5 Unique Wood Finishes To Use Around Your House

Wood furniture and wood trim elements are commonplace in homes all across the United States. Homeowners appreciate the aesthetic wooden elements can bring into a space (via LuxDeco). Wood furniture and accents are durable, natural, and often easy to rearrange for continual refreshes of any room in the house. But wood furniture also requires routine care and maintenance in order to consistently create the visual wow factor that homeowners seek.

Adding a wood finish or stain is a common task for any homeowner looking to enhance the look and feel of their property. External wood structures, like a backyard deck, require refinishing on a more consistent basis. For example, experts suggest restaining or resealing an exterior deck once every year (or at least every three) to provide it with the best possible protection for moisture and UV rays (via Seal Smart).

Inside the home, wood finishes are used more for style than specifically as a protective coating. This means you can think more about the look of a finished wood piece in these instances rather than focusing primarily on the level of protection a finishing agent can provide. With these five great wood finish options in mind, you'll be sure to have a lot of choices when it comes to reimagining a faded bookshelf or raw wood coffee table.

1. Scorch treatment to embolden wood grain

Adding a scorch treatment to your wooden furniture can make for a dynamic and inspiring piece for the home. Scorching the surface of a desk, chair, or bookshelf with a butane torch (also known as Shou Sugi Ban in Japanese where the tradition originates, according to Instructables) is an easy way to apply that one-of-a-kind finishing element to the surface of any wooden component.

Every piece of wood is unique, and when building furniture or shelving with wooden planks a carpenter will often look to showcase one or more sides of the boards that exhibit a unique or visually striking wood grain. Taking this practice to the next level can be done with a number of finish options, but there's no denying the liveliness and depth of contrast that shines through with a scorch treatment. Using a torch and gently moving it up and down against the surface of each board will quickly char the edge of the piece, revealing deep black and brown lines across the grain.

These scorched surfaces are actually quite easy to create, and can embolden the energy within your property. Drawing out the wood grain with a scorch reimagines the piece of furniture and can create a unique statement item to be placed prominently in any room.

2. Rustic, washed out blonds and tans

Rustic color patterns that make use of washed-out or faded-looking blonds, blues, greens, and tans take their cue from the simple life that dominates Scandinavian culture, according to Sherwin-Williams. Instilling a sense of calm and the peace and tranquility of nature can make for a very powerful energy change within your home.

These rustic colors and washed-out finishes that make use of a light yet glossy color tone can recreate the space of any room. These color patterns are an excellent augmentation for rooms that see a lot of natural light or face outward into the garden. Tan and blond color palettes can be used in any geographical location in order to lighten the mood and infuse a sense of happiness and elegance into your space.

Taking their cue from sauna and minimalist home design that dominates Scandinavian culture, these light and natural wood colors make for a simple design, but one that powerfully encapsulates the value of nature and time spent with loved ones and crucially, in happiness.

3. Color intensity for a vibrant emotional reaction

Another option for treating your wood furniture is the use of intense and vibrant matte colors. Opting for a solid color across the surface of your furniture can provide it with a totally new energy. Flat color painting creates a smooth surface that retains its obvious wood quality while also building a shimmering stylistic addition to any part of your house. Light color choices, or even the use of white to contrast with deeper shades throughout a room (in line with color wheel theory, via Canva), are great for sophisticated spaces and communal gathering areas. Alternatively, you might opt for a child's favorite color or a mood enhancement option like red or yellow in a bedroom or hallway area.

These solid coats of paint are typically very easy to remove and change with heat and a bit of scraping as well. This makes a matte finish an incredibly versatile option when it comes to styling and revamping the aesthetic of your home. For those who love to engage in DIY projects, applying intense or even subdued matte color finishes to your furniture can be an incredibly satisfying and easy way to accomplish a home-styling project.

4. Warming and deep wood tones

Wood stain is another good option for applying finishes to your furniture. Often, wood stains create a deeper tone in the surface and grain of your wood furniture. However, you can find light wood stains that don't significantly alter the shade of the underlying planks. Wood stains are typically easy to apply, and are layered on with a simple rag and paintbrush after sanding has been completed (via The Home Depot).

Staining your wood furniture gives it a subtle sheen that makes newly treated furniture really stand out in a room. As well, the application of stain gives your furniture a natural protective barrier against moisture and perhaps even minor dings and dents (depending on the number of coats you've applied). Creating a deep and rich wood tone in your furniture can be an intensely satisfying project.

Many homeowners love the aesthetic and big attitude of a deep and dark brown wood tone, but others may find this look too domineering in their space. Incorporating a lighter shade or using fewer coats can give you enhanced control over the depth of this color and a tactile option for finishing wood furniture.

5. Dry brushing for an antique finish

Lastly, you might consider trying a dry brushing technique that incorporates uneven shading across multiple coats. You can use a few different shades of paint to accomplish this or simply dab a sponge or cloth onto a freshly painted section to remove some of the color and let the natural wood texture shine through in certain spaces. Country Chic Paint also suggests short, quick brushstrokes to create an uneven dispersion as you apply the paint. Dry brushing is a great way to create an antique look on any wood piece of furniture in your home. Dry brushing isn't very difficult, and it can make for a totally new visual element.

Coupled with antique hardware to round out the look, dry brushing is a powerful tool in establishing the mood and mantra of any room's decorative style. The antique look is making somewhat of a comeback in the modern home, and for good reason. Standard style elements have trended toward technical installations and sometimes character-less furniture that only serves as a place to sit down or place items. Moving away from these occasionally visually vapid stylistic designs and incorporating some antique elements in your home can be a great way to take back control of your decorative and creative energy.