TIDE Finishes – The In’s and Out’s

August 2020

Following on from our guide to timber choice, we now look at the available finishes.

First up, a bit of background to TIDE finishes…

In the early days of TIDE we predominantly finished our furniture with a nitrocellulose lacquer spray finish. This has been the predominant furniture finish since the 1960’s, as it is a hardwearing coating that is quick drying – and this lowers production times.

However, over time and as the TIDE aesthetic evolved we felt that this type of finish did not align with our core principles of longevity, sustainability and a natural and warm aesthetic.

It so happens that natural oil finishes have progressed significantly over the last 10 years, and the development of hardwax oils (utilising a combination of natural oils and waxes) means that we can provide furniture with a durable, natural and environmentally friendly finish that requires minimal maintenance.

The standard TIDE finishes are comprised as follows:


As the name suggests this is a clear coating and on application it deepens the colour of the timber and brings out the grain of the timber. We utilise the clear oil finish on all our timber species.

Timber options: American Oak, Tasmanian Oak, Tasmanian Blackwood, American Rock Maple, American Walnut.


This colour was developed here at TIDE as we were trying to achieve the most natural or raw look for a finished piece of furniture. The finish has a subtle white pigment that lowers the yellow tones in the timber – and results in our most natural looking finish (for pale timbers). It is very similar to a ‘soap’ finish in terms of tone.

Timber options: American Oak, Tasmanian Oak, American Rock Maple


White oil is a white pigmented oil that produces our most pale stained finish. The white colour reduces the yellow tones in the timber, and then leaves some white pigment in the grain – this is most noticeable in American Oak.

Timber options: American Oak, Tasmanian Oak, American Rock Maple


We developed our Mule colour as we were looking for a mid brown toned finish – but with a contemporary muted aesthetic. With subtle grey tinge, our Mule finish sits comfortably in most modern interiors.

Timber Options: American Oak. Tasmanian Oak


Our Faun colour is a mid to dark brown with reddish under tone. Faun is a semi transparent stain, and about as dark as we can go with an oil finish. The timber grain is enhanced with pigment settling in the grain.

Timber Options: American Oak. Tasmanian Oak


Ebony is an almost totally black finish – it is a combination of a woodwax finish applied by hand and then finished wit h 2 x coats of Osmo Hardwax Oil.

Timber Options: American Oak


One of the factors that drove our change to natural oil finishes was the development of a new type of finish called a hardwax oil.

Hardwax Oil is a high build oil derived from natural vegetable oils and waxes, and unlike a conventional oil it is applied and cures, rather than being wiped off lie a conventional oil.

This high ‘build’ means a hardwax oil finish is far more durable than a conventional oil, and table tops can withstand the daily wiping and wear and tear without requiring regular maintenance and/or re-coating

Another advantage of our oil and hardwax oil finish is that it can be re-coated, or spot repairs done, without the need to sand back the original coating. For more details about care and maintenance, please refer to our Care and Maintenance post.

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