Not only should we be concerned about what materials we chose for a project, but also what processes we use to complete one. In woodworking, finishes are a very important component in a design, but many contain ingredients that cause very serious health concerns. Here are some alternatives to those nasty finishes that contain synthetics, VOCs, and toxic air pollutants:
1. Linseed Oil, derived from the seeds of a flax plant
Can be wiped, brushed, or sprayed. Sand between coats. Apply 2-3 coats, allowing to dry overnight between each.
2. Tung Oil, derived from the nuts of a tung tree
Wipe or brush on. Sand between coats. Apply 5-7 coats, allowing to dry 2-3 days between each.
3. Shellac, derived from the secretion of the lac bug
Wipe or brush on. Apply 1 or more coats, dries in 30 minutes.
4. Waxes, i.e. Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, etc.