Wood finishing is required after the carpentry work of a job which is the final operation in woodworking projects. it helps and serves a lot of purposes. with wood finishing and special wood finishing products, bare woods becomes totally different from what it used to be like. Some operations like planning, sanding and scraping are actually performed to before applying finishes. It helps to eliminate surface imperfections by smoothing and softening the wood surface. Wood finishes are used to alter the wood desired colour and aesthetic such as staining and bleaching are often applied before applying the finish.

wood finishing

Today we’ll be looking at the meaning, types, applications, as well as advantages of wood finishes.


What is a wood finishing?

Wood finishing is the process of protecting and polishing wooden surfaces which makes its appearance richer and deeper. Wood finishes are totally different from wood painting because painting hides the original wooden surface while wood finishes improve the appearance of wood surfaces. Finishes can also represent several coats of finish.

Types of wood finishes:

the following stated below represent the different types of wood finishes:

Generally, wood finishes are of two types which include, surface finishing and penetrating finishing.

Surface finishing: this finishing leaves a natural look on the wood, it is easier to apply. There are finishes that available for wood surfaces.

Penetrating finishing: this wood finishing is performed for protective purposes when applied it enters the wood and plays their protecting role. It is durable and does not create a natural look on walls. Some types of penetrating finishing include Linseed, Danish, and Tung oil. They make a natural and bold look of the wooden material.


A dye is a popular type of wood finishes which is available in both water-based and oil-based. It matches the existing colour of some wood and it can completely change the colour of the surface. Dying as the process helps to protect interior wooden surfaces.

Oil finishes:

The oil wood finishes help to enhance the appearance of unfurnished wood. There are natural oils available in woods which dries out over time. Oil finishes replace the natural oils in the wood and nourish its grain. The wood is also protected for internal external use.

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The varnish is usually clear and transparent finishes which give better UV protection. It is made up of oil, solvents and resins. If a varnish is applied on top of dyes, better and extra protection is optioned. But vanishes dry slowly.


Shellacs are natural wax finish which is gotten from a bug which thrives on a tree. It gives a better consistency when mixed with an alcohol solvent. Shellac is available in a variety of colours, easy to apply and dries quickly. Its final appearance is appealing as it gives a glossy finish to the wood.


This wood finishes changes and enhance the colour of the wood. They are available in different colours but wood stains perform better if dark than the colour of the wood. They don’t protect the wood but better protection is obtained when a coat which is the next operation after the staining. Stains help to increase the visibility of the grains.


Lacquers are good types of wood finishes with a thin solvent-based which goes deep into the wood and nourishes the grains. It also exposes the natural beauty of the wood as it shows a glossy look to the wood. they are usually applied by spraying. They dry fast due to the evaporating solvent they contain.

Water-based finishes:

The water-based finishes offer a clean and clear finish but have little odour than the oil-based finishes. They are thin in consistency, making them to easily dry. They give a natural appearance to the wooden surface. And due to its flexibility, it adheres to any surface quickly.

French polish:

French polishing is one of the oldest techniques used. It is a classic way of finishing wood as it contains a mixture of shellac and alcohol. It is applied on wooden surfaces with a rubbing pad lubricated with oil. French polish gives the glossiest appearance to the wooden surface.

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Advantages and disadvantages of wood finishing:


Below are the benefits of wood finishes on wooden applications:


Despite the good benefits of wood finishing, there are still some disadvantages. The following represent the disadvantages of wood finishing:

That’s it for this article “wood finishing and finishes”. I hope the knowledge is attained, if so, kindly comment, share and recommend our site to other technical students. Thanks!

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