It can be quite confusing finding out which wood finishes are best for the tables in your living and office space. In this brief and concise guide, we have done all the work to make things easier so that you get the best finish next time you are out shopping.
To have a better grasp on the types of wood finishes available for your wooden tabletop, you need to know that some are better than the other. Considering the surface of the wood, ease of application, and quick-drying, read on to discover more about the available finishes in the market today.
Common Type of Finishes Available For Wooden Tables
- Penetrating Finishes
A penetrating finish implies that it soaks well into the grain of the wood while offering strength and protection from the inside out. This is often done with oil and leaves no layer of film or visible coating as a wood finish. The formulation of the oils used is usually a mix of tung oil or linseed oil with some varnish, and mineral spirits.
They are also said to offer a very naturalistic and modern look in addition to more maintenance than your regular surface finish. They are also easy to apply while offering great protection, a lasting/durable finish, and an aesthetically pleasing result.
- Surface Finishes
Providing ease of application and a natural look, surface finishes are applied directly to the surface as the name implies. Less maintenance is also involved when compared to the previous option. Being directly on the surface also translates to an enhanced appearance in terms of color and grain.
Common examples include varnish, shellac, and lacquer which could be an oil-based finish, or water-based. Lacquers add a glossy look to the wood. Shellac is known to have a short drying time, while varnishes dry slowly but offer better protection against sunlight.
- Stained Finishes
For table tops with an inconsistent appearance, staining will work best. This doesn't necessarily protect the wood but serves to enhance the look and add uniformity in terms of color and appearance.
Wood stains are best applied when the stain is of a darker shade than the surface in question. It can be used for a complete overhaul in appearance, as they are available in different colors.
Polyurethane is excellent at providing an extra coated layer while minimizing damage from water and reducing the possibility of scratches. As a synthetic coating, polyurethane is highly touted for its high durability, making it the best clear coat alternative in the area of wood protection.
Often compared with varnish, polyurethane has a lower make-up of solids which makes it more prone to damage from ultraviolet rays. Varnish, on the other hand, consists of resins, and solvents which offer better protection against rays from the sun. Polyurethane would be less preferred for outdoor furniture.
Wooden furniture can be quite a chore to maintain due to scratches, water, and even termites. Finishes can reduce all these drastically while helping to increase the life span. Also consider how much time you’ll be spending in the sun when circling the mall shopping for a finisher for your wooden tables, and other furniture.