Have you ever wondered, “Why should I be applying a finish to live edge wood?” If so, you’re in the right place! We wanted to go over what benefits a finish can offer for your live edge furniture project so that your live edge project turns out exactly how you dreamed it!
Applying a finish to live edge wood to help to slow its movement and keep moisture out
Live edge wood movement is primarily caused from moisture seeping into parts of the wood at different rates. For example, imagine the top side of a solid wood table top is covered with a tablecloth and the underside is exposed to the air, if the tablecloth is on this table for a long period of time (several days or weeks), the top side will be absorbing moisture at a slower rate than the bottom, which could cause expansion. This expansion will compensate for its movement by forming a cup or bow on the opposite side.
Applying a finish to live edge wood to help protect the surface of your furniture
While applying a finish to live edge wood will help to keep water out, it can also help keep other liquids and crumbs from gumming up the wood grain. Especially when your slab will be used as an eating or drinking surface (think dining table, bar top, coffee table, etc.) any additional barrier will help to keep any stray and unwanted particles from staining or absorbing into your table top.
If you have a particularly spill-prone family, you can also add a top coat of epoxy before you add a finish to completely seal any small gaps, cracks, or voids. This is a foolproof way to get a more durable and long-lasting surface for your high-use surfaces!
Applying a finish to live edge wood to bring out wood grain and figure
I can’t think of a better reason to be applying a finish to live edge wood other than to bring out the beautiful grain and figure that you bought the slab for! Not only does a finish help to bring out the natural color of the wood, but it also helps to accentuate the texture of the wood’s grain by playing up the contrast between the light and dark colors within a slab.
While clear finishes will let the wood speak for itself, if you are interested in a different color, there are tons of options that allow you to keep the beauty of the original wood, but change up the tone to match your vision or decor.
Applying a finish to live edge wood is SUPER easy
Most of the finishes you can find on the market these days have incredibly easy applications. Take Rubio Monocoat’s Oil Plus 2C for example. All it takes to apply is a quick, thorough coat and buff and you’re done whether you are using their Pure, non-tinted finish or one of their tinted options!
There are several other oil finishes that apply as easily as Rubio Monocoat on the market, so there should be at least one that suits your project available! In our shop, we use both Rubio and Gemini GemCoat Pre-Cat Satin Lacquer depending on the project. Both are high quality products that are easy to care for over the life span of your live edge furniture.
Now that you know all about why you should be applying a finish to your live edge wood, it might be time to find your next live edge slab! Take a look through The Lumber Shack’s huge selection of wood to see if you can find the your next project or chat with one of our Wood Experts if you’d like help finding the perfect piece! We are available via live chat on our website, email, or phone!