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Clarity in the finishing.

The clarity is one of finishing character that is very important in the wood finishing. The clarity  is how clear the finishing film is. The finishing with low clarity will feature a finishing with a dull appearance, while the high clarity finish will show clear finishing that can display the beauty and richness of the wood color. The clarity of the finishing layer is one indicator of the quality of the finishing layer. A wood with nice grain pattern and good color finishing will be looked awful if the finish has low clarity. In the other hand the nice grain and rich color of the wood will be maximally displayed with a high clarity film layer.  
Clarity is sometimes associated with the gloss of the finishing. But actually they are two different things. Gloss is a measure to the shiny of the surface, while the clarity is how clear the finishing is. It is true when the higher finish will make the finish is more clear and bright. The high gloss will do little to increase the clarity, but it is not much. The high quality finish with high clarity has to be built with a correct finishing system

Here are the things that will affect the clarity of the finish layer.
  • The finishing process.
The finishing process surely will determine the clarity of the finishing layer. The stain that is applied to direct to the wood will be more pervasive in wood and coloring the wood, it will display the wood grain and pores maximally. The more stain on the wood, the more clear and alive the finishing appearance. In the other hand, the stain application on the sealer or top coat will tend to cover and close the beauty of wood grain. The more color is built on the top of finishing layer; the less clear of the finishing is resulted.  Therefore, to improve the clarity of the finishing, the coloring process should be done more on the wood not on the sealer or top coat. A finishing system must be built at which 80% coloring is obtained from the wood stain that is applied directly on the wood and the 20% coloring or less is built by the glaze application and pad stain application.
  •  The type clear coating is used.
The clarity of the clear coating depends on the mixed resin therein.  The NC clear coating is a finishing material that will produce the highest clarity. The NC finish will be able to produce a very clear and natural looked finish and show the beauty of patterns of the wood grain and color. The other type of clear coating will produce a layer of finish with different clarity. The finishing materials made from 2 components such as AC and PU can not produce a clear film layer as clear as NC. The chemical reactions during the drying process would affect the clarity of the coating film formed. The water based clear coating will also generated a little haze in its coating film. The acrylic and butyrate clear coating will also produce a little white haze on its finishing film, since that it more proper to the white finish. Each type of finishing materials each have advantages and disadvantages, then we need to choose the best suit materials according to the finish expectation.
  • The existence of oil solvent in the finishing layer.
The oil solvent is rather take longer time to dry then the other thinner such as lacquer thinner or alcohol. The oil solvent may be trapped in the clear coating and resulted on a muddy looked finishing appearance. When we do finishing process that uses oil stain such as: glaze, fillers or oil stain, then we need to make sure that each process is carried out correctly. Make sure that every application material is always followed by sufficient drying process.
  • The wet wood.
Wood will always adjust its moisture content according to the surrounding humidity. The wood with high moisture content will always try to release its water vapor. In the thick finishing layer, the water vapor coming out of the wood can be trapped in the coating film. The water vapor in the finishing layer will reduce the clarity of the finish layer. In some cases the water vapor could presence of thin haze in the finish layer. Then when we do finishing process on wood or wood product make sure that the wood is already dry. The wet wood will always result on many problems.

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