How to Know Which Wood Finish to Choose

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pan100__42377-1459276302-864-850One of the benefits of buying unfinished furniture is that you have full control as to which kind of wood finish you choose. Wood finishing is defined as the process of protecting and beautifying the furniture and highlighting its natural beauty after the piece is made. However, there are so many choices on the market, it can be a challenge deciding which option is right for you. Here’s a look at your options:

Dye

Some people opt to finish their wood with dye. The benefit of doing this is that dye is subtle and can enhance the color of the wood without being too overpowering. It is also great for enhancing the natural look of the wood. It is also a good choice if the wood has several different colors. Dye is used to balance these colors. The downside is that dye by itself doesn’t protect the wood. It needs to be paired with something else, such as wax or varnish.

Varnishes

There are a few main reasons why you might choose to varnish the wood rather than use other finishes. As mentioned above, when finishing wood with dye, it needs to be paired with something else that protects the wood. Varnish is a popular choice to be used over dye because it enhances the color of the dye while also giving the wood an additional amount of protection. Varnish is also both decorative and durable, and can be found in both water-based and oil-based formulas.

Stains

Stain is one of the most popular choices when it comes to finishing wood. One of the biggest benefits of using it is that it soaks deep into the wood, which not only beautifully enhances its natural color, but also protects, and often preserves, the wood. You can find both water-based and oil-based formulas, as well as those that have either a gloss or matte finish. If you’re looking for a better choice for the environment, stick to a water-based formula.

Waxes

Wax is a type of finish that goes on clear, which means that unless you want to simply protect the natural color of the wood, you might not want to use this option. However, if you decide to dye the wood, you could apply a coat of wax over the dye to protect the wood. As mentioned above, dye doesn’t preserve and protect the wood and needs to be paired with something else. There are both oil-based and water-based waxes available on the market.

Knowing which wood finish to choose can be difficult because each option has its own positive and negative qualities. At the end of the day, you want to choose the one that is best for the wood, matches your existing décor, and matches your lifestyle. If you’re still unsure of which to choose, you may want to contact the furniture manufacturer. They often have a recommended list of options that they feel will best beautify and protect the wood.