In general, less is best with regards to changing wood colour. That said, sometimes it’s great to go for an enhanced experience around colour and texture. These are some of our shop standards for wood finishing:
For all wood colouring we use a multi step dyeing process rather than oil based stains .
Colours – Our favourite added colour is a walnut dye, made in the autumn from windfall walnuts. It is stinky to use, but very effective, giving a rich deep brown to black colour, with the added advantage of being all natural. We also use bleaches, water based aniline dyes, or chemical dyes, even for large projects like panelled rooms. These methods allow for the continued ageing or patination of the wood. It’s very striking to see the difference after even a few years, between the richness of wood coloured with dyes, compared with the dull uniformity of stained wood.
Since this process requires multi layers of dyeing, sanding, and possible sealing in between layers, the furniture will have the authentic appearance of the natural wood colour retained and enhanced, with the patina enriching over time.
This of course requires some patience, a skilled hand, and sometimes extra cost, but the results will speak for themselves.
Metrik primarily uses German-made Livos oils for finish coating, however we also use waxes, paints, water-based varnishes, or lacquer coatings where appropriate.
More info about Livos products, and technical data sheets here: http://www.livos.ca/en/
Oiled finishes, while looking completely natural to the wood material, provide a deep, wear-resistant and easily maintainable protection.
The history of daily use will slowly add to the patina of the furniture, and penetrating oils allow the owner to refresh the protection of the finish within minutes, periodically as needed.
Product info sheets say that one of life’s pleasures can be the occasional oiling or waxing of an often used furniture piece, ‘recalling the passage of time in the family home.’ This can be true….
Oil finishes do not provide hard surface layers on top of the wood however, so please avoid standing liquids such as wet glasses, and wipe any spills promptly. On the plus side, any scratches or damages to an oiled finish can easily be attended to, please do not hesitate to ask.
Lacquer and varnish type surface finishes are considered the best choice for a non-maintained, waterproof finish which will get daily use (as in a dining table), or for a slick, hardened appearance. The disadvantage of these surface finishes is that, once heavily scratched, they are more time consuming to refinish.
Waxes – Black Bison wax from France is the shop standard.
We often have call for metals with patinas and finishes.
Ready to finish by the buyer – getting a piece this way is also possible, for people with some time on their hands.