What Kind of Finish Does Amish Furniture Have?


Coffee Cup on an Amish Table

All our wood products are finished with Woodwright Brand Catalyzed Varnish. A catalyzed varnish (also called a conversion varnish) is a type of varnish often used in high end furniture. It’s heat and moisture resistant, so you don’t need to worry about water rings, spills or a putting a hot cup of coffee on it. It has twice the dry film thickness over a traditional lacquer. Catalyzed varnish is more durable and slightly more elastic than a lacquer. This elasticity is an advantage for solid hardwoods, as they tend to move and expand slightly with humidity changes.

Whereas a lacquer will often need several coats to achieve a proper finish, a catalyzed varnish is mixed with a hardener component to an exact ratio, then sprayed on. This is a delicate process, which is why we’ve worked hard to only choose the best Amish finishers to finish our furniture. The results speak for themselves – our catalyzed varnish provides a long lasting, durable finish that protects our furniture and draws out the natural wood beauty.

Below are the performance specs provided by the varnish manufacturer:

Woodwright Brand Catalyzed Varnish Performance Specifications

Application Procedure for Testing

  • Surface – Applied to new samples of clean, dry red oak, q.s oak, maple or cherry.
  • Coating Weight – Two coat systems, sprayed at 4-5 wet mils per coat and finished to a dry coat weight of 3.5 – 4.0 mils.
  • Aging – Coated samples were aged at room temperature for 24 hours prior to chemical and cold check testing

Testing Methods

  • Cold Check Resistance per Severe Cold Check Standards: Passes 20 cycles with no film failure.
    • Each cycle consists of: 1 hour at -20°F, next 1 hour at 140° and finally 1 hour at room temperature.
  • Moisture Resistance: Exposed to 1,000 gram weight for 15 minutes with and without moisture present.
  • Print Test: Exposed to cloth with weight transferring 2psi to the surface. Applied for 24 hours at 77° and 104°F.

Testing Methods

Vinegar24 HoursNone
Oil Base Paint24 HoursNone
Mustard24 HoursNone
Turpentine24 HoursNone
Lemon Juice24 HoursNone
VM & P Naptha24 HoursNone
Mayonnaise24 HoursNone
Milk/Cream24 HoursNone
Margarine24 HoursNone
Ketchup24 HoursNone
Orange Juice24 HoursNone
Red Ink24 HoursNone
Coffee24 HoursNone
Tea24 HoursNone
Olive Oil24 HoursNone
Cooking Fat24 HoursNone
Grape Juice24 HoursNone
Polish Remover2 MinutesNone
100 Proof Alcohol24 HoursNone
200 Proof Alcohol24 Hours*Slight
Water24 HoursNone
Acetone2 MinutesNone/*Slight
MEK200 RubsNone
Print Test77°FNone
Print Test104°FNone
Heat Resistance185°F DryNone
Heat Resistance185°F WetNone

*Possible Gloss Change

Note: The above tests are based on laboratory evaluations conducted on currently available products and are believed to be reliable. However, due to variances in customer application and use, the manufacturer cannont make any warranties on product functionality.