Topcoats: Water Based

Furniture Design Ideas featuring Water Based Topcoats.

"This right here is why I love what I do! A piece of furniture that has history is refinished so that it can stay in the family for years to come! This desk was completely stripped and left natural. I used General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in Flat to seal this piece. You don’t find solid wood pieces like this much anymore and if you do, they can be very expensive. Nothing can compare to real wood grain, it’s hard to duplicate and so unique!" - Flipping Unbelievable    

Christmas tree ornaments from Padauk

"Elm & Black epoxy conference table. Dimensions 110"x43”x30”. Epoxy is ‘deep pour’ from Superclear Epoxy, liquid black pigment is also from Super Clear. Finished with Conversion Varnish from General Finishes." - kiwiwoodshop

"Sometimes pieces just speak for themselves. They don’t need anything flowery or fancy to make them exquisite. Literally stripped down and sealed in General Finishes. High Performance Topcoat satin. That’s it!" - Restoration Reserve    
"It went from a dark stain to natural wood. I stripped the old finish off and then sealed it with General Finishes High Performance Topcoat. My client wanted to lighten up her space and I think stripping her table to natural wood was the right choice!" - Flipping Unbelievable    

California King | Mid-Century Style Bed Frame | 84”x72” | Hand Shaped Legs | Solid Curly Maple | Finished with GF High Performance Gloss

"This lovely mid century Beautility sideboard is a great shape but needed some updating and quite a bit of cleaning (!) to make it a stand out piece of modern furniture. So what did we do: Full clean and sand to remove any residual varnish/wax - the inside needed much more work than the outside to get it looking clean and fresh The sliding doors didn't actually come out as they do in other pieces so to make sure I could prep and paint the design properly, I cut them out and then...
How great is this waterfall epoxy table from 14 year old woodworker Brayden Bishop of Bowling Green, KY??!!   "Just wrapped up one of the funnest projects I’ve done to date, this beautiful waterfall epoxy end table for my aunt. It’s made from solid maple and blue resin from Superclear Epoxy and has a steel frame that me and my dad welded together from 3/4 tubing. Finished with General Finishes High Performance Topcoat. All in all I think it turned out great for my first build like this...
"This table top is too good to cover up! Birds eye maple in the middle really gives it a fun design. This table was completely stripped and left natural to show off the pretty wood grains and sealed with General Finishes High Performance Topcoat." - Flipping Unbelievable    
"Sometimes you just have to strip it down to show off the natural beauty! This end table was sprayed with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin for durability. Let the beautiful wood grain show through." - Flipping Unbelievable   Compare all General Finishes topcoats here:
"Unique mid century tall dresser with the most amazing maple burl wood. Top and drawer fronts left natural and sealed with General Finishes High Performance water-based topcoat, sides and dividing pieces in General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint."    
"I stripped this one down to bare wood and left it natural, and sealed with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Flat".   Learn more about General Finishes line up of water based topcoats in this video:

A walnut window seat finished with GF Enduro-Var topcoat. 

"Anyone else love how this cedar set turned out? We just completed another custom order for our client. This beautiful set was stripped down to the natural finish and sealed using General Finishes satin Enduro-Var!"   Enduro-Var is oil-modified, water-based polyurethane that looks more like an oil varnish than a water coating. It ambers slightly, is highly water resistant, and is both sprayable and brushable. Learn more in this video:...
"This piece turned out to be a more difficult task than I originally anticipated. But it was worth it in the end! ALL veneer was removed revealing gorgeous wood (Top, sides, drawers and doors)   Left the wood in its natural state and applied several coats of General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in flat. The grain is just stunning!"    Learn more about General Finishes Water Based High Performance Topcoat in this video:...

This petite dresser is solid white oak! I had so many ideas on what to do with her, but after the original finish was removed I fell in love with the beautiful neutral tone of the wood!
It has been coated in three coats of ...

"Relief carving based on our client's logo. The artwork is 36x36 x 1.25 solid white oak finished with General Finishes High Performance semi-gloss. The image greets visitors as they enter the office. Our client is a tree specialist; Colonial Tree Service."    Learn more about General Finishes water based High Performance Topcoat in this video:
"This dresser is the perfect example that simple does not mean plain. Stripped down to a natural finish, showcasing the rich grain and different wood species then sealed with General Finishes High Performance Topcoat for durability."    Learn more about GF High Performance water based topcoat in this video:

"What do I love most about this dresser? It has built in drawer stops to ensure that the drawers don’t slide all the way out, making it perfect for a child’s room. This dresser was painted in General Finishes Reverent Gray with my Fuji Spray Hvlp spray gun for a perfectly smooth finish without brush strokes, ideal for a mid century modern look. The drawers were stripped and then sealed with High Performance Top Coat." 

This whimsical piece was one 2x2x24 inch piece of rosewood - and I wanted to try something different with it!

I used my bandsaw to texture the portion that wasn’t turned. The turned portion received 3 coats of EnduroVar, with a light 600 grit sanding between coats. The third coat was sanded to 12000 grit with MicroMesh before a carnauba wax buff. The contrast is pretty striking. About 9” tall overall, the turned stem is 5”, and the goblet is 4”. Those numbers are reversed for the...

This bowl is made 100% from recycled skateboards, and is finished with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat (gloss)!

Check out this 7ft tall chair done in General Finishes Exterior 450 Cedar Stain and Exterior 450 Satin Topcoat by 

"This gorgeous Pine Printer Style Coffee Table is complete! We went natural and it is stunning! We completely stripped down the original orange stain and finish. Then we went with a General Finishes High Performance Flat Finish and paired it with beautiful bin pulls from D. Lawless Hardware. Just the perfect combination for this modern farmhouse makeover!" - ReFind Design by Coco Clare    

My client contacted me about redo'ing this piece of furniture for his wife as a surprise for her birthday. Her grandfather used this piece as his tool/work bench.  I loved the story and was determined to make it beautiful again, so I gave it a lot of TLC. I ended up stripping the whole thing about 5 times to get years of stain and grime off of it. It was also breaking in areas due to the weight of the heavy tools, so those areas needed fixing. After that, I cleaned and sealed it really well...

I fell in love with this 1950s Beautility brand cocktail sideboard as soon as I saw it and marvelled at the hideaway drinks compartment that cleverly folded out of a seemingly much too small hole! However, even though I loved it on sight and it clearly had good grain going for it, it would only become a lot clearer what a beauty it was once it was fully stripped back using paint/varnish stripper and lots of elbow grease / wire wool too! 

The fronts of the doors are a Walnut Burl...

Cherry work table from Chicago Forestry sprayed with GF Enduro-Var Topcoat in flat.

Loving the natural beauty! Belle Maison sanded it down to bare wood and sealed with GF High Performance Topcoat in satin.  
Loving this Spalted Silver Maple stool finished with General Finished Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane Topcoat by Second Life Design    

"We had the opportunity to finish this gorgeous custom build cedar table for a client. They had this table built from cedar trees that were on their property. The trees were locally milled and taken to a carpenter in the Gilbert area to be built. It was then brought to us for the finish. We used General Finishes Enduro-Var over the raw cedar to bring out the natural color of the wood. Simply stunning!" - Painted Paradise, by Duke Interiors and Restoration

Totally awesome beer caddy finished with GF Enduro-Var and Lamp Black Milk Paint by Vetere Custom Woodworks.        

Check out this nifty modern dining table project by Johnny Brooke of Crafted Workshop at! Completed with General Finishes Enduro-Var Urethane topcoat in Satin.

"This solid oak table set was refinished using General Finishes Espresso Water Based Wood Stain on the top and Antique White Milk Paint on the base and chairs. It was then distressed to highlight all of the edges and really give it that farmhouse look! We sealed the whole thing with GF High Performance Satin." - Painted Paradise - Antiques, Vintage, and Repurposed Furniture

Painted Paradise auctioned this set to raise money for their local church's efforts in Honduras - such a noble...

Jeremy Harnish Designer Finishes used his Craftsman Finishes technique and finished this AMAZING Black Walnut staircase built by Horst Architects with General Finishes Enduro-Var Flat.   Learn more about GF's Enduro-Var water based topcoat here:    
"Top coat is so important!! It of course protects your piece from wear and tear but for stained wood it really makes it shine! My go-to topcoat is High Performance by General Finishes. It's water based so make sure your oil based stain is completely dry! Comes in many different sheens from flat to gloss. (One coat of gloss shown here). Sand lightly between coats for that super smooth finish." - Indigo Lane Furniture   When using a water based product over an oil based product, such as...
Loving this modern beach house look by Craftsman Finishes. The doors, jambs and baseboards are gorgeous Honduran Mahogany that have been stained with GF RTM (Ready to Match) Water Based Stain System and sealed with flat Enduro-Var topcoat. The stair treads have been sealed with General Finishes Pro-Image Flooring Topcoat as well.    

"This Dixie 5-Drawer Dresser has been given my new specialty finish I’m calling 'Brick Beauty.' Started with a base coat of General Finishes Lamp Black, and a top coat of Brick Red Milk Paint with some distressing here and there to show the black through and give a rustic look. Above that I added Glaze Effects, Red Sienna, to add just a lil' something extra, adding to the overall 'Brick Beauty' look. The pulls and knobs have been given a rich black look to finish off this piece and tie it...

"General Finishes Milk Paint in Driftwood with High Performance Top Coat in Flat. As always, General Finishes has not let me down." - Kim G. Designs    
"Wanted to share a picture of this set of double doors. They are about 7 ft. tall by 6ft. wide, and feature mahogany, walnut, cherry, maple, and white oak. No dyes or stains used in this piece! It was GF Exterior 450 Topcoat only. These are actually the natural colors of the wood! Since I discovered your Exterior 450, it is all I use to finish my pieces now! Check out more cool stuff like this at " -...
"Finished a reclaimed table for a client. Used High Performance Topcoat flat and Dye Stain. Mixed dye stain in with the topcoat and applied until I got the darkness I needed then finished without the dye mixed in to add a couple more layers." - Rick Fazio Woodworking    
"Enduro Var Satin finish on natural maple burl, no final sanding or buffing it." - Bucks County Drum Co.  

"I find it Nearly Impossible to Find Words or Pictures that will do Justice to the Design and Elements Involved in the Invoke Table.  It must be Seen and Touched in Person to get the Full Experience.

A Powder Coated Welded Steel Frame is Inlaid with a Amazing Black Walnut Surface that has Undergone a sort of Natural Grain Enhancement thru Meticulous Grinding and Sanding which Creates a Virtual Wood Grain Topography.  The Walnut is then Waterfall Jointed over the Edge of the Piece and...

"California West Bow Arm Chair, Using cherry from Tennessee and quarter sawn red oak from the Indiana area we have designed a contemporary rendition of our award winning Bow Arm Chair, The back has a 5 position adjustment. Construction is all mortise and tenon to assure many lifetimes of use. Chair is covered in fabric but is also available in leather. The tapered cherry legs and through mortise's in the arms adds stunning character to the design.  This chair is a National Award Winner in...

"This is a handmade parlor guitar built for my son for his 9th birthday. The guitar components are:

Built from Parlor Guitar plan made by Scott Antes. Back and sides are Padauk. Top is Bearclaw Sitka. Ebony and Maple binding and purfling scheme. Honduran Mahogany neck. Gotoh GNS1 Tuners. Standard Parlor case w/ custom plate from a local trophy shop.

I am a relatively new builder and build guitars as a hobby. This was a special build for me because it was for my son who was...

"Live edge-pine dining set with lodgepole pine logs The top surface was finished with clear epoxy coating. All other areas are coated with General Finishes Endur-Var Semi-Gloss." - Michael Klingenmeyer

Michael entered this set into the Woodworking category of the 2016 GF Design Challenge Contest

"This hall table top is made from 3/4" solid walnut and the legs are 2" solid maple. The side aprons are maple and the front and back aprons are walnut with a band of maple. The beefy legs were rough cut with a bandsaw then shaped by hand. All wood is natural with a clear finish of GF High Performance Satin Top Coat." - Ann of Annie's Impressions

Ann entered this piece into the Woodworking category of the 2016 GF Design Challenge Contest

"The Compass Rose Coffee Table is made primarily of Macassar ebony, with an inlaid compass rose of holly and etimoe.  The compass rose is encircled by a 16-sector pie-matched grain pattern, with a waterfall edge.  The outer edge is beveled to reveal a jet black gaboon ebony detail.  The legs are ebonized poplar.

Macassar ebony is a stunning wood that is most impressive when displayed with a high-clarity mirror-like finish.  The 1920's Art Deco masterpieces by Jacques Ruhlmann are the...

We are LOVING this kitchen island countertop! Cask Woodworking custom-designed and finished this lovely in High Performance Topcoat Satin.

To learn more about this project, go to Cask's blog at

See more amazing custom-designed projects at our Design Center at

Trillium Park Designs thrill us with this charming dresser! They painted the shell of this piece in Antique White Milk Paint and High Performance Topcoat Satin.

They explain, "The top pic shows this American of Martinsville dresser in her "as found" state surrounded by the usual estate sale chotskies. The frame and drawer back panels were painted and the rest left as is. That little bit of white on the drawer fronts and frame edge make that diamond veneer pattern pop!"


Andrew Bishop of River Bottom Restoration Furniture shocked us with this astounding custom-designed island! He used HIgh Performance Topcoat Semi-Gloss to give it that natural sheen!

Andrew explains about the project, "It was incredible to have been a part of this amazing project by Tana Hergenraeder, Realtor, Century 21 Hometown Brokers. I can't believe how good my Russian Olive Waterfall...

"I'm just stopping by to say thanks for your great products: Java Gel, and High Performance Top Coats in Satin and Flat to help restore this striking sideboard! It was imported from England and designed by a respected designer of mid century pieces...Peter Hayward. It's ready for another 60 years of love and life! :) " ~ Robin of RPK Interiors   Find your favorite GF products at Rockler, Wood Essence, Klingspor, Amazon, or Lee Valley in Canada. NOTE: Woodcraft stores carry all of GF’s...