If you wanted to get a piece of timber furniture ‘in the raw’ and apply a finish yourself (varnish/lacquer, paint or oil), typically, you would go to a cheap outlet. In Australia the timber would most likely be a fast growing pine that is prone to warping.
Some finishes are well suited to industrial settings with spray equipment, dust-free spray booths complete with health and safety apparatus. There are some oil finishes that give superb results but, usually, only find their way into high value bespoke furniture. Achieving lustrous results usually requires multiple applications, long drying periods between applications and energetic hand work. This rules them out for, even, most artisan production despite the fact that many oiled finishes are not difficult. They do not always require experience and skill as with French polishing using shellac.
Why Not DIY?
Why not DIY for applying an uncomplicated but rich oiled finish to furniture that is beautifully designed and made using carefully selected timber? Is applying such a finish yourself something that you would like to do? I am assuming that we would provide the furniture in a form ready for oiling and with comprehensive instructions. We would have to be selective so that the chosen furniture pieces did not introduce unhelpful complexities.
Most furniture finishing oils would require hazardous goods transport arrangements. This is time consuming and very costly. This means that we would need to supply comprehensive instructions covering the commonly available oils. But it also suggests that it would be wise to check local availability before confirming an order.
We would lose the ability to guarantee the finish. I don’t know how you would feel about that. By starting with small objects like the Natural Inspirations Chair-side Table, the risk is low and there is the possibility of building up extra helpful notes and testimonials.
I gave the example of the Natural Inspirations Chair-side Table as an example because of its small surface area with no acute corners. The legs are separable making a total of four easily held and conveniently shaped parts. The focus can be on the feature veneer on the top and the result being a rich and lustrous finish that can be redone at home if scratched.
I am sure that this is DIY option is not for everyone. The saving in dollars would not be huge. BUT, for some of you, it would create an added level of satisfaction and pleasure.
One of the nice things about this online environment is that we can kick this idea around a bit. Hopefully, you can tell me if it is worthwhile taking the DIY finishing option further or not.
Your feedback will be appreciated and it would be great if we had enough good thoughts or misgivings to spill over into another blog article.
Allan ( 0408 331 510 and email@example.com )