What is Unfinished Furniture?

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  • Written By: S. Mithra
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2019
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Unfinished furniture is constructed with high-quality, raw wood boards. This furniture has not been stained, treated, painted, or sealed, so that the purchaser has complete control over how to finish it. Some people prefer the unfinished option because they enjoy customizing the color, pattern, and style of their furnishings. Others know that it is made with better quality wood, because neither paint nor stain can disguise knots, cracks, blemishes, or other weaknesses. Of course, unfinished furniture usually costs less than a finished counterpart, so it saves consumers money in the long run.

Unfinished furniture comes in softwood or hardwood. Softwoods, such as pine, fir, and spruce, are literally softer. Sometimes you can mark them with your fingernail, so they will show dings and scratches more readily. However, this can be to your advantage if you would like to antique the piece for a "stressed" appearance that simulates age. Hardwoods, like maple, ash, beech, alder, and most commonly oak, do not absorb stain as readily, nor get nicked as easily. These woods are ideal for clear stains that show off their natural color and grain. They could also be "washed" with milk paint for a casual, country, or farmhouse appearance.


With just a few easy steps, you can transform your bare chair, table, or trunk into a glowing, personalized, and durable finished piece. The essential layers in finishing wood are a stain covered by a sealer, or paint. Stain can be mixed in any color of the rainbow, including "natural" colors like cherry, oak, or walnut. The topcoat, or finish, seals the pigment and protects the wood from dirt, moisture, and fading. Both stain and topcoat can be oil-based or water-based. More traditional craftsman use oil-based varnish and stain, which must be cleaned with mineral spirits, and applied with proper ventilation. More modern stains and polyurethanes are consumer friendly since they are water-based, dry faster, and clean up easily.

Paint, in gloss, semi-gloss, or flat, is a simpler, one step option that doesn't show wood grain. Creative ideas include stenciled designs, faux finishes, or combinations of different colors on the same piece. Your furniture's beauty can be maintained with mineral or orange oil for cleaning or another coat of polyurethane if the surface shows wear.


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Post 2

Hobby Lobby is one of my favorite places to shop for household furniture and decor. They have some smaller pieces of unfinished furniture you can choose from to finish and stain the way you want them.

I will go to a home improvement store to buy the supplies I need for my project. There are many different colors and types of finishes you can choose from. Don't be shy about asking questions if it is all new to you. It is not a hard process, it will just take some time depending on how many coats you want to put on.

Post 1

There are advantages to finding unfinished furniture. First of all, if you like the piece then you don't have to go through the process of re-finishing. This can be a time consuming and labor-intensive process that many people do not enjoy.

Secondly, you can choose the type and color of finish you want for your furniture. One of the best ways to do this is to buy an unfinished furniture kit. Here you have all the instructions and many of the supplies you need to get started. It doesn't take long to have the finished piece of furniture that you want and you can take pride in knowing that you did a lot of it yourself.

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