How to Select the Right Finish for Your Furniture

When it comes to wood finishing, things can get a little tricky when you don’t know what type of finish would be the best for your project. With so many finishes to choose from, how do you know where to get started? In order to help woodworkers make this important decision, and to help you decide on what finish you would like for your specialized furniture, here are a few tips you can keep in mind.
Types of Finishing Products
The various types of finishing projects include the following:

  • Water-based finishes
  • Lacquers
  • Shellacs
  • Varnishes
  • Oils
  • Waxes

Each one of these products offers a different look, ease of application and level of protection.
Shellacs, lacquers and water-based finishes – These finishes should not be used on wood and you can expect them to evaporate and turn into a hard film when dry. They will not, however, be as durable as other products such as oil.
Waxes – Waxes are generally used as a polisher over a variety of other finishes such as shellac or lacquer.
Oils – Tung oil and linseed oil are relatively inexpensive and they are both drying oils. They penetrate into the wood fibers and harden.
Varnish – This product is made with synthetic resins and drying oils. It’s the resins that make a varnish finish stronger and more durable than a finish from oil only.
A finish that is durable is able to resist solvents, chemicals, water, scratches and heat more than other finishes. Any finish that is water-based will become damaged if water is left on it for too long. Polyurethane that is oil based is the finish that is the most durable when applied by hand.
Find out more about furniture finishes and which one would look best on your customized wood piece by visiting our website at


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