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Finish Durability

wood finishing

by Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher



When it comes to durability, oil based finishes are by far the tougher finish although they suffer the same failures over time as do all other finishes. This failure is due to the expansion and contraction of the wood substrate over time creating tiny cracks in the surface film. It is this almost microscopic cracking from thermodynamic expansion and contraction that allows moisture to flow into these cracks along with the pull of gravity. This in turn evaporates and creates a "cloud" or ring that is trapped in the finish. Keeping this in mind, there is no bullet proof finish when it comes to protecting the wood and the elimination of the pesky white spots.

But here are six tips to keep in mind to preserve your finish for a bit longer.

  1. Keep the sun away!
  2. Pieces that are in direct sunlight should be rotated at least 4 times a year for even fading/deterioration.
  3. Wax the pieces at least twice a year with a good quality paste wax.
  4. Always use table pads, place mats or coasters.
  5. Never place hot pots or dishes directly on the surface.
  6. Have glass tops made.


Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood finishing seminars:


March 26, 2014   Coloring Wood
April 2, 2014   Finishing the Finish
April 26, 2014   Spray Finishing
April 30, 2014   French Polish Workshop



Visit Highland Woodworking's Online
Wood Finishing Supplies Department




Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at anoelfurniturere@bellsouth.net.


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