Professionals and Amateurs Together

Furniture vs Turning Finishes


What is the difference between finishes used for furniture and finishes for turnings? — Alan Saffron


Garry Wood replies: The raw materials used for protection and film forming are usually similar for furniture finishes and turning finishes, but turning finishes will sometimes have an additive for lubrication. This can be a wax, oil or solvent with a long open time. Another turning formulation uses almost the opposite approach by adding a burnishing agent to create friction. These additives are designed for those who apply their finish to a spindle or bowl that is turning at moderate speed in the lathe.

Food safe quality is another characteristic often found in finishes for turning. These can be simple oil or oil/wax combinations that dry very slowly, or finishes that are considered food safe after a carrying solvent has evaporated.

Tags: Finishing, Woodturning