Most people want something that will last, and I don’t think anyone wants to intentionally harm the environment. Unfortunately, these two details are closely related.
Here’s a familiar concept: consider plastic straws versus paper straws. What happens to paper? After a short time, it will dissolve and you need a new straw! What happens to plastic? They last forever! To the point of polluting the Ocean!
Ultra-durable materials are typically a type of plastic.
They are generally unnatural and harmful to the environment. Why are they harmful? Because they don’t naturally decay like natural things do! Polyurethane, Epoxy, many commercial finishes are basically plastic: they won’t decay and they will pollute the environment! Did you know some of those chemicals will cause a person to go blind almost instantly if it gets in their eye? …and that’s to say nothing of the unnatural processes used to make these materials. How many straws would it take to fill those epoxy-poured river tables? Or even coat the surface? Wood covered with epoxy is not a natural product.
What about the rapid decay of natural materials?
Wood will decay, but some decay much slower than others. What’s the difference? It’s related to the natural oils in the wood. What’s a good way to protect wood? With natural oils! If you are saying a natural oil finish won’t last as long as epoxy, you might be partially right. Here’s the catch: oil and wax finishes can be reapplied with ease. Is your table looking a little pale, dry, or scratched up? Just rub on some natural wood finish (included with furniture purchases), and the shine and color are restored! Keep this up, and your furniture will look great, even when that epoxy finish is all beat up! Now, go get a quote on resurfacing an epoxy finish and let that sink in. A natural finish can last forever, in a sense, when it’s so easy to restore.
Looking for a scratch-proof finish?
Then you’re in the wrong place. All furniture is going to get used and abused. “Ultra-long lasting” finishes will start to look ugly and beat up, but a piece with a natural oil finish develops character, color, and still looks good. This is the meaning of Rustic style: developing beauty with age. This is the style offered here.