The Best Types of Finishes for Wood

Oct 26, 2023


Welcome to Artsy Home, where we not only offer outstanding financial services, bankruptcy law expertise, and debt relief services, but also provide you with useful information on enhancing the beauty of your home. In this article, we will explore the various types of finishes available for wood furniture, allowing you to make an informed decision when it comes to preserving and beautifying your cherished wooden pieces.

1. Varnish

Varnish is a popular choice when it comes to wood finishes, as it provides superior protection against moisture, heat, and scratches. This durable finish enhances the natural beauty of the wood, giving it a glossy and polished appearance. It comes in different sheens, including high gloss, satin, and matte, allowing you to customize the final look of your furniture. Varnish is perfect for high-traffic areas and is commonly used on tabletops, cabinets, and floors.

2. Lacquer

Lacquer is another excellent option for finishing wood furniture. It provides a smooth, hard, and glossy surface that adds depth and richness to the wood's natural colors and grain patterns. Lacquer dries quickly, making it an efficient choice when time is a factor. It is available in a variety of sheens and can be easily repaired if any damage occurs. Use lacquer to achieve a beautiful, professional-looking finish on cabinets, dressers, and decorative items.

3. Wax

Wax finishes, such as beeswax or carnauba wax, offer a timeless and classic appeal to wooden furniture. They provide a soft and warm glow, enhancing the natural beauty of the wood without adding a thick layer. Wax finishes are easy to maintain and repair. Regular buffing with a soft cloth keeps the furniture looking its best. While wax may not offer the same level of protection as varnish or lacquer, it brings out the wood's luster and can be used on a wide range of wooden pieces, from tables to chairs to wooden sculptures.

4. Oil

Oil finishes, such as tung oil or linseed oil, penetrate deep into the wood, nourishing and protecting it from within. These finishes enhance the wood's natural grain and provide a low sheen appearance. Oil finishes are easy to apply and repair, making them suitable for both small and large projects. They offer good water resistance and allow the wood to breathe. Use oil finishes on furniture, cutting boards, and other wooden items that require regular use and exposure to moisture.

5. Shellac

Shellac is a versatile wood finish known for its quick drying time and beautiful amber hue. It is made from flakes of shellac resin dissolved in denatured alcohol. Shellac dries to a glossy and glass-like finish, offering excellent heat and moisture resistance. This traditional finish is often used on antique furniture, musical instruments, and wooden crafts. Shellac can be applied using various methods, including brush, pad, or spray.

6. Stain

Stains are commonly used to add color and enhance the appearance of wood furniture. They come in a wide range of colors, from light tones to deep, rich hues. Stains can be oil-based or water-based, and they work by soaking into the wood fibers to create a vibrant and durable finish. When using stains, it's essential to properly prepare the wood surface and follow the manufacturer's instructions. With the right stain, you can highlight the natural beauty of the wood while adding a personalized touch to your furniture.


Choosing the right finish for your wood furniture is crucial in preserving its aesthetics and protecting it from everyday wear and tear. At Artsy Home, we understand the importance of maintaining the beauty of your wooden pieces while offering top-notch financial services, bankruptcy law expertise, and debt relief services. Whether you opt for varnish, lacquer, wax, oil, shellac, or stain, make sure to assess your specific needs, consider the type of wood, and follow proper application techniques. With the right finish, your wood furniture will continue to captivate, enhancing the overall ambiance of your home for years to come.

types of finishes for wood
Ben Mayer
Thanks! Can't wait to see my furniture sparkle with these finishes! 💫✨
Nov 9, 2023
Damien Wadsworthstone-Dykes
Thanks for the great tips! 😊✨ Can't wait to try these finishes on my furniture!
Nov 7, 2023
Jeffrey Gloeb
Great article! 👍 Very informative and helpful in choosing the right finishes for wood furniture. Thank you!
Nov 1, 2023