Enhancing the Natural Beauty of Reclaimed Aged Wood with Clear Topcoat Sealer

(Photo Credit: Studio 184)

Clear Topcoat Sealer by Artisan Enhancements is a non-toxic, exterior grade, soya based sealer.  Clear Topcoat Sealer also has the ability to stand up to high heat, as well as the water resistant qualities. Due to the product’s versatility, it is a popular choice for sealing various DIY and professional paint finishes.  Clear Topcoat Sealer has become the “go-to” sealer for outdoor furnishings, cabinetry projects, floor surfaces, and even fireplace surrounds.

Although Clear Topcoat Sealer is celebrated as an easy to use sealer over painted surfaces, many people don’t know Clear Topcoat Sealer can also be used as sealer on unpainted surfaces.  Clear Topcoat Sealer is a brilliant option for protecting raw, unfinished woods.  Clear Topcoat Sealer protects while enhancing the unique grains found in untreated woods.  Clear Topcoat Sealer can also be used as a durable coating over natural patina in aged, weathered, and repurposed woods.

We recently spoke with two Artisans that rely heavily on Clear Topcoat Sealer for their unique handcrafted wood offerings.  The first Artisan uses fabulous old barn wood to create their beautiful furniture pieces.  Our second featured Artisan collects 200 year old bayou driftwood to use in their furniture creations, custom cabinetry and more.  Although their endeavors, processes, and styles are quite different, both businesses have similar motivations for choosing Clear Topcoat Sealer by Artisan Enhancements as the final step and sealer applied to their creations.

(Photo Credit: Studio 184)

Studio 184 is Madison Wisconsin’s premier retailer and DIY learning center for Artisan Enhancements products.  The Studio offers the full line of products and teaches workshops ranging from beginner to advanced techniques.  Studio 184 has a passion for sharing the beautiful finishes achieved with Artisan Enhancements decorative mediums and art finishing products.

(Photo Credit: Studio 184)

The latest venture of Studio 184 is their handmade, one-of-a-kind barn wood furniture.  Working with a local barn wood craftsman, Studio 184 collaborates on custom designs for private clients as well as with Madison based interior designers.

Studio 184 says that a key factor to the appeal of their custom barn wood furniture is the exclusive use of the interior/exterior grade Clear Topcoat Sealer by Artisan Enhancements.

Studio 184 owner Cindy Gaszo says “It enhances the rich, natural tones of each board rather than masking it with color and shine like other products”.  Studio 184’s designs appeal to various decorating styles, from rustic farmhouse to urban chic.  During our interview, we were given a little inside scoop that is sure to pique the interest of Studio 184’s more modern-loving clientele. Brand new furniture designs combining barn wood and metal have recently been added to Studio 184’s custom furniture offerings.

(Photo credit: Roddy Poole)

Our second showcase features a Louisiana cabinet maker, who has been in the cabinetry business for 20 years.  While cabinet fabrication is his main line of work, Roddy Poole of Poole Cabinetry, and his three sons spend their free time hand crafting unique fireplace mantels, benches and other furniture pieces using 200 year old bayou driftwood.

(Photo credit: Roddy Poole)

Due to his cabinetry experience, the creating and building process of the custom pieces came naturally to Roddy and his team.  However, when it came to the process of sealing his finished pieces, at first Roddy found it challenging to find the ideal durable sealer.  In his cabinet building business, the finish work, whether it be painting or staining is a task assigned to the finish carpenters.  As a professional, Roddy was well aware of the VOCs and toxins found in the popular products used in the sealing stages of wood working.  He had also personally witnessed the ill effects of extensive exposure to the harmful chemicals.  When searching for the appropriate sealer to use on his driftwood creations, Roddy considered three factors when selecting a sealer.  The sealer had to work well with the unique type of wood he was using and not diminish from the natural characteristics of the driftwood.  The sealer also had to be safe for him and his sons to use regularly, but still be durable enough to provide long lasting protection.  While researching, Roddy’s wife stumbled across Artisan Enhancements in an online search for non-toxic sealers.  After studying the product information, she ordered a quart of Clear Topcoat Sealer to see if it provided the solution.  Roddy admits that he was skeptical when she presented him with it, but he agreed to give it a try.

(Photo credit: Roddy Poole)

As Roddy describes, he brushed a coat of Clear Topcoat Sealer onto a piece of driftwood, then walked away from the test piece.  When he returned a couple hours later to see the status of his test, Roddy was shocked at the outcome.  Clear Topcoat Sealer is a penetrating protective coating, the sealer brought previously faintly visible natural colors of the wood grains to the surface of his project.  Roddy describes the occurrence as a “marbling effect” that was found in the driftwood. When selecting specific woods, he and his sons are very particular, carefully inspecting each piece for the driftwood marbling.

After one use, Roddy was amazed at how Clear Topcoat Sealer brought the marbling to the surface of the wood without additional finishing steps or products. Clear Topcoat Sealer was developed to be used on a variety of surfaces.  The versatility of Clear Topcoat Sealer allowed Roddy to use the sealer on a variety of different wood surfaces without having to worry about reactions to specific wood species.  Clear Topcoat Sealer provided the durable protective coat he desired for his projects, with a subtle sheen that was not too shiny, and also not too flat.  Due to the non-toxic formula, Roddy could also rest easy knowing he and his sons were not damaging their health or the environment.

Both Studio 184 and Roddy Poole of Poole Cabinetry have expressed their enthusiasm in discovering how the non-toxic, bio based Clear Topcoat Sealer by Artisan Enhancements has allowed them to both seal and enhance the beauty of the aged wood they use to create their one-of-a-kind custom furniture and woodwork. We look forward to seeing more of their custom creations!

(Photo credit: Roddy Poole)

Through the “Green Movement” and “Reclaim. Recycle. Restore. Reuse.” trend, there has been a resurgence in the desire to use old wood which may have been previously discarded. All over the world there has been an increased demand for handcrafted goods built from recyled wood. Woods that may have ended up on the burn pile or landfills in the past. When combined with the increased awareness, education, and concern about the VOCs and toxins found in traditional wood sealers, this evolution is sure to have artisans, consumers, craftsmen and DIYers looking for products that are safe to use and environmentally friendly.

Artisan Enhancements is pleased to be a part of this movement towards repurposing, enhancing and celebrating the beauty in aged and unfinished wood!

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