Shellawax - nice food-safe wood finish in just one coat
I'm finally finishing the bamboo desk I started last year. I just love the finish I found at Lee Valley Tools - Shellawax Liquid - it's made by an Australian company and it creates a tough semi-gloss finish in one coat. That's beyond awesome. And it smells good too, kind of like men's aftershave mixed with pipe tobacco and good port.
Shellawax is actually meant to be used as a polish for woodturning projects on a lathe, but I've been so happy with the finish it's given me on my turned projects that I decided to try it on a (huge) flat surface. I'm working in small 6-inch squares to apply the finish, then hitting the area with the heat gun to simulate the heat caused by friction on a lathe. Then a quick rub with a cotton rag to even out the warm finish, which is dry-to-the-touch pretty much instantly after heating. Shellawax is non-toxic after curing, and low-odor during application (even my chemical-sensitive husband wasn't bothered by it). After three weeks of curing the Shellawax finish is alcohol and water-resistant - good news for us spillers.