April 12, 2022

Difference between wood polish and varnish

Characteristics of wood polish

The wood polish you choose will provide long-term protection for your furniture. It should be able to handle appropriate amounts of moisture, humidity, and UV rays of the sun. The finish provided will also be necessary. Consider the aesthetics provided by rich, glossy, and luxurious finishes on the wooden surface. Hygiene is also essential as polish should sanitize the wooden surface. This cleanliness is achieved by closing the pores of the wood. This sealing process works to ensure that no bacteria can form quickly. Many wood finishes are available on the market, and each has its specific function.

Uses of wood polish

Surface wooden finish 

This polish is used for wood that doesn’t require protection from the inside. This polish will not penetrate the wood, meaning it is very thick. It leaves a solid and hard layer on the wooden surface. It prevents any harmful elements or bacteria from eating directly at the wood. Agents like moisture are also well guarded against. 

Penetrating wooden finish

This type of polish is often made with an oil base. The oil base is usually formed from either linseed oil or tung oil and prevents decay from within the wood. These oils are fragile and are designed to penetrate inside the wooden surface. Once they penetrate the pores of the wood, the oil hardens. It is pretty thin on the outside and is easier to apply. 

Characteristics of varnish

Varnishes are known for drying quickly. They provide the wood with a protective film that becomes hard and is resistant to wear. When applied well, the finished surface should be even and have a pleasant aesthetic. The film, when dry, should be glossy and free of any cracks. If you apply enough coats, then the varnish shouldn’t shrink, but rather it will be elastic. The final color and gloss of the varnish should last you over time. Problems such as moisture, temperature, and radiation shouldn’t affect your varnish in appropriate amounts.

Uses of varnish

Varnish is mainly a combination of resinous substances. Some of these substances include standard resin, amber, and copal. You can use this solvent to:

  1. To refurbish the beauty of natural wood by intensifying the gloss and restoring its original shine. 
  2. To provide a brilliant finish aesthetic on wooden surfaces.
  3. To provide adequate protection against any atmospheric elements that can potentially damage the painted surface.
  4. To protect almost any unpainted wooden surfaces. These can include doors, windows, floors, and roof trusses.

Varnishing and polishing wood

Polishing is mainly performed on new surfaces that have recently been constructed. The polish will help to make the wooden surface smooth. Once this stage is complete, you can then paint the area. Paint will struggle to stick to the surface if it is not smooth. It will also not provide an excellent aesthetic impression. Polishing is also referred to commonly as buffing.

You can use wood polish on most types of wood without any hassle. Some of these woods include teak, rosewood, timber, and mahogany. The polish can provide a matte look, and this is why it is done first. 

Varnishing, on the other hand, is done last. When the polishing and painting is done, this is when we can introduce varnish to the surface. This stage is where the final touches are added to ensure wood preservation. 

Varnishing is done last to ensure the product can have a longer lifespan. It enhances the overall finish of the product by providing gloss, and it offers extra protection against moisture. The varnish will help brighten and beautify any grains or imperfections on the wood. We use this option when we have wood with natural pigments.

Advantages of Varnish

  1. Prevents scratches and permanent damage to wooden surfaces.
  2. Varnish creates a protective barrier between the surface of the wood and guards against dangerous elements like grease, dust and dirt. This barrier prevents stains from forming.
  3. Applying varnish to a wooden surface will be easy to maintain. 
  4. This layer will help prevent a breeding ground for bacteria from forming. The varnish will close the tiny “pores” in wood that often attract dirt. 
  5. Varnish will seal the wood and keep it aesthetically pleasing for several years.
  6. It prevents moisture absorption, which can result in wood expansion. Wood expansion leads to warping or splitting over time.

Advantages of Wood Polish

  1. Polish works to prevent regular wear & tear. 
  2. Polishing wood will improve the longevity of the product.
  3. Polish will help keep the wood clean by making it stain-resistant. This product works by preventing the furniture from absorbing any liquid.
  4. Polishing old furniture can make it look brand new. This product works to reduce any uneven textures. Polish can also fill any scratches & grooves.
  5. Polish is more natural and accomodating for the home. It is okay for most people who suffer from asthma-related allergies because it manages dirt well.

Disadvantages of Varnish

  1. The cleaning process after an application is quite tricky. 
  2. Varnish is very susceptible to dust buildup. 
  3. When you don’t add many coats, the varnish can lead to discolouration over time.
  4. Varnish is often not compatible with water-based products or lacquer.
  5. Varnish is often difficult to repair once it starts to peel.

Disadvantages of Wood Polish

  1. Wood polish requires a more consistent application. Typically, once a year, you need to add a new coat. 
  2. The polish builds up quickly, and the wood will look increasingly dull after a few coats.
  3. Polish is penetrative, making it a challenge to take off the wood. 
  4. Wood Polish is often vulnerable to heat damage.  
  5. Wood polis penetrates deep, and this can result in stained wood.
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