Skip dressing is a timber machining process that relates to the surfacing/planing of timber.
When a timber board comes from a saw mill, it is rough, A fully dressed board has been machined until it is perfectly smooth, where-as a skip-dressed board is machined with only a light pass, so that the material isn’t entirely cleaned up and the resulting surface is only partially smooth. Artefacts of the original un-dressed timber are still present, as are subtle marks from the machinery equipment.
The result of skip dressing is a textured surface that is associated with a rustic look. It brings out the grain of the timber and is also sometimes described as ‘rough sawn’. When used in furniture, skip dressed timber is still lightly sanded and stained/lacquered to ensure it does not catch, but it is a much more rugged look than a standard dressed table or leaner. It can be exaggerated even further with the use of tar, to darken, antique and accentuate the grooves and imperfections.
Skip dressing does not impact the integrity of the finished product in any way and is purely cosmetic. It is not advisable for sitting surfaces such as stools or benches.
Pros – Skip dressing is an easy technique to achieve an antiqued or rustic look on furniture.
Cons – While it has been smoothed to some degree, it can still catch, and is also harder to clean than a smooth surface.