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Wood Finishes – What Exactly Is It?
Wood finishes are the finishing coat that protects and maintains the beauty of wood against staining, oxidation, discoloration, insect infestation, and other damage. Wood finishes also help preserve the wood from wear and tear from scratches, traffic, and general abuse. They can also be applied to finish the color or grain of a wood surface, thus adding a final touch of class and style to your home.
Wood finishes refer to the procedure of protecting or refinishing a wooden surface, most commonly in the manufacture of furniture, which in most cases it represents approximately between five and thirty percent of the total manufacturing expenses. However, wood finishes are also essential to protecting the wood from ultraviolet radiation, known as the “death ray” for wooden surfaces. In fact, the ultraviolet rays can cause irreparable damage to wood products. Furthermore, these finishes help you protect your wooden furniture from deterioration and wear and tear.
Wood finishes usually are applied on top of the original wood. However, they can also be used on top of the veneer, masonry, or composite wood products, so long as it is completely sealed. The type of finish applied is entirely dependent on the type of wood product you wish to protect. For example, oak finishes tend to have a glossy, shiny look and are often applied with a water-based solvent and then left to dry overnight. This is a preferred finish technique because it provides a glossy finish to your oak furniture while offering complete protection from UV radiation.
An alternative to applying a natural wood finish to your oak furniture is to simply apply varnish. On the other hand, a natural wood finish is used on wood products with a solvent and allowed to dry. The finish will enable you to achieve a finish that mimics that of the wood grain and will provide a gloss, shine, and color that closely resembles that of the original wood product. Some finishes, such as the one on the front of an oak chair, may be more effective at resisting stains and staining than the natural wood finish. However, this type of finish is a far superior choice for protecting the wood grain.
Stain protection is not only a necessity when it comes to wood products – but it also helps you protect your flooring from damage. A protective coating like polyurethane or epoxy is used to protect wood floors from fading, discoloration, etching, chipping, and warping.
Wood finishes can also be applied to wood products to provide an even more protective finish that is much more durable, particularly if your wood is susceptible to weathering. Wood finishes are often added to wood floors before installation, to seal and prevent warping and discoloration.