7 Wood Finishing Techniques You Should Never Underestimate

Have you ever looked at a piece of wooden furniture and wondered, “How did they get it to look so perfect?”

Wood finishing techniques

Here are 7 wood finishing techniques that can turn a bland piece of wood into an awe-inspiring masterpiece.

Underestimating these could be the biggest mistake any budding woodworker makes!

1. Sanding – The Foundation of Perfection

Sanding wood

Think sanding is basic? Think again! Proper sanding lays the groundwork for everything that follows.

It’s not just about smoothing the surface; it’s about creating a canvas for your art.

2. Staining – More Than Just Color

Staining wood

Staining does more than just add color; it brings out the wood’s hidden character. The right stain can turn ordinary wood into a piece that tells a story.

3. Oil Finishes – For a Natural Glow

Oil finishes
Oil finishes

Oil finishes like Tung or Linseed oil penetrate deep into the wood, offering protection while enhancing the wood’s natural beauty.

They’re easy to apply and give a warm, natural look that’s hard to beat.

4. Shellac – The Forgotten Champion


Once the go-to finish for all fine furniture, shellac is making a comeback.

It’s all-natural, dries quickly, and can be easily repaired – qualities that make it a hidden gem in wood finishing.

5. Lacquer – The Durable Protector

Lacquering wood
Lacquering wood

Lacquer is known for its durability and sheen.

It’s a great option for pieces that will see a lot of wear and tear, adding a layer of protection that’s as beautiful as it is tough.

6. Water-Based Finishes – The Environmentally Friendly Choice

water based finshes
water based finishes

These finishes have come a long way in recent years.

They’re low in fumes, dry quickly, and offer great durability – all while being kinder to the environment.

7. French Polishing – The Pinnacle of Craftsmanship

French Polishing
French Polishing

This traditional technique, using shellac and a special rubbing pad, creates a high-gloss finish that’s smooth to the touch.

It’s labor-intensive, but the mirror-like finish is worth every effort.

Read to know Proven Methods to Fix Wood Stain Mistakes – Expert Tips!


Wood finishing is an art, and these seven techniques are the brushes and paints of a woodworker.

Underestimating them would be like a painter underestimating the power of their palette.

Embrace these techniques, and watch as your woodworking projects transform from simple pieces of timber into works of art.

Check out 5 Strangest Wood Finishes Ever Used!

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Walter Parker is a woodworking enthusiast. He is passionate about woodworking projects & plays with woodworking tools having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Woodworking Planet. He wants to make people love woodworking! Read More About Him! Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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