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Oil vs Lacquer Wood Veneer Finishes

Oiled timber veneer cabinetry

There are many options when it comes to finishing veneers. When selecting the best finish for your project it is important to consider what environment it is being used it, the durability, maintenance and of course the aesthetic.

The beauty of choosing an unfinished veneer is that you have full control of the final product.

Every piece of timber will have its own unique colour and grain structures. VidaSpace veneers are mostly constructed using a mix matched lay on technique, ensuring no two panels are the same.

With options of quarter cut, quarter and crown cut, rustic or reclaimed oak, you can create a completely bespoke design bringing together your choice of timber grain, and stain colour.

Wooden veneers cannot be left unfinished as the raw timber will absorb any moisture on the surface, be that water splashes, wipe marks, and even oil from fingertips. This will soak into the top veneer layer, and it will stain. All timber veneers need to be finished with either a lacquer or an oil.

These are available in either clear or coloured. Clear options can be applied over a raw timber to retain the natural colour or applied over a stain.

A lacquer is a hard-wearing layer that sits on top of the timber veneer, and is bonded to the surface, protecting it from the outside.

In contrast, an oil penetrates the wood and soaks into the timber, protecting it from the inside out.

Determining the best option for you will depend on a few factors.

If you are creating new kitchen cabinetry, or bathroom vanity drawers, durability and easy maintenance is a key factor. In this instance, the more durable finish would be a lacquer. This will provide a hard wearing and water-resistant finish, perfect for high use areas and is easily wiped clean.

If you are creating furniture, wardrobe cupboards or entertainment units, an oil is perfectly fine as the timber isn’t going to be in such a vulnerable area of the home.

An oiled finished may require re-oiling from time to time.

There are a countless products available to finish your timber. You can have the option of high or low sheen levels, or completely matte.

A real timber veneer has the texture and warmth of wood. If you are wanting to keep this as natural and raw looking as possible, and oil may be the way to go. As the oil soaks into the timber, you don’t lose any texture of the real timber grain, whereas the lacquer sitting on the surface will minimize it to some degree.

A matte finish in either a lacquer or oil will create a raw looking veneer, whereas slightly glossier finish will add some sheen.

For advice on which finish is best suited for your project, we recommend speaking to your cabinet maker for their advice and recommendations.

View our Querkus Unfinished Timber Veneer Range - VidaSpace

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