What is the difference between open grain and closed grain?

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Definition Wood texture Open grain wood finish (open pore) This is a finish that lets the physical texture of the wood remain visible and can actually be felt when a finger nail is lightly drawn across it. This finish can look more natural on some woods and hides some minor scratches and scuffs. It is easier to care for than a closed grain finish. Closed grain finish (closed pore) This is finish that is applied in many coats that builds an even film that is much smoother to the eye and the touch. When a fingernail is drawn across it there is little or no resistance. Closed grain finish (closed pore) looks more elegant but can be scratched or scuffed more easily. This finish requires more careful handling. Some woods have a deep texture, such as oak or mahogany, that require more time and material to close the grain. Maple is an example of a wood that is smooth by nature and requires less effort to achieve a closed grain finish. Both open and closed grain wood can have different ... more
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