Varnish, Paint, Stain, Sealer or ProNature’s Wood Treatments?

Indoor Outdoor Varnish
Have you ever googled “Best wood finish”? There are a confusing number of options available.

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Varnish, Paint, Stain, Seal, Oil. 

And often enough the meaning of these words gets mixed up. 

So, let’s shed some light on the situation:

Wood Paint

There are many water-based and oil-based products, i.e., enamel paints.

Paint creates a layer on top of the wood surface and will give you an opaque finish. Depending on the product, it may allow the texture of the wood to be visible, but not the wood grain itself.

Painted wood is susceptible to cracking and peeling which can allow water and malicious organisms to get into the wood and can cause rotting.

Maintenance/re-coating – you would need to strip all existing paint off prior to re-painting, (the wood will need to stripped or sanded).

Wood Stain

Wood stain enhances or changes the colour of timber. It can provide only some degree of protection compared to totally unfinished wood. However, it remains porous and therefore a stained surface should receive further protection. Using a stain automatically requires a minimum of at least two different product applications.  

Wood Varnish / Lacquer

Varnish is a clear transparent hard protective coating or film, made from synthetic alkyd resins, driers & drying oils, and volatile solvents, which are all petro-chemical based. Varnish finishes are generally glossy, some satin, semi-gloss and flat sheens are also on the market.

Like paint, varnish is susceptible to cracking and peeling, which allows water to get trapped. Sanding is required prior to re-coating. 

Conventional Wood Sealer

Generally, water-based & oil-based sealers are made from Alkyds or Urethane alkyds, one could say: from the family of plastics. Water-based Urethanes are thinner liquids than oil-based Urethanes, both systems require several coats. Sanding off is required prior to re-coating.

Wood Oil

Wood oils penetrate the timber, replacing and replenishing the wood’s natural oils to add some protection (offering more durability than a wax polish). Some widely used wood oils are Danish, Walnut, Mineral, Tung oil. But the most popular by far is linseed oil, also known as flaxseed oil, which has been cultivated commercially for over 20,000 years: one of our most sustainable raw materials. However, pure oils will not give the protection and drying performance achieved from paints, varnish or Wood Sealers.

So what are ProNature’s Wood Treatments all about?

ProNature Indoor & ProNature Outdoor are natural, linseed-oil based Wood Sealers, clear or pigmented.

Basically, The Green Chemist has industriously refined the blend of types of sustainable, petro-chemical free, raw materials, to provide eco-friendly wood finishes. These are a well-formulated combination of plant oils, which ensure easy application and short drying times. ProNature’ interior and exterior wood sealers provide better durability than wood oils and are offered in a vast array of colours. 

Nourish, Stain & Seal – all in one application!

Above and beyond creating a beautiful finish for any type of timber, these sealers are the most eco-friendly wood finishing products found on the African market. 

ProNature Indoor & Hard Wax Oil is suitable for interior floors, any wooden structures and furniture. Due to its natural, plant-based raw materials, it is totally non-toxic and food safe. It gets widely used on kitchen counters, chopping boards & any other wooden kitchen utensils as well as baby cribs and toys.

ProNature Outdoor is specially formulated to protect all exterior furniture and structures like decks, pergolas, cladding, jungle gyms, play parks and wendy houses, garden sheds and planter boxes and raised veggie beds.

What about maintenance?

A VERY important word, which gets often ignored or forgotten about when choosing a wood finish. Any wood structure or item can last you for many decades, but one must look after it!

Any paint, varnish or polyurethane product cannot indefinitely protect from scratches and stains and after a couple of years will eventually crack and peel. This previous coating must be sanded off before you can bring the surface back to its former beauty. Scratches and stains cannot be repaired without removing the existing coating and re-applying the varnish, lacquer, sealer, or paint. Besides the effort of sanding, one also has one massive downside when we are looking at engineered wooden flooring. The actual wood component is only a few millimeters thick and often after the second sanding there’s no wood left, and the floor needs to be replaced.

ProNature’s Wood Sealers do require regular maintenance, like wood oils. The frequency depends on exposure to the elements (sun, rain, traffic etc). However, it’s seriously easy! Make sure the surface is clean, then re-oil. There’s no sanding required… A scratch or a stain? You can spot-repair!

In a nutshell:

ProNature Indoor/Outdoor:

  • Gets absorbed into the wood pores, penetrates deep into the grain
  • Nourishes, optionally stains, and seals in one application
  • Non-toxic, plant-based, biodegradable, and sustainable
  • Biodegradable
  • Easy, regular, maintenance. No sanding and able to spot repair


  • Forming a seal on the surface of the wood 
  • Wood stains require an additional protective coating
  • Contains petrochemicals, solvents, and VOC’s
  • Hazardous waste
  • Less maintenance but stripping & sanding prior to re-application

The choice is yours! ProNature offers 100ml liquid samples, not only to fall in love with their products but also for you to find your favourite colour for your project!

For the Love of your Wood!

From The Desk Of The Green Chemist

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