How to make wood lighter

We are often asked how to make wood lighter or how to prevent orange tone especially on pine.

This method is very useful as it allows you to control the white for yourself relative to the existing orange tone of the wood / protection required. It is also tough enough for use on Oak and Pine Floors.

Frequently Asked Questions concerning Making Wood Lighter video

Q) Do I have to use the Trade Acrylic Varnish?
A) Finney's Trade Acrylic is a Modified Acrylic meaning that it is lower colour change and much tougher than ordinary Acrylics. Most finishes (including water based ones which are often Urethanes are not Acrylic although many people think they are) will darken the wood on application sending the white much too golden. Finney's Trade Acrylic Varnish will also self level so that using proper application you won't get any brush marks. Low Colour Change means that it doesn't darken the wood very much when dry after applying (known as Colour Enhancement). This is not the same as Non Yellowing.

Finney's Trade Acrylic Varnish More details & buy

Q) What does the addition of Professional White Wood Stain actually do?
A) Finney's Professional White Wood Stain (Finney's White Dye) acts like a sunblock UV Filter so the more white used the higher the protection but the more it will be noticed. Bear in mind that the wood itself will darken slightly depending on how much white is used so take this into account.

Finney's White Wood Dye More details & buy

Q) Why is a little of the Acrylic added into the White?
A) This is known as adding a binding agent and helps to stop the water based top coat from lifting the Wood Stain

Q) What other ways are there of keeping wood lighter?
A) We sell every type of finish there is so here is a run down of the pros and cons of different methods. On this list toughness is on a scale of 1-5 where the Trade Acrylic is 5 (bear in mind that paler finishes show marks more than darker ones). Sheen levels are described as Ultra Matt (8%), Matt (15%), Satin-Matt (20%) and Satin (30%) where bare wood is 5-8% and full gloss is 85%.

Invisible Oil

Toughness 1. This is an Ultra Matt, Low Colour Change decorative finish. It is used on furniture and light coloured woods where practically no shine or colour change is required. It is not tough enough for floors.

Finney's Invisible Oil More details & buy

Basin No Visible is similar to our Invisible Oil but is for light coloured low wear floors. Toughness 2/3.

Basin No Visible Ultra Matt More details & buy

Finney's Trade Acrylic Varnish

Toughness 5. Sheen level matt or satin. Suitable for table tops and furniture.

Finney's Trade Acrylic Varnish More details & buy

Trade Acrylic Natural White Matt

Toughness 4 - you can apply our clear Trade Acrylic on top to increase protection further. Sheen level Matt. This product is used to create the toughest low colour change finish straight from a bottle. You can also add a little white wood stain (up to 5%) into the clear Trade Acrylic Varnish if you want to adjust the colour yourself or create a satin sheen.

Trade Acrylic Natural White Matt More details & buy

Hardwax Oils

Toughness 3. Sheen Ultra matt, matt, Satin-matt. All Hardwax Oils darken the wood sending it more golden and so are not usually used to keep wood light. There are versions though that have a little white added by the manufacturer such as Osmo Raw. This helps to reduce the yellowing created by a standard oil.

OSMO Raw 3044 More details & buy

You can't really adjust the white as with the Acrylic / white method but you can put this oil onto our Professional White Wood Stain although the overall effect will be a little more golden than the Acrylic.

We also have a version of our very popular Microporous Hardwax Oil called Natural Light that will create the lowest colour change of any oil whilst reducing the risk of the added white settling in the pores of woods such as Oak and producing a lightly limed effect.

Finney's Microporous Hardwax Oil More details & buy

Q) What can I do if the wood is so golden that the Professional White Wood Stain and trade Acrylic Varnish method isn't strong enough even at full strength?
A) You will need to use our wood bleach set. You can then use the White and Acrylic method mentioned above if required.

2 Part Wood Bleach More details & buy

You may have other questions so please email us or telephone us on 01246 261664.