Finishing Baltic Birch

Does anyone have feedback on sealing 1/4" baltic birch? I am looking for a simple, clean, and time effecient way to seal legs for a modern stacking table. I contemplated leaving it raw or finishing it with a sanding sealer to minimize this process because space and time are limited. What are the different ways to seal/semi-seal wood?


oils are the traditional method; teak oil, danish, oil, linseed, etc.

check out your Lowe’s, sears, OSH, Home Depot, etc. paint sections.

Varnish, shellac, and lacquer (if you’re not in California) are other more impenetrable materials.

Water-based polyurethanes work well for sealing wood without drastically changing the color… I prefer to use a foam brush or mini foam roller if the surfaces are all flat. You will most likely have to put on two coats as the first coat will usually raise the grain, although not as much as most sanding sealers; this also means a light sanding with a scotchbrite pad (the abrasive pads sold at the paint store, not the dish cleaners! and never steel wool) or just a second coat if a super-shiny or slick surface is not required.

I also like oil-varnishes, but they can be messy and give off a lot of odor as they cure.

Just using a paste wax or bees wax over the bare wood is very easy to do, but is not as protective as the other finishes out there.

I would buy a can of spray-on polyurethane at home depot and go to town. (Minwax makes a good one) In the future you can buy baltic pre-finished.