100% solid walnut 21”x46” coffee table with stainless steel hairpin legs. Love how the semi-gloss Arm-R-Seal from General Finishes turned out." - Shane Wyke  

We created this wild eye popping bench using a 6" thick highly figured live edge big leaf Maple slab that we've ebonized and paired with custom i-beam chevron legs.  The slab top has been finished using Seal A Cell and Arm R Seal.  The i-beam legs were created using reclaimed salvaged steel and finished in an iridescent gold powdercoat. 

This was my first big project using dovetails and it turned out really well, especially for being built entirely with hand tools.. I found this amazing board of curly birch hiding under boring boards at Home Depot. I wanted to really highlight the grain in this box so I used Arm-R-Seal. This was my first time using it and I was super happy with how well it worked. I put 5 coats on and sanded inbetween coats with 600 grit sandpaper. Taking my time with the finishing gave me glass smooth...