How to choose the best wood finishes for furniture

We can provide a full array of traditional and modern wood finishes. Here we answer some commonly asked questions:


What traditional wood finishes do you offer?

Antique restoration: Conserved patina on an early Georgian oak cofferThe patina of antique furniture develops over the years - what gives an antique its unique character and look and feel. We always respect the original finish and each item's patina when wood finishing.

We are skilled in the application of numerous traditional finishes to bring out the best in each item. Finishes include:

• French polishing - We use the technique of French polishing by applying shellac resin to wood to revive original surfaces and sensitively refinish wood in order to enhance and restore all types of antiques. Read a fuller description of our French polishing service

• Waxing - We find that gentle cleaning and waxing will often bring wood's natural patina back to life and restore the luster of each item. We combine a French polish finish with waxing; firstly cutting back the French polish with steel wool or fine abrasive paper, then waxing the surface to create a luster in keeping with older items.

• Oils - We can use a range of hardening oils on items and surfaces that might receive lots of wear and tear.


What modern finishes are available?

Modern wood finishing: Spraying kitchen cabinet components There are numerous specialist lacquer finishes and high-gloss polished finishes. These provide durable surfaces for items such as dining tables where a heat resistant finish is required or high wear is expected.

The wood finishes we use on modern furniture are the same that would have been applied during manufacture. All of our modern wood finishes are lacquer-based, offering a clean and crisp finish that come in broad range of sheens - from a low sheen to a high gloss. An example of a lacquer-based finish would include the finish used on modern high-gloss kitchen units.

Most people might mistake lacquer-based finishes for a solid-colour painted surface. Pigments can be added to create different colours.


How do you meet stringent regulations on commercial jobs?

We appreciate today's businesses need to meet stringent regulations.

To meet this need we are able to apply fire retardant finishes for use in public buildings and can apply anti-bacterial lacquers for use in food preparation areas in restaurants. If you are considering a commercial project, click the following link to find out more about our commercial projects.


For more information

Call us on 01392 876888, email:

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Bayleys Furnisture Restoration Ltd is registered in England & Wales with Company No.7464446                             Registered office: Woodbury House, Green Lane, Exton, Exeter EX3 0PW