Varnish is a wood finish popular for its durability; and while you can apply multiple coats for added protection of your wood’s surface, varnish is also versatile, offering sheens from transparent to glossy and everything in between. Although it takes some finesse to get a smooth finish with several coats, once you perfect it, few wood finishes compare.
Rub-on oils, such as linseed oil, also add a protective quality by seeping into the surface of wood. Please note, however, that while raw linseed oil is thick and takes some time to cure; boiled linseed oil is quicker and easier to apply.
Then there is a combination of both – wood oil/varnish, which is blended to provide durability as well as a wide array of color choices. If you choose this particular type of wood finish, just be sure to test a small area first to be certain you will achieve your desired results.
Another beautiful type of wood finish is wood stain, which is used to enhance the existing color of wood and can also blend shading on wooden surfaces for a more consistent look.
If you want to change the color of wood while letting natural wood grain show through, you may want to opt for wood dye. Similar to dying cloth, you can mix color and solvent in varying degrees to create different colors.
Then there are wood finishes that don’t change the appearance of wood surfaces, only providing added protection. These include wax, which is a temporary wood finish used on woods with an existing finish. A common use for wood wax is to add durability and mask scratches on varnished wooden floors. Additionally, wood preservatives can help protect wood against pests.