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Wood Specifications Chart

Content © Rockler Woodworking & Hardware

Details About Wood Finishing

Name Type Weight Strength Grain Texture
Cherryhardheavystrongdelicate figuringfine
Maplehardheavystrongdelicate figuringfine
Red Oakhardheavystrongfiguredcoarse
Clear Pinesoftlightweak to moderateuniformfine
White Pinesoftlightweakunevenfine
Poplarhardmediummoderatedelicate figuringfine
Walnuthardheavystrongdelicate figuring, uniformfine

Finishing Comparison Guides

Use these guides to compare finishes based on their appearance, durability and application. For more information about using these three criteria to choose your finish, see this article "Start to Finish".

Items marked with a check indicate Rockler's most frequently recommended products. In their experience, these products are among the easiest to use, and give consistently good results.


Wipe-On Finishes

When applying wipe-on type products, we recommend using a lint-free cotton cloth,
Rockler's high-quality Cheeze Cloth or perhaps a foam brush applicator.
Product Qualities Appearance Usage
check Sam Maloof's Poly/Oil by Rockler
Sam Maloof's Poly/Oil by Rockler
Gives a very professional looking, handsome finish yet is relatively easy to use. When used alone, you'll get a satin to semi-gloss finish with good chatoyance. Adds warmth to natural wood color. Good durability. World-renowned furniture maker Sam Maloof uses this in combination with the Sam Maloof Oil/Wax (see below) for his museum-quality tables, rocking chairs, and other furniture.
check Sam Maloof's Oil/Wax by Rockler
Sam Maloof's Oil/Wax by Rockler
This oils-and- beeswax formula is made to be used in conjunction with Sam Maloof's Poly/Oil finish. Use after applying Sam Maloof's Poly/Oil finish to increase chatoyance and give a rich, semi-gloss appearance. See above. Oil/Wax formula is recommended for use on furniture that won't be exposed to excessive heat or moisture.
check Arm-R-Seal by General Finishes
Arm-R-Seal by General Finishes
Deeply penetrates wood and builds to a highly protective finish. Available in satin, semi-gloss, or gloss. Excellent. Our most durable wipe-on finish due to the high polyurethane content. Great for kitchen tables and other pieces that need to stand up to heat, moisture, and alcohol.
Minwax Antique Oil Finish
Minwax Antique Oil Finish
Deep penetrating oil blend for a classic hand-rubbed finish. Produces a low gloss sheen with the recommended 2 - 3 coats. Intended for use on interior raw or stained wood surfaces. Additional coats may be applied occasionally to maintain like-new appearance.
Product Qualities Appearance Usage
Minwax Tung Oil Finish
Minwax Tung Oil Finish
This tung oil blend produces the grain enhancing effect that tung oil finishes are highly prized for. Satin sheen. Good durability on interior wood projects. Can be applied to raw or stained wood, or over other Minwax finishes.
Minwax Wipe On Poly
Minwax Wipe On Poly
Voted best value in a wipe on finish by Fine Woodworking Magazine. Combines the beauty of a hand rubbed finish with the toughness of polyurethane. Satin sheen with very light amber cast. Good to excellent durability. Easy application and suitable for interior projects like furniture, molding and trim.
Butcher Block Oil
Butcher Block Oil
Safe natural penetrating oil finish for butcher blocks, cutting boards, wood utensils, salad bowls and other wood surfaces. Grain-enhancing, flat sheen. A completely natural oil that meets all FDA requirements for surfaces that contact food.
General Finishes
EF Extender

General Finishes EF Extender
Specially formulated to for use with General Finishes waterborne wood finishes. Use to increase the drying time of General Finishes top coat finishes. Does not affect the final appearance of the finish when used as directed. Use EF Extender in hot, dry weather to enhance the leveling properties of GF top coats, or whenever extended drying time is desired.
Product Qualities Appearance Usage
Rockler's 100% Pure Tung Oil
Rockler's 100% Pure Tung Oil
A 100% natural oil containing no driers or solvents. Flat to satin-sheen finish. Good to very good. Very water-resistant. Use on furniture or any wood object where easy maintenance is desired
Salad Bowl Finish
Salad Bowl Finish by General Finishes
Made to be 100% safe for use on any wood surface that comes into contact with food. Varnish/oil blend. Flat to satin sheen. Good durability. Use on salad bowls, wooden spoons, cutting boards, etc.
Finishing Oil

Liberon Finishing Oil
A quick drying, low odor blend of high quality oils. Produces a very even soft sheen. Safe for food preparation areas. Resistant to water, heat, alcohol and food acids.
Woodturner's Finish

Behlen Woodturner's Finish
High gloss wipe on finish designed for small woodturning projects. Ultra high sheen finish designed for turned work. Wipe on bare wood and polish while your project is still on the lathe for a durable finish.

Brush-On Finishes

Product Qualities Appearance Usage
Poly/Acrylic Waterbase
General Finishes Poly/Acrylic Waterbase
Very fast drying and easy to apply. Easy water clean-up. Your choice of satin or gloss. Virtually clear so it adds almost no color to wood. Good to very good. Use on chairs, dressers, chests, molding and woodwork.
EF Waterbase Polyurethane
General Finishes EF High Performance Waterbase Polyurethane
"EF" stands for environmentally friendly! Fast-drying. Easy water clean-up. Your choice of satin or gloss. Virtually clear, so it adds almost no color to wood. Excellent durability. Tough enough for kitchen/dining room tables. Durable enough even for floors!
Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish
Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish
Affordable choice for an all-around clear waterborne finish. Water-clear when dry. Available in satin, semi-gloss and gloss. Perfect for cabinets, molding and trim. Can be applied over oil-based and water-based stain. Recommended for lighter colored woods and stains.
Product Qualities Appearance Usage
Rockhard Table Top Varnish
Rockhard Table Top Varnish
A "short-oil" varnish formulated for an extra hard and durable finish. High-gloss with an amber cast. Superior resistance to moisture, household chemicals and abrasion. Use on table tops or wherever an extra hard finish is desired. For interior use.
Bullseye SealCoat

Zinsser Bullseye SealCoat
A clear, premixed 2 pound cut of de-waxed shellac. Can be applied with either a brush or lint-free cloth. On raw wood, 2 to 3 coats will produce a soft velvety sheen. However, SealCoat is most often used as an undercoat. Use to seal raw wood in preparation for a final finish. Makes an excellent sanding sealer and barrier coat. For interior use.
General Finishes
EF Sanding Sealer

General Finishes EF Sanding Sealer
This waterborne sealer sands easily and is designed to seal raw wood, help fill in wood pores, and build up surfaces in preparation for final finishing. Flat - not intended as a final finish. Great for sealing wood pores prior to final finishing. Stearated for easy sanding and extra surface build. Easy water clean-up.

Spray Finishes

Product Qualities Appearance Usage
Zinsser Clear Spray Shellac
Zinsser Clear Spray Shellac
The classic finish for furniture and other wood surfaces now in convenient aerosol form. Safe and non-toxic, this natural finish enhances grain pattern and produces a soft, deep glow. Soft, velvety sheen after 2 to 3 coats. Good durability. Best for small-scale interior projects where a traditional finish is desired. Also has excellent sealing properties and can be used as a barrier coat under latex and oil paint.


Click on each Image Below to View Wood Data ...

... or view All Wood Data here
Alder Sample
Ash Sample
Birch Sample
Cherry Sample
Poplar Sample
Hard Maple Sample
Hard Maple
Soft Maple Sample
Soft Maple
Red Oak Sample
Red Oak
White Oak Sample
White Oak
Walnut Sample
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