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Create a beautiful and safe finish on wooden bowls, cups, spoons, and countertops. Easy to apply - just wipe on with a soft clean rag.
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Product Name Price Qty
General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish, Pint
General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish, Pint Item #: 12196
In stock
General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish, Quart
General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish, Quart Item #: 12253
In stock

General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish

Item #
94% of 100
Create a beautiful and safe finish on wooden bowls, cups, spoons, and countertops. Easy to apply - just wipe on with a soft clean rag. Achieves the sheen and resistance of a varnish. Additional coats can be reapplied at any time if maintenance of item becomes necessary. For actively used butcher blocks that are used for chopping and cutting, only use Butcher Block Oil (Product #15950, sold separately).
  • Shipping Restrictions: Ground Transportation Only.
(1) General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish
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Tech Spec
  • Available in pints and quarts
Technical Documents
Use Interior
WARNING: This product can expose you to Benzene, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. This product can expose you to chemicals including Ethylbenzene, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer, and Toluene, which is known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.
4.7 / 5.0
100 Reviews
5 Stars
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1 Star
Salad Bowl Finish
I have been using this Salad Bowl Finish for years on maple butcher block tables. It is the only finish I trust for such a use. I apply 3 - 5 coats using a brush, not a cloth. Cures to a beautiful silky sheen which is durable for up to 10 years. Resists moisture and even alcohol if you remove it promptly. Alcohol (wine, hard liquor, etc.) will get through the finish if not removed. Red wine may also stain it. Either way, this stuff is the best.
August 11, 2019
Woodworking Experience:
This is the only type of coating I used for painting bowls that will be used for food serving. It is very good. Fast drying and after three coats I found it protects against water and humidity. Very good.
June 14, 2019
over 4 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
love it, can no longer find it
December 11, 2018
over 4 years ago
Worked perfectly on the 9 pieces I finished. Looks like new.
August 8, 2018
1 year ago
great finish for serving bowls
this finish is easy to use by just wiping it on with a cotton cloth.
it dries very nice and looks good. it is high gloss.
April 16, 2018
1 year ago
Woodworking Experience:
Worked great
Had no problem when used on the outside of my project, but left a really bad smell on the inside. Not sure why
March 5, 2018
1 year ago
Woodworking Experience:
General finish makes some of the best stuff out there
User submitted image
Added Jan 4, 2018
January 4, 2018
1 year ago
Woodworking Experience:
Works great
January 3, 2018
over 2 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Good product. Easy to apply. Satisfactory results.
December 19, 2017
1 year ago
Woodworking Experience:
General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish
General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish works great
November 8, 2017
1 year ago
Woodworking Experience:
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Browse 62 questions Browse 62 questions and 92 answers
Why did you choose this?
Rockler Store
It had great reviews from other people who have used it.
Judith G on Aug 18, 2018
Recommended by wood artisan.
Eileen H on Jun 3, 2018
It had great reviews from other people who have used it.
Judith G on Aug 18, 2018
Very easy to use and the end result is quite beautiful.
The Dude on Jun 15, 2018
Recommended by wood artisan.
Eileen H on Jun 3, 2018
Great for projects with direct food contact.
Ralph B on May 27, 2018
see if it's as good as the other GF products.
kenneth k on May 10, 2018
making heritage cradle must be safe !
ted f on May 9, 2018
I have a wood salad bowl in real need for refinishing.
Juanita S on Apr 27, 2018
Just a great product. Easy to use, leaves a clean smooth finish.
tim D on Feb 26, 2018
Reviews and recommendations from several wood turning publications.
Bill on Feb 14, 2018
Have been using it four years. Love it
John L on Feb 2, 2018
works great!!
Pattie B on Jan 20, 2018
I turn many salad bowls to give to charity auctions and I find this to be the best finish
James D on Jan 9, 2018
We've been using this for over ten years--no problems.
Bill U on Dec 23, 2017
A good friend uses this on his woodworking, and the finish comes out beautifully.
Michelle W on Dec 20, 2017
Because it works great!!
Linda M on Dec 14, 2017
Purchased this for end grain cuttingboards
Shane M on Dec 6, 2017
To seal several cutting boards and serving trays.
Andrew S on Nov 27, 2017
art project
Delilah R on Nov 16, 2017
Have used this product for salad bowls and like the durable finish.
David T on Nov 8, 2017
good reviews, first time trying it
horst s on Oct 16, 2017
Good finish for Salad bowls
David D on Oct 10, 2017
Recommended by another woodworker.
Mason C on Sep 25, 2017
my nephew recommended it for the application I'm using it for.
John R on Sep 22, 2017
Got it off the you tube video. The Wood Whisper.
Darrell S on Aug 28, 2017
I do wood turning and looking for a good quality, safe finish for bowls and wooden utensils.
Clyde the Glide on Aug 19, 2017
I like it
J D on Aug 16, 2017
want to try this in comparison to mineral oil
Joshua W on Jul 24, 2017
Have been making wooden toys for years, and always use this product as a safe finish to enhance the finished toy. Great product.
FRED C on Jul 21, 2017
Was watching the Woodwhisperer and this product was recommended by him. I was unfamiliar with this product before so decided to try it.
Richard F on Jun 5, 2017
Used in past,creates more durable cutting board finish
BOB W on Jun 2, 2017
finishing counter top for chef work station.
joan g on May 29, 2017
Was recommended by a friend, I have not used yet.
Cary S on May 6, 2017
Input from your customer service staff helped me decide.
Laura J W on Apr 27, 2017
I have used this product for years, it is fantastic!
Michael C on Apr 18, 2017
I am finishing a table top.
Lauren C on Mar 20, 2017
The wood whisper recommended this
Charles W on Mar 19, 2017
Saw it on Wood Whisperer.
Bill G on Mar 11, 2017
Love it .have used it for about 10 yrs
John L on Feb 28, 2017
I am going to use it on children's toys and I wanted something safe.
Donald J on Feb 25, 2017
we do wood turning
MonaRae S on Feb 23, 2017
I saw it on TV on WoodSmith I think.
V Scott J on Feb 20, 2017
need a good supply for Gourd Dishes I'm making
Patricia K on Feb 12, 2017
For use as a sealant for leather cups.
Glen M on Feb 11, 2017
The recommendations were right on the money. I used this for two expensive cutting boards. A little sanding and three coats of the salad bowl finish made the boards look beautiful. A little bit goes a long way so order less than you think you may need.
Painter613 on Feb 7, 2017
My partial can was getting to thick and wouldn't level.
Tim C on Feb 2, 2017
Cutting board finish....
Wally H on Jan 31, 2017
to finish my turnings and am pleased with the product. Gives a nice shine without buildup. Have used from 3 to 6 coats depending on the wood
Patti B on Jan 20, 2017
Correct product for my project in a pint container.
David D on Jan 16, 2017
Refinishing wood counter top
mariah m on Jan 9, 2017
It was recommended on the plan that I'm following. I have used it before and seems to be<br />good.
Keith W on Jan 4, 2017
Very easy to use and the end result is quite beautiful.
The Dude on Jun 15, 2018
Great for projects with direct food contact.
Ralph B on May 27, 2018
can this be applied over wood that has been painted? It will be a wooden painted cake stand?
Julie R on Aug 21, 2015
BEST ANSWER: I saw it used at a craft fair today. The bowls were totally painted, inside and out and then coated with this clear product. VERY attractive, high gloss finish. I actually thought I was looking at fired pottery.
Is it waterproof for a cup or tumbler?
A shopper on Jun 13, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Yes, if used for drinking purposes, it works very well. You should not use it for a vessel that will be in contact with water over a long period, such as a vase for fresh flowers.
can this be applied over a stain?
A shopper on Jun 29, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Yes you can apply it over stain but if it's an oil based Stain I wouldn't use it with food
Is there anyway to darken or deepen the finish?
Danielle on Jun 26, 2016
BEST ANSWER: My only suggestion is multiple coats. This results in a richer, deeper finish, but not necessarily darker.
can you use this finish if the wood has been oiled first? Mineral oil was used on it first
shadowwolf on Jan 14, 2016
BEST ANSWER: If the mineral oil coating is relatively fresh, I would clean with mineral spirits then let dry for a full day. Then lightly sand with a 600 grit paper and wipe clean. You should be ready for sails bowl application. This is s polyurethane material that dries rather quickly and delivers a beautiful and durable finish. I have used the bowl finish on a cherry kitchen bar, hardwood bracelets and many more projects. It's a great finish you can apply by wiping on with a cotton cloth.
How do you store this without it gelling up? We tried it in the original container, sealing it tight and it gelled up. We put it in a glass jar with lid and it gelled up. Any recommendations how to avoid it gelling?
Karen C on Dec 17, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Karen, I have found that it is impossible to use the entire container before it gells. I only buy the smallest size that I think will serve me and I have kind of surrendered to the idea that the last inch or so in the can will be sacrificed. I do try to keep the lip of the can clean and seal it as soon as I have finished. Hope this helps. By the way, I really like the results I get with this finish. Tom
Can you use for wooden utensils that you cook with? Can it get hot?
Chelsea K on Nov 9, 2015
BEST ANSWER: I have not tried it on wooden cooking utensils. I think the finish would not hold up very long but you could reapply it. I use mineral oil on cutting boards and wood utensils. After several washings you need to reapply it also. Hope this helps. KEN
Is this finish completely transparent?
Steven S on Aug 1, 2016
BEST ANSWER: It darken with multiple coat, but to my way of thinking it really brings out the richness of the wood. I use it on bowls, bracelets, bottle stoppers etc. my customers almost always comment on the beautifl finish. My wife, my boggest critic, loves it. I am very happy with this finish.
is it dishwasher safe?
Vanessa B on Jun 1, 2015
BEST ANSWER: I would highly recommend hand washing, rinsing and immediately hand drying any wooden items you finish with this or any other traditional finish. General salad bowl finsh is a great finish but wood just does not do well in a dishwasher, no matter how well you coat it.
Hi. Can it be used for a drinking horn for beer?
..Leap on Jun 18, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I would imagine it can. I used mine for cutting boards which handles chicken and other raw food and has held up well.
I have a wooden platter that specifically says not food safe. I was looking to use it as a fruit bowl. My question is... Can I use this product to make it a food safe vessel? Thanks!
Liz B on Mar 1, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Any idea why the platter says it is not food safe? If the original finish is the problem, perhaps you could sand it down to bare wood and apply several coats to give it a food safe finish. Hope this helps. Tom
can I use this on he wooden handles of my forks?
Vanessa B on Jun 1, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Hello Vanessa,
I don't see why not? The finish dries hard and durable.
I'd put at least 3 hand rubbed coats for good coverage.
very light steel wool sanding between coats.

Remember, it's best to NOT use the dishwasher for wooden items.
Good Luck
Can this be used on stained wood?
Steve on Sep 14, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Yes it can. I normall apply three or four applications depending on the grain absorption.
should you cut your counter top before or after putting finish on?
john l on Jun 27, 2017
BEST ANSWER: This is a finish. Use it as the last step in the process. Follow the directions on the can. I wipe it on with a clean cloth in very light coats allowing dry time and light sanding, if needed, between coats.
Is this a water based sealant?
Clint N on Jul 9, 2017
BEST ANSWER: No it's not water based. It cleans up with mineral spirits. I also would say that it is no more food safe than any other varnish or poly which is what it is basically. It should be good safe when fully cured like other varnishes. I use shellac for bowls which is really food safe, easy to apply, and gives a nicer finish in my opinion.
Will this finish completely hide the wood grain?
Larry B on Dec 18, 2017
BEST ANSWER: No, it will enhance the wood grain. I use it for serving trays, round, and oval bowls that I sell at craft shows. I get the best finish when using old t-shirt material, rather than just any old rag.
Dried with some noticeable drips and thick spots. Any way to smooth out or remove?
Heather O on Mar 17, 2017
BEST ANSWER: I don't know how it was applied but either by brush or by wipe on method there was too much used. It has to be sanded down on the drips and thick spots and reapplied. Salad bowl finish works best if you apply it very thin and quickly. Too slow and it will leave streaks by going over the same area trying to smooth it out. Too much finish will run or settle into thick areas. You can use a small knife or putty knife to cut out any big drips and then sand but thick areas need sanding. Apply Salad Bowl Finish very lightly, spread it quickly and plan on 6 to 10 very thin coats sometimes with a light sanding in between coats three and six as needed. A good finish takes time but it is worth it for a great result. I always plan on 12 coats with a 24 hour drying time between coats. It will come out like glass. You don't want to put too many coats on because it will look like you coated your work in plastic. With thin and fast applications you are in control of the finish but you have to take your time by putting on multiple coats. If you sprayed it on then don't. It wasn't meant to be a spray on finish. You can't remove the finish because it will not re soften with solvents nor will it thin out in the can. Keep the lid closed and use Bloxygen to keep a skin from forming over the top while in between coats.
Bloxygen Gas for Preserving Unused Finishing Materials
Bloxygen Gas for Preserving Unused Finishing Materials
Do I take off the wax finish before applying the General Finish to my just turned bowl?
Sally H on Aug 30, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Any wax should be removed before aplying any finish to insure adhesion
I apply 3 to 8 very thin coats to all my bowls then hand rub to reduce the sheen
Has GF Wood Bowl Finish replaced their Salad Bowl Finish? I bought a can yesterday and thought I got SBF as the cans look the same but got home to find I had "Wood Bowl Finish." The ingredients do not appear to be the same?
Andrew B on Jan 24, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Yes they have. I ran into the same problem and was told that it is the same product with a new name. I guess the name Salad Bowl Finish was confusing to some. The new name Wood Bowl finish is less confusing for some. I used it on a few turnings and it is the same product.
Is it food safe even if there’s paint underneath?
Cheryl T on Jun 25, 2018
BEST ANSWER: The finish itself is food safe. If it has a paint that is not food safe under it, I would strip the paint then use
Does it leave an odor?
Terri S on Jun 16, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Yes, it goes away after a month or so and it creates problems when giving as a gift.
Can items like handles for kitchen tools be cleaned in a dishwasher and not take the finish off?
Bill T on Aug 16, 2017
BEST ANSWER: I would not put wooden anything in the dishwasher - the high temperature of the water and prolonged exposure to the water would most definitely degrade the finish.
I just purchased maple butcher block counters and I am wanting to seal them with the salad bowl finish. Am I able to stain them prior to sealing or will that reduce the integrity of the product?
Krista on Jun 14, 2017
BEST ANSWER: According to the web page for the product at General Finishes, "For actively used butcher block counter tops that are used for chopping and cutting, only use Butcher Block Oil." Otherwise, since Salad Bowl Finish is an oil and urethane blend, then I would say any stain that is compatible with urethane could be used, so long as it is completely dry before applying the top coat.

Suggest you try it on an out-of-the-way unstained area. GF Salad Bowl Finish will darken the wood without the use of stain. On some maple cutting boards that I have made, the darkening was significant.
Butcher Block Oil
Butcher Block Oil
Is the finish somewhat heat resistant? The finish I currently have on my counter tops turns chaulky white if something hot gets set on it.
Michelle Long S on Dec 2, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I put this finish on our new cherry counter tops over two years ago. We have tried not to put anything hot on them but flanking our kitchen range something was probably inadvertently put there. So far, they look as great as the day I installed them. No scratches, no burns or discoloration. Super happy with this product!
I am cleaning up and wanted to just add a good top coat to my kitchen cabinets. How do you think this would hold up?
Julie W on Aug 27, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I have used salad bowl finish on a lot of my projects that are used in the kitchen and it has held up to all kinds of abuse. I have also been in the cabinet business for 30 years and I can tell you the finish you should use on cabinets has to be not only strong but withstand a lot of acidic things found in a kitchen. You don't think you put onion juice, mustard juice and things like that on cabinets but the truth is the most acidic thing you do to your cabinets is put your hands on them and they are the most acidic thing in the kitchen because the contain all those chemicals and more. Strength in the finish is required because of all things your fingernails become tiny chisels and they will wear the finish down especially around the handles. Just look at kitchen displays to see that damage. So in short you can use it but I would suggest something more suitable for cabinets such as a polyurethane product. General finish has several good cabinet finishes. Hope this helps.
I am new to this whole area of "food safe" when it comes to wood. Is this product better than General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish? I am about to get in to bowl making. I would like to know what is the best way to stain, seal, prep, or what ever I need to do to keep anyone safe after I am done. Once I start, gift requests will no doubt come it. Thank you for any and all information and advice.
Dave F Rodman J on Aug 17, 2016
General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish
General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish
Zinsser Bulls Eye® SealCoat
Zinsser Bulls Eye® SealCoat
BEST ANSWER: SealCoat is shellac. Although considered food-safe, shellac does not hold up to moisture. It is the wrong finish to use in wooden bowls meant to hold anything that is liquid.
I have put together a wooden mug and I am using this to finish it. There is some dried wood glue at the bottom of the mug I am having trouble getting to. Can this be applied over dried wood glue? Or any ideas on how to sand at the bottom of a mug - hand sanding doesn't seem to be cutting it.
Joshua on Feb 17, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I made a table using maple strips, gluing each strip together with a 2 part epoxy glue, glue also filled some small gaps. Sanded joints smooth. Used this finish so that the table could be used as a surface for rolling out dough for baking etc,,. Table has been in use for approx. 15 months and has turned out great! It covered the glue with no problems.
can you put hot water such as a coffee in a wooden mug with this painted on ?
greenalias on Dec 30, 2015
BEST ANSWER: I'd recommend you contact the manufacturer. Beeswax and mineral oil are also food safe products, but then again, you would have to research the products to understand how temperature affects them.
If I had to guess, erroring on the side if caution, I'd say it's not safe. Dishwashers are supposed to have an operating water temp between 130 and 145 degrees. Coffee is served in this temp range and sometimes hotter, sobi would imagine coffee would have an adverse affect on GF salad bowl finish.
does it come in darker stains or just clear? thank you.
Terri B on Dec 21, 2015
BEST ANSWER: I've ordered twice & it is a good product. Only in clear as far as I know.
can this be applied over painted wood?
A shopper on Aug 21, 2015
BEST ANSWER: i don't think so. it's meant to penetrate raw wood.
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