One of the most versatile and resourceful building materials today is wood. The benefits of timber have been recognized and used since the fossil ages, and today, they help construct the foundation of homes and other furniture.

And while wood is good to use on its own, there are several ways to extend its life and keep it safe against harsh weather, microbial attacks, UV rays, moisture, and chemicals. This is where exterior wood coatings come into play.

Not only does it help protect the wood from the problems mentioned above, but it also helps the wood to last much longer. Therefore, it comes as no surprise why wood coatings are crucial in the wood industry. 

In this quick post, you will learn about the 4 different types of wood coatings and how you can use them for your project!

4 Main Types of Wood Coatings

When it comes to wood coatings, there are 4 significant types, namely: varnish, wood stain, lacquer, and shellac. For a commoner, all these coatings may appear to be the same. However, each of these exterior wood coatings comes with different properties. 

The only way to decide which is the ideal type for you is to see what kind of wood you use for your project and consider how the substrate will be used in the end. 

Listed below are the 4 main types of exterior wood finishes and their properties.

#1 Varnishes

One of the most common types of wood coatings is varnishes. These protective layers usually dry down fast and hard to give a shiny, glossy appearance. However, you can also get them in semi-gloss and matte finishes.

The main elements in varnishes are resins, solvents, and drying oils. The resin comes in epoxy, oil, acrylic, or polyurethane forms. 

Using varnishes is an excellent choice if you are looking for hard-wearing and long-lasting finishes. Thanks to its rugged, durable, and waterproof properties, you can use a varnish outdoors and indoors.

#2 Wood Stains

If you are looking for a protective coating that comes with a pop of colours, you can opt for the wood stain coating instead. This comprises a small amount of pigment or dye and some binder. 

When this is applied to a wood surface, it helps to accentuate the pattern and texture of the wood. However, this is based on whether the wood is opaque or transparent. Moreover, the primary use of wood stains is to give the wood a more vibrant colour. This is why a second protective layer of varnish is used over wood stains.

#3 Lacquers

Yet another resin-based exterior wood coating is lacquer. This coating is much harder when compared to shellac and also uses lesser amounts of alcohol. 

The primary use of lacquers is to help give the wood a glossy, shiny finish for wooden furniture. The only downfall about these coatings is their high VOC content. 

#4 Shellacs

Last but not least, we have shellacs, which are much softer as they are made from a natural resin. Moreover, this protective coating is also mixed with ethanal to give wood more shine and colour.  

Usually, shellacs are used for wooden instruments and other furniture as they are not tough and long-lasting as varnish. Moreover, when concentrated liquids like alcohol spill on the surface, the shellac will dissolve away into nothing.

To Wrap It Up

When it comes to wood and its exterior coatings, the primary use is to help keep the wood safe and protected against harsh superficial conditions. This, in turn, will avoid wood bleeds and stains while also ensuring it stays in pristine condition for a long time.  Therefore, regardless of what wooden item of furniture you would like to purchase, it is always best to get it with an exterior coating. This way, you will surely get a bang for your buck!

Leave a Reply