Different Finish Options for Wood Furniture

Wood finishing is what gives furniture its final look & enhances the furniture depending upon what it’s made of. If the wood finish is not done well, the entire get-up of the furniture piece loses its beauty. Wood finishing is divided into certain categories which decide the kind of protection it offers to the furniture piece.

The wood finishers available in the market have different ways of application. Some are light and get removed easily just by dissolving them in the fluid it was created from. While others are hard and need to be cured with something external like the air we breathe or chemical agents that can help one get rid of the polish. The latter ones are therefore, more durable and tend to last for a much longer time.

Factors that help you to decide

Following is a list of different kinds of wood finishers that can be used on your furniture and other wood items.

  1. Wax polish
  • Wood wax is often preferred by Indian wood workers because it gives a glossy shine to the surface and is affordable at the same time.
  • Wood wax is a mixture of wax and a solvent like turpentine oil. The wax can be any of three options available, carnauba wax, bees wax and paraffin.


  • Wood wax is extremely easy to apply and renders a glossy shine on the wood surface.
  • The coating is low-friction, thus enabling dust to not settle and destruct the surface.
  • Easy to Maintain


  • Will lose its shine with time and scratches can come easily on the surface.
  • Is not resistant to solvents, therefore if there is a spill, it forms a mark which has to be re-touched.
  • Gives the furniture a very raw look
  • Does not cover the natural flaws & variation in the furniture
  1. French Polish
  • French polish is applied when a high amount of gloss is required on the surface of any furniture. It is a mixture of shellac mostly, dissolved in absorbent solvent.
  • French polish needs to be applied in figures, like circles, etc. There are many coats, after which the exact glossiness comes out.


  • The quality of lustre is good and can be cleaned easily with a soft cloth.
  • Finish is a lot more even that wax polish
  • Economical option
  • Can be re polished easily


  • Though preferred by wood workers, it is also likely to get dull with time & may required a hand every 5 years or so.

Filing on wood is not as even & as hard as melamine polish would be.


  1. Melamine Polish
  • Melamine polish is a cellulose finish used with sealer to make the surface more durable & resistant.


  • Melamine Polish is extremely durable because of its water resistant nature.
  • It can also be easily wiped and gives a clean and bright lustre.
  • Offers a better layer of protection
  • Filing on wood is hard & does not come of easily & looks more even


  • Re polishing is not easy & may require complete re-sanding
  • Expensive to polish & expensive to maintain as well.
  • Prevents superficial scratches, not deep ones.
  1. PU Polish
  • Pu polish can be used on both the interior as well as an exterior of a house. It is directly applied to the product it is being used on. The method of application is usually spraying which gives a lustrous and glossy effect to the product.
  • PU Polish comes in three forms- matte, very glossy, and semi glossy. This is expensive and is used only on those products which are assigned a high rate of money.


  • PU Polish can be applied in many forms, whatever is comfortable. But is preferably applied in a spray form.
  • PU Polish does not smell and yet, has a glossy finish that is unmatched.


  • PU Polish can be very expensive, therefore it adds considerably to the cost of the product
  • It need a lot of care & can crack easily as well.

 Price- Amongst the most expensive polish options

Factors that decide are a combination of look needed, rest of the decor , budget & how particular one is about what kind of look they need in their home. While the hard polish options last longer, factors like maintenance , children, whether – external & internal also need to be considered.

These are some of the most common and used forms of wood finishers available in the market.

8 thoughts on “Different Finish Options for Wood Furniture

  1. Ashutosh says:


    I am Ashutosh, a resident of New Delhi. I have a house in Karol Bagh. My house has a lot of wood work which includes furnitures as well. I wanted to do something nice with it paint/polish/design. Whatever looks beautiful. I am not sure what to do. Can someone who has already been through the process help me with it?
    An elaborate explanation of the entire process would be very helpful for me. Thanks in Advance.

  2. Ahinmehra says:

    This blog is so helpful , planning on getting furniture home , so have come across a store called Morada Bonito Design studio , planning to get my furniture custom polished , so this is really helpful , thanks .

  3. Robin Mcdermott says:

    Polishing furniture is important not only to make it look good but also ensure its longevity. You have put up a really very informative writeup on various polishing styles and their respective merits and disadvantages.

  4. Mrs Imran says:

    Want to get my furniture polished either melamine gloss or pu polish. Don’t no by whom to get it done Would u recommend someone pls.

  5. Saby says:

    Hi i wanted to know what or which kind of wax polish should i purchased to finish a product that i did chalk paint on….and kindly mention a good brand name too….i reside in Mumbai thank you for your time and effort

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