Saturday, May 4, 2013

Polyurethane, Wax, or Oil...

Ok, so there's a lot of personal preferences when it comes to your finishing products.
Wax is very popular these day...
You can make your own tinted wax (by Pneumatic Addict Furniture), or use a shelf brand, or even a specialty. All personal preference and you will only know what you like after you try them.

 In my opinion, wax isn't always the best choice for a protective finish because it doesn't provide a significant protective barrier for wood against heat, water, or chemical spills, like that accidental spill of your favorite red wine, nail polish remover, whatever.
Also, wax is very soft and never dries to a hard finish, but it is a GREAT polisher (that will eventually need to be reapplied, especially if it's on the top of something that gets quite a bit of use).
Think of car wax, it wears off but looks very nice when first applied and buffed to a beautiful sheen. 
And never put wax on a piece of furniture that will get direct sun light, or set a hot coffee cup on it, as it could melt and get sticky. Wax looks fabulous on bare wood that will get little use.
Personally, I like polyurethane on my painted pieces because I generally like to make furniture that gets used. Polyurethane dries to a hard, protective layer on your piece so it's much more durable than wax. I usually use three coats (4 on the top because it gets more use) and it comes in satin, semi-gloss, and glossy, interior and exterior, and in a spray can for those hard-to-reach, or small, detailed areas. The problem with poly is that you need THIN coats because it will dry yellowish if it's too thick. It's better to have 3 thin coats than 1 thick one. If it yellows, you'll have to sand it off and try again.

If you're refurbishing two small pieces, try both and compare. It really is personal preference.
These three pieces have semi-gloss poly on flat paint. See the smooth sheen?
Oil is great on bare wood! It revives the natural color, cleans it, and makes it super pretty.
I've used these and have liked them all. Oil has to be reapplied most often because it soaks into the wood fairly quickly. A couple times a year (at least) to keep the wood shiny.
 I used it on this coffee table and you can really see how the dark wood cleans up and shines in these before and after photos. The grain of the wood is definitely appreciated more too.

What type of finish do YOU prefer?


  1. Your blog has given me that thing which I never expect to get from all over the websites. Nice post guys!

    App Developer

    1. Glad to have helped! And thanks for the feedback.


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