In this How To guide, we will walk you through choosing the right finish for your project. But first, you will need to consider preparing your project for the ultimate finish.

Surface preparation

To remove the current finish and prepare for a new one, you’re going to need to give the surface a sand. The best way to do this would be with a power sander. We recommend a random orbital sander with a 60 or 80g paper to remove the current finish. After this has been done, it's time to ‘go through the grits’. Move on to 120 or 150 before finishing on 220g to get that smooth finish. For small or awkward areas you will need to hand sand. Start low again and move on up.


After sanding, it’s alway best to clean off the surface to ensure a quality finish. This can be done with a wet rag or tack cloth.

Choosing the right finish

Of course personal preference will have an impact as we all have our favourites, but there are also other things that you will need to consider.

Where the finish will be applied

If this is in an area where there will be high wear, i.e. wooden floors, you’re going to need a finish that is durable. As varnishes are the strongest wood finishes, these are a great place to start. You'll also find some hard wearing oils that are equally as good. If you are finishing a wood in an area where moisture is very likely to be present, i.e. bathrooms or around the kitchen sink, there are finishes that can protect against mildew or blue stain.

How you want the wood to look

Going for a natural look or wanting to add a little colour? These are the questions you need to think about.

If you are looking to bring out the natural beauty of the wood, oils are a great option. They will enhance the wood, as well highlighting the grain pattern, restoring the wood to its former glory. They are also available in satin, matt or gloss, meaning you can choose what kind of sheen you would like.


More interested in a bit of colour? A wax finish varnish looks great on its own. Or you can mix it with some emulsion paint for some great effects.


A vital part of the finishing process is choosing the correct way of applying your finish.

If you are using a water based finish, it’s always best to use a synthetic brush. Natural brushes will swell in water, which will leave brush marks. Synthetics are also good for thicker finishes, such as varnish. That being said, natural bristle brushes are fantastic for oil based or thinner finishes. The spread paint further and allow less loadings. These finishes can also be applied simply with lint free cotton rags.

If you are doing a large floor space, it’s best to use a specially made floor brush head. This will mean you get a very quick and even application to your finish.