Wood Finishes

Wood finishes (on home interiors) require special attention. Whether applying finishes to new wood or refinishing existing wood finishes the products we apply are a finer, longer lasting finish than what generally is applied in new construction (that would cover the last forty years). With new woodwork, we sand all wood surfaces to ensure no defects and a smooth surface, apply a coat of semi-transparent (oil) stain. The stain requires an overnight cure time. A sealer coat of (oil based) polyurethane (varnish) is then applied, also left to stand overnight to cure properly. On the third day, all nail holes or any deviations are then filled with putty (matching each wood color). All surfaces are then lightly sanded and a final coat of polyurethane is applied. In refinishing existing woodwork, we would be going through a similar process. Most existing woodwork is lacquered. This finish is utilized in large part due to its fast drying time and lesser material expense. Since lacquers must be sprayed, this application allows the contractor to finish in a substantially reduced time frame, reducing overall costs. Refinishing of lacquered woodwork is not difficult. Typically I would lightly sand all surfaces to be refinished, touch-up with stain where necessary and apply one to two coats of varnish, depending on how dry the existing surface was or how deep a finish the homeowner desires. Polyurethane finishes are a much better finish than lacquer. They are superior in moisture protection. Polyurethane will not let water pass through once sealed, it’s a derivative of our typical indoor varnish that was used on those beautiful hulls of the famous “Chris Craft” boats. Polyurethanes do not dry quite as hard as lacquer therefore resist chipping, it’s not as brittle. Although all lacquers and polyurethanes will yellow over time, lacquer has a tendency to yellow sooner. Lastly, lacquer cannot be touched up at the site. Lacquer can only be applied with a spray gun; this can come with some difficulty in the average kitchen or bathroom. Touch-up finishing can easily be accomplished when using polyurethane. Polyurethane finishes are generally applied with a brush and or roller. With a high quality polyurethane, under the right conditions, the coating can be applied with a brush and there will be no brush strokes. Polyurethane goes on at a very high mil thickness, because it achieves such great depth, the dimension of color that is revealed is quite outstanding. I believe polyurethanes are the perfect wood finish.

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