Applying a clear finish to your timber is essential in protecting the wood and making it last as long as possible. Wood stains are great for bringing out the natural beauty of the wood and adding color, but a clear finish really enhances it’s beauty and gives real protection.
It’s important to choose the right clear finish for your timber project. You can find gloss, semi-gloss and satin sheens and while choosing the right sheen is a matter of preference, it can also affect the appearance of whatever it is you are working on. A clear finish is vital in preventing your timber from household chemicals, general wear and tear and of course, water. It will also make the timber pop give the job a professional finish.
A clear finish application can work in one of two ways. The first is that is forms a hard film over the wood protecting it from foreign elements. The second is that it penetrates the wood and protects it from the inside out.
Hard film forming clear finishes are available in both modern urethanes and also in classic varnishes. Nothing comes close to this type of finish when it comes to bringing out the depth and natural beauty of the timber and at the same time offering real protection against general wear and tear.
A penetrating clear finish works by soaking into the wood itself and preserve the wood by attaching to the fibers of the timber. A penetrating finish does a better job than hard film of allowing wet wood to dry.
When applying a clear finish application, it is always better to hire a professional to ensure you get the job done right. A professional will be able to tell you which type of application is best depending on the type of job you are doing, the materials you are using and the amount of protection it is likely to require. This will often depend on location, amount of use and so on.
Hard film clear finish applications are notoriously difficult to apply and certainly require some experience. They need some TLC and don’t do well with neglect. You will need to take a look at every surface with a hard film clear finish applied every one to three years to assess and look at sanding and recoating. Sanding is vital with this type of coating as without sanding you will have to strip it back to the bare timber and start again.
A penetrating clear finish also needs a regular reapplication and this choice of finish does not do as good a job at protecting the wood from dirt or wear and tear. They can be recoated without much preparation of the surface but they need to be applied correctly to get the best results.
If you are in any doubt as to which finish to use or how to apply it, always consult a professional to ensure the job is done properly. A professional will get your timber looking its best as efficiently and effectively as possible.
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