Comparing apples with apples
When it come to finishes I have tried them all from different oils to waxes, water base to terps base and have come to the conclusion that nothing wears better and looks better than automotive 2 pac polyurethane, its designed to handle the hardest conditions being UV resistant, heat resistant and can be cut and polished to look like new after years of use. This is the most expensive finish but its a lifetime finish.
For those of you planning to purchase a timber and resin piece of furniture let this be a guide so you know what your paying for and whether your paying to much or its on the cheap side and your not sure why.
Firstly there are 2 most common finishes being offered and thats a wipe on finish and a pour on finish also called a flow coat of expoxy.
The wipe on coatings : Now if your quote comes in on the cheap side theres a good chance it will be a wipe on finish as this is the cheapest and quickest finish to apply literally taking half an hour and its done. This finish will need to be reapplied as you may get a couple of years of use before it wears off allowing the timber to breathe and move jeopardizing the integrity of the bond between the timber and resin, I do not recommend this finish.
The pour on coat: This application if far better than a wipe on finish if the underside is coated as well, I have seen a table coated only on one side and it was a disaster, the sides of the table seriously bent upwards. This is a very tough finish but a finish very easy to scratch and not so easy to polish out. Every table Ive seen that has been finished with a resin coating has runs and drips along the sides which is very hard to avoid. Generally the tables ive seen with this finish are more expensive and sometimes over priced.
This brings me to the finishes I offer and I have 2 options.
My standard finish is 5 coats of 2pac base coat both top and underneath the table 4 coats of a high build automotive 2pac polyurethane and 2 coats underneath.
My deluxe finish is 3 coats of the resin instead of the 2pac base coat making this a even harder finish and 4 coats of a high build automotive 2pac polyurethane making this the ultimate finish but the most time consuming and expensive.