Possibilities of use of propolis for finishing of beech, maple and spruce wood were investigated. In the first part of the paper, an overview of propolis composition, properties and applications is given. 33.6 % mixture of propolis with 96 % ethanol was prepared and the ethanol solution of soluble propolis components (29.0 %) was applied to wooden substrates. Thin propolis films were formed on wooden substrates after drying at room temperature or in the laboratory oven at 40 ºC. FT-IR spectra indicated that the film formation process was a physical and not a chemical one, only with the ethanol evaporation. The following properties of the propolis films were investigated: surface resistance to cold liquids, resistance to dry and wet heat, gloss, flexibility and contact angles of water. In general, resistance properties of the propolis films were quite inferior. Nevertheless, we think that propolis could be used as an additional component in natural wood finishes based on natural resins, waxes and oils. We also exposed wood blocks impregnated with propolis to three wood decay fungi Antrodia vaillantii, Gloeophyllum trabeum and Trametes versicolor according to the mini block procedure.
Keywords: wood, surface finishing, propolis, FT-IR, mini block test