Water Based Wood Finishes – The Top 4 Reasons It’s the Best Choice for Your Family


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You’re a born do-it-yourselfer, and now that you are starting a family or buying a new home, you may be buying new furniture. Because you know that unfinished furniture has a higher quality, is a better value over time, and gives you more flexibility of style and size choices, you purchase a beautiful unfinished crib, armoire, and baby changer from your local unfinished furniture store. Or maybe you love your new house, but the kitchen cabinets need updating. Maybe you’re pulling up the old carpet in your home and re-finishing the wood floors. Here’s where the fun of self-expression comes in. Now which stain or paint to choose? Read on to learn why using water based finishes offers many advantages and why they are the best choice for you and your family.

A Green Product

Basically, there are two types of stains and topcoats, solvent based and water based. Solvent, or oil based finishes, contain roughly 50% petroleum distillants, which release polluting hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. Water based finishes are 50% water, which is a non-pollutant, leading to increased safety and comfort.


Where solvent based lacquers are highly flammable, water based finishes are non-flammable, and therefore safer to use in your home. Materials that have been soaked in solvent based finishing products can cause a fire hazard if not disposed of in accordance to your local fire department regulations. So go Green and use environmentally friendly water based finishes!

Vibrant Color

Choosing water based finishes opens up a wider range of color choices: shades of red, green, blue, and yellow that are not available in oil based finishes are available as water based. Water based finishes also offer a full range of wood tones. Plus the colors maintain their beauty over time. You can even create unique, custom colors by mixing two shades. Whether you want comfortable classic colors, pretty pastels, or brilliant hues, furniture color is the perfect way to enhance a neutral room, add a touch of whimsy, or create coordinated spaces. Although water based top coats are milky white in the can, they dry to a crystal clear finish, and will remain clear throughout the life of your project. In contrast, oil based top coats have a slight amber color in the can, and will darken slightly over time.

Saves You Time

Water based finishes dry very quickly. So, instead of your project taking weeks, you can start and finish your project over a weekend. In ideal conditions (70 degrees and 70% humidity), dry time is usually only two to four hours. Higher humidity or cooler temperatures do require longer dry times, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s specific guidelines. Another way that using this type of finish saves you time – clean up is a breeze! Just use water – no harsh chemicals – which takes us back the environmentally friendly thing again!

So, go green, be safe, choose long-lasting color, and save yourself some time by using water based wood finishing products. They are available as milk paints, glazes, wood stains, and topcoats. The glazes available help you create the special decorative effects, such as antiquing and distressing. For free information about how to use water borne finishes, visit General Finishes’ Water Based Finishing Tips.

Source by Christine Adams