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Wood Finish

wood finish on door for home renovation

Choosing The Best Wood Finish For My Project

With so many ways to finish wood how do you know which one to choose? from urethane’s and stains, oils and lacquers to sealers and varnishes, the possibilities are endless. The experts at Anderson Lumber are here to help you get started with some great advice or tips for selecting the correct wood finish for your woodworking projects.

The way a wood finishes often depends on a number of different variables. Grain, texture, wood type, age, temperature and more. The best way to see what you get is to go for it. Test your finish out on a comparable piece of wood to see what finished product you will get. If you don’t like it keep trying til you get what you are looking for. It’s kind of like cooking and adding an ingredient to your dish. If you need to add or take away, you can make adjustments and eventually you will get what you were looking for. Wood finish and cooking? If you want it to be perfect it takes practice. Just have patience and you will be pleased with the outcome. There are many types of finishes, keep searching and you will find that one that works best for your woodworking projects.

Wood Finish Types


Polyurethane is a very common type of wood finish and is one of the most commonly used wood finishes today. Polyurethane is great for areas with heavy traffic like hardwood floors. It can also be used on doors and windows as well as some furniture. The only downside is it leaves a slick finish that may not give the user what they were hoping for.

Polyurethane Use and Info:

  • Moderate Application
  • Use Mineral Spirits or Paint Thinner to clean
  • After Cure To remove will need sandpaper
  • Available in Satin, Semi Gloss and Gloss
  • When Applying do not shake only stir to avoid bubbles
  • Use Bristle Brush
  • Drying Time 12-24 Hours
  • Sand between coats for smooth finish

wood finish on door for home renovation

Oil Finishes

Oil finishes are a combination of different oils, resins and solvents which gives them the ability to dry quick and
add protection to the surface. The most popular oil wood stain finishes are Tung Oil, Teak Oil, Antique Oil. One of the best options when it comes to oil finish is Boiled Linseed Oil. Boiled Linseed Oil is a slow drying oil that penetrates deep in the wood and gives it a great finish. Over time Boiled Linseed Oil will strengthen the wood and give it a protection from water and other types of potential damage. Boiled Linseed Oil looks great on wood and brings out features that will allow you to appreciate the beauty of the wood itself.

Finishing with Boiled Linseed Oil

  • Easy Application
  • For Clean Up and Thinning use mineral Spirits
  • Usually a Satin Sheen
  • Use a cloth to apply
  • Sometimes takes days to dry
  • Apply multiple coats


Wax is available in liquid, paste, and solid stick forms.
Wax is available in numerous colors. Colors often available are clear, amber and a range of wood tones and even white. Waxes range from soft to hard but never as hard as lacquer and varnish. For finishing purposes wax does not penetrate wood, it stays on top. It prevents oxidation, but does not enhance at all. Wax is best when added to oil finish. You will need to wax from time to time to maintain.

Water Base Finish For Wood

Water base wood finish can offer a good protection when applied correctly. Most water based finishes dry quick so that is an added feature when using. With water finish you can apply several coats a day with minimal odor.


– Water Base finish cost twice as much as oil-based polys and often need more coats.
– Most water-based polys contain only 30 to 35 percent solids, compared with the 45 to 50 percent solids in oil-based products
– You don’t get a rich glow that oil-based polys impart

Finishing your wood can be very rewarding when done right. Make sure you know what works best for the type of wood you are finishing. Remember Anderson Lumber of St Petersburg for all of your hard wood and lumber needs. Have a question, our experts are at the mill and ready to help.

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