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Gloss and sheen in the wood furniture finish

Gloss or sheen is an important look in the furniture finish. Gloss or sheen of the finishing is the measurement of light reflected by the finishing surface. A surface is said to have the high gloss when it reflects most of the light it receives. While a surface has the low gloss surface when it absorbs most of the light is received and reflects only small portion. Gloss is very high influential at the finishing performance. A finishing with the same color will have a different impression if it has a different gloss.

The measurement of gloss
The gloss of a surface is measured by using a tool called sheen meter or gloss meter. Gloss is usually expressed with value ranging from 0 sheen to 90 sheen. Sheen 90 is the highest gloss when the surface is reflecting the almost all the light that is received. Sheen 0 means is the lowest gloss when the surface absorbs all the light that is received. .
There are also a many peoples that called gloss in different way. The gloss is mentioned in high gloss, semi-gloss, semi-doff and doff. High gloss is the highest gloss and doff refers to a low gloss. The semi doff some time is called as satin finish, while doff is called as eggshell.

How is gloss created 
The gloss actually happens is the result of plainness a surface, a flat surface reflects the light will be more in the regular direction and it create a high gloss surface. The opposite of the uneven surface, the light are reflected in irregular, so that they are spread and produce a low gloss surface. In wood finishing, gloss of finishing is formed by the finishing film layer. The thicker a layer of clear coating on the wood, the wood surface will be more flat and even, the resulting gloss will be higher. For traditional finishing materials such as shellac and varnish, the more applications these materials, then the resulting gloss becomes higher. But for modern finishing materials such as clear coating, the gloss can be adjusted by setting the top coat used. The clear coating applications will directly increase the gloss, to control the gloss in top coat is often added to a substance to adjust and reduce the gloss of the formed film layer.
Materials used are low down gloss is called flattening paste or matting agents. The most commonly used as flattening paste is a kind of dust that are usually made from silica or quart that is pulverized to small sizes. This material reduces the gloss by partially absorbing and scattering the light. Scattering light means absorb the light and it will make the gloss is low. The more the flattening paste is in the top coat, the low gloss of the surface will be.
Gloss finish on the wood finishing can also be formed by polishing and rubbing. Rubbing is a process done to the finishing layer. The rubbing process include the sanding, and polishing to the surface. The rubbing process would make the surface more even, so the rubbing process will produce high gloss, especially if followed by polishing. The rubbing process also can use to lower the sheen but it will leave the sand mark. A lightly rub with steel on the surface will create sand mark and it will make the sheen on the finish is low. But when the sand mark is more regular and the finish is going to be flat, the gloss is become higher. The lowest gloss produced by the rubbing process is usually at level 60 sheen, by leaving the lines of sand mark or steel wool mark. 

The diffused light in the uneven surface make low gloss

 The regular reflecting in the even surface make high gloss

The flattening powder lower the gloss by scattering the light

Gloss on wood furniture finish
The selection gloss on furniture finish should fit well with the model form and model of the furniture products and the finishing style. Antic and classic furniture usually suitable with semi gloss or semi doff finish. A very low gloss is usually used for special finish with many antique finishing effects such as crackle, rub off, smudge effect, spotting, etc.
High gloss is usually used for products with simple form, mostly use for modern and minimalist furniture model. The furniture products with lot of flat panel form can use a high gloss for a luxurious impression.
In the wood finish the measurement of gloss often give vary result from one point the other. This is a very natural thing, because wood surfaces have the variable porosity, hardness, and grain pattern which makes the absorption varies from one part to another. For a thick film finish, we can expect gloss surface is more uniform, but for a thin film layer the absorption factor of wood will make the gloss measured is varied. Usually the gloss measurement with gloss meter is in range.

Furniture with high gloss finish

Furniture with low gloss finish

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