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Frequent Wooden Finishes for Furnishings & Flooring

Past their capabilities to create biodiverse ecosystems and switch greenhouse gases into clear oxygen, bushes additionally present one of the crucial versatile supplies on the planet- wooden. Along with being utilized by carpenters and builders for framing homes, wooden is probably mostly used for furnishings and flooring, right here within the US and world wide.

When correctly maintained, wooden lasts a protracted time- generations. However a part of sustaining wooden means including a end. Utilizing a end on wooden furnishings and flooring helps modulate the humidity content material of the wooden. When wooden dries out an excessive amount of, it’s susceptible to cracking and splitting, so it’s vital to seal within the applicable moisture content material.

There are many choices for ending wooden, however with regards to furnishings and flooring, most merchandise fall into one in every of these classes: oils, varnishes, polyurethanes, lacquers, and waxes.

Oils Finishes

Oil finishes are generally used on wooden furnishings and kitchen utensils, and typically on wooden flooring. Typically talking, oil finishes are eco-friendly, food-safe, and non-toxic. They’re additionally simple to restore and produce a extra textured grain sample than many alternate options. They are typically thought of a extra conventional end, as oils have been used as wooden finishes for hundreds of years.

Nonetheless, oil finishes typically don’t supply the identical stage of safety and sturdiness that you simply’d discover with a lacquer or varnish. They’re not as water-resistant as another finishes, and oil finishes are additionally extra inclined to dents and scratches as a result of the wooden doesn’t have a thick exhausting coating on high to soak up these impacts, as a varnish or lacquer would possibly do. Due to their poor water resistance, oil finishes are sometimes mixed with waxes so as to add a layer of safety.

Among the most typical oil finishes used on wooden furnishings and flooring are:

  • Linseed Oil
  • Tung Oil
  • Mineral Oil
  • Walnut Oil
  • Teak Oil
  • Danish Oil (that is truly a commerce identify that applies to many various kinds of finishes, normally an oil and polish mix)

Learn extra about frequent oil finishes for wooden furnishings and flooring.


Wax finishes sit on the floor of the wooden and supply delicate resistance to water and scratches. They’re additionally typically inclined to warmth injury, typically within the type of rings beneath a cup of sizzling espresso or tea. One other hindrence to waxes is that they are going to put on over time and necessitate periodically refinishing, because it merely will get rubbed off.

Though waxes aren’t usually utilized in solidarity, they’re regularly utilized in mixture with oil finishes. For instance, Tried & True sells a polymerized linseed oil and beeswax end underneath the commerce identify “Authentic Wooden End.” Wax finishes can go overtop another end as an added layer of safety, however different finishes shouldn’t be utilized on high of a wax.

Among the most typical sorts of waxes used for ending wooden furnishings and flooring embrace:

  • Carnauba Wax
  • Bee’s Wax
  • Paraffin Wax

Study extra in regards to the benefits and drawbacks to utilizing wax as a wooden end.


Though “varnish” is commonly used as a catch-all time period for wooden finishes, there’s truly an accepted definition for what constitutes a varnish and what doesn’t. Varnish finishes are resin-based finishes that dry to a tough movie that coats the floor of the wooden. Varnishes are usually essentially the most sturdy sort of wooden finish- drying to a really sturdy exhausting coat that’s normally proof against water and scratches. Conventional varnish dries to a transparent end, though most staining end merchandise fall into this class as properly. Varnishes are fashionable for each indoor and outside use, on each furnishings and flooring.

Learn extra about varnish finishes right here.


Like varnishes, polyurethanes type a tough movie that coats the floor of the wooden. That is in distinction to grease finishes, which seep into the grain and saturate the wooden. Polyurethane finishes are normally brushed onto wooden and dry to a tough plastic-like movie. These finishes are typically durable- scratch and water-resistant, in addition to low upkeep. They’re highly regarded finishes for indoor wooden flooring, they usually’re additionally used typically on wooden furnishings.

Nonetheless, poly finishes typically have a yellowing impact as they age, which makes them extra suited to darker woods. You in all probability wouldn’t need to use it as a end in an outside surroundings, as some sort of varnish is normally the higher selection for safeguarding towards the weather.

There are a number of sorts of polyurethane, together with oil and water primarily based, and it’s price researching extra about which of those is greatest suited to any given mission.

Study extra about utilizing polyurethane as a wooden end.


Craftsman applying Greenguard Certified lacquer to an entertainment center
A craftsman at Copeland Furnishings making use of a Greenguard Licensed lacquer end to an leisure middle.

Lacquer is a contemporary wooden end that’s generally used on excessive finish furnishings, however not normally on flooring. It’s quick drying, impervious to water, and maintains its transparency because it ages. Lacquer finishes are fashionable as a result of they don’t yellow with age, defend properly towards liquids, and require little or no upkeep.

Lacquers are similar to a varnish or urethane, however are normally sprayed on quite than utilized with a brush or hand-rubbed material. Like varnish and urethanes, and in distinction to grease finishes, lacquer kinds a movie on high of the wooden grain quite than saturating it. The use and development of lacquer finishes has made shellac largely irrelevant for the reason that mid 1900’s.

There are a number of completely different sorts of lacquer, and though all lacquer finishes share among the key traits talked about above, there are some key variations between them as properly.

Learn extra about lacquer as a wooden end.

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