What is the difference between water-based vs. oil-based varnish?

Water vs Oil varnish? How to pick the right finish?

Today, we delve into the intriguing world of furniture finishes, specifically focusing on water-based and oil-based varnishes. If you're contemplating the ideal protection for your cherished ash hardwood tables, benches, or custom woodwork, this article is your compass to making an informed choice.

Image source: https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/water-based-finishing-tips/ 

1. Water-Based Varnish: Derived from acrylic and polyurethane, water-based varnish is the eco-conscious choice. It emits fewer fumes during application, making it suitable for indoor use. Known for its rapid drying time and low odor, it's perfect for those who seek a modern matt finish.

2. Oil-Based Varnish: Oil-based varnish, often containing linseed or tung oil, offers a timeless approach to finishing. It provides a deep, rich appearance that enhances the natural beauty of ash hardwood. While it takes longer to dry and has a stronger odor, its durability and ability to withstand wear and tear are unparalleled.

3. Visual Appeal: Water-based varnish maintains the wood's natural color, making it a preferred choice for those aiming to keep the original shade of ash hardwood intact. On the other hand, oil-based varnish deepens the wood's hue, providing a classic, amber-toned finish.

4. Durability and Maintenance: Oil-based varnish triumphs in the durability department. Its robustness stands up to everyday use, making it a solid choice for furniture that experiences heavy traffic. Water-based varnish is equally adept at protection, but it may require more frequent touch-ups in high-traffic areas.

5. Eco-Friendliness: Water-based varnish is a greener option due to its lower VOC emissions and easier cleanup with water. If you're environmentally conscious, this choice aligns well with sustainable practices.

As you navigate the decision between water-based and oil-based varnish for your ash hardwood furniture, consider the desired visual effect, durability, application convenience, and environmental impact. Whether you lean towards water-based for its ease of use or oil-based for its timeless elegance, Space Solutions Co's Melbourne-based craftsmanship ensures your furniture's beauty and longevity, no matter the varnish you choose. Remember, your choice of finish contributes to the personality and endurance of your furniture – choose wisely and enjoy the results!

Check our full range of Victorian Ash hardwood furniture now!

Stay tuned for more insights into the world of furniture finishes and customization at Space Solutions Co.

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