Some of our customers when researching their solid wood desk top purchase are keen to make it impervious to water damage. This post will discuss the finishing options with water resistance in mind.
Can you “water proof” solid wood?
We would never describe a piece of solid wood furniture, regardless of the finish we apply, as being “water proof”. Solid wood will always absorb water, any coating or finish that is put on top of the oak or pine etc, is acting as a barrier. Should that barrier fail over time for any reason, water will find a way to sink into the top. A truly water proof top needs be made out out of water proof materials, like plastic.
We do however use the term water resistance. All of the finishes we offer can provide varying degrees of water resistance. Wax and oil have been used for centuries to finish solid wood due to their natural water repellant properties, in the last century resin based finishes like lacquer have provided another option, and in recent times plastic based options like polyurethane have proved popular.
All finishes will not just add water resistant properties to the wood, but will also change how the wood looks. Just as adding any liquid onto wood will make it darker, adding an oil finish to wood will bring out the grain and that darker tone will stick around after the finish has set. Coloured pigments are often added to the finishes to alter the wood further, either darker or lighter. Adding a lacquer or poly finish will remove the wood somewhat from its natural look and feel.
Our standard finish for oak and walnut tops is to finish with Mylands finishing oil.
- Pros: keeps the natural feel of the wood, easy to apply, easy to top up/refresh, can spot repair, food safe, can add colour pigments to lighten/darken, inexpensive.
- Cons: will water stain more easily than other finishes, will wear over time (needs maintenance over the years).
Customers can apply a poly finish onto any solid wood at home.
- Pros: fairly easy to apply with a brush, can buy different finishes (satin, gloss etc), inexpensive, very robust.
- Cons: it is possible to over apply and distort the shape of the wood, it will take away some of the natural look and feel of the wood, cannot spot repair.
We can spray a lacquer finish onto any of our solid wood desk tops.
- Pros: good level of water resistance, very smooth application with our spray gun, limited colour alteration.
- Cons: hard to apply, cannot spot repair (will need to be sanded back to apply a different finish), can wear over time, it will take away some of the natural look and feel of the wood.
We can add an osmo finish to any wood. It is a combination of wax and oil.
- Pros: very smooth finish, more water resistance than just oil or wax, easy to apply, easy to top up/refresh, can spot repair, can come in different colours by special request.
- Cons: can wear over time.
Read more about how to maintain oil and OSMO finishes here.
Order your solid wood desk top
Why Solid Wood Tops?
Custom size? Same price.
Desk top prices are worked out using a going market rate formula. There are no extra charges for non-regular sizes. Calculate your price and order in minutes.
Flexible delivery options
Our trusted partners are located around the country. Allow us to arrange delivery, pick up from the workshop yourself, or book your own courier.
Money back promise
Order requests have no cost or obligation. If you do decide to confirm, you are protected if there is a problem with the size, design, quality or wood. Order with confidence.
Sponsored frame only deals
Risk free try-at-home & deferred payments