Wood Finishing Tips and Tidbits

Fellow woodworkers, craftsmen, and wood finishing enthusiasts,

With the various types of finishing options on the market, it can be overwhelming to figure out what option is the best route to go for your project. Here are a few tips:


Solvent-based oil finishes have become widely popular since before the 1950’s. There is this notion that if you can’t smell the stinky fumes, then the finish is bad. Most solvent-based finishes contain around 25% solids, meaning that 75% of the finish is leaving the surface through evaporation. No matter how a wood finishing company tries to dress it up, the main reason finishes are formulated with solvents is to SAVE MONEY FOR THE MANUFACTURER. Solvents do not make oil-based finishes perform better; they only save cost and speed up dry time. Our Tried & True finishes are 100% solids, and do not contain any solvents or heavy metal driers. Our coverage rate is up to 1000 square feet per gallon, as opposed to 250-300 square feet per gallon that one would get using a competitor’s solvent-based oil finish.


Solvent-based finishes play off of a woodworker’s emotions. After spending 40+ hours working on a project, it’s very tempting to rush through the finishing process. Often times people end up using a fast-drying finish, but the end result does not show off their hard work or beautify the wood. Instead, they are often left with a dull, spotty finish that wears off quickly or glosses over the natural grains of the wood. High gloss wood finishes, like polyurethanes, are hard to maintain. To get rid of any scratches or nicks to the surface, one must strip off the entire finish and start over again. With Tried & True, simply buff the problem areas with 0000 grade steel wool and reapply a small amount to that area. While Tried & True takes a little bit longer to cure than finishes containing toxic heavy metal driers or solvents, the natural look of the wood is highlighted and showed off. The longest you will have to wait between coats is just 24 hours, but it will be worth the wait!


Tried & True finishes are made from all-natural and renewable ingredients that are free of toxic solvents, heavy metal driers, and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). All our finishes are safe for food and skin contact. All Tried & True finishes fall within the guidelines for FDA 21 CFR, Sec 175.300 for surfaces that come in to contact with food. If you feel like reading the details look it up! Wood finishing projects such as counter tops, cutting boards, wooden utensils, baby toys, cribs, table tops, etc. all can be finishes with Tried & True without concern of toxic contamination or harmful health effects. There’s enough garbage in the world, why use a wood finish with it as well?

Wood finishing should be a fun yet mindful process that will highlight all the hard work you put in. Our goal at Tried & True is to show off all the natural beauty of the wood while keeping you and your loved ones safe. Try us out today!

**Have a photo of a project finished with Tried & True that you would like to show off? Just email a photo (or a couple!) of your work to matt@triedandtruewoodfinish.com and we will put you up on our website, facebook, and instragram page!**

One comment on “Wood Finishing Tips and Tidbits

  1. I had no idea that wood finishes were often solvent’based oil finishes. I really like what you said about how important it is for one to be patient after applying wood finish. I’ve heard that wood finishes also have a lot to do with how well wood puts up with moisture.

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