Furniture finishes are designed to protect the wood and to enhance the grain of the wood so as to bring out the wood’s natural beauty. As different finishes provide different measures of durability, protection, ease of application and looks, therefore it is best to choose the most appropriate finish that will give off a long-lasting look.
Available in high-gloss, satin, or matte forms, water-based or solvent-based, varnishes are the most durable finish which outshine most other finishes in their resistance to water, heat, solvents and other chemicals. Made of tough and durable synthetic resins that have been modified with drying oils, varnishes provide excellent protection against many substances.
Available in both water-based and oil-based types, waxes look really good with more of a sheen than a gloss and are ideally suited to furniture for they are easy to use and apply. However, they are not very durable and therefore require regular maintenance.
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Similar to waxes, oils are easy to work with and easily repairable. The only difference as compared to waxes is that oils offer more durability. Despite their slow drying times, oils nourishes and protects wood. They are designed for both interior and exterior use.
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Available in matte, high-gloss and satin finishes, in clear form and in clear stain colours, lacquers are considered the best all-around finish for wood. This is due to the fact that they are the fastest-drying finish and they are more durable than shellacs. Lacquers add an amazing depth and richness to the wood.
Available in two colours, orange and white, shellacs, which are non-toxic, are the easiest to apply. Shellacs are easy to repair and can also be used as a sealer before applying a stain. Nevertheless, shellacs are not very durable and can be easily damaged as they are dissolvable in both water and alcohol.