This Is What You Need To Know About Your Finishing Options When Ordering Solid Wood Furniture

It’s good to have options. But when you have a whole lot of different options it’s sometimes hard to decide exactly what you want. Here at Rustic + Modern, we strive to create the perfect customized products for your needs. You get to choose from a variety of customizations including style, size, and wood type. But those aren’t the only options you have.

You can further customize your furniture, barn doors, accent walls, and other items with different finishing options. These help make your piece unique and ensure it complements the room where you’re going to place your new furniture. So here’s a quick overview to help you pick which finishing touches to place on your order.


Distressed v. Smooth

You get to decide whether you want your finished piece to have a smooth finish or some texture to it. If you opt for smooth, you’ll be able to see all the beautiful wood grain and texture but when you run your hand over the surface it will feel smooth.

If you want your wood distressed, we can add a scraped or hammered effect. This wood will look and feel textured when you touch it. However, we’ll still finish it off so that there’s no risk of splinters or snagging from the distressed finish.

Live-Edge v. Uncarved

We offer natural and hand-carved live edges as an option for things like tables, desks, fireplace mantles, and countertops. This creates a unique look along one or more edges of the wood surface. Alternately, you can choose traditional straight edges along all four sides of your table.

If you do opt for a live-edge, you’ll get to choose the type of carving as well. We can do a more subtle look as well as deeper, more dramatic carving. It’s up to you.

Stained v. Unstained

If you want to enjoy the natural color of the wood you picked we apply a high-quality clear coat finish. This type of finish enhances and protects the beautiful color and wood grain. We can also stain most woods if you’d like that (please note that we do not stain reclaimed wood, hickory or black walnut).

There are several reasons you might want to stain your wood. Perhaps you want a certain type of wood because of its price or durability but it’s not the color you need. Or maybe you like the grain of one wood but need it stained to match the other furniture in a room. We’ll be happy to help you pick out the right stain and finish your furniture with that color. Simply contact us to learn more about the stains colors we offer, schedule a visit to our design center, or order your very own custom furniture piece.

How To Remove Marks From Wood Tables

Wood furniture is remarkably sturdy and long-lasting. With proper care, many pieces can become treasured heirlooms. When you’re using your wood furniture every day though, scratches, dings, and other marks are almost inevitable. This is especially likely when you’re entertaining, such as during the holiday season.

You can protect your wood by using tablecloths, placemats, table runners, potholders, and coasters. If marks do show up on your table, try these tips to remove the marks or at least make them less noticeable.

How To Remove scratches From Wood Tables

Water Rings

If hot cups or sweating glasses left water marks on your wood, you can buff them out using any of these common household products:

  • Petroleum jelly – apply jelly to the mark and let it sit overnight. Wipe off in the morning.
  • Non-gel toothpaste – rub toothpaste onto the mark with a soft cloth, following the wood grain. Wipe off with a damp cloth, then let dry.
  • Baking Soda – mix 2 tablespoons soda with 1 teaspoon water to make a paste. Rub over the water mark using a circular motion.

Light colored stains come off the easiest. Darker stains might require several treatments. The petroleum jelly is gentlest, so start with that. If the stain doesn’t come out, try toothpaste next and then baking soda. After you get the stain out, polish your table with a wax polish. We recommend using Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner.

Light Dings

Shallow scratches, nicks, and dings are usually surface issues. They affect the finish rather than getting deep enough to damage the wood. If you look at the scratch on an angle and don’t see discoloration, then the scratch is only on the surface.

Here at Rustic + Modern, we finish all of our furniture with satin polyurethane. This finish offers durable protection against everyday use. If scratches develop in this type of finish, start by buffing a paste wax furniture polish into the scratch. This is often enough to hide scratches.

If the wax doesn’t hide your scratch and you want to try refinishing that spot, sand over the scratch with fine steel wool. Sand with the grain using light pressure until the scratch is no longer visible. Wipe the sanded surface with a clean, damp cloth and let it dry completely. Apply a thin coat of satin polyurethane to the scratch and let dry for 24 hours. Repeat polyurethane coats until the finish over the scratch is level with the rest of the table.

Deep Scratches

If the marks on your wood table are from damage that gets through the finish to the wood itself, you have a few options. Most involve filling in or coloring the scratches to make them less noticeable. You can use a commercially available scratch filler or stain pen, or try one of these DIY options:

  • Rub the nut meat or a walnut, almond, pecan, or Brazil nut into the scratch. This works best for light to medium colored woods.
  • Dab coffee grounds or a damp tea bag over the scratch. Wipe excess away with a paper towel, then repeat until colors match. This works best for medium to dark colored woods.
  • Use a felt-tip marker the same shade as the wood to hide the scratch. Polish with a wax-based furniture polish.

You can also try touching-up the finish over deep scratches as described for light scratches. Remember also that wood furniture can be completely refinished if the surface becomes too marred, unlike furniture made with veneers or engineered woods. That’s part of the beauty of investing in solid wood – even many years of wear-and-tear isn’t going to make it unusable.

If you’d like to order a new, solid wood table, get in touch with us at Rustic + Modern. All our tables are hand-crafted from high-quality solid wood. You’ll get a table made to your exact specifications – the kind of furniture you’ll want to keep around for many years.

Choosing the Finish for Your Furniture

To Finish or Not to Finish….

Most of the tables and other furniture pieces that leave Rustic+Modern are completely finished and ready for use in the home. We do, however, offer our customers the option to stain/finish their tables themselves. This can have advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, you might save a little money and you’ll be able to match the table finish to your other furniture or wood trim in the room. On the other hand, doing your own finishing isn’t as cost-effective as it first appears and making a mistake could damage your new furniture.

rustic furniture dallas how to choose the right finish for your furniture

Will It Save Money?

If you decide you want an unfinished table from Rustic+Modern, the table will cost $150 less than a finished table of the exact same design. It sounds like you’re saving quite a bit of money, but does it really work out that way?

When you stain and finish your furniture yourself, you’ll have the added cost of stain and/or clear finishes to consider. You also have to decide how much your time is worth – doing your own finishing requires a time investment, especially if you’re going to do it right. Also, keep in mind that if your stain job doesn’t turn out like you want, we cannot cover the damages under our warranty.

Staining Tips

If you decide to stain the table yourself, the first step is choosing a stain. When you pick up your table or arrange for delivery, ask if we have any scrap wood of the same type as your table. Different woods stain differently, so you’ll want to test the stains on a scrap piece to see what the finished color will look like. If using a custom stain, make sure you mix enough to finish the entire piece because it’ll be impossible to match the second batch exactly.

Choose a clean work area for finishing your pieces. Any dust that gets on the furniture or brushes will mar the finished stain. Using a high-quality brush, work from the edges of the table toward the center. Always make sure the final brush strokes go with the grain and keep an eye out for runs or snags so you can bush them out before the stain dries. Let dry overnight, then lightly sand the surface with 240-grit paper. Apply second or third coats in the same manner until you achieve the desired color. Finish with thin coats of a clear lacquer.

Our Staining Options

Have us stain your furniture for you if you want to ensure a long-lasting, professional finish. We offer several finishing options. For all woods, you can opt for a natural look where we apply multiple coats of high-quality clear finish to enhance the wood’s natural coloring and beautiful grain. This is the only option offered for hickory or black walnut, which do not require staining.

For other woods like pine, alder, oak, and maple, we offer three stain colors: special walnut, dark walnut, and ebony. We also offer shadowed edges by using a staining technique to make the ends of the table boards look darker. Each of our stain colors look a little different depending on which type of wood you choose. You can see samples of the finished colors on our website or make an appointment to visit our design center and look at our furniture in person.