Wood Furniture Gallery – Finishes

 Wood Furniture Gallery – Finishes

Many different Finishes have been used to decorate and protect Wood Furniture through the ages. Many traditionally genuine FinishesWood Furniture Gallery - Finishes were high maintenance, work intense, and not very resilient, so the trend has been to more resistant and sustained completes suitable for existence.

Simple wax Finishes have been used for many decades, especially on traditional  country maple Wood Furniture because of its soft and satiny look. Wax is quickly renewed or brightened with a new application, damaged  or worn spots are super simple to blend in again. A drawback is that wax Finishes can mark quickly from water, liquor and make up.

Oil Finishes have also been used for 100′s of years. These penetrating oils are easy for beginners to use because they are simply applied onto the Wood, allowed to drain in, and polished dry. This process is repeated until the desired gloss is designed.

A drawback is that the Oil Finishes may progressively dry out, demanding recurring applications, to keep up an even gloss. While not particularly resilient, if it is damaged it is simple to add more oil and it combines in nicely.

French Polishing uses Natural shellac and has been a very well-known Finish for Wood Furniture and surfaces for centuries. It offers warm colour, but has very poor wearability because it is not waterproof  and is quickly broken by both water and liquor. Shellacked or French Polished surfaces were usually renewed yearly. In the same way, French Polish is a very time intensive method but one which enhances on the rich shade and feel of beautiful Wood. Especially well-known in European countries, this finish is the original finish used on rare antique furniture and  is very  costly to apply initially and to repair.

True organic French Polish  is rarely used any longer. While resilient and attractive, it required very skilled program, many slow-drying layers and lots of surface preparation.

Traditional lacquer Finishes have been well-known for  centuries – they have excellent dirt level of resistance, wear well and can be re-touched or re-coated pretty quickly. Difficult and pretty weak, they can processor and break, and sometimes get crazy or crackled – “alligatored” – eventually. Strong and dangerous chemicals were used in traditional lacquer.

Most newly manufactured Wood Furniture has only one cover of plastic-type Finish, usually nitrocellulose lacquer or polyurethane.

While very tough and resistant to damaging and spots, the top layer of colored Finish means that a small amount of damage may go through the Finishes to the Wood beneath, revealing a different shade. These Finishes are very durable but difficult to repair, re-coat or cut for refinishing. The advantages of these Finishes are some time and  work savings for producers.

Many of these Finishes are quick-cured with ultra-violet light, and some are water and not solution based. An esthetic drawback is a rather “plastic” look and feel.

A latest technique of protecting Wood Furniture is water lacquer, designed and mastered over latest decades in response to ecological and employee problems of protection.

They give the advantages of the appearance of traditional finishes and the durability of the nitrocellulose lacquers

They are better to work with and  they are an excellent middle ground in appearance, strength, and restorability.


As far as maintenance  is concerned, wax completes are best applied with a dry cloth or a little more wax. For the other completes that have a challenging surface, a little orange oil, ideally with beeswax, will restore the finish. Research has revealed that  use of orange oil will soften hard completes, but in moderation this is a fantastic enhancement.

Paste wax has been a conventional Wood Furniture finish. Besides demanding much hard work, wax will turn white from something hot or wet. Apply commercial shines (Pledge, dust and the like) can cause a smeary plastic build-up that can be very difficult to cut. They also make any kind of touch-up or existing difficult. “Oil and stain” shines like Old English are short-term the beginning includes. A better idea is to use the marking kind of the beginning includes that come in all colors of Wood completes and quickly help cover up minimal mars. These are available at most colour and hardware stores. Following with an orange oil and beeswax enhance will improve any dry or used complete.

No one individual finish technique is right for every piece of Wood Furniture, but concerns of cost, strength and beauty are all factors in the choice of protecting and enhancing vintage Wood Furniture for the long run.


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