Wooden furniture, wooden floors and fixtures require protection to look like new and last in the long run. Wood finishes help to retain the natural beauty of the grain while providing protection to wood. Wood finishes are seen in two categories. Certain wood finishes are used in layers and cure hard. Other finishes are penetrating and do not leave a hard film being an oil-based solution. Let’s check out different types of wood finishes (in random order).
This wood finish is fast-drying and comes in a clear liquid form. It is useful to enhance the wood grain and is easily applied by brush. While it evaporates upon application, it also cures the wood. Lacquer is not scratch-proof and gets damaged when in contact with water.
This forms a film when used on wooden furniture. Colourless in nature, varnish can also be applied on stained wood. It protects wood from heat, water and solvents. Technically speaking, all types of wood finishes that are solvent-resin mixtures belong to the category of varnishes! The resin used in varnish dictates the type of finish.
Shellac comes in a variety of colours depending upon its components. Being a solvent, it is useful to mend damage seen on wood surfaces. It can be combined with varnish and gives a clear shine. It can be damaged with water.
Depending upon the manufacturers, these might contain similar components seen in lacquer or varnish. They also contain an acrylic resin along with urethane and alkyd. Once applied, the liquid adheres together as the water begins an evaporation process. These finishes are easy to clean and maintain.
Natural oils give an ease of application! Tung oil and Linseed oil mostly have an addition of varnish and require less application time. Linseed oil finish is not scratch-proof but leaves a shiny look. Tung oil gives a slightly wet look but is an eco-friendly option.
A wax finish may certainly not be the most popular amongst woodworkers as it gives short-term protection. Although easy to apply, you may need multiple applications. It also requires buffing at the end.
With these various finishes, you can decide whether you want a Glossy look or Matt Finish.
by Kapil Agarwal
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