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5 Types Of Wood Finishes

5 min read

Many people are aware that there are a number of options available for wood flooring. There’s maple, cherry, walnut, ash, and mahogany. Some of these types of woods have a light finish, while others have a dark finish. But there’s also the world of finishes, including shellac, linseed oil, varnish, polyurethane, and lacquer. Each finish looks different on wood. Let’s discuss 5 common types of wood finishes.

1. Linseed Oil

While linseed oil is not commonly used anymore, it was once a common finish for wood. Because it is a type of oil, it can leave an oily residue on the surface of the oil. Linseed oil comes from flax seeds, and it’s considered a natural and safe option for finishing wood. These days, artisans use it to finish their crafts, but it’s not common in industry.

2. Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a great option for finishing wood flooring. It is essentially liquid plastic. It dries shiny and smooth and truly brings out the natural beauty of the wood. It’s popular because of its low odor and low toxicity. It’s a great choice for DIY refinishing of wood flooring, because it’s easy to apply with just a rag. You can also buy polyurethane in a spray can which makes it even easier to apply. Polyurethane is also considered a durable finish that protects the wood well. Find more insights and resources available at Fuse Flooring.

3. Varnish

Varnish is a general term for a top coat that can be applied to wood. Varnishes are often used on wood that needs to stand up to tough conditions like being kept outdoors. In addition to protecting wood, it can actually provide a form of ultraviolet protection, making it extra good for items kept in the sun. Varnish is usually applied with a bristle brush.

4. Shellac

Shellac is a term often used to describe a manicure, but it’s also a finish for wood. Shellac is a natural product created from the secretions of a female lac bug combined with alcohol. It’s very durable and provides a long-lasting finish on wood. It’s not good for kitchen tables, side tables, or anywhere else a mug may be placed, because it can show white rings as a result of exposure to condensation. In addition to being used as a finish for wood, shellac can be used as a protective coating for non-wood items. It’s usually applied with a cotton rag.

5. Lacquer

Lacquer is a type of wood finish known for producing an ultra high gloss finish. If shiny is the look you’re going for, lacquer is the finish for you. It’s also considered extremely durable and protective, plus it’s long-lasting. The only downside is it must be applied with a high-volume, low-presser sprayer. You’ll need good ventilation and and a spacious workplace in order to apply it. It’s usually best left to the professionals.

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