Glove covered hand painting a stain on a wood plank.

Why should you finish wood?

Finishing can serve as a form of protection to the wood by preventing things such as scratches and spills, and it can keep you from getting splinters from the wood. If you are planning on keeping the wood outside, finishing can prevent damage from the sun and precipitation. Also, applying a finish to wood brings out the natural rich color of the wood.

Beginning the Process

First and foremost, you must sand the wood that you will be finishing until smooth. Remove all excess dust particles created from the sanding process to be sure they do not get trapped underneath the finish you will soon apply. A helpful tip, but not always necessary, is to brush a coat of paint thinner onto the wood to make any flaws from the sanding process visible so that you can fix it before applying the finish.

Applying the finish

It is your choice whether you want to use a layered finish or an oil finish for your wood project. Layered finishes go onto the wood similar to how paint would, and oil finishes seep into the wood rather than staying on top. Both create a lovely shine that will bring out the true beauty of the wood you are working with.

Polyurethane is the highest recommended type of layered finish, and, in our opinion, is the most manageable layered finish. The trick to using this finish is not stroking the paintbrush back and forth. Instead, use long, single strokes while applying pressure. Wait for the coat to dry for the amount of time that is recommended on the back of your wood finish container. For a smoother and higher quality result, sand the wood with sandpaper in between layers of finish.

Oil finishes are very easy to apply. Using a rag or cloth, evenly wipe the oil finish onto the wood surface. You can do this by applying the oil finish to the rag and then transferring it to the wood, or by pouring the finish directly on the wood and then rubbing it in. Oil finishes require more coats to get the prominent shine and color you want. Again, we recommend you refer to the specific container’s instructions to determine how long to wait in between coats. 

Having the proper tools and techniques makes finishing wood extremely simple. Try out your finishing skills on some of our authentic barn wood. Order your original wood kit from Vintage Harvest today to get started!
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