I recently completed a commercial office for a client. In doing so, I realized that there is a multitude to know about finishes for wood. I thought I would share some insight and information on this topic.
First off, there are a variety of sealants, stains, finishes, etc., to protect wood. None are exactly alike so don’t be fooled to think that you can start with one finish product and if you run out go back to a store to get more of the same, as they may not have it!
For example, Tung oil, a nice finishing oil that is easy to apply, leaves the wood in a similar color tone to what it was originally is not sold in supplies of more than a quart these days due to environmental issues.
There is a “wax” finish, which when applied has to be buffed to a very smooth glossy finish to really protect the surface. The brand I use most is Briwax, it has a bee wax base and goes on smoothly and without mess. http://www.briwax.com/index.html
There is a Danish Oil which goes on nicely, spreads smoothly, it dries fairly glossy, which if you like, is nice!
And of course, there are the usual polyurethanes that come in a multitude of finishes, Minwax makes a stain and sealer in one, which is a time saver. http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/one-step-stain-and-finishes/