The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Wood Finish for Your Project

Woodwork is one of the most entertaining hobbies there is. Not only is it entertaining, but it can also be very profitable. However, earning money from woodwork requires a lot of skill. You need to be able to craft unique, desirable pieces, otherwise nobody’s going to want to buy things from you. If you are new to woodwork but want to improve at it, the first thing you need to do is choose the perfect wood for each project. What the perfect wood is depends entirely upon what you are working on. This post will explore this topic in more detail and offer some advice on choosing the perfect finishes to go with your woodworking projects.

photo of brown wood slab

What Are the Benefits of Woodwork?

As mentioned in the introduction to this post, woodworking is a great hobby. There are a number of reasons for this, one of them being that the hobby can help you to occupy your time without staring at a computer or mobile phone screen. People are more addicted to their devices than ever before. Woodworking presents an opportunity for you to work with your hands and avoid exposure to electronic devices. Before exploring wood finishes, here are some of the benefits of woodworking so you know whether it’s for you or not:

1. Stress Relief

People tend to live very stressful lives today. This is due to how much work they are expected to do. The more work a person does, the less likely they will be to be able to unwind when they return home at the end of the day. Woodworking is a great way to engage in a hands-on activity that helps you to forget about your worries and concerns. Woodworking can also be a meditative experience, helping you to focus on the here and now and less on your burdens. If you have mental health issues, woodworking can be a great way for you to temporarily alleviate them. Of course, it is worth noting that woodworking will not undo or treat underlying problems. It will only make symptoms less severe at the moment. You’ll need a mental health professional’s support to actually treat problems.

2. Expressing Yourself

Another benefit of woodworking is that it gives you an opportunity to express yourself. Self-expression is something that people have a lot of trouble with today. One of the main reasons for this is that people are scared of being genuine. On social media, people portray their lives as being better than they actually are. This leads to many people developing insecurities about their lives, worrying that they aren’t as good as those of other people. If you are one such individual, woodworking makes it easy for you to express yourself in a way that truly shows who you are and what your interests are. When working with wood, you can make anything and everything, from furniture to small wooden objects and keepsakes that can be given to friends and family.

3. Feeling Proud of Yourself

Pride is something that people tend to feel ashamed of today. You’re not allowed to feel proud of your accomplishments and achievements because you are called arrogant. Talking too much about things that interest you, many people think, makes you conceited and arrogant. Woodworking is a great way to escape the hysteria of modernity and develop skills away from other people. You can also feel a sense of pride in the work that you do without worrying about anybody judging you. In fact, you can actually make money from your creations. Handmade wooden objects can be sold for a lot of money online. Make sure that you set yourself up an e-commerce store if you think that the things you have made are good enough to sell.

4. Practical Skills

Working with wood helps you to develop new practical skills, i.e., working with your hands. Woodworking is a hands-on experience, which means you will learn how to work with your hands by measuring things, cutting, assembling, shaping, and sculpting wood. Also worth noting is that in addition to making you a better woodworker, learning woodworking can help you to become better around the house, making it easier for you to perform DIY tasks.  Becoming more adept at handling DIY tasks can save you a lot of money since you won’t have to hire workmen to help you out in the future.

5. Making Friends

A lot of people see woodworking as a solo activity. It’s not, though. You can make friends very easily by adopting woodworking. Of course, you won’t make as many friends as you might if you were taking up a sport as a hobby, but you can make friends nonetheless. The way to do this is to take classes. Classes in woodworking will help you to meet people who live in your town or city and share your interests.

What Are the Best Finishes for Wood?

There are many different finishes for wood. Finding the one that’s right for the wood you are working with is very important. The finish you apply to wood will have a significant impact on its finished appearance. Whether it’s hemp oil or another finish, just make sure you do your research and find one that works with the particular type of wood you are planning on working with. You also need to make sure that you find one that’s going to be affordable and easy for you to apply.

brown wooden plank in close up photography

Oil-based Finishes

Oil-based finishes are a popular type of finish. Of these, linseed oil is the most popular. It is a naturally-occurring, slow-drying oil that’s derived from flax seeds. Flax is a sustainable and widely grown plant, making this an ideal option for people who’re concerned about the environment and achieving sustainable woodworking practices. It also provides a warm finish. It’s easy to apply as well, making it ideal for beginners. However, it doesn’t offer much protection against moisture and scratches and can darken over time. It’s also combustible.

An alternative to linseed oil is tung oil. Tung oil comes from tung seeds, produced by the tung tree, and is another of the most common finishes there is. It hardens over time, adding a durable, protective layer. Tung oil is another great option because it is very easy to apply, provides water resistance, and offers a beautiful finish. At the same time, it takes a little longer to dry and often requires more than one coat, meaning you have to invest significantly more time into applying it than you might other ones. Hemp oil is also a fantastic option, considerably better than the aforementioned, because it is durable, hardwearing, and beautiful.

Varnish Finishes

Varnish finishes are a good option, though they are much more flammable than oil finishes, not to mention they are not in any way good for the environment, nor are they sustainable. Polyurethane is a synthetic finish that helps to protect against moisture, scratches, and wear and tear, making it a reliable option for people who’re interested in creating durable pieces that stand the test of time. One of the biggest benefits of polyurethane finish is that it’s water-resistant, meaning it is ideal for use in settings prone to dampness. However, it is also quite difficult to apply and can yellow over time, leaving things looking like they are made out of plastic, even if they are not. Spar varnish is a good option too. It is known as marine varnish because it is used for boats and outdoor furniture. Spar varnish is water-resistant, as well as UV-resistant, making it ideal for outdoor use. However, it can be difficult to apply like most varnish finishes, and has a much longer drying time. Make sure that you wear a mask when you are applying it.

Another varnish option is shellac, which is naturally derived from the lac bug. It is often used for instruments and antique furniture because it provides a warm glow. It is available in a variety of different shades, and it is very easy to apply. It also dries quickly, unlike the aforementioned varnish finishes. However, it is sensitive to heat and alcohol. Shellac provides limited protection against moisture, damage, and scratches. If you are planning on applying any varnish finish, make sure you cover every single part of the object so there are no unvarnished parts.

Choosing Wood for Projects

No matter what project you are working on, there is a type of wood that’s perfect. Finding the right type of wood can be difficult if you are not familiar with what the advantages of certain types are. A good way to educate yourself is to take a woodworking class. In a woodworking class, you will learn about which types are suitable for which projects. When looking for a course, find one with good reviews, offered by a provider that’s experienced. A course’s previous student feedback can give you insight into what it is like.

Are you planning on pursuing woodworking as a hobby? If you are, there are many different types of woods and many finishes. Find the ones that are right for you. You can use the guidance given here to help you do that.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Wood Finish for Your Project The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Wood Finish for Your Project Reviewed by Opus Web Design on May 14, 2024 Rating: 5

Free Design Stuff Ad