Unlocking the Beauty of Wood: Exploring Different Types of Wood Finishes

Wood restoration for antique furniture

Unlocking the Beauty of Wood: Exploring Different Types of Wood Finishes

Wood possesses a timeless, versatile, and elegant quality, making it highly prized by antique owners and enthusiasts. Yet, to fully appreciate and preserve the splendour of wooden furniture, one must delve into the world of wood finishes. These treatments do more than just protect wood; they enhance its appearance, bringing out its natural characteristics. In this comprehensive exploration, we will unravel the art of wood finishing, delving into a variety of finishes that truly unlock the beauty of wood. As your trusted source for wood finishing in Toronto and the GTA, Lanciano Furniture is your guide on this fascinating journey.

The Art of Wood Finishing:

Wood finishing is a craft that transcends mere aesthetics; it’s a blend of science and art. An aptly chosen finish can elevate the wood’s natural grain, colour, and texture while offering protection against the trials of time and use. Let’s delve into some popular wood finishes that antique aficionados should explore:

1. Oil-Based Finishes: Unveiling the Inner Beauty

Oil-based finishes, such as linseed oil or tung oil, are revered for their capacity to penetrate the wood, revealing its natural beauty. They offer a warm, organic appearance, making them a favourite choice for antique pieces. These finishes penetrate deeply, offering protection from within while allowing the wood to breathe. An oil finish enhances the wood’s figure and grain, making it the optimal choice for showcasing the inherent beauty of the wood itself.

2. Polyurethane Finishes: Durability Meets Elegance

Polyurethane stands as a robust, long-lasting finish that excels in safeguarding wood against moisture, heat, and wear. It forms a resilient, clear, and glossy surface on the wood, rendering it ideal for heavily used furniture. While polyurethane may not enhance the natural look of wood as much as oil-based finishes, it provides a sturdy shield for your antique pieces, ensuring their beauty endures.

3. Shellac Finishes: A Timeless, Amber Glow

Shellac is a traditional finish, known for the warm, amber-toned appearance it imparts. Derived from the secretions of the lac beetle, it is favoured for its exceptional adhesion and smooth application. Shellac is a versatile finish that can serve as a sealer, primer, or topcoat. It provides a timeless glow to wood, making it an excellent choice for antiques seeking a classic, vintage look.

4. Varnish Finishes: Protection and Elegance

Varnish offers a protective, transparent film that excels in safeguarding wood against moisture and UV rays. It comes in various formulations, including oil-based and water-based, catering to different preferences and needs. This finish not only protects but also highlights the wood’s natural beauty, making it a great choice for antique owners who want their pieces to stand the test of time.

5. Wax Finishes: A Soft, Lustrous Glow

Wax finishes, like beeswax or carnauba wax, are known for their soft, lustrous glow. These finishes are favoured for their simplicity and natural appearance. They provide a protective layer while allowing the wood’s natural beauty to shine through. Wax finishes can be reapplied as needed and are a popular choice for antique owners who prefer a more traditional look.

Lanciano Furniture: Elevating the Craft of Wood Finishing

At Lanciano Furniture, we are passionate about the art of wood finishing. Our family-owned and operated business has been serving the GTA and Ontario for over 35 years, establishing itself as the finest and most efficient wood-finishing expert. We’ve built our reputation on hard work and loyalty to our customers, ensuring that every piece of furniture that leaves our shop embodies perfect craftsmanship and the highest quality of work.

Our commitment to wood finishing is evident in every piece we work on. We understand that each antique holds a unique story and beauty, and it’s our mission to enhance and protect that beauty. Whether you’re seeking a hand-rubbed oil finish to accentuate the wood’s natural grace, a protective polyurethane finish to safeguard a cherished piece, or a soft, lustrous wax finish for a more traditional appearance, our team of true professionals is here to cater to your needs.


Wood finishing is an art form that transcends the preservation of furniture; it’s about revealing the true essence of wood. Each finish has its unique character, and the choice depends on your aesthetic preferences and practical requirements. To unlock the beauty of wood, it’s essential to have the right expertise, craftsmanship, and quality materials – all of which you’ll find at Lanciano Furniture.

For antique owners and lovers in Toronto and the GTA if you’re looking to bring out the best in your cherished wooden pieces, consider the art of wood finishing. Whether it’s a hand-rubbed wood oil finish, a protective varnish finish, or a soft, lustrous wax finish, Lanciano Furniture stands ready to elevate the beauty and longevity of your beloved antiques.


Hello Donna

I just wanted to say Thank you for another amazing job! The table and chairs look absolutely amazing, as usual I am very happy with my new table and chairs. As always it’s a pleasure dealing with you guys from start to finish! Thank you again.

- Tina

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