Timber finishes that suit your lifestyle

There are many choices of timber finishes. Which should you choose?

There are many choices of timber finishes. Which should you choose?

Finish categories, In general finishes can be divided into 3 different types: surface finish, composition finish, flexible/ penetrating finish.


1. Surface finish:

Surface finishes work as shields that stick to the surface of your timber, like a thin, clear plastic film.

Water based polyurethane finish
Water based polyurethane finish on polished timber


- The most typical and common type of finish found in Victoria.

- Easy to clean and maintain.

- The most durable of all types of finish

- Water resistant.

- Has various sheen choices, such as satin, gloss, matt to choose from.

- Able to combine with many different colours.


- Nearly impossible to repair deep scratches and dents.

- Some finishes has high VOC, but water based finish has lower VOC rating.

- Whenever the timber shifts, moves, the surface finish can split along cracks.

Item types: Solvent based polyurethane, water based polyurethane.


2. Composite Finish

Composition finishes are a combination of surface finish and a penetrating finish. Combining both oil and polyurethane finishes, it can be a useful versatile option.

A composite finish on Baltic Pine
A composite finish on Baltic Pine


- Combines the benefit of a surface finish.

- Allows subtle movement within the timber without cracking as severely as a surface finish.

- It is more durable than using a penetrating finish such as using only oil/ wax finish.

- Allows for spot touch ups with wax for small scratch and dents.

- Provides multiple finishes- such as satin, matt finishes.


- The colour of the timber does darken, yellow over time.

- Certain places of high traffic will require additional maintenances and care.

- Not as hard/ durable as a top/surface finish.


3. Flexible Finish – Penetrating Finish

Penetrating finishes are oils/ waxes that penetrate into the timber to provide a water resistant and generally results in a matt finish.

Treatex Hardwax finish in Matt
Treatex Hardwax finish in Matt


- Most penetrating finishes are non-toxic and hypo-allergenic.

- There are no edge bonding/ cracking issues as there is no surface finish.

- Minor scratches and dents are easily fixes with additional oil/ wax applied and buffed.

- Maintenance is possible generally and can be done DIY with a buffer machine.

- Surface is matt and soft to touch, and able to express timber grain much better than a surface finish.


- There is no various sheen type, with matt being the only option.

- Since there is no protective surface layer, damage and scratches are more frequent and visible under heavy traffic.

- Although maintenance is possible, if left without care, deep scratches can darken over time.

- Can be a more expensive option than other surface/ composition finish types.

Hope you have understood a general overview of different timber types and the pros and cons of each timber type.

Please ask us at Info@myflooring.com.au or fill out our online quote request and we’ll be happy to provide further confidence in your upcoming project.

Good luck!

If there is any additional questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at info@myflooring.com.au or just fill out our online quote form found below if there is an upcoming project that you would like some advice on. We'll try our best to help out as much as we can.

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