Design trends change and everyone has different taste. However, one thing stays the same … there are a ton of finish options available no matter what your style and no matter what project you’re working on.
First, there are a few basics to know about finishes available and associated terminology for these elements. These finish options can cover everything from cabinets, doors, trim, furnishings, walls, exterior and even countertops.
Glazing, stains, paints and even antiquing procedures all have a multitude of options. They are briefly outlined below, but all have varying elements that professionals have put their own twist on to brand them as their own.
Antiquing or Vintage touch – This method creates an aged, worn look. This can be achieved by adding dents, gouging and sanding at varying degrees of application. Distressing can be done before or after any of the below finishes have been applied.
Dry Glazes – This is when glaze is hand applied to only the profiled areas (think where moldings meet or changes in elevation of a surface). The base color remains unaltered.
Pencil Glazes – This is a small line of glazing that is literally applied by drawing it on via a tip or thin brush. Typically is applied to areas where there are changes in elevation on the surface and leaves the appearance of a simple line.
Wet Glaze – In the wet-glaze process, the glaze is sprayed onto the entire area and then wiped off, altering the overall finish color.
Stains – Stains are meant to enhance the natural graining of the wood. Light stains show more of the wood grain, and darker stains hide more of the graining, which makes the wood more uniform in color.
Opaque Finishes – This finish completely covers all of the surface. Usually, maple is the wood species that’s painted. However, right now, the trend is tending to paint oak so that the vertical wood grain shows through the paint for a textured paint finish.
Chalk Paints – Ingredients are talc, calcite and pigment. Because of the talc and clay, the sheen is matte when dry. Milk Paint – Ingredients are lime, clay, milk protein (casein) and pigment. It’s a powder and gets mixed with water, so you can control the intensity of color. It has a naturally matte finish.
Matte Finishes – Matte finishes are becoming more popular as well. Matte black hardware is in such high demand it’s hard to keep in stock. Matte gold hardware (yes brass/gold!) is also in demand. Hardware refers to everything from lighting and plumbing fixtures to cabinet and bath hardware.
Countertops are also trending toward matte surfaces. Manufacturers are offering finishes in both polished and matte sheens. These matte finishes lend themselves to a muted and sometimes more gray coloring than the polished original.
So, next time you are looking at furniture, shopping for cabinets, picking out new shelving for your living room or simply flipping through a magazine, you can take a closer look at the finishes and know what you are looking at.
By Annie Nye, Interior Designer with Selkirk Glass and Cabinets