The Different Types of Furniture Finishes

The Different Types of Furniture Finishes

What furniture finishes do we use?

There are countless wood finishes out there, in perhaps dozens of categories. At Cannon Hill we really only use two on our custom wood furniture, one oil and one urethane spray. Why would we limit ourselves to just a couple products when there are so many available to us? Simply put, they perform well and we’re comfortable with them. That comfort and familiarity goes a long way in ensuring a good result.

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Our furniture finishing oil

Our finishing oil of choice is Rubio Monocoat. After years of experience and extensive testing with a wide range of finishes, we’ve yet to find another product that matches the beauty, consistency, durability, and simplicity of Rubio. The oils create a molecular bond with the wood fibers, lending the finish an appearance of natural depth that we and our clients always love.

An oil finish is an excellent choice for any piece of wood furniture that will receive a standard amount of wear and tear. We’ve found Rubio to be extraordinarily resistant to spills and water rings so long as they’re attended to reasonably. Perhaps just as importantly, it allows for extremely easy touch-up if and when a client decides it’s time. A well-used, well-loved table is bound to take on character that reflects the home it inhabits over the years; what Rubio allows us to do is touch up and refinish tables in-place with a minimum of fuss.

One of the great qualities of Rubio Monocoat is the wide range of tints in which it’s available. The natural variations and variabilities of wood are precisely why we love it, so it’s important not to confuse the tints that Rubio offers with solid, uniform coloration. This isn’t a paint: all the grain patterns and figure present in the unfinished material remain on full, glorious display.

Our furniture finishing spray

Our urethane spray finish is a Milesi 2k product that we’ve really come to love over the years. With absolutely fantastic protection against wear, stains and water rings, the Milesi is our recommendation for a table that is going to see higher-than-average wear. It’s what we use on virtually all commercial and restaurant tables, because it will also stand up to the harsher cleaning agents sometimes used in those settings. We have a little science experiment in our showroom, a couple boards we finished and then allowed highly acidic foods to sit on for specified durations. On the boards finished in Milesi, even after a full day you might not even see the discoloration if you didn’t know you were looking for it. It’s tough stuff. 

The flip side of that coin is that the spray finish really can’t be touched up in place, and spot-refinishing isn’t an option. Whereas Rubio can be touched up with little more than a Scotch-Brite pad, a table finished in the urethane spray needs to go to a professional spray shop when it gets refinished. It’s like anything in life, there are tradeoffs, advantages and disadvantages. All that strength and toughness means slightly less flexibility. For many of our clients, though, that’s a tradeoff they’re more than happy to make, and one they remain happy with over the years.