Some of the most common types of finishes with their pros and cons include:
Penetrating Oil – UV Stabilized
This is a unique, clear UV resistant protection for exterior and interior wood.
– Easy application and inexpensive
– Very quick rich results are showing a high percentage of the figure within the wood.
– Sophisticated matte sheen.
– Easy touch-up maintenance.
– Penetrates fibers deep within the wood, protecting integrity.
– UV sun rays do minimal degradation.
– Not a developed surface finish. This means spills such as red wine will not be stopped from entering the pores of the wood.
2 Part Epoxy
When you choose 2 Part Epoxy for the finish, a primer must be applied to the surface before the paint itself.
– Shows all hidden figures within the wood.
– The “truth serum” for wood.
– Hard surface, fast build-up, strengthens any pith, fills checking, and hardens softwoods.
– A “5 in 1” type of finish. 4 coats of epoxy are like 40 coats of polyurethane.
– Glossy, fewer margins for error.
– Generally low UV stabilization, many brands yellow over time when outside in the sunlight.
Polyurethane – Water Based
Water-based polyurethane dries much more quickly, is a bit more self-leveling, and has less odor.