The 10 Benefits Of Choosing Non-Toxic Wood Finishes

A person painting a non-toxic wood finish onto some timbers in a garden. The words "The 10 Benefits Of Choosing Non-Toxic Wood Finishes" are overlain as a title and there is a small circle saying "go green" in the bottom right.

Wood finishes come in several options, and while some are more durable than others, they may also come with toxic solvents.

Choosing non-toxic wood finishes is important for the environment and your health. It also brings several additional benefits that make it more appealing than more harmful wood finishing products.

The good news is that more non-toxic options are now available than ever.

The benefit of choosing a non-toxic wood finish is that it’s less harmful to the environment. Safer wood finishes are free of hazardous chemicals, which are harmful to both people and the environment. They are also very simple to apply and dry more rapidly than conventional wood finishes.

This article will discuss the benefits of using more eco-friendly wood finishes.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about the pros of using these more eco-friendly products.

1. Safer For the Environment

A picture of a piece of wood being painted with non-toxic wood finish. There is a green tick in the bottom corner signifying that the wood finish is eco-friendly.
Using eco-friendly wood finishes is important to protect the environment and the health of your family.

Most wood finishes contain chemicals that might release toxic gasses into the air and compromise the indoor air quality of your home. These substances may also find their way into soil and groundwater, harming the environment over time.

Eco-friendly finishes, on the other hand, are created using organic materials that are harmless to the environment.

They contain minerals or natural oils derived from plants, such as linseed oil, hemp oil, walnut oil, and carnauba wax, which don’t pollute the environment.

Less polluting waste is another benefit to the environment that is frequently overlooked. For example, when disposed of, furniture stained with natural oil is less polluting than furniture stained with toxic finishes.

Even if you burned your old furniture treated with eco-friendly finishes, the resulting smoke wouldn’t contain any toxins from the finish that would otherwise cause air pollution.

That makes getting rid of old, unwanted furniture easier if they aren’t treated with toxic finishes.

2. Applying These Finishes Is Simple

A man wearing an orange cap painting a piece of furniture with a clear wood finish.
Applying wood finishes is very straightforward and can be an easy DIY project.

Eco-friendly wood finishes are simple to apply and provide a lovely, natural finish to your projects, making them a popular choice for furniture and architecture.

An eco-friendly wood stain brings out the grain of the wood without the harsh chemicals used by most finishing products. Wood alcohol or tung oil wood finish can protect the wood and give it a beautiful natural appearance.

There are, however, a few basic steps you should take to guarantee that your wood finishing is both safe and effective, such as:

  1. Select the appropriate type of natural wood finish. There are numerous non-toxic products on the market, so selecting one that is appropriate for your needs is critical. Read the product labels to pick one that suits you best.

  2. Follow the instructions on the label and apply the finish to the wood. Ensure the room is well-ventilated before applying the finish. Even though they are less harmful, they can give off fumes when applied and affect air quality in the room.

  3. After applying the finish, allow it to dry for the time recommended on the label.

3. Makes Wood Last Longer

An ancient wooden door in a historic building that has lasted the test of time. It is a double-door and the top edge is curved in a semi-circle shape. It is stained dark brown and clearly very old as shown by the surrounding weathered stone that the building walls are made of.
With the right care and maintenance, your wood could last centuries.

Bare wood is exposed and unprotected, leaving it vulnerable to moisture and pests. Non-toxic products are made from natural components and extend the life of the wood in your furniture.

They also protect wood from dirt, dust, and other material that might damage it, and act as a moisture barrier, preventing the wood from warping or rotting.

Furthermore, they can prevent staining and fading, and make the wood easier to clean.

Danish oil is a good product to use on wooden worktops, and other natural oils can protect wood in even the most demanding environments. For example, every Englishman knows the benefit of treating a cricket bat with raw linseed oil.

Linseed oil is a good natural oil finish that can treat wood floors. Walnut oil and tung oil both do a good job of protecting a floor whilst bringing out the natural beauty of the wood floor.

What To Look For In a High-Quality Wood Finish

When it comes to woodworking, the finish is just as important as the piece itself, as a good finish can highlight the beauty of the wood and make it last for years.

But with so many different products on the market, it can be tricky to know which is right for your wood finishing project.

When selecting a wood finish for your project, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • A finish that soaks well into the wood: For the best results, choose a wood finish that works deep into the wood. Paints and finishes that leave a film on the wood’s surface should be avoided, as they offer no protection. They might also flake and peel off after a while.

  • A wood finish resistant to mold and mildew: If your wooden pier is constantly submerged in water, protect it with a finish that inhibits the growth of mold and mildew. Even though mold and mildew growth is inevitable, a high-quality stain can prevent it from spreading too far.

4. Resilient To Moisture

A wooden floor with puddles of water on it. The wood is stained dark brown.
With proper wood finishes you can protect your timbers from water damage.

Pool decks and outdoor furniture are examples of projects that benefit from non-toxic wood coatings. These finishes are ideal for use in wet environments since they are water resistant and protect the wood from moisture and decay, even in the presence of saltwater.

The composition of these finishes also prevents the wood from drying out and cracking.

You still don’t want to leave your wood furniture outside if you can help it, though, as no matter how much of a durable finish you apply to outdoor wood, it will still crack and rot when exposed to the elements.

5. Cheaper Than Conventional Finishes

A dark wood surface with the word "cheap" set out in cut-out letters.
Eco-friendly wood finishes are often cheaper than the alternatives that contain harsh chemicals.

Eco-friendly products are often cheaper than conventional finishes because they contain fewer chemicals and toxins. The price of oil-based products is higher these days because of the cost of the mineral oil that is used as a raw material.

Making eco-friendly products is also often simpler, resulting in fewer steps and less waste.

Another reason non-toxic wood finishes are less expensive than conventional finishes is that they are not subject to the same regulatory rules that governments have imposed.

This allows manufacturers to utilize less expensive and safer ingredients in their products.

Here are some of the most reliable and cost-effective non-toxic wood finishes found on

  • Nano+Poly Premium Wood Sealer: The Nano+Poly Premium Wood Sealer is renowned for its ability to protect high-traffic areas in your house while resisting wood rot and decay and protecting against mold and mildew. It also protects wood from cupping and warping by stabilizing it.

  • Exotic Premium Wood Sealer: This sealant is especially useful for ipe, teak, and mahogany, which are three thick timbers native to Brazil. Its special formulation prevents the natural color of your tropically exotic wood from fading.

  • Marine Premium Wood Sealer: This high-quality wood sealant is ideal for protecting boat decks, outdoor patio furniture, and other wood surfaces near lakes, beaches, and other water locations.

  • Nano Penetrating Wood Sealer and Stain: Nano Penetrating Wood Sealer and Stain is a new product designed to penetrate deep into the wood grain to provide long-lasting protection. This product is different from traditional sealers and stains because it uses nanotechnology to create a barrier that is much more effective at repelling water and other liquids.

6. Ideal For Outdoor Applications

A woman painting a non-toxic wood finish onto a piece of wood outside with trees in the background. She is wearing an orange top with blue jeans. The left knee of her jeans is worn through.
Eco-friendly wood finishes are ideal for use outside because they are not toxic to plants and animals.

When selecting a wood finish for your outdoor or garden furniture, it must be safe for the plants and soil.

When toxic wood finishes are applied to beams surrounding garden beds, they leak toxins into the soil. And since non-toxic wood finishes do not off-gas, they are suitable for use around plants.

Non-toxic wood finishes are becoming increasingly popular as many seek eco-friendlier options for the wood they use in garden beds, patios, and other outdoor furniture.

7. They Are Good for Your Health

An image of a doctor on the left holding up a heart symbol with "#stay safe" written on it. On the right of the image is a sheet of wood being painted with wood finish.
Staying safe is important when doing DIY projects. Using non-toxic wood finishes means you have to worry much less about your materials causing health issues.

Non-toxic wood finishes, as the name implies, are safer for humans and pets because they don’t emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere.

Non-toxic wood finishes, as opposed to conventional wood finishes, are manufactured with safe, natural materials and have low VOCs lowering the risk of respiratory difficulties and other health issues.

8. Ideal For Kids and Pets

A picture of a young girl holding up a puppy to her face. There is a wooden fence in the background.
If you paint your fence with non-toxic wood finish, you’ll have fewer worries about your kids and pets playing together in the garden.

You should use a water-based sealer around your house that’s safe for kids and pets. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to say how much harm they might be doing by sniffing and licking around dangerous materials, so families should opt for an eco-friendly alternative.

9. Beneficial For Exotic Woods

A sheet of exotic wood with a beautiful grain.
Using eco-friendly products on exotic woods can help to bring out the natural grain without the use of harsh chemicals.

Exotic woods are often used in high-end furniture and cabinetry and are prized for their unique colors and grain patterns.

They can add a touch of luxury to any home, but they can be difficult to work with, hard to find, and expensive.

In addition, many exotic kinds of wood are not as durable as other woods, and they can be difficult to finish.

For these reasons, it’s important to protect exotic timbers from the rigors of home life.

Non-toxic wood finishes protect the wood from moisture and UV light and can help extend the life of the wood.

Additionally, a non-toxic wood finish will not change the appearance of the wood in your furniture, which is important for many people who choose to use these visually appealing woods.

10. Not Degraded by UV Rays

a picture of a brightly shining sun with wooden planks beneath.
If the sun is very harsh in your location, proper protection of your wood with non-toxic wood finishes can help to preserve it for a long time.

Non-toxic wood finishes don’t contain volatile organic compounds, so they aren’t degraded by sunlight. This means that many non-toxic products last longer and are more durable than synthetic ones.

One of the main reasons that non-toxic wood finishes do not degrade in sunlight is that they don’t contain volatile organic compounds that are released into the atmosphere when they go onto the wood.

VOC-based finishes are then broken down by sunlight, which can cause degradation of the finish.


Protecting the wood in your home and garden from moisture and pests that cause it to rot or otherwise degrade is important. If you don’t, you’ll have to replace it in short order.

Most wood finishes will protect your wood from harm, but some contain chemicals that can harm the environment and cause health problems.

More eco-friendly products on the market do the same job without the same risks of pollution and harm to human health.

They can also be cheaper and provide other benefits over more harmful alternatives that contain toxic solvents and other harmful chemicals.

If you’re interested in other ways to minimize the impact of your building projects on the environment, you might be interested in our article “23 Sustainable Building Materials You Can Use Today.”

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