Find the right finish to make your project shine

Choose the best finish for your woodworking projects

By Jill Buchner

milk paint

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It is hard to choose from the veritable rainbow of wood-stain colours and hues. But, before you even begin to think about the hues to use, you have to navigate your way through the many colouring agents first to get the perfect coat. Here are a few to wet your palette.

A classic wood stain, Minwax Wood Finish will sink right into the grain of that beautiful oak table you just constructed, getting deep into the wood while sealing the surface. $8 for 236 ml,

Add a jolt of energy to your project with these intense aniline mixing colours from Lee Valley, with shades ranging from lemon yellow to peacock blue. Simply mix with water and these dyes invigorate your wood with unfading colour. Or, try mixing the powder with another water-based product to give your regular stain a vibrant touch. $12 for 1 oz,

It may not look milky in its powdered state, but once Homestead House’s Authentic Milk Paint is prepped, it goes on as a smooth, creamy coating that your unfinished wood will drink right in. The paint will never peel and its natural formula is as good for the Earth as milk is for the body. $16 for 170 g,

If you’re looking for an easy end to your complicated project, this finish might just jell with you. Circa 1850 Stain ’n Varnish is a gel-based stain that requires no stirring, no mixing and no extra coat of varnish. Plus, the thick gel consistency prevents the running and blotching that can appear with thinner stains. $18 for 1 l,

When you already find your wood project a natural beauty, a coat of Varathane’s Premium Wood Stain will provide colour clarity with its soya-oil base, leaving the true grain to shine through. $15 for 946 ml,

If you consider yourself something of a pro at pigmentation, try mixing your own colour concoction.Saman’s water-based stains can be combined to create custom shades to suit any project. $22 for 12 oz,

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