A Guide to Finishing Touches for Solid Wood Furniture

Want to elevate your solid wood furniture to a level of perfection even your morning coffee will envy?

Before your furniture leaves the shop

Staining Options

Staining can enhance the true color of a wood, achieve uniformity for an inconsistent appearance, or even change the natural color of the wood to match your tastes. With wood species and stain color having a potentially dramatic impact on your furniture, here are some recommendations on what might work best.


Quarter Sawn White Oak (QSWO)

 - Takes stains well (color shown: Michael’s)
 - Michael’s is the most popular choice for craftsman decor and is often the default for this wood


Red Oak

 - Takes stains well (color shown: Frost)
 - Painted finish not recommended because of the beautiful prominent grain pattern
 - Translucent washed/distressed finish give a modern farmhouse look


       - With lots of color variations, dark stains are recommended to help even out the wood (color shown: Cappuccino)
       - Can be smoothly sanded and takes painted finishes well


         - Can be stained, but looks great natural (color shown: Cherry Natural)
         - Color of wood darkens a bit over time because of oxidation and UV light



         - Stain not recommended because of its natural interest and beauty (color shown: Walnut Natural)
         - Weathers to a beautiful natural warm tone
        Don’t forget to order one (or multiple) wood samples to help match your current aesthetic before committing.

        Surface Treatment Options

        Give interest to the wood’s finish - rejuvenate, age, or simply add character. Here are the treatments we offer:

        Olde World Distressing (available for all woods and stains) - As the name suggests, take something made today and give it a few thoughtfully placed nicks and scratches to make it look like it’s been around as long as the furniture’s style itself.


        Choose level of distressing:

        • Heavy Distressing - includes hand planing (creates an uneven surface unique to each piece of wood), and produces character with worm holes, faux cracks, tasteful dents and time worn edges
        • Medium Distressing - surface remains level, but includes worm holes, faux cracks, tasteful dents and time worn edges
        • Light Distressing - only a few time worn edges visible, and on opaque colors will feature a “rub through”mimicking older finishes showing through the paint in the age worn areas of the wood
        • Wax Option - Item is waxed with a power buffer to buff any excess wax to create a special aged feel to the finish. NOTE - this doesn’t add extra protection, it’s simply about the feel and look.

        Wire Brushed (available on all woods) - This distressing technique reveals the unique wood grain of the piece by creating a look of weathered wood with refined design. With this option, a 5 degree sheen varnish is then applied.

        Rough Sawn (not available on chairs) - Typically produces two surfaces with more Rough Sawn marks than other parts of the board, meaning not every part of the surface of a board will exhibit remnants of the technique.

        Planked Top (available for all woods) - Created when wood is glued up like a normal top, and then cut with a groove in the top of each glue joint, the entire length of the top, to accentuate the plank. This technique eliminates the contraction and expansion of each individual board that comes with plank tops using tongue and groove joinery.

        Reclaimed Hardwood (not available for chairs/barstools) - These woods are rescued from old buildings, barns and rural structures and hand picked for its antique look and feel.


        Matte finish - All wood furniture sold at Modern Bungalow is finished with a 35-degree post-catalyzed conversion varnish to protect against heat and scratches. This adds no color and will not yellow over time. If you’d prefer a lower sheen varnish, our options include 20 degree sheen and 5 degree sheen (matte).

        Caring for your furniture once it’s in your home

        An investment in well-crafted solid wood furniture means that you have something durable, made with integrity and has the potential to last generations. It also means there’s not a lot you have to do to keep it looking its best.

        Trust in the Quality of Your Furniture

         - Your furniture is durable, sustainable and timeless
         - Let the post-catalyzed lacquer applied do its job by giving it 30 days to cure


        Clean with Care

         - Simple dusting is best
         - Use soft cloth, feather duster, lambswool duster with lanolin or damp terry cloth
         - Treat spills quickly
         - Trust finishes to do their job
         - Do not use harsh chemical cleaners with ammonia and silicone
         - Stubborn stains? Click here for guidance


        Protect the Wood

         - Placemats, trivets for hot dishes, table cloths and felt pads for writing surfaces
         - Consider sunlight (especially with cherry woods) and rotate pieces if possible


        Control Temp and Humidity

         - Built for natural ‘breathing’ and seasonal expansion and contraction
         - Try to keep humidity at 35% and temperature between 60-80 degrees



        Do Yearly Maintenance as Needed

         - Most furniture just needs dusting
         - If you live somewhere dry, polish with Aristo Shield
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