If you want to get a fresh, new, wood look to your kitchen cabinets, floors or even furniture, then staining is the way to go. Staining provides a rich finish that you just don’t get with paint. It’s an easy, inexpensive method for turning an outdated wood look into something beautiful, warm and modern.

By using the correct stain, you can transform the look of your home into something stunning. Staining is the perfect method for allowing you to change the wood’s hue to something different that is more appealing.

Stains come in an array of different finishes, such as oils, lacquers, urethanes and stains, sealers and varnishes. The methods are equally varied such as spraying, wiping or brushing on. Staining is an art form where the finished product can come out completely different depending on a multitude of factors like wood type, inside temperature and humidity, air flow, the thickness of application and age of the finish.

Here is a list of some types of stains that you might consider for your next project for an updated appearance.

Polyurethane Finish

Polyurethane, which is a type of varnish, is one of the most commonly used wood finishes today. It can be used in high traffic areas like floors and creates an incredibly hard and resilient coating. There are exterior versions of polyurethane called “spar varnish” which are a bit softer than their interior cousins. They are softer which allows them to remain more flexible, particularly where there is an extreme outside temperature swing.

Although polyurethane works best on floors, it can be used for doors and woodwork, although the finish leaves a feeling like a thick plastic coating on it.

Lacquer Wood Finish

You’ll find lacquer to be a quick-drying finish that is mostly used on commercial furniture and cabinets. Lacquer paints are generally a tinted, opaque finish used most for cabinetry. Lacquer needs to be applied in very thin coats and almost always sprayed on with pressure sprayers since it dries so quickly. This stain provides an incredibly beautiful and rich finish. The one downside to lacquer is that it has a tendency to yellow over the years, therefore it is not preferred for light coloured woods.

Shellac Wood Finish

Shellac is a finish common on woodwork in old houses. It is similar in its application to polyurethane and one of the oldest wood finishes whose history stretches into antiquity.

Although not as hard a finish as polyurethane and lacquer, it is resilient for woodwork and trim but not recommended for floors. One of its best features is that shellac can be easily touched up without looking repaired and it doesn’t yellow over the years.

Oil Finishes for Cabinets

Before Shellac’s popularity, wood finishes were mainly oil and wax. Today, there are a variety of oil finishes such as Tung Oil, Teak Oil and Antique Oil. They are a blend of different oils, resins and solvents that allow them to dry quickly.

Oil finishes penetrate deeply into the wood. They slowly harden and strengthen the wood from within, providing protection from water and other spills. Oil finishes also bring out a true richness in certain woods, and since they don’t leave a coating on top of the wood, you get a feeling of closeness to the wood.

Oil/Varnish Blends for Wood

This simple but effective finish combines the best of both worlds. It offers both the deep penetrating protection of an oil finish with the protective coating of varnish. It is remarkably easy to use and effective to finish woodwork and antique furniture.

Water-based Finishes

Water-based finishes like polyacrylic and oil-modified polyacrylics have arrived on the scene recently, and although they’ve come a long way since their inception, they are not the best for primetime. Although easy to apply and clean up, they do not provide the beauty and long-lasting protection that oil-based finishes do.

The Best Finish for your Kitchen Cabinets

There are many types of stains you can use to create the effect you’re trying to achieve, but in the end, only you can decide which you feel is the right choice for your project.

If you want professional help, contact Trends Wood Finishing in Oakville, Ontario today.  We can help you determine the right finish for your kitchen cabinets. Also, it may be worth considering cabinet re-facing to achieve the look you want.