Wood furniture, cabinetry and flooring can be greatly enhanced with finishes, paints and stains. However, some options are better than others depending on the kind of wood you are using.
The purpose of stains is to highlight the beauty of your wood, bringing out the striking grain patterns. Oak and cherry have naturally beautiful grains, and look great stained. Filling your home with stained wood will give it a softer look and a warmer feel. Stained wood does require more upkeep, and it is easier to scratch.
A popular wood finish is artificial aging, which uses an ammonia bath to open up the grain. This finish is often used with oak floors and furniture. It is possible to buy old, rustic-looking wood from local dealers who find and restore quality pieces from old buildings. Any artificially aged wood can be stained at a later date.
Woods that have straight, flat grain are often painted because by themselves they offer little interest or beauty. Painted wood also happens to be easier to maintain and harder to damage; paint will repel water, can be wiped cleaned with a damp rag, and scratches and spots are repaired by merely applying a fresh coat.
Find yourself in need of a professional wood finisher? Reach out to Doug Marvel, Marvelous Woodworking.