When evaluating and caring for antique Wood furniture, the type of finish applied to the wood must be considered. The finish, in all likelihood, serves as a clue to the age of the antique piece and dictates how the antique wood piece should be cared for. As a result, the professionals in charge of antique wood furniture finishing resort to unique finishes in order to surprise the furniture owners.
Types of Furniture Finishes
The wood furniture is finely finished to protect the wood and decorate it. Wood, like unfinished wood, is a porous material that can absorb moisture and dirt. The finish's purpose is to protect the wall from moisture and dirt. Even the finish adds a decorative element to the wood by adding colour, in the case of a stain, along with shine.
Film and oil finishes are the two most common types of furniture finishes.
Finishes in oil:
Oil finishes penetrate deeply and form a barrier just beneath the wood surface. They even form an extremely thin film on the wood. Straight oil, such as linseed oil, is used in oil finishing.
However, because the film on the wood surface is so thin, oil finishes do not adequately protect it.
Linseed oil was widely used in the past due to its ease of availability and low cost. Oil finishes are still used on antique wood and new furniture because they are much easier to apply. In fact, they give the finished wood's surface a natural appearance.
The film finishes create a film on the wood surface, and the desired thickness can be built up by applying successive finishing coats. Film finishes protect the wood surface better because they leave a thicker film on the wood surface that protects it from scratches and water. Water-based and varnished film finishes are the most common.
Varnish and shellac are used to finish a large collection of 18th-century furniture as well as the entire 19th-century furniture. The water-based finish was created in the twentieth century to address pollution concerns.
Finishes with Wax:
Because it emits a soft and satiny appearance, simple wax finishes have been used for a long time, particularly on country pine and rustic furnishings. Wax can be easily restored and brightened with a new application. The dull and damaged areas can be blended easily. The only disadvantage is that water, cosmetics, and alcohol can easily stain and spot the wax finishes.
Shellac was the most popular finish in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Shellac is the natural resin that lac bugs keep hidden. It is simpler to apply shellac. Earlier in the nineteenth century, the rubbing shellac technique, known as French Polishing, was invented to achieve a superb high shine. Despite its potentially appealing appearance, shellac is extremely susceptible to damage from water, heat, and alcohol. These are easily scratched.
Varnish is the most durable of the general film finishes. The varnish is made of oil and has been used as a furniture finish since the nineteenth century. However, in the twentieth century, natural resins gave way to synthetic resins. There are now several varnishes available, each secured by a different resin. Polyurethane is the most well-known varnish.
Despite being a time-consuming and traditional furniture finishing technique, French-Polish imparts a glossy and bright appearance. It emphasizes the rich colour and grains of the beautiful wood.
This method is particularly popular in Europe. French polish is extremely sensitive to damage, as well as expensive to apply and repair.
Despite the fact that true natural varnish is rarely used nowadays. Although it is still extremely durable and appealing, it requires highly skilled applications. For a successful finish, the experts must apply numerous slow-drying coats and perform extensive surface preparation.
Lacquer Finishes of the Past:
Traditional lacquer finishes have dominated the industry for more than a century. This method has excellent stain resistance and wearability. Retouching and re-coating are relatively simple processes. Because the finish is hard and brittle, it is sometimes prone to chipping and cracking. It may become crazed and cracked – and roughened over time. Dangerous and powerful solvents are used in traditional lacquers.
Finally, while the wax is typically used as a polish over the finish, it is also used as a completion because it has the least impact on the appearance of the wood. There are almost none.
Eventually, it is worth noting that for antique wood furniture finishing, a single finish is neither appropriate nor sufficient. The experts conduct an analysis before beginning the furniture finishing treatment. Durability, aesthetics, and cost are other factors influencing the enhancement and preservation of antique wood furniture for the present and future.