what is the difference between finished wood and dressed wood. I want to put up a batten for a curtain rail. I don't even know if this will be printed as I've been faffing around for ages trying to get registered
To the best of my knowledge dressed lumber refers to the process of cutting a small amount of material off of each side. This is why a 2"x4" is actually 1 1/2"x 3 1/2". They take off a small amount (1/4" ). Finished wood refers to wood that has had a finish applied like paint or stain etc. There is also laminate which has a very thin layer of wood glued to it's surface like oak, birch, etc, this can be stained or painted as well. While I'm not sure what a curtain rail is I hope I have helped some.
When lumber is cut from the log it is called rough cut, the surfaces are rough due to the marks left by the saw. After the wood is dried that lumber is run through a planer or sanded smooth it is then called dressed lumber,. The dressing not only puts a smooth finish on the wood it also reduces the thickness and width. Finished wood is wood that has been sanded with ever decreasing grit until it is smooth enough to apply the finishes either varnish, oil, paint, lacquer, etc. It is also sometimes used to describe wood that has already had the finish applied. Hope that helps.