5 Tips for Choosing the Best Wood Finish for Your Project in 2024

To transform a house into a home, you need to carefully think about every single detail. When you are doing woodwork on your own, you will be able to make something on your own that you will be always proud of it. Nowadays there are so many different options when it comes to choosing the materials, and this is considered both a good and a bad thing. Since you can choose from a lot of different types of finish, you will get the end product to be just the way you want it.

To help you out with your choice, we are going to give you some tips on how to make the crucial decision of finding the right wood finish for your current product. Follow our tips and you will narrow items down and find the right one for you and your items.

1. Do you want to change the color?

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The first thing we are going to talk about is the final color you want to get. There are two types of stain – colorless or color. As you already know, with the colorless option, you will just enhance the natural color your item has. On the other hand, if you want to slightly, or significantly change the original hue, then you might want to choose to go with a colored finish.

Depending on what you want to achieve, you should choose the right hue for you. In case you decide to go with paint, know that a small amount goes a long way. It is always better to build up to the shade you want to gain than to pour a large amount and end up with a poor-quality item.

2. Do you want the product to reflect light a lot or a little?

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This is something else you need to consider before you choose the right product for your product. There are two types on sheen – wood finish product that will reflect the light a lot, and those that will give it shine without making it too “blingy”.

You should know that when you are choosing the right sheen for your product, you will be able to choose something that is completely matte, so if you don’t want your item to reflect light at all, you can choose that too. Think about the rest of your furniture, and try to match it with the DIY project you are currently creating.

3. Durability

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Probably the most important thing that will make the biggest difference is the durability the wood finish is going to provide. As you already know, the main reason why we need this product is to make the item more durable and resistant to temperature and weather conditions. With the right product, you won’t have to worry about your favorite furniture being out on the open, or it getting scratched by your pet.

There are a lot of different types of finishes that should make the product more durable, and some of those are oil-based. One of the most important things handyman.guide suggests is that you should always avoid oils that can spoil over time. Don’t treat your furniture with olive or sunflower oil if you don’t want to end up with items changing colors, getting that terrible scent, or ending up being sticky or damaged.

Depending on where you place the item, choose something with a heavier finish, or something that is water-resistant.

4. How much time do you want to spend applying the product?

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Some people want to spend a lot of time and take care of every single spot on the furniture they are treating. Those people don’t mind spending hours and hours applying the product and they want everything to be done perfectly. On the other hand, there are people who want to get things done as fast as possible, and they don’t want to spend hours even days waiting for everything to get dry.

Some products, like oils, need to be applied several times and be layered, while others need one or two coats maximum to get the needed result. Before choosing the right item for your project, make sure you consider your time and how many layers you will need to put. Know that some coats need a lot of time to fully dry, while others can be ready to use in just an hour or two. Consider if you have the needed time to wait for everything to be perfect, or if you want to use the furniture as soon as possible.

5. Types of coats and ways of application

As we mentioned several times before, there are different types of finishes that need to be applied in a different way. For example, shellac is great if you don’t have a lot of tools, and you can use pretty much anything to apply it. It gives a natural finish and you can apply up to five coats.

Wax is not the best option if you want to use it on outdoor furniture, but it will give an amazing shine to the items. Varnish can be used for both inside and outdoor items, and there are a lot of different subtypes of it. Oils are great if you want to get the perfect shine, you just need to find the right type of oil for your wood product. It is safe for use, but it is not the best choice for outdoor items.

The price for these products can vary depending on the finish it gives. The bigger the item is, the more product you are going to need, and if you want to put several coats you will need to invest in a bigger amount of finish. Make sure you have the needed safety equipment, and that you never touch the product with bare hands.

Talk to the seller about the right type of product for the type of wood you want to work on, and think about the right way of application. Some products need to fully dry before you put another layer, and you may end up waiting for hours for everything to get dry. Do your research, depending on the specific project you’re tackling, and ask for professional advice to make sure everything will be done perfectly.