December 08, 2023 4 min read

Comparing Shellac Vs. Catalyzed Wood Dining Set Finishes
Comparing Shellac Vs. Catalyzed Wood Dining Set Finishes

When it comes to investing in high-quality dining sets, the finishing technique plays a significant role in determining the furniture's look, durability, and overall performance. In this article, we will compare two popular wood finishing techniques renowned furniture manufacturers use: shellac wood finish and catalyzed wood finish.

At Furniture Fair, we know quality is vital for anyone looking to get a custom dining set, and we want to make sure you have a custom-built dining set that will hold up to the everyday wear and tear of life.

We’ve sold thousands of custom dining sets to happy customers throughout Cincinnati, Dayton, Northern Kentucky, Louisville, Southern Indiana, and Clarksville, and we want to share the knowledge we’ve learned in our 60+ years in furniture sales.

We will discuss the unique characteristics, pros and cons, and benefits of each of these finishes to help you make an informed decision when selecting the perfect dining set for your home. Read on to learn the differences between shellac and catalyzed finishes.

Comparing Shellac Vs. Catalyzed Wood Dining Set Finishes

What Is A Shellac Wood Finish?

Shellac finishing is a traditional and time-tested wood finishing technique that has been used for centuries to enhance the beauty and durability of wooden furniture. It is made from a natural resin called shellac, which is harvested from the secretions of the lac bug found in Southeast Asia and India.

To create shellac, these resinous secretions are collected, processed, and dissolved in alcohol to create a liquid finish. Shellac imparts a warm, rich, and glossy appearance to the wood, enhancing its natural grain and color. The application of shellac is known for its ability to bring out the elegance of the wood, making it particularly popular for antique and classic furniture pieces.

This finish type is favored for its forgiving nature, allowing for easy repair of minor scratches and damages by simply reapplying shellac.

Moreover, shellac is considered an environmentally friendly option as it is derived from a natural and renewable source and is non-toxic, making it safe for both users and the environment. However, it should be noted that shellac is not as durable as some other finishes and is sensitive to heat, moisture, and alcohol spills, which may affect its performance in high-traffic areas.

Pros of Shellac Finish:

  • Elegant Aesthetic: Shellac imparts a warm, traditional, and glossy appearance that highlights the natural beauty of wood.

  • Easy Repair: It's a forgiving finish, making it easy to repair minor scratches and damages by simply reapplying shellac.

  • Environmentally Friendly: Shellac is a natural, renewable, and non-toxic finish that is safe for users and the environment.

Cons of Shellac Finish:

  • Limited Durability: While shellac is resistant to minor moisture and alcohol spills, it is less durable than other finishes, making it less suitable for high-traffic areas.

  • Susceptibility to Heat and Scratches: It can be sensitive to heat and may become cloudy when exposed to moisture.

 

Comparing Shellac Vs. Catalyzed Wood Dining Set Finishes

What Is A Catalyzed Wood Finish?

Catalyzed wood finish is a modern and highly effective wood finishing technique known for its exceptional durability and versatility. Unlike shellac, which is a natural resin, catalyzed finishes are synthetically created by combining resins with a catalyst or hardener. The result is a finish that offers robust protection and longevity.

One of the critical advantages of catalyzed finishes is their exceptional durability. They are highly resistant to moisture, heat, and wear, making them ideal for furniture subject to frequent use and exposure to various environmental factors.

Catalyzed finishes are also known for their versatility. They can be adjusted to achieve various surface textures, including matte or glossy, allowing customization to match different interior styles. This adaptability makes them suitable for a wide range of design preferences.

Furthermore, catalyzed finishes require minimal maintenance and are less likely to develop visible scratches or damage, which can significantly benefit those seeking low-maintenance furniture.

It's important to note that catalyzed finishes typically contain chemical components, which can raise environmental and health concerns for some individuals. Additionally, applying catalyzed finishes can be more complex and require professional expertise to achieve the desired results, making them more common in high-end furniture manufacturing.

In summary, catalyzed wood finishes are characterized by their outstanding durability, versatility, and low maintenance requirements. These qualities make them an excellent choice for modern, high-traffic living spaces where long-lasting beauty and resilience are paramount.

Comparing Shellac Vs. Catalyzed Wood Dining Set Finishes
Comparing Shellac Vs. Catalyzed Wood Dining Set Finishes

Pros of Catalyzed Finish:

  • Exceptional Durability: Catalyzed finishes are highly resistant to moisture, heat, and wear, making them ideal for dining sets that see frequent use.

  • Versatility: They can be matte or glossy, and the final appearance can be adjusted to match various interior styles.

  • Low Maintenance: Catalyzed finishes require minimal upkeep and are less likely to develop visible scratches or damage.

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Cons of Catalyzed Finish:

  • Chemical Components: The catalyzed finish includes chemicals that may concern those seeking more environmentally friendly options.

  • Complex Application: Applying catalyzed finishes can be more difficult, requiring professional expertise and demanding a higher price point.

 

Comparing Shellac Vs. Catalyzed Wood Dining Set Finishes

Catalyzed Wood Finish: The MAVIN Furniture Approach

MAVIN Furniture represents the epitome of modern, innovative design. This brand is known for its contemporary approach, often incorporating catalyzed wood finishes to achieve exceptional durability and versatility.

Mavin's solid wood dining sets are a testament to their commitment to creating furniture that blends classic aesthetics with robust performance. Their versatile designs and focus on long-lasting quality make Mavin Furniture a top choice for those seeking both style and durability in their furniture.

Comparing Shellac Vs. Catalyzed Wood Dining Set Finishes
Comparing Shellac Vs. Catalyzed Wood Dining Set Finishes

Choosing the Right Finish for You

Selecting the ideal finish for your dining set depends on your preferences and needs. If you appreciate a classic aesthetic and don't mind occasional touch-ups, shellac might be your choice. On the other hand, if you desire durability and minimal maintenance, a catalyzed finish could be more suitable.

Comparing Shellac Vs. Catalyzed Wood Dining Set Finishes

Ready To Choose The Best Finish For Your Custom Dining Set?

The choice between shellac and catalyzed wood finishes ultimately comes down to your style, maintenance preferences, and how you intend to use your dining set. Both finishes have unique advantages and provide excellent options for enhancing the beauty and functionality of your dining space.

To truly appreciate the differences between shellac and catalyzed wood finishes, we invite you to explore both   Trailways and MAVIN Furniture at your nearest Furniture Fair.

You can see these exquisite dining sets in person, feel the textures, and experience the catalyzed finishes up close. Additionally, you can read reviews from other customers to gain further insights into the quality and performance of both brands.

Comparing Shellac Vs. Catalyzed Wood Dining Set Finishes

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