Most homes and offices have various types of wood. If it appears a bit aged, there are different wood finishes that can be used to make it look new again without compromising its durability and strength, which are highlighted below.

A Guide On Different Types Of Wood Finishes

Penetrating and Surface Finish

As the name suggests, a penetrating finish will deeply enter the wood where it can then heal it. A surface finish, by contrast, will only function in the wood’s upper layers, where it will remove things such as pale colors, cracks and scratches.

Water Based Finish

Finishes which are water based tend to be opaque and thin. They won’t change the wood’s color but will instead give it a natural and radiant looking shine. Due to its thin consistency, wooden coats which are water based tend to rapidly dry out, which can sometimes make it a better option than finishes which are oil based.


A varnish finish consists of solvents, thinners, oils and resins which results in a very durable coating that offers outstanding UV protection. It will also enhance the natural look of the wood since it won’t conceal the grains. Varnish comes in multiple varieties, including satin, matte and gloss.


Wooden paint finishes come in two types, which are oil and latex. The latex provides greater protection when compared to oil and is therefore ideal for both interior wood surfaces and furniture. However, prior to adding wooden paint finish, their surface must be prepped using a primer to get the best results.

If the naturalized oil within an older wood piece starts to dry out, oil finishes are ideal because they can restore the nourished state. This type of finish will boost the wood’s original color while extending its longevity. However, oil is not a great protector. Furthermore, oil finishes come in three types, which are mineral, linseed and tung.


Those that are searching for an extravagant glossy finish for their wood will benefit greatly from lacquer. It is a thin solvent which dries rapidly while nourishing the wooden grains and making their surface shiny while manifesting a natural appeal.


This is a naturalized wax finish which is gathered via tree bugs then combined with alcohol solvent. It provides an outstanding glossy shine and cover for most wooden surface types. Additionally, shellac finishes can be purchased in numerous colors, shades and wood types.

How to Select the Proper Finish

Now that we’ve gone over the six wooden finishes, you’ll need to decide which is right for you. It is important to do additional research while taking into consideration the toxic fumes they produce as well as flammability.

If you decide to apply the finish yourself, it may be necessary to wear PPE, or personal protection equipment to ensure you are not harmed. Once the project is complete, you’ll want to dispose of the finish in a manner that is environmentally friendly, preferably in a nearby recycling center. A general rule of thumb to keep in mind when selecting a finish is that you want something that is resistant and durable, especially for outdoor furniture.

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