What are the different types of polish finishes for wood?

The wood polish and finish protect the wooden surfaces from moisture, humidity, UV rays of the sun, and other adverse agents. They may also add rich, glossy, luxurious, and shiny feel to the surface of the wood. Polish and finish may sanitize the wooden surface as well, as it can close the pores of the word that can harbor bacteria. Because a wood polish finish may also affect the property of the wood itself, it may be used for functionality and feature related benefits as well. Such use of wood polish can be seen in musical items (to bring in tonal improvements) or in flooring. 

The different wood finishes may even have more specific uses. Therefore, it is important to understand the different types of wood polishes and finishes available and to use them in the best possible manner, so as to attain the greatest benefits.

Two Major Categories of Wood Polish Finish

Before we go any further, it is important to know about the two major categories of wooden polish. These include the “surface” polish and the “penetrating” polish finish. 

Surface wooden finish- This polish does not penetrate inside the wood. However, it leaves a strong, hard, and thick layer on the surface of the wood. Therefore, the harmful or adverse agents including moisture will not come in direct contact of the wooden surface. This buffering layer may consist of lacquer, wax, varnish, polyurethane, and shellac among others.

Penetrating wooden finish- It is an oil-based substance that penetrates inside the surface and composition of the wood. The penetrating wood polishes including linseed oil or tung oil among others. These oils may penetrate inside the surface of the wood and harden. Application of these penetrating finishes is convenient and easy.

The Popular Wood Polish Types

Below are more popular varieties of wooden finishes that are used nowadays in residential as well as in commercial areas. Their characteristics or benefits of these polishes is also provided here so that you can use them accordingly.

Water Based Wood Polish 

The water-based wood polish and finish can be used on different kinds of wood surfaces. These include the painted, bare, and stained surfaces. The finish does not require a yellow color over a period of time that the oil-based polish/finish does. The decorative wood items, handicrafts, and articles can use this finish that provides for an elegant look, which does not deteriorate over a period of time.

Because the water-based oil wood finish may leave marks of brush, its application should only be done by the experts. The durability of the finish is also questionable.

Lacquer Wood Polish 

The lacquer finishes are considered one of the best varieties of wood polish, the polish deemed as an all-rounder. The finish provides for better surface protection and also dries up faster. It may also make the wood more durable, and add richness and good looks to it. Lastly, a lacquer wood finish is also easy to remove, and a new and some other polish and finish can be applied to the wooden surface whenever desired.

The lacquer finish dries up quickly and hence spraying may be the best option for the application. The finish is also sensitive to heat and therefore the hazard of fire is there. Some lacquer finishes may also emit fumes.

Polyurethane Polish

The polyurethane wood finish is considered to be ideal for the kitchen cabinets, cupboards, doors, windows and almost all kinds of furniture and even the flooring. This is so because of its water-resistant properties. The finish is also durable and positively affects the longevity of your wooden items. Sold in different varieties, you can use the polyurethane wood finishes for adding sheen, gloss, shine, and even the satin and natural aesthetics and appearance to the wood.

While the polyurethane wood polish can resist the water and moisture, it can be adversely affected by the ultraviolet sun rays. Because the finish will turn into a yellow color in the presence of sunlight after prolonged exposure, its use is not recommended on the outdoor furniture. The finish may also be a cause of cracks. Fortunately, the UV light absorbers can be added to the finish to overcome these deficits.

Varnish Polish

The warmest wood finish varnish can be applied to both stained and bare wood. The durable finish comes in many different sheen varieties as well.

Proper cleaning of the surface is required before any varnish wood polish finish can be applied to it. When applied to a wet surface, the varnish may also spoil it. Hence caution is necessary.

Shellac Polish

The shellac finish can dry easily and, in less time, and is a hard finish. It also acts as a stain remover and sealer and therefore is also used on the dry walls and on the cured plaster. Because the finish comes in many different colors, one can also redesign the furniture or wooden articles and make them more suitable for decor.  French Polish one of the most popular wooden polish and finishing material uses. It is made of alcohol and shellac.

One disadvantage of the shellac finish is that is cannot resist moisture. Therefore, the application of this finish on the outdoor furniture and other wooden items is not recommended.

The Penetrating or Oil Based Wood Polish 

The furniture of the living room and another home/commercial areas, or wooden handicrafts may require a luxurious and satin look and finish. The oil-based or penetrating finish may provide for this luster, shine, and elegance. The polish/finish can also cover the nicks and scratches and can be applied easily.

It is important to protect the eyes while applying the oil-based wood polish. The finish may also dry up slowly, which may be inconvenient in some cases.

Wax Based Wood Polish 

The wax finishes for wood are available in both paste and liquid forms. They can be obtained from a variety of plants, minerals, and animal sources. The surface finish may protect the wood from moisture and other adverse agents and enhance its life. The was may have to be dissolved in oil before application.

As we can see, different wood polishes offer different benefits and may suit varying circumstances of the application. Chose the right polish/finish to ensure good quality work and to protect the wood surface from a range of harmful and adverse agents,

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