Timber: Finishes

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Finishes for wood are:

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Danish oil

  • This provides a hard wearing finish for furniture projects.
  • It is a mixture of oil and varnish.
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Wax polish

  • This provides a light sheen and provides protection to the wood.
  • It will bring out the natural grain of the wood.
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  • Varnish is used to bring a shine to the wood whilst protecting it and enhancing the grain.
  • The varnish will also come in many different types like matt, gloss or satin.
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  • Painting can provide a completely different colour.
  • It will require a primer which is an undercoat to the wood.


Tanalising is another way to finish wood.

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  • Tanalising is the process in which timber (fence timber is treated) to allow for further gains in strength and acts as protection against the outdoor elements.
  • A chamber is created which is vacuumed. This opens the timber cells.
  • Hydraulic pressure is then applied which allows the preservative to penetrate the cells.
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Step 1

  • The tanalising process involves placing the timber within the treatment cylinder and creating an initial vacuum within the timber cells.
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Step 2

  • After some time (once the timber is fully immersed in the treatment) the timber is put back into a vacuum chamber so any excess solution can be removed.
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Step 3

  • Hydraulic pressure is then applied, forcing the preservative deep into the timber cells.
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Step 4

  • The timber is then left out so the preservative can fully fix on the surface grain and deeper into the wood.
  • The lower pressure of the timber can allow this to happen at a steady pace.

Jump to other topics

1Core Technical Principles

2Paper & Board: Specialist Technical Principles

3Timber: Specialist Technical Principles

4Metal: Specialist Technical Principles

5Polymers: Specialist Technical Principles

6Textiles: Specialist Technical Principles

7Designing & Making Principles

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