Rustic Furniture – What Finishes Can I Have?

Rustic furniture constructed from chunky pieces of timber has been a growing interior trend for a number of years now. Rustic styled furniture works so well in current interior design schemes as it lends itself to so many genres.

The Different Finishes For Rustic Furniture

Shabby chic, vintage and rural settings are all natural backdrops but as are more industrial and even contemporary room sets. The nature of the timber and the rough hewn styling pick up and tie in with a number of design threads. Plus the appeal of natural materials, especially where the timber used is reclaimed wood is another ever growing trend as we look to more organic materials in our homes. The charms of Rustic furniture are therefore not to be underestimated or overlooked, whether you up style to a more rustic-luxe style or pare it down to real, rough and ready rustic finish there is a piece of rustic furniture to suit you and your home.

The rustic look comes under many guises, often determined by the type of timber, its origins or how it has been treated. Phrases such as rough sawn furniture, plank furniture or chunky wood furniture are all synonymous with the genre. Finishes also vary widely so here is a brief overview of the myriad of options;-

Unfinished Or Ready To Finish – One for the DIY’ers or craftier types, this type of rustic furniture is really rough and ready, wood is left bare and in its natural state, fully constructed but without colour or protection added.

Stains & Dyes – The most common and flexible way to colour rustic wood furniture. Stains or dyes are available in a vast array of colours and can really change the appearance of raw wood. Here at The Orchard a stain combined with a wax is often our preferred route for bespoke furniture builds. Choose a colour stain to match your soft interiors or just one you simply like. It is possible to get the wood to take on an aged appearance, or with many layers and light sanding an almost contemporary polished look and feel can be achieved which works particularly well on table tops.

Varnish – This technique can offer a variety of finishes depending on the ratio of each ingredient used. The key ingredients here are oil and resin; if a small amount of oil is used to resin this will produce a very hard but sometimes brittle finish, something that would not be suited to outdoor furniture. Therefore a long-oil varnish with a great percentage of oil is the best way to go. The extra oil creates a softer more flexible finish that will not crack when the wood expands and contracts. A tricky product to work with but one that probably offers the best long term protection or hardwearing finish to a piece of wooden furniture.

Natural Beeswax – Natural waxes such as beeswax are highly concentrated and durable and add the perfect finish to rustic, salvaged and reclaimed woods. They offer the highest quality natural clear finish that will protect and naturally enhance the wood surface while providing a natural low sheen. Some degree of colour change is possible with a wax but better effects are achieved when combined with a stain or dye.

Oil-Based Stains – Despite long drying times this particular type of stain is best for outdoor furniture and can also be used for more intricate projects that require a finish with a little more finesse. The downside is that this style of stain tends to only be available in traditional wood tones.

Polyurethane – Essentially a plastic in the form of a liquid until it dries. Polyurethane is available in both water and oil-based options, and comes in varieties from satin to glossy.

Water-based polyurethane is low odour and low toxicity making it the most popular. When applied it goes on without adding any colour, unlike oil based versions and it dries much quicker. As with shellac, water-based polyurethane won’t hold up well to heat and chemicals, however it is perfect for bookcases, desks, side tables and picture frames — anything that won’t be exposed to extremes.

Oil-based polyurethane is slightly more durable than water-based, especially when it comes to handling heat, so a kitchen table is a good candidate. It will add a slight colour tone but in turn will enhance the richness of the wood.

Here at The Orchard our rustic furniture collection is made right here in England by our master craftsmen, beautifully made from solid, chunky and textured Canadian Pine. Full of character with a beautiful rustic aesthetic, this style of furniture lends itself best to large pieces such as kitchen tables, dining tables and benches.

Canadian Pine is categorised as a soft wood, however with its closer grain this is actually a denser wood. A wood of great character and quality this is the wood of choice for us here at The Orchard offering far more than European pines typically used in high street pine furniture.

We think rustic furniture should be kept rustic so the last thing we will do is remove its character by sanding the wood back, removing knots and filling holes and fissures. We believe that every cut of wood tells its own story giving unique character to each piece of furniture.

Here’s just a taste of what to expect from us, take your pick from the collection below or see our full collection here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *