Choosing the Right Furniture Finish

While not everyone is a professional woodworker, there comes a time in our lives when we want to take on some kind of project that will require us to choose a type of finish for wood.

While you could just pop on down to the home improvement center and buy the first can of finish you find and labor away trying to get it to look the way you imagined it would, there are a few things that you should consider first. There are many different kinds of finishes for many different types of wood and the appearances you want.

Choosing the Right Furniture Finish

Choosing the Right Furniture Finish

When you decide you are going to purchase finish for that piece of wood furniture that has become a bit rough around the edges, you should consider what kind of wood it is made from. If the furniture is newly processed on a factory floor and bought from a mega store chain, then it’s probably made from particle board or press board, and you won’t be able to finish it. In fact, putting oil based finish on particle or press board will actually ruin the furniture, so make sure the wood is natural hardwood before you decide to get finish for it.

If the wood is a natural hardwood, you have to consider what kind of appearance you want it to have after you have finished it. There are different colors to some finishes. Lacquers and varnishes fall into this category, and you will also want to think about the transparency and whether or not you want it built up. If you want your coffee table to look like there is a layer of glass sitting on top of it, then you will have to take the time to use a clear lacquer and layer it over many days.

If you want it layered, you should know that oil based finish products won’t work well. With oil base you have to wipe the excess off while you are brushing it on to make sure it dries all the way through. Otherwise, it fills the wood with oil and ruins the furniture. It may seem like a lot, but once you have an idea of what you want, it becomes easy.

Dec 9th, 2012 | Posted in Furniture 101
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