I was sitting down to dinner with my family at a family member’s antique dining table, and my 7 year old daughter looked over at me and asked, “Daddy where did this mark come from”?
I looked down at the finish on the table and wasn’t surprised to see the usual marks in the finish- water rings, scratches, and most recently a mark that very closely resembled a mirrored image of a silicone hot pad. Apparently an extremely hot pan had been placed on that hot pad and transferred enough heat through it to permanently mar the finish.
This is a very common story is heard I’m sure across dining tables all over the country.
Years ago, the finish shops of the times did the best they could with the wood finishes that they had access to, but you still had to be extremely careful so that you didn’t damage the surface as I just described.
That day has come and gone, and now most quality hardwood furniture is finished with a very specialized product know as a catalyzed conversion varnish. A conversion varnish produces a finish of maximum durability, wear, and moisture resistance.
These products have good color retention properties because often a UV inhibitor is included to stabilize colors. Wherever the ultimate in finish protection is desired, such as kitchen and bath cabinets, dining room furniture, office furniture, and display fixtures, be sure that a catalyzed conversion varnish is being used.
When we talk about furniture at Kloter Farms, we love to talk about the conversion varnish because of its wonderful durability and four very specific characteristics that make it unique.
1. Moisture Resistance– due to the high volume of solids in the particular chemical make up of the product, conversion varnishes have a high resistance to moisture.
What does that mean to you? No more permanent water rings left after you pick up a glass that has sweated on your furniture.
2. Heat Resistance– Believe it or not, most conversion varnishes have a heat resistance up to 145 degrees F. This is a beautiful thing because no longer do we have to have saucers under our tea cups or coffee mugs for fear of damaging the finish on our tables.
3. Clean up- Just soap and water. No harsh chemicals or special cleaners needed for this finish!
4. Polish- Just Beeswax. Many of the other polishes on the market today have silicone in them and will create a nasty build up on your table top over time, so please stay away from them.
And seriously, take a look at how good of a job it does!
Without a doubt, the benefits of the catalyzed conversion varnish by far outweigh the minimal additional cost associated with it.