How to create a Raw, Natural Finish Using Varnish

A raw finish is what can be described as a bare timber natural look.

Any timber that has oil or varnish applied will be enhanced, more so with oil as it will enhance the richness of the timber, which is great for making the most of teaks and various red species.

In today’s market people are after the natural non enhanced look on there light species of flooring such as maple, pine, oak, beech etc, even the minimal enhancement of water based polyurethane non yellowing varnishes give a little enhancement to the colour.

So how can you give a light species floor 3 coats of varnish and not enhance the timber.

It’s a simple solution, simply add some white emulsion (although I use farrow and ball floor paint) manufacturers would probable say it was a huge no no and can break down the chemistry and weaken the fist coat of varnish but I’ve tried and tested this method and it works a treat and last just as long as 3 coats of clear varnish and as long as you don’t overdo the amount of white you add (about 100ml to 2 ltrs, it’s totally unnoticeable and leaves the timber looking like nothing has been put on to it, now apply 2 coats of Matt or super Matt varnish and the jobs a goodun that’s been completed in 3 hrs.

Osmo’s new product raw uses this method but an oil replaces varnish and it takes 12 hrs to dry between coats, I used it a couple of weeks ago and does exactly the same thing, I wonder if raw turns yellow with age though? Time will tell lol

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