What is the Best Finish for Wood Drink Coasters?

The best finish for wood drink coasters depends on your needs and budget.

The Importance of a Good Finish

A good finish will protect your coasters from water damage, heat damage, and everyday wear and tear.

It will also give your coasters a beautiful shine that will make them last for years to come. There are two main types of finishes for wood drink coasters: oil-based and water-based. Oil-based finishes are more durable and longer lasting, but they can be difficult to apply. Water-based finishes are easier to apply but don’t last as long. No matter which type of finish you choose, make sure you apply it evenly and carefully.

Different Types of Finishes

There are many different types of finishes that can be applied to wood drink coasters.

The best finish for your coasters will depend on the type of wood you are using, the look you are going for, and how you plan to use them. There are a few different things to consider when choosing the best finish for your wood drink coasters.

making of the wooden coasters

  • The first is the type of wood. If you're using a softer wood, you'll want to be careful not to damage it with a too-heavy finish. A lighter finish will also show off the natural grain of the wood better.
  • The second consideration is how you'll be using the coasters. If they're just for everyday use, a simple lacquer or varnish will be fine. But if you're using them for entertainment or as a gift, you might want to consider a more durable finish like polyurethane.
  • And finally, you'll need to decide on the sheen of the finish.

It really depends on what you are looking for in a finish. Here are some of the different types of finishes and their benefits.

  1. Clear finishes. They are lacquer, varnish, and polyurethane, protecting the wood from water and stains while still allowing the natural beauty of the wood to show through.
  2. Stains. Stains can be used to add color to the coaster or to highlight the grain of the wood. They can be applied before or after a clear finish. 
  3. Paints. Paints can be used to add color or pattern.


There are a few different things to consider when picking the best finish for your wood drink coasters. One is how much protection you need. If your coasters will see a lot of use and abuse, you'll want a finish that will stand up to wear and tear. 

Varnish is a good option for this. It's durable and can be reapplied as needed. Another thing to consider is the look you're going for.

Varnish can give your coasters a nice, glossy finish that really makes the wood grain pop.

If you want a more natural look, however, you might want to try a beeswax finish.

This will still protect your coasters, but it won't change the color.


There are many finishes that can be used on wood drink coasters, but we think shellac is the best. Here are a few reasons why. Shellac is a natural product made from the resin of the lac bug.

It's been used as a wood finish for centuries, and it's still one of the best. It is very easy to apply and it dries quickly.

Shellac gives a beautiful, deep shine to the wood and it really brings out the grain. Shellac is very durable and it will protect your coasters from water, stains and heat. Shellac is completely safe and non-toxic.


When it comes to protecting your wood drink coasters, there is no better finish than polyurethane.

This tough coating will resist scratches and stains, keeping your coasters looking like new for years to come.

Polyurethane is also waterproof, so you can rest assured that your coasters will not warp or crack if they get wet.

One of the Perfect Finishes

So, if you're looking for the perfect finish for your wooden drink coasters, you can't go wrong with a clear coat of polyurethane. This will protect your coasters from water damage and give them a nice, glossy finish. Just make sure you sand your coasters before applying the polyurethane and apply it in thin coats so it doesn't run.


There are multiple finishes that can be applied to wood drink coasters, but the best finish is lacquer. This finish provides a durable and protective coating that will keep your coasters looking great for years to come. Lacquer is also easy to clean and maintain, so you can enjoy your coasters without worry.

How to Choose the Best Finish for Your Wooden Coasters?

Here are a few things to consider when choosing the best finish for your wood drink coasters. The type of wood your coaster is made from.

the wooden coasters in workshop

The level of protection you need.

The look you want to achieve. The durability you require. Your budget.

Once you've considered all of these factors, you'll be able to narrow down your choices and choose the best finish for your wood drink coaster.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the best finish for wood drink coasters is one that is durable and easy to apply.

A good finish will also protect the wood from moisture and stain while enhancing the natural beauty of the wood grain.

There are many different types of finishes available, so be sure to choose the best finish that is right for your project.

So, no matter what you use for your wooden coasters: oil, varnish, polyurethane, just take care of your drink coasters and their finish.

Commonly Asked Questions

How do you care for wooden coasters?

There are a few different ways to take care of wooden coasters.

  • The first way is to make sure that they are stored in a cool, dry place. If they are stored in a humid environment, they can warp and become misshapen.
  • The second way to take care of them is to sand them down on a regular basis. This helps to keep the wood from splintering and breaking.
    the handmade wooden coasters
  • The third way to take care of them is to oil them regularly. This helps to keep the wood from drying out and cracking.

Do wooden coasters need a perfect finish?

Most wood coasters need a good finish in order to protect them from the elements and prevent them from splintering.

The best finish will also make the coaster more durable and less likely to absorb moisture.

Is polyurethane finish the best?

Wooden coasters polyurethane finish is best for smooth rides and for protecting the wood from weathering and wear.

Author - Olivia Poglianich
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the wooden crafts and 3D product design space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.


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