Different Types of Wood Finishes for Stunning Furniture

Oct 26, 2023

When it comes to creating stunning furniture pieces, choosing the right wood finish can make all the difference. A high-quality finish not only enhances the natural beauty of the wood but also provides protection against wear and tear, moisture, and other environmental factors. At Artsy Home, we understand the importance of selecting the perfect wood finish for your woodworking projects. In this article, we will explore the different types of wood finishes you can choose from to achieve exceptional results.

1. Varnish

Varnish is a popular and versatile wood finish that offers excellent durability and protection. It forms a hard, transparent film on the wood's surface, enhancing its natural appearance. Varnish is available in different finishes, such as glossy, satin, and matte, allowing you to achieve the desired look for your furniture. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications, making it a versatile choice for various woodworking projects.

2. Stain

Wood stain is used to add color to the wood while preserving its natural grain pattern. Stains come in a wide range of shades, from light to dark, allowing you to achieve the desired aesthetic for your furniture. Applying wood stain requires careful attention to achieve an even and consistent color. It is essential to prepare the wood surface properly before applying the stain to ensure the best results.

3. Lacquer

Lacquer is a durable and fast-drying wood finish that provides a smooth and glossy appearance. It creates a protective layer on the wood, shielding it from scratches, moisture, and UV damage. Lacquer is available in different sheens, including high-gloss, satin, and matte. Its quick drying time makes it a preferred choice for woodworkers who require a fast turnaround without compromising on quality.

4. Shellac

Shellac is a traditional wood finish derived from the resin secreted by the female lac bug. It adds a warm and lustrous glow to the wood surface, enhancing its natural beauty. Shellac is an excellent choice for antique furniture restoration and provides a protective layer against moisture and minor scratches. It can be easily repaired and touched up, making it a favorite among woodworkers.

5. Oil Finishes

Oil finishes, such as tung oil and linseed oil, penetrate deep into the wood, nourishing and enhancing its natural grain. These finishes provide a natural and matte appearance, leaving the wood with a smooth and tactile feel. Oil finishes are easy to apply and maintain, making them suitable for both beginner and experienced woodworkers. They also offer a good level of water resistance and can be reapplied as needed.

6. Wax

Wax finishes create a soft and natural sheen on wood surfaces. They provide moderate protection against water and can be easily applied and buffed to achieve the desired level of shine. Wax finishes are often used in combination with other types of wood finishes to enhance their durability and appearance. They are commonly applied to antique furniture to restore their original beauty and protect them from further damage.

7. Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a popular and durable wood finish that offers excellent protection and a glossy or satin appearance. It forms a strong protective layer that resists scratches, stains, and moisture. Polyurethane finishes are available in water-based and oil-based forms, allowing you to choose the one that suits your preferences and project requirements. They are widely used in high-traffic areas and on furniture pieces that require maximum protection.

8. Water-Based Finishes

Water-based wood finishes are becoming increasingly popular due to their low toxicity and environmental-friendly properties. These finishes dry quickly, emit fewer fumes, and are easy to clean up with water. They come in various finishes, including matte, satin, and gloss, and offer good protection against UV rays, moisture, and wear. Water-based finishes are an excellent choice for indoor furniture and projects where odor and chemical exposure are a concern.


Choosing the right wood finish for your furniture projects is crucial for achieving exceptional results. The different types of wood finishes available offer a myriad of options in terms of appearance, durability, and protection. Varnish, stain, lacquer, shellac, oil finishes, wax, polyurethane, and water-based finishes all have their unique qualities and applications. At Artsy Home, we understand the art of selecting the perfect finish to bring out the natural beauty of the wood while ensuring maximum protection for your furniture. Whether you're a professional woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, our wide range of high-quality wood finishes will help you create stunning pieces that stand the test of time.

This article offers valuable insights and recommendations on different wood finishes. A must-read for furniture enthusiasts and carpentry lovers!
Nov 9, 2023
Valeria Coelho
­čÖî Absolute necessity!
Nov 5, 2023
Alex Whitmoore
­čĹĆ Great article! Choosing the right wood finish is crucial for stunning furniture creations. ­čî│
Oct 29, 2023