Types of Wood Coating


Wood coatings are applied to wood to protect and improve its appearance. Wood primers, sealers, stains, varnishes, shellac, preservatives and water repellents are all types of wood coatings. Many factors should be considered when applying different wood coatings.


Wood coatings are used to protect wood from elements and provide a longer-lasting life to wood. Protective coatings keep the wood safe while enhancing its look. Different types of coatings are used for different things. Most coatings fall into the categories of either stains or protective coatings.


Many different types of wood coating exist, each having its own uses and benefits. Wood primers or sealers are used to reduce the appearance of stains and blemishes on the wood. They also provide an even base coat for application of other products. Wood stains and varnishes are used to provide more depth and color. Shellac is used as a hard coating for wood. It is also practical for wood floors and furniture. Wood preservatives are used to extend the life and preserve the quality of wood and should be applied to untreated wood. Water repellent, commonly used on decks, is used to limit the effects of water on wood, such as dry rot.


Before beginning any project, ensure that the proper coating is being used for the type of wood. You'll need to research the correct type of applicator as well. In addition, many different finishes are made with different ingredients that can have different effects or levels of quality. Normally, wood finishing is completed with both a stain and a protective coating.

Expert Tips

Properly preparing the wood prior to treatment and using a high-quality product are among the best ways to ensure a successful wood-finishing project. You'll also want to make sure that coats dry completely between applications. You can also run the brush over the work once a coat is competed to remove any blemishes and ensure that it is even.


If you are involved in a project refinishing old wood that has been painted, you may be exposed to lead paint, which can have harmful side effects. A professional can be hired to test and remove lead paint so that the risk of lead exposure is minimized. Also, improper disposal of wood finishes can have negative effects on the environment and local wildlife and also disrupt sewage systems.

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About this Author

Savannah Groeneveld has been passionately freelance writing for the past six years. Some of her articles have been published on auto.com, carsdirect.com, world66.com, eHow.com and in magazines such as Sunset and Architectural Digest. Groeneveld has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. She received her M.A. in Education (Curriculum and Teaching) from Fresno Pacific University in 2008.

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