Materials & Finishes
Benchmark furniture is made primarily from oak, ash, and walnut. It only comes from certified sustainable sources and is bought from suppliers as close to home as possible.
Wood is a natural material and as such we expect a degree of variation and movement. In any given piece of furniture we will try as far as possible to match the grain to ensure a balanced colour throughout.
We are always happy to provide samples of timbers or finishes.
Oak: We use English and European oak. It is a very sturdy and durable mid colour wood with an open grain. It has been a favourite of furniture makers, joiners and shipwrights throughout history. This popularity comes from its strength, durability and common availability.
Walnut: Black walnut is a rich dark wood with a close grain prized by cabinetmakers for its character and colour.
Ash: Ash is a pale hardwood with open grain and pronounced growth rings. Its colour ranges from cream to biscuit and it is a good all-round furniture wood.
We also use a variety of metals.
Zinc: Sheet zinc is wrapped around a wooden core and patinated. It is susceptible to staining which, over time, further enhances its rich patina.
Pewter: Used in a similar way to zinc but can be highly polished. Whilst pewter does not stain, it is soft and therefore prone to scratching which adds to the character of the piece.
Copper: Sheet copper is wrapped around a wooden core and patinated to give a rich, dark bronze effect.
Specific finishes are carefully chosen depending upon the intended look and usage of the piece. Care instructions will be sent out with every purchase.
Raw: The natural wood in its raw state can be scrubbed to clean it. Over the years it will acquire a patina of use and will turn the pale grey of driftwood. A very practical finish for solid hardwood tables.
Oiled: Oiling the wood gives a level of protection from spills and stains. It will age gracefully and requires very occasional re-oiling.
Lacquer: A durable matt lacquer makes for easy wipe clean maintenance. It is particularly appropriate for veneered pieces, or where we try to enhance the colour and character of the grain.
Mocha: A stain used on wood to give it a dark, rich appearance.
Fumed Oak: Raw oak is exposed to ammonia fumes which speed up the natural darkening process of the wood.