What are Wood Oils and Where are They Best Used?

There’s a lot of confusion about how, when and where to use wood oils. It’s no surprise really, when there are so many to choose from: teak oil, tung oil finish, Danish oil, oak furniture oil and many more, some of which are specifically designed for certain types of wood. Oil for oak furniture, for example.

We thought it’d be helpful to take a look at wood oils and how to use them, and answer some of the most common questions on the subject.

First, what is wood oil?

Oil is one of the most popular ways to finish wood. The protection delivered by oils isn’t quite as robust and effective as contemporary wood finishing products like varnishes. But on the plus side, oils tend to bring out the character of the wood better, they’re made of natural products, plus they’re very easy to apply and maintain.

Osmo Polyx Oil

Osmo Polyx Oil

Types of wood oil – And how to use them

Danish oil and teak oil dry faster than linseed oil, which is traditionally used on willow cricket bats. The finish they provide is also much more resilient.

If your wood already has linseed oil on it, it’s best to carry on using it. But if it’s a new project, something that hasn’t been oiled before, steer clear of linseed oil. While teak oil delivers a slight sheen, Danish oil leaves a more lustrous finish. As you can imagine, Ronseal teak oil is a firm favourite with our customers.

  • Apply Danish and teak oil with a soft brush or cloth, being careful not to use too much at a time or it won’t sink in. Sand the wood in between coats with a fine sandpaper. You will probably find 3 or 4 coats of oil is your optimum, delivering the best results

Standard linseed oil takes ages to dry, at least two or three days per coat, and you need multiple coats when applying it to new wood, normally three to five coats but in some cases, as many as fifteen to twenty coats can be applied. Boiled linseed oil, on the other hand, ‘only’ takes a day to dry.  But neither are suitable for outdoor wood.

Rustins Danish Oil

Rustins Danish Oil

  • Apply the oil with a cloth and rub it in well. Leave a day between coats and once you’re happy with the finish, buff it to a lovely sheen with a soft cloth

Mineral oil is actually a very effective laxative, which you should be able to buy at your local chemist. While it doesn’t give you the same sheen as the other oils we’ve talked about, it’s perfect for things like kitchen chopping boards where you  need a non-toxic finish.

Tung oil is thought by many to be the finest natural finish for wood, with its legendary performance and stunning end results. As the Tung Oil website says:

“In over 100 years of development of synthetic resins and varnishes no one has developed a coating that surpasses the overall performance of natural tung oil.

Tung Oil is a drying oil obtained by pressing the seed from the nut of the tung tree (Vernicia fordii). As a drying oil, tung oil dries upon exposure to air. The resulting coating is transparent, waterproof, and flexible, a property exploited in most of its applications, which include wood finishing and the composition of traditional oil paints, caulks, mortar and india ink. Tung oil is used on wooden toys as it is naturally non-toxic when dry and is not affected by mould like linseed oil. Tung oil is able to move and flex as wooden surfaces expand and contract with age and changing temperature.

The Chinese have utilised the properties of tung oil for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, for caulking and painting of their boats, treating leather, and waterproofing paper and cloth.”

The tung tree originated in central and southern China, concentrated around the Yangtse River. and appear in the writings of Confucius from about 400 B.C.

You need to apply tung oil using a special method called wet-on-wet burnishing, more complex and involved than many other oil application methods. Most amateurs find this process difficult. While you apply tung oil just like linseed oil, you need to sand the surface after each application of oil and it usually takes at least 3-5 coats plus 2-3 days drying time in between each coat. If you’d like to attempt it, here’s an excellent video.

What is the difference between a wood oil and a varnish?

Oil is a natural product. Oils cure slowly and penetrate into the surface of the wood. Multiple coatings can be applied until the wood is unable to absorb any more. Additional coats can be applied if desired to create a surface build or coating of oil. Varnish is a synthetic product made by cooking a natural oil like linseed oil, tung oil or even soya oil with a resin like polyurethane. It’s used to build up layers on the surface of the wood to create a plastic like coating that gives a hard wearing, protective finish or seal to floors and other wooden surfaces.

Can I varnish over wood oil?

In short, the answer is ‘No’. Because most modern varnishes are water based, they are generally not compatible with oiled surfaces. The easy way to think of this is having water and oil in a frying pan, try to mix them and they separate. If a water based varnish is applied on top of an oiled surface, it’s highly likely that it will not bond with the wood and will therefore peel off very quickly. Some types of varnish can be applied over an oiled surface but the process is difficult and needs specific primers and varnishes to achieve this.

The easiest approach to varnishing a previously oiled floor is to use a floor sander to remove the surface of the wood including the wood oil. Wood oils never penetrate more than a couple of microns into the surface of the timber so it won’t require too much sanding to get back to clean, bare wood.

What is the best oil for oak furniture?

  • Oiling oak worktops provides the best finish. It adds more depth and character than varnishes and lacquers, is easy to work with, and provides a water resistant finish.
  • For other interior oak, an oak furniture oil like Danish oil is a popular choice for preventing stains and cracking and providing a beautiful, lustrous finish.
  • Danish oil makes an excellent wood floor oil, but modern proprietary products are sometimes easier to work with. If you’d like advice from the experts, feel free to call us.
  • A common question is ‘What is the best outdoor furniture oil?’ Use a high quality teak oil or other specialist garden furniture oil to protect wooden garden furniture.

Can I use olive oil on wood furniture?

Yes, you can. Use a cloth to work the oil into the wood grain, rubbing back and forth. When the wood has absorbed the oil, leave it for ten minutes then wipe the excess off with a clean cloth. Untreated wood tends to take 2-3 coats, but if you’re unsure just stop when the wood stops absorbing the oil.

Although vegetable and other natural oils can be used, we would always recommend using a dedicated furniture oil as these contain a specially formulated blend of oils and resins, which provide additional durability and wear resistance. A great wood oil that can be used on most types of wooden furniture is clear Holzol Furniture Oil, or if additional colour of a stain is required, we recommend Holzol Furniture Oil Tints.

What is the difference between decking oil, decking preservative, decking paint and decking stain?

  • Decking oil penetrates into the surface of the wood, protecting it from cracking splitting and warping, it also helps to repel rain and moisture – Available in clear and coloured.
  • Decking stains are usually a coloured varnish like coating that sit on top of the wood to provide colour and protection.
  • Decking preservative is usually a spirit based preserver that penetrates into the wood to protect against mould, algae, dry rot and insect attack, depending on the product you’re using. Many spirit based wood preservatives are available in a range of colours that can be overcoated with a clear decking oil.
  • Decking paint sits on the surface of the wood and helps keep moisture out. Decking paints are very similar to decking stains in that the paint produces a surface coating that sits on top of the decking timber.

Is there a substitute for linseed oil on a cricket bat?

Yes, but most cricket experts believe you can’t beat raw linseed oil. For a new bat with no finish, apply at least two coats of raw linseed oil to the front, back, edges and toe, using a soft rag. The face and edges of the bat should be rubbed down with fine sandpaper every 3-4 weeks during the cricket season and a light coat of linseed oil re-applied. When it has sunk in, wipe off the excess then buff your bat to a sheen using a clean cloth.

How do I refinish olive wood bowls?

If you’re using the bowls to store or present food, never use a vegetable oil. All you’ll get is a horrible smelly, sticky finish. Use a colourless, odour-free, light mineral oil instead, a safe and popular by-product of petroleum.


Olive bowl finished with a wood oil

Tips for using wood oils safely and effectively

  1. If you want to stain the wood before you oil it, use a water based stain. If you use an oil based stain it’ll block the pores in the wood and prevent the oil from doing its job properly.
  2. Never, ever leave an oily cloth rolled up. It can easily generate heat and catch fire. Dry it flat outdoors before storing it or chucking it in the bin.

Any questions about wood oils?

We’ll be more than happy to answer them. Just get in touch. There’s a Freephone number available as well as a regular number and a call-back form.

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247 Responses to “What are Wood Oils and Where are They Best Used?”

  1. Stephen Hessl Says:

    I have received conflicting advice about care of Danish Modern furniture with rosewood veneer. Mine is drying out and developing minute cracks. I think the original finish is lacquer? Should I apply teak oil, wax, or leave it alone? My wife claims that she was told to apply oil when she bought the furniture 45 years ago, but I never believed that because the wood probably has a lacquer finish. What is your advice?

    Many Thanks,


  2. nick Says:

    Hi Stephen,

    It can sometimes be difficult to know if a surface has been oiled or varnished.

    To identify what type of finish you have, put a couple of drops of Olive Oil or other cooking oil on the surface, perhaps on a corner or back edge and leave for 3 or 4 hours. If the oil soaks into the surface of the wood and leaves a small mark or stain, the furniture has been oiled. If the drops of oil remain on the surface, it’s fairly safe to say that it has been varnished.

    If the furniture has been oiled, you will be able to re-oil or use a good quality liquid Beeswax polish to feed the wood and prevent it from drying out. Unfortunately, if it is a varnish that has started to crack and split, there’s not much that can be done other than having the old varnish removed and the furniture renovated.

    Hope this helps.

  3. lynn Says:

    we have a teak dining room table without a finish on it, bought used, to finish it do we use Danish oil or wipe on polyurethane. We do not want to get rings on it from glasses. We use coasters now and when anything is wet or even with hot plates marks are left. What is good satin finish?

  4. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Lynn

    Both Varnish and Hard Wax Oil will protect the surface from heat and liquid when applied correctly. Of the two products the Hard Wax Oil can be the easiest to maintain. The Fiddes Hard wax Oil comes in a satin finish and a little goes a long way as this product needs to be applied thinly. It is child safe and quick drying and the sample size of 250ml can cover up to 6 metres squared.

  5. Dan Rose Says:

    Just had tanilised wood sleepers put in the garden as retaining walls.
    Also have new garden close board fencing put in on the back boundary with an older fence to the left.
    Also have a child’s cedar wood climbing frame.
    I’d like to paint / oil / preserve all of the outdoor wood into a darker oak colour, so any advice on what I should be using please ?
    Many thanks in advance

  6. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Dan,

    We would always recommend starting with a good preservative on all external woods, Barrettine Premier Wood Preservative comes in a clear finish and will protect against Mould, Mildew, Rot and Wood Boring insects. Once this has dried a good quality wood oil such as Ronseal Ultimate Protection Decking Oil which comes in a range of colours including Natural and Dark Oak will give good protection and resistance against foot traffic and weathering. And although it is called Decking Oil it would be suitable to use on all of the above, we do recommend a test area first however with all products to ensure that you like the colour achieved on each individual piece of wood. This Oil can then be topped up as and when you feel it needs it every 1 to 2 years.

  7. Dan Rose Says:

    Also we have an engineered wood floor downstairs in the house, engineered wood as underfloor heating is present under the wooden boards.
    It’s been down for a couple of years and we have got a couple of scratches and it needs protecting with some oil / preservative but don’t want to make it shiny or slippy compared to what we have now.
    Again any thoughts, help or advice would be gratefully received.
    Many thanks

  8. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    If the flooring is bare wood then its worth giving it a good clean to ensure it is dirt and grease free, and then you could consider a couple of coats of Osmo Polyx Oil this product comes in a number of sheen levels and is perfect for high traffic areas and is dirt and water resistant. It will darken the wood slightly and the best way to get an idea of how much is by wiping a damp cloth across the bare wood. This product won’t hide any scratches however and you may want to consider a Filler depending how deep the scratches are.

  9. jo Says:

    I have just made a chair out of hazel – what is the best thing to treat the wood with?

  10. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Jo,

    It will depend on the type of finish you are looking for,if the chair is for indoor or outdoor use. If you want to leave the wood looking natural with an enhanced grain then an Oil based product like the Osmo Polyx Oil that will give good protection. If you want to add some colour then you could use the Osmo Polyx Oil Tints will protect and colour at the same time. These are products for indoor furniture if you have any other questions please feel free to email us at helpme@wood-finishes-direct.com

    Kind Regards Sam

  11. Keelo360 Says:

    I have acquired a beautiful slice of aged oak approx 2800 x 800 x 25mm, which i want to use as a splash back in my kitchen.. I have sanded it back, and now need to seal and finish it. I intend to use danish oil, as I like the finish and the way it brings out the grain, but am a little worried about protection against cleaning products and food splashes. Would you recommend any other product that may perform better in this use? …

  12. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:


    The Danish Oil will give a nice and protective finish as you anticipate, but it will need refreshing regularly and may mark easily with general kitchen use. A Hard Wax Oil will be more durable and protective than the Danish Oil, whilst still giving a natural finish. I will darken the wood slightly in the same way that a Danish Oil would and you can get an idea of how much by wiping a damp cloth across the surface of the bare wood. But it only requires 2 coats and a maintenance coat every couple of years ( sooner if you feel that it needs it )

  13. Keelo360 Says:

    Thanks Sam…. Is there a product you would recommend?

  14. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    You could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil or the Manns Top Oil both are good quality Oils that will protect your splash back, and are easy to patch repair and maintain. Hope that helps.

  15. Jodie Says:

    Hi Sam,
    Any reason I couldn’t use coconut oil to do plywood for a van? I just happen to have a lot of coconut oil that needs to be used for something anyway; I figure maybe it’s just not used for wood as it’s so expensive?!
    And if you ran out of one type of oil, can you do further coats in another type, or does that not work?

  16. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Jodie

    I know there is a lot of benefits to be had from Coconut Oil but it is not something that we use or know enough about to be able to recommend its use on wood. Our flooring expert thinks that it will offer some protection but that there is a good chance that you would not be able to put anything else on top at a later date. I hope you manage to find an answer or use for the the coconut oil.

  17. Danny Says:

    I am in the process of building an out door dining table out of repurposed wood and I was thinking of just sanding and oiling it with teak oil but I want to retain the nutural color of the wood once it is sanded. Does teak oil change the color and if so would you have any recommendations

  18. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hi Danny,

    Teak Oils are classed as clear but like most oils it can darken the wood slightly when applied. The best way to get an idea of how much would be to wipe a damp cloth over the surface of the wood, that darkening will give an indication of how much it will change the tone of the wood. It may be that a teak oil will darken slightly more than a decking oil for example but only test areas will show truly how much. We are about to get a new product in from Osmo which is the first of its kind and is designed to leave the wood looking as Natural as possible. This should be on our website in the next couple of weeks if you would like to keep an eye out for it or you can email us for more information

  19. Jon Says:

    I have an oak and glass annex which has been neglected over the last few years and the original coat of varnish (I think) has flaked off to varying degrees, particularly where the wood is very exposed. Here it has gone silvery whilst elsewhere it remains more golden in colour. I’m planning on stripping it down and re-protecting with oil rather than varnish. I was going to use Danish oil, which I’ve used for some internal green oak beams, but someone recommended Osmo polyx oil as a more durable option. Would you recommend the Osmo polyx over the Danish oil for this or is there not much in it? Thanks!

  20. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Jon,

    If it is internal wood that you are treating then yes the Osmo Polyx Oil would be the better product to use. Danish will nourish and protect but it will require more coats and regular maintenance coats to be done around every 6 months. The Polyx Oil however is more durable and hard wearing and will only require a maintenance coat around 2/3 years for frames and sills, and slightly more regular for flooring. I would love to see some before and after photos of your project if you get a chance – Sam

  21. Jon Says:

    Hi Sam. Thanks for the quick response. Apologies for not making it clear but it’s all the external woodwork that needs re-doing. The wood has warped and swelled where the varnish has weathered away and flaked off and water has penetrated, so it’s a question of replacing and protecting the wood going forwards. Happy to send photos, where Should I send them?

  22. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Jon,

    For External treatment you could consider the Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra this is the external equivalent to the Polyx Oil. You might want to consider putting a Preservative on first for the best protection. If you would like to send some photos here is the email address – wood@finishes.direct

  23. Shelley Davis Says:

    I am in the middle of a kitchen cabinet update. All the new cabinets have been built of alder. I am finishing them all myself. After trying many different things, I settled on making my own stain with interior wall paint mixed with water. I wanted a rubbed in rather than painted on look, with some wood grain showing through. While they are turning out like I wanted, it has been very time consuming. I have been told I need a protective finish. I’ve sampled all the water based products like Minwax polycrylic and hate them. They seem like plastic. My nephew (a talented wood worker) told me to use wipe on poly oil to get the finish I want, or maybe teak oil. What is wipe on poly oil and where do I get it?
    Hind sight of course is that I should have used oil based paint or stain in the first place.

  24. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Shelly,

    It may be the Osmo Polyx Oil that your nephew was talking about. The Oil is designed to soak into the surface of the wood so it may be that the stain that you have put on prevents this, a test area should be done first. If the oil doesn’t sink in to the wood, then you will need to consider a Varnish over the top, again a test area is advised to ensure that the varnish doesn’t have a effect on the stain that you have used.The Varnish will create a protective seal on the surface. Hope this helps – Sam.

  25. David Says:

    Hi guys… Excellent website and fantastic information you provide.

    If possible, could you answer a coupl of quick questions i have?.

    1. We have two new pine internal doors which I want to stain and oil to match the old antique pitch pine doors we have elsewhere. I have osmo door oiled the old doors but want to stain the new pine doors to be a close match as possible as i worry that if I simply door oil them they will be too light in shade. Can I use osmo pine woodstain then door oil to simulate this colour tone ?

    2. Lastly, I have gloss osmo’ door dining room floor but want a deeper shine similar to a varnish. Can I use the osmo wax cleaner to polish a deeper shine into the floor ? I was reluctant to varnish the floor instead of oil osmo as I prefer osmo and find it so easy to use.

    Hope asking these questions are ok. Many that’s again.

  26. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello David,

    It fine to ask as many questions as you like, that is what we are here for. In answer to the first question you could use the Manns Pine Wood Stain to try to colour match you wood. As this is water based your are able to mix with water to lighten the tone or mix with other colours from the same range to achieve the desired tone. It is worth noting that when you apply the protective coat on top of the stain it is likely to darken slightly. For the top coat you could use the Osmo Polyx Oil

    For your question about the floor, although the Hard wax Oil doesn’t polish up as much as a Wax would, you can still improve the shine slightly by buffing the wood. But the Osmo Liquid Wax Cleaner dries to a more satin finish so is unlikely to increase the sheen level that you already have – Sam

  27. Anrai Says:

    Hi I’m looking at some oak slabs for a kitchen worktop can you advise me on a suitable oil and the process il need to take
    Thanks in advance

  28. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Anrai,

    You can use a Top Oil for your oak worktops, Manns Top Oil is a good option, it dries to a Matt finish and is resistant to liquid spills and heat. If you would like a bit more shine to your finish then the Osmo Top Oil Satin would be a good alternative. These products need to be applied thinly and just 2 coats are required.

  29. Grace Azad Says:

    Please help. My husband was oiling our oak sideboard and oak futon frame with the linseed oil about a month ago. He was over keen and rubbed the oil on the sides and legs of varnished oak coffee table and book case. Now they are dry and sticky. What can I use to remove the linseed oil from the varnished surfaces please. Many thanks

  30. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Grace,

    You can remove Linseed Oil with White Spirit, the White spirit shouldn’t have an effect on the Varnish but do a test area first to be on the safe side.

  31. Jean Hume Says:

    We are renovating a thirty five year old home that has a variety of wood inside. Some appears to be finished with a laquer/varnish, singe looks quite dry. We were told teak oil, rubbed on, provide a revitalizing effect on the vanished surfaces, such as baseboard, etc. and allow us to avoid having to remove, sand, refinish etc. Told teak oil would remove minor scratches etc… Also, could teak oil be applied directly to wood ceiling beans that look quite dry, as if they may only have been stained originally? Finally, there are wood boards on some of the walls that look dry but may have at one time had a bit of a finish (very hard to tell). Teak oil again ok?

  32. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Jean,

    Thank you for your inquiry you can not apply Teak Oil over a varnished/lacquered finish. The teak oil is designed to be absorbed by the wood which will be prevented by any previous seal that is on the surface. You will need to remove any previous product before applying the Oil. If the beams have no product on them currently then you could use the Teak Oil to nourish then and enhance the natural finish of the wood.

    An alternative product for the varnished areas would be Bona freshen Up which is designed to go onto varnished surfaces and revive and enhance the finish. Helping to hide some of those fine scratches on the surface. Hope that helps and if you have any more question please let me know.

  33. Brenda Says:


    I am so happy I stumbled upon your website today. I recently decided to switch to using natural products for wood finishing but have little experience with any of them. I am in the process of builiding a two-level bar for my husband and the upper drink rail is a slab of live edge black cherry. I have applied several coats of mineral oil but my husband said he would prefer a glossy finish on it. I know I do not have the skills to use two-part epoxy, nor do I want to. Can you make any recommendations on any of the above mentioned oil products and methods that a relative beginner can handle and that would result in a glossier finish?

  34. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Brenda,

    You could try the Osmo Polyx Oil , there is a Glossy finish in this range and although it will not be as shiny as a high gloss varnish, it can be buffed to increase the shine by around 5%-10%. Please do a test area first as you have already applied an alternative oil, you need to ensure firstly that the wood is not already saturated with oil and secondly that the 2 oils are compatible. If you need to remove the original product you should be able to do this with White Spirits. The Osmo Polyx Oil is a hard wax oil made from all natural products. It requires only 2 coats and is also easy to patch repair if you do get any stains or damage, and you can easily apply maintenance coats every few years when you feel that it is needed.

  35. Steve Says:

    I’ve recently been fortunate come by some vintage eucalyptus timbers (2½×9×108″), courtesy of a local bridge refurbishment project. I intend to use it for garden decking. Being some seventy years old, they are a little worse for wear in parts, but also full of character and feature a well worn, highly textured grain. I don’t want to lose this all important grain texture in the process of cleaning up and preserving the wood, so what procedure and oils would you recommend? Varnishing is a strictly a no-no. I’d be happy to hear anyone’s suggestions. Thanks.

  36. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Steve,

    It sounds like you have some beautiful wood there !! The first thing I would recommend is a treatment with some Barrettine Premier Wood Preservative first it is a good quality preserver that will prevent Mould, Mildew, Rot and wood boring insects, and if you can do these treatments before putting the wood in place that would be even better.

    You are right to go with Oil as a top coat treatment, it will maintain the natural look and texture of the wood, which is exactly what you want. There are a number of Oils that would be suitable, so it depends on if you want to add a little colour to the wood or to keep its natural look but protect it from greying in the sun.

    Any of the Decking Oils on our site would be suitable for you to use and they come in clear of coloured finishes. If you want to go for a top quality clear oil with a high UV Protection, to help stop the silvering process that naturally happens in the sunshine, you might want to look at Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra I hope that answers all your questions and we would love to see some photos of your project to share on our social media sites if you get a chance – wood@finishes.direct

  37. Harpreet Says:

    Hi! What a wonderful site!

    I have a 60 year old Burma teak hutch (which I will be stripping down to refinish) and am in the process of choosing a dining table which will be custom made.
    First, what wood do you recommend for the table so that it withstands daily wear and tear? I am oscillating between walnut and oak. (I will be using a table cloth at meal times though.) I would like to do a wood oil finish. Can the same oil be used on the Burma teak hutch too? Or does an oak table need oak oil and a teak hutch teak oil? I would like them to have the same colour and finish so they look harmonious.

    Thank you so much in advance!

  38. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:


    Thank you for your inquiry, with regard to which wood to use for the table both Oak and Walnut are suitable and durable woods so the choice is really down to personal preference.

    If both pieces of furniture are for indoors then a Hard Wax Oil will be a good option, it will finish and protect your wood. However if you have two different woods then the overall finish will be different even if you use the same product to finish them. To bring the two together you may need to think about staining one of the items with a Waterbased Wood Stain and then finish with the Hard Wax Oil.

    I hope that helps and if you have any more questions please feel free to email us on wood@finishes.direct or give us a call on 0800 7818 123

  39. Malcolm Allen Says:

    I have a good quality oak dining table with a linseed oil finish. It has one or two very light scratches and a couple of small dents that require some attention. I am thinking of using Osmo Poly Oil, do I need to remove the linseed oil finish or is it compatable with Osmo?

  40. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Malcolm,

    Generally speaking one Oil will go on top of another without any problem, but I would always recommend a test area first to be sure.

    The test area will show if the two oils are compatible and also if the wood will absorb any more oil or if the wood is saturated. If the wood is saturated with the Linseed oil then it will not absorb any more and if that is the case you may need to remove the Linseed Oil before applying the Osmo. You can do this by wiping with White Spirits or sanding back.

    The Osmo is far superior to the Linseed Oil and will be more hard wearing and durable. Maintenance coats will only need to be done every few years depending on how much the table is used. The Osmo Polyx Oil needs to be applied very thinly and will dry quicker than the Linseed Oil.

  41. Sean Gourley Says:

    Hi, I want to use an Osmo oil product on my oak veneered doors but have been told that I cannot as the oil will soak through making the glue fail and causing the veneer to peal. Is this something you have experienced/heard or a myth? Thanks Sean

  42. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Sean,

    It is something that we come across a lot in our business. Nearly all manufacturers of veneered doors advice you not to use Oils, for the very reason that you have talked about. Here at Wood finishes Direct we believe that most veneers would be okay with oil, because the oil only soaks into the first 1mm of the surface of the wood, and many veneers are 3mm or more and so would not have an effect on the adhesive.

    However if the paper work with the doors advice’s that you do not use oil, it would invalidate your guarantee if you do. It would be worth checking the depth of the veneer if you can, and then the choice is yours but always do a test area first.

  43. Jodie Says:

    Hi I am currently building a table for inside my house using oak railway sleepers I have persuade the manns light oak stain and I don’t how what to use to protect it please could you give me some advise thanks

  44. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Jodie,

    Once the Stain is dry you can apply either an Oil based product such as Osmo Polyx Oil which will soak into the wood and give a natural finish that will darken it very slightly and is easy to maintian. Or you could use an Interior Varnish that will seal on the surface of the wood, it is slightly more durable but will give a slightly different finish. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any more question, plus i would love to see a before and after picture if you get a time to send one.

  45. Deborah Says:

    Hello Sam. I am prepping three wooden counters (beech and/or birch, I think) in my kitchen for coating with Osmo Polyx oil. Two are fairly new Ikea countertops that have had some light mineral oil applications; one is a beat-up old countertop original to the apartment that seems to have been finished over the years with mineral oil & wax, and has several spots where olive oil we spilled has soaked in. The wood is very absorbent, so I guess I’ve gotten most of the old coatings of whatever off, yet there are areas that still give up and brownish crud when I scrub with hot water and Dawn.

    Will the polyx oil cure correctly if applied over mineral or olive oil? If not, what method do you recommend to strip the mineral and olive oils out? I’ve read you should use white spirits or citrus solvent, but is that wipe on/wipe off, or what? Many thanks for your advice!

  46. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Deborah,

    If there are visible marks on the surface of the wood there is a chance that these will show through when the Osmo Polyx Oil is applied or have an effect on the drying time. It may also have no effect at all as generally speaking one oil will go comfortably over another with no problems. The best way to find out is with a test area.

    I would also recommend wiping down with the White Spirits first though to remove as much of the previous Oil first. By doing this you will get a more consistent and even finish. I hope that helps and if you do have any more questions please let me know – Sam

  47. Val Says:

    I have recently had a wood stove fitted with an oak beam above. It has some lovely knots and cracks. Can you please advise on the best product to treat it with? I want it to look a natural colour but it must be fire-proof.

  48. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Val,

    The only range of Fire Retardant products that we do are the Envirograf products. Its worth having a read up on the 3 products in this range to see exactly what is required when applying them.

    We do often recommend Osmo Polyx Oil for Beams above fire places or wood stoves, the Oil copes well with heat and will not peel and flake. It leaves a natural and hard wearing finish to the wood and would be another product worth looking at, but doesn’t come with the Fire Retardant properties of Envirograf or a certificate. I hope that helps and if you have any other questions please let me know – Sam

  49. Geoff Says:


    I have used Devon Oil to oil a new beech table top bought from a Swedish furniture supplier.

    After the second application, it has remained sticky for a week, probably because I didn’t wipe off the excess soon enough. Will it eventually dry, or should I apply something like white spirit to it – and would I then need to apply a further coat?

  50. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Geoff,

    I am not familiar with Devon Oil but I would assume that it works much like other Oils in the terms of absorption and if over applied can take longer to dry or have trouble soaking in if the wood is too saturated. It may be worth rubbing over lightly with some White Spirit to remove that excess oil but be careful not to remove the first coat. Applying another very thin coat may be necessary after wiping with the White spirit but do a test area first to see that the wood will take it.

  51. Geoff Says:


    A second question if I may. (A truly excellent website and enquiry service by the way.) We have internal doors, which I waxed 3 or 4 years ago, but which are now showing grubby / greasy finger marks. How would you recommend I remove the marks and maintain the doors?

  52. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hi Geoff,

    If the greasy marks won’t come off with a Neutral cleaning product you can try a light wipe with some White Spirit but be careful as this will remove the Wax as well. Once the greasy marks are removed and the door clean you can re wax which will give the door a fresh look.

    The alternative would be to rub down and remove any wax that is left on there and once back to bare clean wood you can apply a Door Oil this will be more durable than the Wax and easier to keep clean. If you have any more questions please let me know – Sam

  53. Dan Says:


    I’ve recently used a regular household polish on some 1960s Danish style furniture and have been horrified to see the colour coming off on the cloth. When we bought the furniture it smelt heavily of cigarette smoke for months, so I am hoping that this is accumulated tar build up (urgh) rather than the actual colour of the wood, but it made me search you out on the internet nonetheless. Presumably as Teak Oil is colourless I shouldn’t be seeing a colour coming off the wood, should I? If I shouldn’t be using polish then what can I use to clean my furniture? Either way the table has had a bodge varnish job over half of it (I’m guessing the rest is original oil) so I think I will have to sand the set down and start again. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!

  54. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Dan,

    It does sound like it could possibly be residue from the tobacco that is coming off the furniture, although some polishes and cleaners are known to remove oils or waxes when used. We have a PH Neutral cleaner on our website that could be worth a try, Bona Floor Cleaner Spray although it is called a floor cleaner it would be suitable for your furniture and should remove all grease and dirt without affecting the finish of the furniture. Once the furniture is clean you could consider giving it a refresh with some Supreme Wax Polish this will go on top of previous wax or varnish that is on the furniture without any problems. Please let me know if you have any further questions – Sam.

  55. Dan Says:

    Thanks for your help Sam!

  56. Danielle Says:

    Hi, I’m working on refinishing a mid century modern teak table. It was in pretty rough shape so I sanded it down a lot. I’m now using teak oil to get it back to that original redish/golden colour, but it’s staining so light (almost like a pine). Should I keep applying the oil until I get the desired colour? I’ve already applied 3 coats. Thanks.

  57. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Danielle,

    The wood will only take so much oil and will then be saturated. Any Oil applied after this will sit on the surface of the wood and may not dry properly. If you are looking to darken or change the colour you may have to think about removing the Oil and Staining the wood with a product such as Manns Oak Wood Stain and then finishing with the oil for protection.

  58. Peter Renshaw Says:

    Hi we have engineered oak floors throughout the groundfloor, fitted about 3 years ago.
    The fitter and the firm who sold us the wood suggested from time to time to oil the floor and on their advice we bought bona wood oil.
    I spent 4 days using a rag rubbing in the oil, moving furniture all around the house, very tiring.
    It has changed the colour of the floor, left is sticky and also with a sheen, any suggestions ?.
    Ps I did not walk on any area after oiling for more that 24hrs

  59. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Peter,

    I’m sorry to say that it sounds like you have over applied the Oil, when this happens the Oil is unable to soak into the surface of the wood as it is supposed to, and so remains on the surface of the wood creating a film like sticky finish. Most Oils need to be applied very thinly on to the surface of the wood and when applying, you need to remove the excess. It is also true to say that most Oils will also darken the wood slightly, the wood may also have still had a lot of the previous oil still left in it from the older treatments and so it saturation levels may have been less than you thought. It is difficult to guess if this is the true cause but this is why test areas are so important.

    You can solve this problem by wiping over the surface with some White Spirit do not scrub to hard as this will remove all the treatment and you only need to remove the surface film. And these Cotton Rags would be ideal for doing this. Please do a small test area first. I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do let me know – Sam.

    I appreciate that this is not the best news for you but

  60. Peter Renshaw Says:

    Hi Sam, thanks for your comments.
    This was the first time the wood had been oiled, unless that is when it leaves the factory they put oil onto the wood.
    It certainly had an appearance of no oil at all prior to my efforts.
    I have in the meantime tried vigorously rubbing the surface with a cotton clean towel, and although with some success, it’s very tiring !!.
    We only used used a 1 litre bottle on a total area of about 40 sq meters, which had not seemed overly excessive.
    I will try some white spirit
    Thanks Peter

  61. Ellen Niblett Says:

    We recently had custom cabinets built out of beetle kill wood. The builder of the cabinets used linseed oil on the wood first and then varnished it. Should we expect to have any problems with the wood since linseed oil and varnish were used?

  62. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Ellen,

    Applying a Varnish over an Oil is not something that we would recommend, however we have know people to do the combination you have mentioned with little or no trouble. We would expect the Varnish to delaminate when applied over an oil, this means it could potentially peel off the surface. So you may need to keep an eye on it, and if this does happen, remove the varnish and just use one or other of the products – Sam

  63. Peter Renshaw Says:

    I followed your suggestion with some success, not perfect, but much better than it was previously.

  64. Beth Wakeham Says:

    Hi there, I have just acquired a large bear wood carving, which has been indoors for some months and is starting to crack, so I want to oil it with something before I put it outside in the garden. The previous owner thought it might have been oiled with linseed oil originially but my local hardware store recommended teak oil over linseed, and I have only ever used danish oil on wood so I am not at all sure what would be best here. I don’t know what wood the carving is but I assuming hardwood, it is also quite a rough surface so not really for sanding down. Grateful for any advice please.

  65. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Beth,

    The Oils that you are considering will offer some protection in the form of nourishing the wood and offering some water repellency. If you are looking to stop the silvering effect that the sun will have once you put it outside the you will need an oil with UV protection filters in it. So a Decking Oil would be a good option for you to consider.

    If you like the silvering effect of the Sun then the Teak Oil requires less coats but has a longer drying time and the Danish Oil has a shorter drying time but needs more coats. So it really down to personal preference. If you have any more questions please let me know and I would love to see a photo – Sam

  66. Nick Kokolski Says:

    My wife and I have just been given a small teak table. It was bought by my late father-in-law when he was stationed in Burma during the war. It is a fairly basic construction but is heavily carve and it doesn’t appear to have had any previous treatment. My question is, what is the best oil to treat it with? Obviously teak oil springs to mind but I’ve also read that Danish oil is another treatment I could use. Another question is, as it is heavily carved, how would I remove excess oil after application?

  67. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Nick,

    Intricate carving can be difficult and a build up of oil in crevices can leave a messy finish. As it a hard wood table a thinner Oil would be better as it will soak into the tight grain better, so go with a product such as Teak Oil or the Osmo Extra Thin and then when applying, dip the Brush in the oil and then wipe most of the oil off the brush before working into the wood. The oil needs to be applied thinly anyway so using only a very small amount of oil on the brush will help to reduce build up in those detailed areas. Have a lint free cloth handy as well. I hope this helps and we would love to see a photo when its done – Sam

  68. Nick Kokolski Says:

    Thanks for the advice Sam. What I’ll do for you is take before and after photographs. That’s always supposing I feel my workmanship warrants it!

  69. Martin McSweeney Says:

    Hi there,
    Firstly can I say I have immensely enjoyed reading all the comments on this thread, I’ve learned a lot in a short space of time 🙂
    Ok my conundrum is that I have recently started studying furniture and have acquired a load of air dried spalted beech.
    I love the character of this wood but have been reading it is rather dangerous to work with with spores etc always present.
    Once I have made a cabinet and finish it with danish oil will this seal the wood and prevent any dangers of spores or fungal growth from the piece?
    I was also thinking of perhaps using OSMO POLYX-OIL as a finish but I’m unsure if this would seal the wood properly?
    Many thanks

  70. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hi Martin,
    Spalted Beach mainly gives of spores in the working stages while cutting and sanding and can not live on timber under 20% moisture so the fungus is no longer living on dry timber . As long as you keep the wood well oiled it should not release any spores . If you are using wood as a chopping board you may need to be careful as cutting into the wood can disturb the spores,but in most cases they are harmless unless you have an intolerance.

    The Osmo Polyx Oil would be a good choice of product as it is durable and gives a beautiful natural finish and will seal the wood. Danish Oil would also be suitable and give an equally beautiful finish, it will just require more coats and regular maintenance coats. If you have any further questions please let me know.

  71. Mark Says:

    I’m receiving conflicting advice.

    I have a new oak kitchen table and Some people are saying I should use Danish oil while others are saying Tong oil.
    We’d like a satin finish at best, but it must stand up to the wear and tear of spillages etc as it’s a kitchen table.

    Plus if it’s good I’d like to do my oak furniture in the living room as well.

    What so you recommend?


  72. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Mark,

    Of the two the Tung Oil will be slightly more durable and suitable for a Kitchen table that will generally get a lot of use. It is however more of a Matt finish. Danish Oil will still protect to a good level but you inevitably need more coats and may need to do maintenance more often, and generally speaking the more coats of the Danish that you apply the glossier it will become.

    For an even more durable finish you could consider a Hard Wax Oil such as Osmo Polyx Oil which comes in a glossy finish, you only need to apply 2 thin coats of this product to get great protection. I hope this helps and if you have any further questions please let me know – Sam.

  73. Bill Bowmab Says:

    We are installed tongue & groove western cedar wainscoting walls with smooth sid exposed.
    Our goal is to finish with something that will make the wood grain look wet.
    It is a lake house and mildew can be an issue
    What do you recommend ?
    What method – brush /cloth?
    How long will one coat help enhance the beauty of the new unfinished western cedar boards?
    Your blog is great.

  74. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Bill,

    Can you tell me if we are talking about internal cladding or external please ?

    Best Wishes Sam.

  75. Stewart Says:

    I have a solid oak external door that was fitted last winter. It was coated in linseed oil but the door seems to have dried since then and I was thinking of applying Osmo UV protection oil to the door. I imagine that some linseed oil will still be present in the oak, so would applying Osmo over this create any issues?


  76. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Stewart,

    It is unlikely to be an issue but I would always recommend trying a test area first to ensure that there are no compatibility issues. And remember the Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra needs to be applied very thinly and a light sand between coats will give a superior finish.

    Kind regards Sam

  77. Stephen Says:

    I’m making a duct board to go into a wet area of a shower, I’m using teak wood.
    Could you advise me of the best product to coat the wood to protect from water ingress and mould?


  78. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Stephen,

    There are two products that you could put on the Duct Board that will give the wood a good level of water repellency, but any standing water left on the wood for a long period of time will soak in and stain. The first is the Osmo Wood Protector this is a base coat product that helps to keep the woods elasticity in the changeable conditions of the bathroom.

    The second product is the Osmo Wood Wax Extra Thin which is a protective oil that is extra thin for tropical hard woods such as Teak. These two together will give the best protection.

    Kind regards Sam.

  79. Bethlehem Darlington-Roberts Says:

    We have a solid oiled oak ‘engineered'(?) floor. It was bought from floors to go as oiled finish but the fitter advised me to oil it when it was fitted saying the factory oiling was only a thin layer. He fitted and oiled the floor for me leaving me some oil to re do it every year. That was 4 years ago and having re oiled it once but I haven’t been able to find the oil again – it was a strange brand and there were no details as to what type of oil it was, just Floor oil. Now the floor desperately needs re oiling especially by the front door as water has made it expand and buckle at the joints but I don’t know what to use. Do I have to wait for the floor to dry out and shrink back down or will the oil push out the water?
    Help urgently needed as my husband has already trimmed the floor back to try and remove the buckling but if he takes any more off it will be too small in the summer.


  80. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Bethlehem,

    As it is engineered flooring you may not be able to sand it back and it may not go back to its original state when dry, but you do need to dry it before applying as putting more oil on will hold the water in the wood and you are likely to get mould and mildew forming. You may need to speak to the supplier of the flooring to see what the best solution will be.

    I terms of the finishing oil, generally speaking most oils will go over other oils with out any problems, I would strongly recommend a test area first however just to check compatibility. The Fiddes Hard Wax Oil would be a good option for you to have a look at and is available in sample sizes. If you need any further advice please let me know – Sam.

  81. Adam Says:

    Hi I have just been given an old French parquet dining table. It’s beautiful and I want to oil it but am u sure what to use. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks Adam

  82. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Adam,

    As long as you are planning on sanding back to the bare wood then you will be able to use many of the oils on our website, it does depend on what finish you are looking for. A clear oil such as the Osmo Polyx Oil would be a good place to start, it is a durable water resistant product that would be ideal for your table. The Clear will darken the wood slightly or if you want to colour it you could look at the Osmo Polyx Oil Tints. If you are looking to leave the wood as natural as possible then the Osmo Polyx Oil Raw has a small amount of white pigment in it to counter the darkening effect of a clear oil, this would not work on a dark wood though as you may see the white. I hope this gives you some ideas to go forward with and if you have any more questions feel free to ask away – Sam.

  83. Travis Says:

    Hi, I am making an Outdoor Poolside Chaise lounge out of spotted gum hardwood. I would like to oil it for the finish but I am unsure of what oil to use? I want the finish to be clear and bring out the natural grain of the timber as well as being protective to the weather.


  84. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Travis,

    I am aware that this is an Australian Hardwood, that can have a slightly greasy feel to it, but I am afraid I know little more than that. I would recommend an oil such as Osmo teak Oil this is a slightly thinner finishing oil that is suitable for hardwood and will as you requested bring out the natural colours and grain of the wood. The only issue with this product is the lack of UV protection that you will get with it.

    So another product for you to consider would be the Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra which is also a clear oil but may be a little harder to work into the wood. Both of these products come in sample sizes and I would recommend a test area first to ensure that they will penetrate the wood as they should.

    I would also recommend a Preservative before the oil application to give the wood the best protection against the elements Barrettine Premier wood Preservative is a good quality one that works well with the oils. If you have any other questions please let me know – Sam

  85. Alan Reid Says:

    What is the best oil to use on a mahogany bannister?

  86. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Alan,

    You could have a look at the Osmo Extra Thin 1101 this is a clear oil that is ideal for hardwoods such as Mahogany and Teak. 2 very thin coats will enhance the wood beautifully, and protect, but always do a test area first to ensure you are getting the finish that you like – Sam.

  87. Alan Reid Says:

    Thanks for the reply, I will give it a go.

  88. Sharon Says:

    Great website, I have two questions:-
    1) I have just received a new solid oak table and sideboard, and the delivery man said I should use Danish oil to nourish/protect it. Any specific brands that are best? or should I be looking at a hard wax instead? I’d like to keep the neutral colour and don’t mind a soft sheen but don’t want a high gloss finish

    2) I also have 8 oak veneer doors that had a natural very thin coat x 2 of Ronseal satin varnish applied to protect them, but unfortunately a couple of them have oily handprints on them (my daughter applied some almond oil and didn’t clean her hands before pushing them open without using the handle!). I’ve tried light application of white spirit and sanding the area lightly but the finger marks are still there, which makes me think the almond oil has penetrated the wood. I don’t want to rub the whole door down but are then any other things I could try on the patch affected? thank you!

  89. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Sharon,

    If the white spirit has not worked then your best option I’m afraid is to sand back. It is possible to patch repair varnish if you just wanted to do the effected areas, but you may not get the perfect finish. I am sorry, I know this is not the answer you are looking for.

    For the Sideboard either Danish Oil or Hard Wax Oil would be suitable as a finish. Of the two the Hard Wax Oil is the more durable and hard wearing product and will last longer before needed a maintenance coat. The Hard Wax Oil will also go further as it requires a very thin couple of coats. I hope this helps and please let me know if you need any further help.

    Kind regards Sam.

  90. Warren Says:

    I bought an solid oak slab from a lumber yard and plan to use it as a worktop for a wash basin. Looking at your comments above, I assume my first step after sanding would be applying a coat of barrettine premier wood preservative. Now, as the worktop is at a south facing window, it will be exposed to the sun all day and as a worktop for a sink, it will be exposed to moisture. I’m not sure whether the Osmo Polyx Oil Raw or the Osmo UV Protection Oil. Any advice would be great


  91. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Warren,

    Thank you for your inquiry, it is fair to say that for the project you are working on, you will need a durable water repellent finish. The first product that I would advice is the Osmo Wood Protector as this will help keep the wood in good condition with all the temperature and humidity changes. And then a top coat product such as Polyx Oil Raw which leaves the wood looking as natural as possible or the Osmo Polyx Oil which can darken the wood slightly.

    The UV Protection Oil Extra is an external product so I can not recommend it for use inside but I know that many of our customer do just that with out any problems. It will offer the same protection as the Polyx Oil but with the UV protection. It is best to avoid standing liquid on any oiled surface for long periods, as although highly water repellent it will eventually mark. This is not a big problem as patch repairs are very easy with these oil products.

    I hope that helps and please let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  92. Anna Says:

    Hi Sam,

    I’ve inherited a kitchen dining table and chairs from my grandparents which they’ve lovingly (thinly) varnished over the years. I believe it’s oak. It’s now patchy and I’ve been recommended to apply Danish Oil to it. I don’t use it too often so only needs a moderate level of durability.

    Two questions:

    1) What’s the best way to remove the varnish? I’ve tried patch sanding but there are some deep grained areas on the sides.

    2) Will Danish Oil be okay for the chairs? I was concerned it’d transfer onto clothes.

    Thanks in advance,


  93. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Anna,

    To remove the varnish from the chairs you could have a look at the Paint Panther which is like a gel that you apply for around 5/10 mins and it bubbles up allowing you to scrap off the varnish.It is important to try a test area first to ensure firstly that it will work and also that it will not have any adverse effect on the wood underneath. A light sand is probably required after all the varnish is removed just to ensure a smooth surface.

    Once you have removed all the varnish and you are looking to apply a treatment, I would recommend a product such as the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil it will give a clear hard wearing finish that will not come off on clothing when in regular use. It needs to be applied very thinly and only requires 2 coats so will be of a similar cost to Danish Oil but more durable. Please let me know if you need any further advice or help.

    Kind regards Sam.

  94. Ria Says:


    I have some wood that has been coated with Osmo Cedar UV Protection Oil but need it to match the tone of the existing wood more, which is treated with Teak oil.

    Is it possible to put Teak oil over the osmo?


  95. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Ria,

    Generally speaking one Oil will fine over another, but always do a test area to ensure compatibility. Osmo would not recommend using another brand over the top of the UV Protection Oil and they do have a Teak Oil that you could look at. And there is also Barrettine Teak Oil which should go over the existing oil without any issues. I hope that helps and if you need any further advice just let me know.

    Regards Sam.

  96. Philip Says:

    I have oak window frames with steel crittal windows. I will be replacing all the old steel windows with new double glazed units. The oak frames were previously stained dark brown externally and have now been sanded back to bare oak. Before we install the new windows we need to finish the oak frames. I want them to end up with a natural silver appearance and am thinking of applying clear Barrettine wood preserver and then an oil. What would you recommend?

  97. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Philip,

    The Barrettine Premier Wood Protective Treatment is a good choice to start with and then an Oil for the top coat. As you are looking to let the wood go naturally silver you will need an oil that doesn’t have UV protection in it so I would recommend the Osmo Teak Oil a thin clear oil that would be ideal for finishing Oak. And you only need a very thin application of the Teak Oil. We always love to see photos of our customers project so if you have time to send some in that would be great wood@finishes.direct – All the Best Sam.

  98. Albert Quo Says:

    We just bought a brand new Eucalyptus hardwood outdoor furniture set of tables and chairs. It says it has a natural timber oil finish.
    Do we need to oil this again before we start using this ?
    Eventually we will need to re oil but wondered if we could just apply Outdoor Furniture Oil over it without prior sanding. Can we just clean the wood and apply the new oil ?
    Thank you v. much

  99. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Albert,

    Eucalyptus has a naturally high oil content, and so adding more oil may not be an option or a necessity. You can do a small test, and that is to put a couple of small drops of oil on an inconspicuous area of the furniture for around an hour and see how it reacts. If it remains unmoved then the wood is already saturated and will not accept any more, if the oil has moved slightly ( spread around the edges ) then there is some room for more oil but very minimal and of course if it soaks in quite easily then you can apply another coat of oil with no problems.

    When you are at a point where you can add more oil for protection then you could have a look at Garden Furniture Teak Oil from Cuprinol which offers protection and nourishment for your tropical wood. Or in a handy spray bottle there is Teak Oil Spray which is also ideal for your hardwood furniture. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  100. Julie Says:

    Hi Sam
    We have just had a solid light oak stair fitted and I am wondering which oil would be best to treat it with. Keeping the treads bare so don’t want to varnish but have children and want to protect the wood and obviously bring out the best in the lovely wood. What would you recommend? Danish? Teak?…
    Thanks. Julie

  101. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Julie,

    To keep the wood looking Natural but protected take a look at these two products Osmo Polyx Oil and Osmo Polyx Oil Raw.

    Both these products will protect the wood and are easy to patch repair should damage or stains occur. The Polyx Oil Clear with slightly darken the wood and enhance the grain, wiping a damp cloth across the surface will give you an idea of how this will look. And the Raw Polyx Oil is designed to avoid this darkening effect and leave the wood as natural as possible. Both are also available in sample sizes and I strongly recommend test areas first.

    They are both more durable than some of the traditional oils such as Danish or Teak and will last longer with fewer coats required, let me know if you have any further questions or if I can help with anything – Sam.

  102. Julie Says:

    Thanks! 🙂

  103. Adam C Says:


    I have a walnut worktop in my kitchen, been in about 8 years now and it was treated throughout the years with Speedstone oil & wax based clear sealant (various veg oils, linseed oil etc with wax and parafin etc).

    I’ve just sanded it back as it was wearing in places and so I have a smooth surface again but some areas are clearly more like the original unprotected wood with others clearly still having the Speedstone protection on. I’ve run out of the Speedstone & can’t find it on sale anywhere now!

    Will a few coats of Danish oil over the top now do the trick? (I have the Danish oil & cloth already) I wasn’t 100% sure & don’t want to ruin the surface or have to re-sand it all for a second time.

    Thanks in advance.

  104. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Adam,

    Danish Oil is suitable for worktops, the best thing to do is to a small test area to see what it makes your wood look like. If you don’t like it you can remove quite easily with some White Spirit. There is also a another product that you might consider looking at Manns Top Oil this is a more durable product that only requires 2 thin coats and will not need refreshing as often as Danish Oil.Please let me know if you have any further questions.

    All the Best Sam.

  105. Dean Says:

    Hi , I need 6 oak veneer doors treated but want 2 leave them as natural as possible so no colour change , can u advise me please

  106. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Dean,

    The first thing for me to say is, are there any manufacturers instructions or stickers on the doors that tell you what you can not use. Many veneer doors say that you can not use oils or stains and to go ahead and using these products will invalidate any guarantee that you have.

    Having said that here at Wood Finishes Direct we believe that oils do not have a negative effect on veneers and so we recommend them, but it is at your risk should you go ahead. So that said I would recommend the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural which is designed to leave the wood looking untreated and natural but still offering good protection. 2 thin coats is all that is required for application.

    If you would like to avoid the Oils the the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish is the alternative option and although it will darken slightly it will give a great finish that will enhance the beauty of the wood and protect it. I hope that helps and please let me know should you have any more questions.

    All the best Ben.

    Should you

  107. Anna Says:

    Hi Sam,

    I have a mid-century Elm and Beech wood Ercol table with an oiled finish that I am hoping to revive (minor stains from years of use). When wiping the table with a wet cloth, there is a brown stain coming off, although I am certain the table has not been stained (nor does it smell of tobacco). Could you advise on the best natural oil to use on it (soaking in / drying quickly to allow for it to be used again as quickly as possible) and what the stain might say about previously used products?
    Many thanks,

  108. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Anna,

    It is difficult for me to say what the stain may be but if it is coming off with just water then, maybe a simple water based stain that just colours but offers no protection.

    For an Oil to use you could have a look at the Osmo Polyx Oil this has a drying time of approximately eight hours but if you can leave it a little longer before putting back into full use that would allow the oil to cure better. You should do a test area first to ensure that the Polyx Oil is compatible with any previous oil treatment or remove the previous oil with White Spirits and sanding before applying a fresh treatment. I hope that makes sense and if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to let me know.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  109. Gail Says:


    We have bought a new unfinished rosewood table. We have used it a few times and it has developed a few oily marks from food spills/wiping. Do I need to clean it before I oil it and if so, how?


  110. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Gail,

    Yes I would advise to clean the stains before oiling. You could try wiping with White Spirit first and then lightly sanding any stains that are not removed with the white spirit. Try not to over sand in one particular area as this will close the grain. This in turn will make the oil appear patchy when applied.

    For a hard wearing and protective oil you could look at the Osmo Polyx Oil which require two thin coats and is available in a range of sheen levels. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

    All the Best Ben.

  111. Nick Butler Says:

    Hi Sam,

    I am in the process of finishing some yellow pine floorboards for a customer. I was keen to use a hard wax oil but the customer wanted to use Danish oil, as he believed that was what had been used before.
    Unfortunately, after sanding back and applying the first coat of Danish oil, my customer does not like the result as it has heavily emphasised the red grain. I am thinking of using a Fiddes American tinted hard wax oil to even out the colour difference but Fiddes tell me that I would need to sand back again. I was suppressed at this as both are spirit based products. Do you think I need to sand back or would a wipe over with white spirit do the job. Only one thin coat was applied.

    I would be grateful for any advice.



  112. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Nick,

    Thank you for your inquiry, yes wiping over with White Spirit is the way to go. Generally speaking one oil will go over another without problem but as Fiddes have already adviced to remove the Danish Oil, you should go ahead with that plan.

    I would also recommend a test area with the Fiddes Tints to ensure that you are getting the colour that you and your client want. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with or you have any further questions.

    All the best Sam.

  113. Terrie Says:

    Im upcycling teak furniture (interior not exterior furniture) and want to put life back into the wood.. its looking dull and scratched a bit (i like the scratches for character so not intending to fill these in/sand down). but i read that Teak Oil natural with no finish and no varnish is the best product to use. Would you agree? I want the natural wood and the natural colour of the teak – I don’t want to stain it with any colours. I was also warned never ever use a finish such as varnish, varathane, urethane or any finish that will seal the wood. Once done the benefit of using teak oil is forever gone. Is that true as well? There are a few makes from use/abuse (nt sure what caused them e.g. water damage or what) but you keep suggested a wipe with white spirit. would that apply to teak as well? Thanks!

  114. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Terrie,

    As a tropical Hard wood when Teak is new it often has a high content of its own natural oil in it and so it makes sense that applying and oil to it is the best option. Because it is a hardwood you do need an oil that is slightly thinner than a standard to ensure good absorption and I can recommend the Extra Thin from Osmo as this is specifically designed for tight grained wood such as Teak and Ipe.

    It is fair to say that applying Varnish will prevent you from using an oil, but not forever. Removing the varnish back to bare wood will allow you to again re apply an oil to the wood. But applying varnish and then removing can be a messy business and although varnish is good for many things I would recommend using an oil for your Teak Furniture. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

    All the Best Ben.

  115. STIG Says:

    I have recently had a wooden loft ladder fitted and want to know what oil to use.

  116. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:


    The Osmo Polyx Oil is a hard-wearing and durable Oil that is easy to patch repair and maintain. It will keep the wood looking natural, but will slightly darken. I hope that helps and please let me know if you have any further questions.

    All the Best Sam

  117. Johanna Says:

    We have original 1960s teak staircases which we are planning to restore. I’m not sure but I think there is a small amount of Matt varnish left currently on the wood. Is sanding the best way to remove this prior to refinishing? And could you advise what would be best to use to refinish the wood following this? We would like to use an oil but unsure what type would be best.
    Many thanks!

  118. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Johanna,

    Thank you for your inquiry, the remove any stubborn varnish you could have a look at the Peelaway it is a great stripper for old and new paints and varnishes but test areas are strongly recommended to ensure there are no adverse reactions.

    Once you are back to bare wood then you could have a look at the Extra Thin Oil from Osmo as this is designed for hardwoods such as Teak. It will give what we call the wet look and you can get an idea of this by wiping a damp cloth over the surface of the wood. The darkening that occurs from doing that will show you roughly how the oil will affect the wood. Please let me know if you have any other questions about products or application.

    Kind regards Sam.

  119. ray Says:

    Hi, We have purchase a house that has oak windows and they have been painted. We recently dry ice blasted one inside and like the result. We now need a finish but confused on what would be best. the area we are treating will be inside and the windows have original lead lights. would prefer a lighter finish

    thank you in advance.


  120. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Ray,

    Thank you for your inquiry, would you be able to tell me if the cleaning process you have used has removed all previous products from the wood and you are looking to treat bare wood? It may be easier if you where to send me some photos of the areas that you would like to treat, lightening wood can be difficult but I would be happy to have a look and see if there is anything suitable that I could recommend. You can send details to wood@finishes.direct fao of Sam.

    Kind regards Sam.

  121. ing Says:

    i am building an outdoor run for a small animal from sanded down reclaimed wood, the base of which will be about 1ft underground to allow some burrowing

    i have already coated the base with 2 coats “universal wood care oil” from aldi, without having done proper research first

    is there anything i can do now to make this survive better underground/outside or do i need to start from scratch with new wood and do it properly with a preservative and oil or water-based paint??


  122. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:


    For the best protection I would always recommend applying a good Preservative first this will protect from mould, mildew and rot. And then a top coat products such as Decking Oil will give good UV protection and water repellency.

    Both products advised are not suitable around animals during the application process but once dried they are animal safe. If you have any further questions please do let me know – Sam

  123. Paula Sandilands Says:

    Hi there
    I have had oak unfinished work tops made into a large vanity shelf/ unit for my bathroom on which a sink will sit on top. Could you please advise of treatments to use to protect the wood and waterproof it as much as possible. From reading previous replies I am thinking a preservative then a wax oil? I would like the wood to be as natural as possible with a slight sheen.
    Many thanks

  124. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Paula,

    This is a common question and I nearly always recommend the Osmo Wood Protector first, as this will help to keep the wood flexible and nourished in the different temperature and humidity changes that occur in a bathroom.

    As a top coat product I would recommend the Osmo Polyx Oil the clear oil will protect and enhance the natural finish of the wood, creating a water repellent surface that is easy to clean and maintain. Always try a test area first and if you have any further questions please feel free to get in touch.

    Kind regards Sam.

  125. Dave Says:

    Hello sam, I have 3 oak veneer doors that I have just been fitted and are brand new I have been told to use danish oil on just want to know if this is the right advice .thanks in advance , dave

  126. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Dave,

    As long as there are no instructions from the manufacturers that state you should not use oils, then a Danish Oil would be an ideal product to use on you doors. Let me know if you have any further questions and don’t forget to do a test area first.

    Kind regards Sam.

  127. Nick Says:

    I’m about to build a dining table out of American oak. I would prefer an oiled finish.
    And was wondering if I should use boiled linseed oil or the osmo polix oil?
    Thanks nick

  128. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Nick,

    The Osmo Polyx Oil will give a better level of protection and water repellency than a linseed Oil. It will also have a quicker drying time and require less coats. The Polyx is available in sample sizes and I would always recommend a test area first. Please feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

    All the Best Sam.

  129. Harris Says:

    I have oiled some oak skirting and was planning on varnishing as a finishing cost. But decided against it as I have read varnish is water based and shouldn’t be mixed with oil.
    Could I protect the oil by waxing instead of varnishing or should I just leave the oiled skirting and re-oil every 6 months.

  130. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Harris,

    No you can not apply varnish over an oil. Can you tell me which type/brand of oil you have used and I will be able to advice you further.

    Kind regards Sam.

  131. Carol Says:

    Hello, I have an oak dresser where some of the top coat (assume it’s varnish or poly) has been worn off from a perfume bottle that leaked onto the top. What is the best way to repair a small spot (ring) without sanding down the entire piece?

  132. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Carol,

    We have a blog about repairing a varnished Floor and the principles will be the same. It is not as easy to repair an varnished surface as it is and oiled one, and it may not be completely invisible but have a read of this blog and you can decide from there >>> http://www.wood-finishes-direct.com/blog/wood-flooring-varnish-repair/

    And if you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  133. Stuart Royston Says:


    What a great find this website has been and I’ve gleaned a lot if useful information. I’m looking for some advice on how best to treat external Iroko staircases as I’ve got a lot of differing opinions.

    I’d like to keep and enhance the natural look and thought that Danish oil would be the best option, however this seems to be fairly maintenance intensive. Being external I’m keen to avoid making them slippery in wet weather and would ideally like to keep maintenance to a minimum.

    Any advice would be very gratefully received.

    Kind regards


  134. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Stuart,

    Because you are looking to treat Iroko, which is a hard tropical wood, I would recommend Osmo Teak Oil this is a thinner oil more suited to hard woods that have a tight grain. This would need regular maintenance due to the fact that there is no UV Protection in this product.

    You could look at applying the Anti Slip Decking Oil if the wood will take this, test areas will show, both these products are available in sample sizes.

    Although regular ( annually or Bi annually ) maintenance is needed with oil application it is easier to re oil than when varnish is used, because although a varnish will last longer it will eventually peel and flake and need removing in order to retreat.

    I hope that helps and please let me know if you have any further questions.

    All the Best Sam.

  135. James Frediani Says:

    I am replacing the wood slats in an outdoor park bench. I am using White oak. What kind of oil would I use to best protect from the weather and UV.

  136. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello James,

    I would first recommend a Preservative which will protect against mould, mildew and rot and then any of the decking oils with UV Filters in such as Manns UV Decking Oil or Ronseal Decking Oil

  137. John Says:

    Hi… I’ve just bought a van which has been ply lined. I would like to protect it. I carry pallets which are slid in as well wooden furniture. My last van had some kind of dark coating that protected it but I don’t know if it was stain or varnish or both? Do you know what would be best to protect the ply on the floor.

  138. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello John,

    You could have a look at the Ronseal Diamond Hard Floor Varnish which is an easy to apply hard wearing and durable finish. And with a range of colours you can get a dark or light finish to the interior of your van. I hope that helps and please do let me know if you have any other questions.

    Kind regards Sam.

  139. Haydn Says:

    I’m looking to apply some oil over the top of the black Ronseal Total Wood Preserver I bought from you and was wondering if you could recomend something suiutable? It’s going on a log store and will be outside (obviously). Cheaper option would pre preferable as it’s large and I fear that Osmo etc. would be prohibitive.

    Also, I have a teak table and chairs to re-finish outside. In the past I’ve used teak oil, but was thinking of using something with UV filters this time, as I prefer the orange teak look to the silvered, weathered look. Which out of all the oils you do is most water resistant and has the highest UV and wear resistance?


  140. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Haydn,

    The best option would be to apply a Black Oil over the top and this is only available in the Osmo ranges. Although some what pricey the Osmo needs to be applied very thinly and so is really quite cost effective as a little goes a long way. Applying a black Oil will also greatly improve the UV resistance. And just requires a top up coat when you feel that the wood needs it.

    Alternatively you can apply a clear oil over the top with out loosing the black effect finish that you have achieved with the Ronseal and any clear Decking Oil with UV Filters would be suitable, Decking Oil from Manns is a popular choice as is Ronseal Decking Oil

    I hope this helps and feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

    All the Best Sam.

  141. Ron Says:

    Having used up my 500ml bottle of Barrettine teak oil halfway through oiling my oak garden furniture, I ordered the 2 litre bottle from yourselves.
    Unlike the smaller bottle this one states ‘Not recommended for use on oak’.

    Have I damaged the wood ?
    Why not recommended ?

  142. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Ron,

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention, I have just been and checked both bottles and they do both state ‘Not recommended for use on Oak’ it is only Barrettine that state this as other brands such as Ronseal are happy for the product to be used on Oak. The reason that Barrettine do not advise use on Oak is to do with the Tannins in oak when mixed with some oils, can cause blackening of the wood. However in the last 10 years WFD has traded we have only heard of this happening once.

    It would also be fair to say that if the Oak is older and more weathered it is less likely to result in any black patches than fresh new or green oak would. I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get back in touch.

    Kind regards Sam.

  143. Jessica Says:

    I have cedar installed on the ceiling of my shower, and as trim around the windows. The shower is new and the wood is still raw. I have read that boiled linseed oil is what I should use to protect the wood from water damage. I have several questions:
    1. Do you agree about the linseed oil or is there another product I should use. I am in the US and trying to get the project wrapped up soon.
    2. How many coats of oil do I need to anticipate applying for the best protection?

    Thank you for any guidance!

  144. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Jessica,

    Here at WFD we would recommend the use of the Osmo Wood Protector to go on first. This will help to keep the wood flexible and nourished through the varying temperature and humidity changes. And then a coat of a Hard Wax Oil such as Osmo Polyx Oil for water repellency. Two thin coats of this would be enough and then regular maintenance. Unfortunately we do not deliver to the States but I do believe that Osmo have some suppliers out there.

    All the Best Sam.

  145. Haydn Says:

    Hi Sam, thanls for the reply. However, I did ask a second question earlier:
    I have a teak table and chairs to re-finish outside. In the past I’ve used teak oil, but was thinking of using something with UV filters this time, as I prefer the orange teak look to the silvered, weathered look. Which out of all the oils you do is most water resistant and has the highest UV and wear resistance?


  146. Haydn Says:

    Sorry, another question too.

    Do the clear versions of the decking oils still have the same UV resistance as the tinted versions?


  147. Katie Says:

    Hi there

    We have cedar fences which have lost their lovely natural colour. The sun has bleached them I’m guessing. They are not grey yet as only been up for 6 months. How do I get the lovely colour back and protect the wood? We’ve tried stains but they come out a horrible orange colour. Would Danish oil be any good? All the best Katie

  148. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Katie,

    You may find that a clear oil is all you need to bring back the colour of the wood. Clear oils will enhance the natural colour and grain of the wood. You could try wiping with a damp cloth as this will give an indication of what a clear oil will achieve. The problem with clear oil however is that the UV Protection is limited and regular top ups are required to prevent the natural silvering of the wood.

    I would recommend Manns UV Decking Oil. as a good option if the wet test works. Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.

    All the Best Sam.

  149. pamela Says:

    Dear Sam,

    I have had a Danish teak dining table sanded and oiled using ordinary Osmo oil but I am concerned because if any small drops of oil or grease land on the table they seem to be penetrating the surface and staining it. We are trying to decide what to do and have had conflicting advice. Some people say to strip it back and use Osmo extra thin, others to use teak or danish oil and others to lacquer it. Please could you let me know what you would do.

    Many thanks,

  150. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Pamela,

    You have been recommended Extra Thin because Teak is a hardwood with a tight grain that will absorb less oil. And so a thinner oil is more suited, however as long as the Polyx Oil has absorbed into the surface of the wood there should be no problems. The oil is water repellent and resists many liquids but if anything oil based is spilt it will start to absorb if not removed promptly. The good thing about the Polyx Oil is that it is easy to patch repair, simply sand back the area effected and re apply some oil, it will blend well.

    Varnish/ Lacquer will give more resistance to liquids, but even that can get marked by oils that are not wiped up promptly. All that said both products dry hard and as look as they are applied correctly then the issue of stains and marks are likely to be very limited if at all. I hope that sets your mind at rest and if you have any other questions please do let me know.

    All the Best Sam.

  151. Tiffany Says:

    Dear Sam,

    I am restore a horse shaped child’s desk for a community auction later this year. It is a pine desk and the lid has warped. We were able to sand it down, restore moisture an used some weights to press it back down to straight. We left the weight on for about 24-30 hours but 12 hours after taking the weight off, the bow began to come back. Would tung oil help to keep the bow out? What else can we do?

    Thank you much!

  152. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Tiffany,

    Sorry I am not sure that I can help you with this one. Oil will definitely help the wood, but not reduce the bow. You may be better asking advice from the many wood work forums on the net. Sorry I could not be of more help.

    Good Luck Sam.

  153. Peter Says:

    I have a pitch pine pew to preserve for outside use what is the best way to protect it .it lives in a very sunny quite wind position. Many thanks.peter.

  154. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Peter,

    Thank you for your inquiry, my first recommendation would be to use a Preservative from Osmo this will help prevent mould, mildew and rot. I recommend this one as it available in a smaller size tin, whereas many of our other are only in 5 Litre tins.

    Then an Oil top coat to protect Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra for a clear finish or Natural Oil Woodstain for a coloured finish. Test areas are always advised and these products are available in sample sizes. If you have any other question please do get back in touch.

    Kind regards Sam.

  155. Ryan Says:

    I recently purchased 2 vintage Wegner wishbone chairs. They were previously oiled but not maintained by the owners. The joints where re-glued with epoxy and there were numerous water stains. All this to say that I decided to lightly sand them in order to remove the areas where epoxy had run and the areas with water spots. I had hoped to keep the patina and just oil them. Now that I’ve sanded them, I’m trying to determine what is the best oil to use. Teak, Lemon, Tung???? I’d like to keep the chairs as natural as possible and don’t mind if they develop a patina

    Thanks for your help


  156. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Ryan,

    Tung Oil is the oil that will change the wood the least. With a drying time of around 18 hours, it requires 3- 5 coats and then regular maintenance, depending on use.

    Alternatively for a slightly more durable finish you could look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil although like many oils this will darken the wood slightly. Test areas are essential not only to ensure you like the finish that you will achieve but also to check there is no adverse reaction to any previous treatment or that absorption is prevented. I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

    Kind regards Sam.

  157. Kez Says:


    I’ve just had some renovation works in my house.
    There was already dark walnut stained solid oak floors fitted downstairs and we had some caramel coloured oak hardwood installed upstairs.
    Our decorators after cleaning washed the floor downstairs then applied teak oil.
    The upstairs was new and not particularly dirty during the works but they real oiled it anyway.
    It’s been 3 days and it remains sticky and has darkened the wood upstairs.

    Can I ‘undo’ anything for the upstairs and how best to clean and polish the downstairs after they’ve teak oiled it ??? What can I do to stop the stickiness.

    I feel really stupid that I just let them do whatever to my floor.

  158. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Kez,

    Really they should have carried out a test area first to ensure that they where using the right products for your stairs. It could be over application that is causing the long drying time or stickiness. You can try wiping over with some white spirits to remove the excess oil that is not drying.

    The Oil is supposed to soak into the surface of the wood and as it is oak is likely to need a thin application. When oil remains tacky this is usually the result of it being unable to absorb due to over application or something on the wood that is preventing penetration. Try the white spirits and see how you get on. You can always come back to me if it doesn’t work and you need more advice.

    Kind regards Sam.

  159. Chris MacRae Says:

    Hi, I,m looking to treat the first two or thee boards of our oak floor next to the front door and the threshold, with something that will protect it more than the matte oil which is currently on it (I’m sorry, I don’t know exactly what it has been treated with). It has become slightly water damaged over the course of the year the floor has been down, because of heavy traffic and wet boots / pushchairs etc. If possible I would like to keep it as matte as possible, but don’t mind a slight sheen if necessary. Is there anything you can recommend? Thanks.

  160. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Chris,

    Hard Wax Oils are durable and hard wearing but will need topping up in areas such as doorways or high traffic areas sooner than others. The good thing about oils is that they are easy to patch repair and will blend well for situations such as yours.

    A test area should be done first to check compatibility with your current oil and to ensure that you will get a finish that you like. The Hard Wax Oil is available in same sizes for you try, and please do let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  161. Peter Says:


    I have recently purchased a house with hardwood windows that are 40years old
    I will be painting them grey externally with a opaque osmo product.

    Internally I have rubbed them back to bear wood and was going to use a an osmo oil which is clear to show the wood off. However the oils such as osmo say for external use only? Could you recommend the best oil for my windows internally.
    Also should I have any concerns about the bathroom area that has excessive condensation build up when using an oil?

    Kind regards


  162. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Peter,

    An interior oil from Osmo is the Polyx Oil this is a clear oil that will protect and enhance the look of the wood, darkening it slightly. It is available in sample sizes and I would recommend a test area first.

    For the Bathroom I would also recommend a first coat of the Osmo Wood Protector which will prevent the wood from going brittle over time. Condensation can cause issues if the wood is not maintained well but the Osmo ranges are very good protective treatments. Have a read up of the products and let me know if you have any questions.

    All the Best Sam.

  163. Janet Says:

    Hi Sam,
    Found your very interesting website and thought it best to ask my questions here.
    I have recently oiled with teak oil in a spray can an unknown hardwood bench from Morrison’s without realising I needed to use preservative first. I ran out of oil after one coat,couldn’t get any more locally but could get some decking oil which I hoped would go on top ok using a brush or rag (cannot find out what oil decking oil consists of?) But wanted to ask you if it is too late to apply something like the Barretine preservative BETWEEN coats for extra protection? Thanks, Janet

  164. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Janet,

    Thank you for your inquiry, unfortunately you can not apply a preservative over the oil as the oil will prevent penetration. You can wait for a couple of years for the oil to wear away and then lightly sand to remove any left over, and then treat with the preservative. Or if you really want to apply the preservative then sand back now and start again. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  165. Adrienne Quertier Says:


    I have recently had some rimu board placed along the top of my bath which has a shower over it. The builder has finished the rimu board with Danish Oil. Firstly, will the oil protect the wood against everyday showers with hot water? Secondly, the wood has been nailed in place; if I go over it again (wood and nails) with the oil, will this keep it waterproof where the nails have entered the wood?

    Thank you

  166. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Adrienne,

    It would be fair to say that most Oils give a fair to good level of water repellency, but no product, even varnish is fully waterproof. So any standing water or excessive exposure to water can result in stains or marks. Refreshing the oil regularly will help maintain the durability and ensuring good coverage around nailed areas, but any exposed wood will get damaged by water penetration.

    If you would like a more durable product you could have a look at the Osmo Polyx Oil with a base coat of the Osmo Wood Protector which will help prevent the wood getting brittle when exposed to differing temperatures and humidity’s. Do let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards Sam.

  167. Maria Says:

    We just build pine book shelves. I bought tung oil and put it in the side. It looks the same though it probably gives protection. What will happen if we did not use tung or any other oil on the pine hook shelves? What is the worst thing that can happen? I am asking because we like how they look and smell raw without any oil. Thank you very much.

  168. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Maria,

    You may find over time, depending on the environment that they are in that there is some warping, although this could equally not happen, it would be the result of changes of temperature or moisture levels through the year. And the wood may mark easily with for example cup stains or moisture. Or finger prints can mark the wood also. These would be difficult to clean off and may need sanding or degreasing. Dust and dirt will potentially be difficult to clean off also, but not impossible, it can collect and accumulate in the grain also which could be slightly harder to clean off

    So essentially all of the things that the oil protects from are what the wood would be susceptible to. Any of these changes, marks or stains however could be very minimal if at all based on how you use the shelves over time. Feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  169. Sue Says:

    My husband made and installed very solid iroko window frames in our house about 30 years ago, as well as fencing.They haven’t had much maintenance but the top halves of the window frames are still brown. The bottoms have greyed, along with the fencing. I’ve started sanding back the woodwork and it’s coming up well, but some parts of the window mouldings are looking worn and I’m worried the wood will deteriorate further. I don’t mind a grey finish but am thinking of using pure tung oil as protection. Temperatures range from -7 to +30 in my area, with a lot of sun. Do you think tung will do the job?

  170. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Sue,

    Yes the Tung Oil would be ideal for your project it allows the wood to be flexible in changing temperatures and climates and will help to keep the wood water repellent. Water ingress is the biggest problem when it comes to wood and so regular maintenance will help to prevent damage. There is very little UV protection in this oil however so wood may continue to silver a little over time.

    Feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

    All the Best Sam.

  171. Liz Says:

    We have ordered an unfinished oak worktop. What oil is best to protect it and also darken the colour too? (We have dark wood floors and didn’t want oak to look too orange in comparison) . Thanks.

  172. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Liz,

    You could have a look at the Holzol Worktop Oil it is a clear oil that will protect the wood and give good water repellency. It will darken the wood slightly for you and I would recommend a test area first to ensure that you are getting the finish that you want.

    If you have a read up on the product and we have a helpful video on worktops on our You Tube Channel >>> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7-tgwbsUxm73aVnAjLGHRA and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  173. Lesley Morris Says:

    We have some hard wood gates that seem to have a coating that can peel off, hence water is seeping in, I would like to remove this coating and just stain and oil them to make it easier in maintaining in future years without having to go to an enormous amount of work.

  174. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Lesley,

    As it is peeling and flaking it could be either a paint or a varnish and for stripping this you could consider Paint Panther its a fast acting stripper that makes the treatment bubble up for scrapping off with a Mako Filler Knife

    Once you are back to bare wood then I would recommend a good quality preservative such as Osmo WR Base Coat and then a top coat of the Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra two thin coats will give great protection. And can be topped up annually or when you feel the wood needs it. If you have any further questions please do let me know.

    Kind regards Sam.

  175. Johanna C Says:

    I’ve made a drawer cabinet for cutlery and want to know the best way to protect the wood. I want a very natural look, like its not treated at all if possible. The exterior is oak, the drawers are ash with plywood inserts. The cutlery will only touch the plywood. Does the plywood treatment need to be ‘food-safe’. I planned to use teak oil but not sure if it suitable for both the exterior and drawers. Any advice would be great

  176. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Johanna,

    A Hard Wax Oil is a good option. It is food safe and gives the wood great protection, whilst leaving it looking and feeling very natural. The clear will darken the wood slightly and it is advised to carry out a test area first to ensure that you will like the finish achieved.

    And the link above will take you the extra thin oil that would be suitable for harder woods such as Oak and I would expect the 125 ml tin will cover approximately one and half to two meters squared. If you have a read up of the products and let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  177. Kelly Says:

    Hi there, I hope you can help me. I am looking to buy a large antique cherrywood dining table that has been varnished. Unfortunately, I’m not keen on the high gloss look of varnish. Would it be possible to remove the varnish and oil the furniture instead? If so, can you recommend the best oil for the job? I would prefer the wood to look slightly darker too, if possible.

    Thank you in advance, Kelly

  178. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Kelly,

    Thank you for your inquiry. It would be possible for you to remove the varnish with a product such as the Paint Panther it is a gel like substance that you can apply and leave for around 5 minutes. The varnish will bubble up to be scrapped off with a Filler Knife you should always try a test area first to ensure that it will work for your project.

    Once all the varnish is removed, you can give a light sand and clean ready for application of an oil. A clear oil such as Holzol Top Oil is a good option. Clear oils will darken the wood slightly and you can get an idea of how much by wiping a damp ( not wet ) cloth over the surface of the bare wood.

    If this is not dark enough then you could have a look at the Tint Ranges from Fiddes. If you have a look at the products recommended and let me know if you have any further questions. Always try a test area first.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  179. christopher marsh Says:


    i have a table that has fiddes stripped pine supreme wax on it

    i love the look, but the protection against stains. water etc is terrible

    it there anything i can use as a protective layer over the top that will keep the look?

    if i use something like osmo poylx do i need to sand it right back to the wood (which is a much lighter colour than the wax)

    many thanks


  180. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Christopher,

    Wax is great for giving a beautiful finish, but not so great on the protection levels. Polyx Oil is a much more durable product that still leaves the wood looking and feeling natural. It does however require application to bare wood as it needs to penetrate into the surface and the wax will prevent or very much slow this process down.

    We also have some very helpful videos on our You Tube Channel >>> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7-tgwbsUxm73aVnAjLGHRA with tips about application. And if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to let me know.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  181. Mat Flint Says:


    We’ve just recently purchased the following oak table from John Lewis

    What would you recommend for this? My father-in-law has suggested Danish oil, but I have also been recommended that Osmo would be a good bet?

    Thanks in advance.

  182. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Mat,

    The Polyx Oil will give a more durable finish than a Danish Oil for sure and will require less frequent maintenance coats.

    A test area should be done, first to ensure that there are no compatibility issues with the current treatment, and secondly to check that the wood is not saturated and will accept more. And also to ensure that you will like the finish to be achieved.

    This is not to say that the Danish Oil would not be suitable for your project because it certainly would and is a traditional treatment for wood finishing.

    I hope that helps and please do let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards Sam.

  183. Alwyn Says:

    I have just acquired a hard wood garden bench (oak/elm) which hasn’t been treated in any way. Having read lots of posts and viewed websites I am confused as to whether teak oil or danish oil is the way to go.
    I understand it’s all about keeping the wood ‘moist’ (!) / lubricated and that frequent coatings is the best way to look after it however which oil to use and how often is the question ?
    Also something else I read suggested that once a year it’s a good idea to sand it all back and start again.
    Any light you can shed on this would be most appreciated. I should say that because of space the bench will be in all weathers all year round.
    Thank you

  184. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Alwyn,

    Thank you for your inquiry. Teak Oil or Danish Oil would both be suitable for your project and would need regular top ups through the year to maintain there protective benefits. I would not think you will need to remove yearly, more every few years to retreat.

    Alternatively you could have a look at Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra which is much more durable than the other two and requires maintenance coats perhaps once a year or two, rather than every six months. And again this woul dnot need removing, simply a clean and top up coat when you feel the wood needs it.

    I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

    All the Best Sam.

  185. Luke Says:

    Hello Sam,

    Excellent blog, apologies if you have already covered this one:

    Indoor kitchen table, made from reclaimed teak, untreated, has quite a deep grain. The seller sold me a tin of Briwax to put on it, however I have read complaints that water lifts the briwax and leaves ring marks on the table.

    What should I use to best protect this wooden table top? I want a finish as close as possible to the raw wood, not shiney, maybe a bit darker if necessary. But critically I want to be able to use it without fear of marking the table.

    I read your how to guide at the top of this page, Tung oil seems to be the best option but difficult to apply, so perhaps Teak oil would be best?


  186. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Luke,

    Thank you for your inquiry. I would recommend taking a look at the Osmo Extra Thin Its a durable hard wax oil that gives great protection and makes the wood water repellent. It is a thinner oil than standard, which is ideal for dense woods such as teak that will only absorb a very small amount due to its tight grain.

    I would recommend a test area first to ensure that you like the finish that will be achieved, as this will darken the wood slightly. This product is available in sample sizes also. I hope that helps and if you have any other questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Kind regards Sam.

  187. Ted Honey Says:

    Please help we have an old farmhouse in France with a lot of oak beams showing all very old bur untreated which oil would it be best to use
    Many thanks for your help

  188. Taylor Says:

    Hello Ted,

    Thank you for your inquiry, we often recommend Supreme Wax Polish for beams as they need little in the way of durability and more nourishment and many people like a natural look and feel to the beams.

    If you need something a bit more durable than a wax you could have a look at a Hard Wax Oil which will soak in to the surface of the wood and is easy to keep clean and maintain over time, requiring far less top ups than a wax may do. If you have a look at the products and of course feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

    All the Best Samantha

  189. Arina Says:

    Hello and thank you for this informative article! Can you recommend the best finish for wooden coasters? They have to be heat- and waterproof and finished in only two days.

  190. Taylor Says:

    Hello Arina,

    We have some good products for finishing coasters and you could have a look at Extra Tough Interior Varnish, it is water repellent and heat resistant varnish. We have carried out many tests with this product for liquid resistance and durability and it stands up well against most things as long as it is applied correctly. It has a quick drying time although a full cure is around 72 hours plus depending on conditions and temperature. Test areas are always recommended and if you have any further questions please feel free to let me know.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  191. jane green Says:

    I have just purchased a weathered acacia table. and it has arrived very pale as if it has been white washed.. they have assured me it hasn’t. But is there a finishing oil I can use to darken it. they have said it will darken with age..
    Please can you help me as I am so disappointed with the result. I am not sure if they are
    very helpful, also it was quite expensive.

  192. Taylor Says:

    Hello Jane,

    If the wood has no product currently on it then you can apply an oil, a clear oil will darken the wood and you can get an idea of how much by wiping a damp cloth over the surface. A clear oil may well be enough to get the look that you want. Can you tell me if the table is for internal or external use and I will be able to recommend a finishing product that you can use.

    If you think the clear oil will not darken enough then you could consider a coloured oil to darken. Feel free to email me with a photo if that will help to wood@finishes.direct

    Kind Regards Samantha

  193. Joanne Borg Says:

    I have quite a few pieces of G-Plan fresco furniture and I am tempted to restore them as they have a few scratches and slight water marks here and there. Would you kindly give me a step by step process on how I would attempt this and which oils you would recommend? Many thanks….

  194. Sam Says:

    Hello Joanne,

    If its minor repairs that you are carrying out, small scratches then you could have a look at the Manns Wax Filler Sticks which are ideal for small scratches. And for water marks, often a medium Iron over a tea towel on the stain can draw out white rings caused by water marks, do take care when doing this and try a small test first to ensure no damage is caused and this would have to be done at you own risk.

    You are welcome to email me some photos to see what the damage is if you feel the above is not suitable. Our email address is wood@finishes.direct I will be happy to help further.

    All the Best Samantha.

  195. Gene Says:

    I am trying to get 1″x12″ rough sawn boards to look old and dark like old wooden barns or graineries. Is there a oil product that can be sprayed or brushed on? The boards will be used on a new barn that I am tying to make look old and more natural.

  196. Sam Says:

    Hello Gene,

    We do often get asked about making new wood look old to make it fit in with surroundings and we have a number of products that can help with that. It will very much depend on the colour that you are hoping to achieve, but as a starting point I can recommend the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Tints this product gives great protection whilst adding a colour to the wood.

    As the wood is rough sawn you may find application of this oil could be patchy which will help with the old look, also after it has dries, some sanding can help take away the freshly applied look. Another thing that is and option is to apply one colour first and then another over the top but leaving the underneath showing through in areas to give a worn effect. Test areas will be the key to getting the effect that you want.

    If little protection is needed for the wood, as in it is not flooring or furniture then you could also consider a coloured Wax which can give a very natural look to the wood. Or the Water Based Stain to achieve a washed out look.

    If you have a look at these product and feel free to ask me any further questions, I am happy to help.

    All the Best Samantha.

  197. Stephen Says:

    I have a pine table from Next which appears to have been stained with a furniture oil. I recently had an accident where a bottle of insect repellant containing deet leaked from the bottle. The liquid seems to have eaten through the finish on the table and caused a ring to appear underneath where the bottle was placed (my bad!). I created a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water and placed it on the stain for a few seconds, before wiping away, in an attempt to remove any acid in the wood. Would it be possible to restore the table by touching the area up with some wood oil or would I have to strip back the entire surface? I was told a neutral colour furniture oil was used but the colour of the wood where the stain is doesn’t suggest this when compared to the colour surrounding it. I have pictures if this might assist. I would be greatly for any help and suggestions :o)

  198. Sam Says:

    Hello Stephen,

    Generally oils are easy to patch repair, however it does help to have the original oil that the wood was treated with. If you are able to send some photos of the area to be treated/repaired and the whole table and I will happily take a look for you. You can email to wood@finishes.direct and I will see what I can recommend for you.

    All the Best Samantha.

  199. Lynn Says:

    Could you advise me please what product would be best to protect the interior walls and ceiling of a newly built pine cabin from fingermarks/general wear and tear etc. Would like as natural as possible finish.

    Many thanks

  200. Sam Says:

    Hello Lynn,

    You could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil. This oil soaks in to the surface of the wood and gives great durability and protection to the wood. It give a natural look and feel to the wood. And is easy to clean, maintain and repair over time. If you have a look at the product and our You Tube video >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzuvYbTjO-E and feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

    Kind regards Samantha

  201. Lauren Says:


    What a helpful site you have!

    I’ve just purchased a custom live edge wooden bench made of lovely reclaimed Yew. The wood has many different swirls and shades of colors. However in finishing the item, the furniture designer has used a heavy coat of natural oil which has tinted all the different shades of brown to various shades of orange. Can you please tell me what is the best way for me to restore the colors back to shades of brown?

    Thank you so so much!

  202. Sam Says:

    Hello Lauran,

    To remove the current oil finish you can use White Spirits and a Finishing Pads this should remove most of the oil, any stubborn oil may need to be sanded out.

    Once back to bare wood I think you may need to leave to dry out for a few weeks and see how the wood looks. Do you know if the orange area is heart wood ? And what oil it was originally treated with ?

    I think in order to get a more brown finish to the wood, you will need to apply a stain such as Light Fast Stain , this will give a strong colour and should not raise the grain as a water based stain may do. Test areas are very important however as the wood that you are applying to will have an impact on the overall colour that can be achieved. And the woods natural tones can be highlighted when treatment is applied.

    Once you have the desired colour then a top coat of clear oil can be applied to protect, but again a test area should be carried out to see how the oil impacts on the stain. I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate tot let me know.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  203. Julie Says:

    Hi.. firstly may I say what a fabulously informative site this is. I have a pine dining room table which was untreated when I bought it and sustained some minor water damage following a leak through the ceiling above it. Having left the water to dry out over some months, the evidence of the leak still remains. What would be the best way to disguise these marks? I thought perhaps using an antique pine danish oil may work?

  204. Sam Says:

    Hello Julie,

    There are a number of suggested ways to remove water stains, however I can not guarantee any of them as it is not something that we have tested here at Wood Finishes Direct. Generally these will only work for pale or white water stains but they are worth a go >>> Rub the area with an oily furniture polish, mayonnaise, or petroleum jelly, if this does not work try putting a little toothpaste on a wet cloth and rub the stain gently until the spot disappears. If the stain is still there, mix equal amounts of baking soda and toothpaste together to make a slightly stronger, yet still mild, abrasive and rub that mixture on the stain.

    Try all the above with care and although I cannot endorse these methods as such many people have recommended them on various forums and websites. If the stain is a dark colour then this means that the water has soaked deeper into the wood and is a little harder to remove. You will need to try sanding back to remove the stain. I hope that helps and feel free to come back to me if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  205. John Says:

    Hello Sam

    I am going to install some French doors from one of the leading internet suppliers. The doors are oak veneered and will face south-west although in a fairly sheltered spot in southern England.

    The suppliers will provide the doors and frames in ‘unfinished’ or ‘treated’. The treated ones (which cost quite a lot more) are apparently varnished and are guaranteed for 3 years.

    My concern is that if I get the treated finish, it will eventually crack and peel off (probably after 3 1/2 years!).
    Would I be better getting ‘unfinished’ doors and treating them with oil? If so, which?

    Thanks for your very informative and helpful website.

    Regards – John

  206. Sam Says:

    Hello John,

    I would tend to recommend an oil over a varnish for exterior finishes. The reason being as you say varnishes can tend to peel and flake over time. It would be fair to say that a varnish will last longer in terms of protection and durability than an oil, however once it comes to the end of life or gets damaged it is likely to need stripping off in order to retreat.

    With an Oil you can simply re apply a fresh coat if and when you feel that the wood needs it, without the need to strip it back to bare wood. You may also want to consider a preservative to protect against mould, mildew and rot before the application of an Oil.

    If you have a read up of the products and do let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  207. Rod Says:

    which oil is best for wooden cutley handles

  208. Sam Says:

    Hello Rod,

    If you are applying to bare wood then you could consider the Hard Wax Oil its very durable and will dry hard so not leeching or rubbing off in your hands. It is available in a 250ml sample tin and a little goes a long way.

    If it is a hardwood you may need to look at the Extra Thin Oil from Osmo to get a better absorption.

    If you have a read up of the product and feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  209. Trudy Says:

    We have had 3 Oak internal doors fitted in the kitchen and airing cupboard, we were told to use linseed oil but after reading this site we are not sure! So many different oils! We would like a matt / satin finish, not gloss. Sorry if this question has already been asked!
    Thank you for your help!

  210. Sam Says:

    Hello Trudy,

    It can be difficult with so many variations on the market. The Linseed oil is an option for sure. It will offer limited protection and good nourishment to the wood. It is easy to apply and you can add a number of layers. It does have a slow drying time however but for some this traditional oil is ideal.

    If you are looking for something that is a little quicker in drying time and requires less coats then the Hard Wax Oil is a great option. It is more durable and hard wearing, will last longer in terms of protection and still gives that natural look and feel to the wood.

    I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  211. steve Says:

    Hi sam
    I’ve just brought a classic car with solid teak door caps that have began to lose the lacquer due to sunlight I’ve sanded one and done the olive oil test and it’s soaked in what’s the best oil to apply to give a deep finish

  212. Sam Says:

    Hi Steve,

    Can you tell me if these caps are inside the car ? Sorry, not an expert on classic cars, but I will be happy to help if I know the location.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  213. Kim Says:

    I need to order some Osmo extra thin teak oil to touch up a 35 year old elaborate hand carved teak table and legs.

    Where, how much for small quantity, and how. 3144844442

  214. Sam Says:

    Hello Kim,

    You can order the Extra Thin via the website or by calling our freephone number 0800 7818 123.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  215. Stephen Says:

    Hi, we just bought a new oak kitchen table. When we ordered it we were told that we would need to oil it regularly to maintain it which we were happy to do. Now that the the table has been delivered it came with a leaflet saying that it is a lacquer finish and that it should only be wiped with a dry cloth.

    How do we care for this table (which with two small kids will get a lot of abuse!)? Can we/should we oil it? Worst case we are considering putting a sheet of glass over the top to protect it.



  216. Sam Says:

    Hello Stephen,

    A lacquer is very similar to a varnish in that it is a surface sealer. It should offer good protection but with out knowing which lacquer it is, I can not comment. It is not possible to apply an oil over a lacquer as the oil needs to penetrate into the wood, the current finish will prevent this.

    You can see how you get on with the current finish an if it is durable enough. Or if you find that its not or you would like to change the finish, you can sand back to bare wood and choose a product such as Hard Wax oil. Its a hard wearing and natural looking finish that is easy to maintain and repair over time.

    For marks and scrapes that can occur when you have children ( I know all about that ) the oil finishes are good to be patch repaired, simply sand back with a Finishing Pad, clean and then re oil.

    I hope that helps and feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  217. Kate Says:

    I have acquired a teak patio set that is close to 30 years old and still structurally sound but desperately needs restoring. It weathered in the desert (lots of sun & low humidity) so the surface in some places is roughened and it was given entirely too much attention by neighborhood cats. It originally had some varnish or varathane(?) applied to the bench/chair arms, had been oiled at various stages with probably a variety of furniture oils.

    We live in forest country – no visiting cats here! – and I have the time and space to restore the set. I’ve power-washed it which got it pretty clean but . . . I am thinking the best thing now is to just sand it down to bare wood but once I’ve done that, then what? My husband loves the honey color of oiled teak – so no grey weathering. Also, we recently purchased another bench and small side table to add to the set and they are totally unfinished. I’d like the finish on the new and old to be as close to a match as possible. Suggestions?

  218. Sam Says:

    Hello Kate,

    If you are able to get all the furniture back to bare wood then a good option will be the Garden Furniture Oil. A protective oil for new, untreated and weathered garden furniture, with low odour and easy application.

    Have a read up of the product and feel free to come back to me if you have any questions.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  219. steve Says:

    Hi sam
    The door caps are inside the car
    Kind regards steve

  220. Kim Says:

    Hi Sam,

    I have lots of opened olive oils in my kitchen.
    May I use the olive oil on my deck? If yes, could you tell me how to do it.
    Also may I use the decking stain after using the olive oil treatment?

    Thank you for your advise,

    Kind regards,

  221. Sam Says:

    Hello Kim,

    I would not advice Olive Oil for a decking treatment, it will not be durable enough and is unlikely to last very long. There is also a chance that it will get mouldy on the surface of the wood or be effected by heat in the summer. We have a wide range of decking treatments available on our website >>> Garden Decking Treatments and you are welcome to call and speak to one of our friendly advisers on our free phone number 0800 7818 123 or 01303 213830

    Kind regards Samantha.

  222. Angus Says:

    Is it acceptable to use flooring oil on a new bare oak kitchen worktop?
    Also is it acceptable mix mix floor oil like Morels with tung oil to apply to furniture?

  223. Sam Says:

    Hello Angus,

    I am not familiar with the Morrells Floor Oil but I would expect that to be more than suitable for the floor with out having to add any thing. For more advice you could give us a call on 01303 213838 and one of our advisers will be happy to help.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  224. Tim Says:

    Hi there

    I’ve recently bought some second hand garden furniture made from roble wood. It’s now been dipped to remove what was left of the original varnish and I was wondering what oil you’d recommend that I should apply and whether I should give the wood a light sanding first?

    Thanks in advance,

  225. Sam Says:

    Hello Tim,

    It may be of some benefit to sand the wood with a 150 grit to ensure the wood is in good condition to accept the oil. And then once clean and dry the Teak Oil this particular oil is slightly thinner and suited to hardwood with a tighter grain.

    An exterior oil will be easier to maintain and repair should the need arise. If you have a read of the products and feel free to let me know if there is anything further that I can help with.

    All the Best Samantha.

  226. Dave Thomas Says:

    I’ve just bought a length of new oak as an internal threshold to a new patio door and have received conflicting advice as to the best finish to apply.
    Most recommend Danish Oil, but others have suggested a brushing wax buffed up. I do not want a high gloss finish, a light sheen would be better, bearing in mind the ‘traffic’ over the threshold what would you suggest
    Many thanks

  227. Sam Says:

    Hello Dave,

    As this is for a threshold, it needs to be something durable, able to withstand foot traffic. I would recommend the Hard Wax oil It requires less coats that the Danish and is far more hard wearing. It will leave the wood looking and feeling very natural and it is likely that you will only need a small tin.

    If you have a read up of the product and feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  228. Tim Says:


    I have outside bench seat recently made from beech (thick planks). What can you suggest to protect them from rot, mould, wood boring insects etc. I want to keep them looking as natural as possible, Thanks

  229. Sam Says:

    Hello Tim,

    If the wood is bare then the first thing that I would recommend is a preservative to help prevent mould, mildew and rot.

    And then a protective oil such as Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra this will help to make the wood moisture repellent and slow down the silvering process. The 429- Natural is designed to leave the wood looking as natural as possible and the 420 clear will darken very slightly.

    Regular maintenance of the oil will help to retain these protective properties.

    If you have a look at these products and feel free to come back to me if you have any questions. Always try a test area first.

    All the Best Samantha.

  230. Sam Martin Says:

    Hi Sam, very informative site . I do not think that you have been asked these questions.
    I have two 17 year old exterior oak doors with oak frames. They have been treated with Danish oil periodically over this period ( probably not often enough) so that now in places, especially the frames, are patchy with some black cracks. The sills have gone grey with some cracks and the doors are speckled in some areas. I would like to restore them as much as possible.
    1. I have seen that oxalic acid is recommended as restoring oak. Is this the best option and will I need to strip back first.?
    2. Would Osmo uv protection oil be a better choice than Danish and Can you apply It over Danish oil treatment or is it best to strip back again. .
    3. What is the best method of dealing with the cracks that have blackened?

  231. Sam Says:

    Hi Sam,

    Black can be an indication of mould from water ingress or it could be a reaction from the oak itself. If you would like to send any photos to wood@finishes.direct feel free. Give the wood a good clean and maybe sand to remove any stains. If the black is mould then the Mould and Mildew Cleaner is a good place to start.

    Once you have the wood clean and dry you can look at applying the UV Protection Oil it is more durable and hard wearing than the traditional Danish Oil for sure. It requires two thin coats for application and may need topping up annually or bi annually, depending on exposure. Unlike Danish which requires far more regular maintenance.

    It would be wise to fill any cracks with wood filler to help prevent further water ingress and take care to maintain any horizontal sills that could be effected by standing water.

    I hope that helps and feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  232. Kevin Says:

    Hi Sam, we purchased a garden furniture set last July(2016) and were recommended to apply OSMO uv protection oil 420 clear, which we applied 2 coats as recommended. Unfortunately the wood is losing its colour(actually started process after only a few months) and has started to silver in places and mould spots. I have read that you should only use the oSMO product on vertical surfaces? what would you suggest I do to refurb?

  233. Sam Says:

    Hello Kevin,

    The UV Oil from Osmo is a great treatment for exterior woods if you wish to have a clear finish. It will help to slow down the silvering and help to make the wood water repellent. Clear treatments do offer limited UV however and it would be fair to say that by applying a colour, even a slight one it will improve the UV protection. And like sunscreen for us with higher factors, the darker the colour the more the protection.

    If the wood is particularly exposed to the sun it will start to fade quicker. So regular top ups will help to hold off the silvering or applying a slightly tinted oil will help.

    For the mould I would recommend the Mould and Mildew cleaner as a great option. And if there is anything further that I can help with please do let me know.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  234. Kevin Says:

    Thanks Sam,
    would I have to remove the OSMO first or could I just apply the ‘colour’ oil direct on top of the OSMO?

  235. LuAnn Says:

    We commissioned a local Amish woodworker to build a picnic table. Untreated fresh eastern US Larchwood was chosen for the material. We would like to know what type of finish would best preserve the wood for long term outdoor use, while still being as natural and Nontoxic as possible. Also what techniques are needed for “green” or raw wood. We’re ok with the natural color, as long as it doesn’t end up too red or yellow, in which case we would prefer a darker brownish-grayish weathered look. Low toxins and durability are our priorities though. Thank you!

  236. Sam Says:


    Exterior Oil are good for these types of projects. The Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain is a range of natural coloured oils that help to make the wood water repellent and slow down the silvering process. osmo is a very environmentally friendly product and manufacturer. It can only be applied to bare wood and require two thin coats. It is also available in sample sizes.

    For green wood it is not recommended to apply treatment, generally green wood has a high moisture content and most treatments will not adhere or be absorbed. If you have a look at these products and come back to me if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  237. Maria Says:

    Hi Sam,

    Wow, lots of information here. We have just installed a new exterior (factory painted) door with an unfinished mahogany threshold. How would you recommend we finish the threshold? The door faces south and is somewhat protected by an overhang. We live in an area with hot summer weather and snowy winters. Many thanks for your advice!

  238. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Afternoon Maria,

    Thresholds tend to wear quickly due to high traffic and not many products will stand up to or be recommend for use on thresholds. For bare wood, I recommend a Decking Oil as a good option, it will soak into the surface of the wood and will be easy to maintain and repair over time.

    Simply reapply a fresh coat when you feel the wood needs it. For exposed areas as you have suggested this is, then an annual top up would be adviced. I hope this helps and if you have a read up of the decking oil and let me know if you have any further questions. I am happy to help. Always try a test area first.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  239. Selina Says:

    I have a beech laminated panel worktop which I intend to use as a desk surface. Can you offer any advice on what might be best to protect it with please in the way of oil?

  240. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Seline,

    Thank you for your enquiry, can you tell me if it is a laminate or veneer ? Laminates are often a photo with a plastic seal on it made to look like wood where as a veneer is a slice of the wood and depending on the depth of the veneer may or may not be viable for an oiled finish.

    If you are able to email me with those details and also if you are looking for a natural or coloured finish and I can narrow down a selection of products that may suit your needs. You can email me at wood@finishes.direct

    Kind regards Samantha.

  241. Sheila Bennett Says:

    Hi – excellent blog by the way – we are currently building a holiday cabin and want to leave the rough timber (spruce or larch) beams in the living room exposed. Trying to work out what will be the best treatment for them having been advised that many of the available oil products have too much ‘drier’ in them for rough timber. Just want to preserve as much of the natural colour as possible. Have you any advice?

    Thanks & regards Sheila

  242. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Sheila,

    Wax is more often than not the recommended product for beams, it is a natural finish that leaves the wood unchanged. It makes the beams easier to clean or dust and can be topped up when you feel the wood needs refreshing.

    As you have a rough wood you will need to take care with application. The wax can build up in crevices and dips leaving a milky residue, a Course Brush can help with this. Have a look and if you have any questions please do get in touch.

    All the Best Samantha.

  243. Sheila Bennett Says:

    Thanks for this – much appreciated.

  244. Wendy Hardwick Says:

    Hi, we’ve recently purchased a new home and it has a lovely contemporary wooden (I believe oak) staircase that is approximately 2years old. I have no idea how to care for the wood or the best product to use on it. I’m not even sure if it is varnished or not. It is going pale in places and also has tiny cracks appearing. Any advice would be much appreciated thanks.

    Kind regards,

  245. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Wendy,

    Firstly are you able to send me any photos? Of the whole area and a close up of the cracks. There is also a small test that you can do that may help to determine what finish is currently on the wood. Leave a small drop of oil, olive or vegetable from the kitchen cupboard is fine, on an inconspicuous area and leave it for 30 minutes to an hour. If the oil remains unmoved you are likely to have a varnished finish and if the oil soaks in or moves then there is a good chance that it is finished with an oil.

    Email me with the photos and the results of the test and I can advice form there. wood@finishes.direct

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  246. Lorraine Says:

    Hello what a great site! We have a coffee table we brought back from India, varnished fairly dark wood with white elephants inlaid (possibly bone).

    Over time the varnish has started flaming off and the wood is fading below it, would love to get rid of the varnish and bring out the natural colours in the wood, not sure how to do either? Thank you!

  247. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Lorraine,

    To strip the varnish off I would recommend trying the Paint Panther it a gel stripper that will make the varnish bubble up to be scrapped off with a Filler Knife I would strongly recommend a small test area somewhere inconspicuous first to check that there is no adverse reaction.

    If this works and you are able to take the wood back to bare, you could consider an oil to bring out the natural tones and colour of the wood. It may be that it is a hardwood and so a thinner oil such as Osmo Extra Thin which will be absorbed more easily into a tropical hard wood. Again test area is recommended. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Kind regards Samantha.

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