What Everyone Should Know About Finishing Oak


Welcome to part 2 of our series on wood types. This week I’ll be discussing Oak & oak wood treatments. If you haven’t already read part 1, feel free to go check it out here: All about Pine Wood.

A little history of Oak

Oak (or quercus as it is known in Latin) is a hardwood with some 400 known species. It has always been a popular wood in The UK, but in recent times it is even more widely used in construction and also as internal fixtures in clubs and gyms etc. For furniture construction, oak has become ever more the wood of choice, a trend expanding year on year since the year 2000 when China, India and Indonesia substantially increased their export markets. Pine has been the wood to suffer from oak’s popularity as it is more widely available in the Far East.

The flowers of many oak trees are known as catkins and they are produced by oaks when they reach their reproductive age which is typically aged 20. They are triggered by rising temperatures in spring. Ultimately it is the catkins of many oaks that turn into the acorns, so maybe that popular phrase… ‘mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ should be ‘mighty oaks from little catkins grow’ although it doesn’t quite have the same ring does it?

Acorn of the mighty oak tree

Treating Oak wood

With regards to finishing and treating oak, there are numerous possibilities but there are certain requirements that are asked for time and again… Often we are asked how external oak can be kept looking natural. Whilst the question is easy, the answer is not so straight forward. These are the necessary considerations: –

  • When water penetrates oak it reacts with the high tannin content within oak, resulting in ‘blackening’.
  • The Sun’s UV rays will turn the oak to a silvery hue over time.
  • Clear products are inevitably not completely clear so they tend to ‘bring out’ the natural colours of the oak, normally making it a bit darker and warmer.
  • The levels of rain, wind and sun will make a difference to how quickly the oak changes colour.
Oak turned grey / silver by UV rays & water damage
Oak Barrels traditionally used for Whisky and Beer

If the requirement is to keep the oak looking as natural as possible, whilst preventing blackening or silvering as much as possible, then the following is the best system we know of: –

Osmo 420 extra offers UV resistance and also contains biocide which is important for external timbers as it prevents the wood from becoming diseased with wet rot, dry rot and blue stone etc. The oil also repels water, thus preventing it from going black.

If the requirement is to protect the oak whilst keeping the silvery appearance then the following is the best:

Tung oil is one of the clearest oils on the market and doesn’t offer UV resistance.

If the exterior oak needs to be coloured then the following system is recommended:

If blackening on exterior oak needs removing then scrub with a fungicidal wash such as Barrettine Mould and Mildew C leaner is recommended. On the other hand, it may be the silvering that needs removing. If so, a scrub with Osmo Wood Reviver Gel (which contains oxalic acid, amongst other active ingredients).

One of the most common enquiries we get is how to keep internal oak looking natural. This is not just a case of simply applying ‘clear products’ as they bring out the natural colours of the wood, thus making it a little darker and more golden. A very good indication of how your oak will look once it has been finished with a ‘clear’ coat is to dampen an area by applying some water with a clean cloth or sponge. The look achieved when the wood is damp/wet is very close to how it will look once a clear varnish or a clear oil has been applied.

Some customers like the way oak colours when clear coatings are applied to it whilst others want it to be as close as possible to how it looks in its natural state. A more natural look can be achieved by using wood oils that have been specifically formulated to retain the natural appearance of interior Oak. These products include: –

Clear wax polish is the one exception to the above… If a clear wax polish is applied to bare oak (or just about any other wood for that matter) then the colour is kept very natural indeed, it’s just a question of whether a wax polish is going to be durable enough. Internal doors, for example, are considered, by most people, to be ideal for finishing with wax, whereas a floor will look nice once waxed but regular maintenance is required, so most people don’t opt for wax for this reason.

If the oak needs to be made darker then Osmo Polyx Oil Tints or Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Tints are ideal because they colour and protect the wood in the same application. It is always good to try and finish with a clear coat if possible because if the wood gets scratched it is the clear coat that scratches before the coloured coat and therefore the scratch is not as noticeable.

Oiling Consideration

If oak is being oiled it is a good idea to sand it with sandpaper that is no finer than 150 grit. The reason for this is that the pores of the wood are more open thus allowing the oil to sink into the wood better. Better absorption equals greater protection.

Interesting Oak Stats

  • Oak bark is rich in tannin and is used by tanners for tanning leather.
  • Acorns can be used for making flour or they can be roasted for making acorn coffee.
  • Tannin dissolves and escapes from the wood. Wine barrels are made from oak and it is the tannin that helps to give the wine its’ colour.
  • Sessile oaks of Europe and can reach heights of up to 40 metres.
  • Oak trees regularly live to be 500 years old, although 1,000 years old oaks are also known.
  • A mature oak tree can produce up to 50,000 acorns!

Need help finishing a project made with oak?

For more help and advice on how best to finish Oak contact our team of resident experts who are always on hand to help with project advice and product recommendations. Alternatively, see our FAQ page which covers many of our most commonly asked questions about working with oak.

We love to see before, during and after photos of any wood finishing project. If you would like to share your project pictures with us and our followers, you can either send us some photos or share on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram pages.

Other great oak related blogs to consider

  • Oak Floor Maintenance – Top Tips for Finishing Oak

    1. Hello, I have no idea whether this thread is still live but this post has been THE most helpful thing on the internet!

      We have just bought a new dining set. I would usually view anything like this in person but have bought end of line/ second hand (online) with the purpose of working on them. I went for solid oak to give myself the best start…however I’m getting intimidated by the overall glossy, orange look. The spindle back chairs are more varied and orange/peachy than the table. Almost like beech wood in places.

      We generally prefer things to look more natural and worn in. Is there anything I can do to help this along?! Perhaps starting by sanding off the clear finish and seeing the more natural colour of the wood? I now fear I’ve bitten off more than I can chew! Any advice would be greatly received. Thank you 🙂

      • Hi Vic – Thanks for your message – Any clear product always enriches the natural colours in the grain and Oak can sometimes appear a bit orange/yellow. Using a product that contains a tiny amount of white pigment counteracts this darkening effect. Please consider this penetrative oil which will have a much more natural finish than any varnish/lacquer. https://www.wood-finishes-direct.com/product/osmo-polyx-oil-raw-3044 I would recommend ordering a sample.
        You will have to sand the Oak back to bare wood to use this product. – Please come back to me if required – Alison

    2. Hello, thank you for the article.
      I have purchased some European oak to use as shelves in an alcove as well as niches in the bathroom. The niches are in the shower/bath and will hold products such as shampoo and soap. They are not under the water stream per say but will get water almost everyday, especially with the wet product bottles being put back there. I am trying to find a finish that will not make the wood look too yellow. I have looked into your osmo polix oil but fear this may not be resistant enough for use inside the shower. If i can’t get as clear and matt a finish as possible i think i may prefer one that if darker does not bring out the yellow and dark veins of the wood too much. Crucially, i really want to avoid water rings and stains. That said if the best solution requires a yearly upkeep i can envisage doing that as as long as it is fairly easy. What would you recommend?

      • Hi Charlotte,

        We’d suggest you apply Osmo Wood Protector (4006) first and then follow it up with Osmo Polyx Oil (3062), although you’ll need to keep on top of maintenance with this, otherwise water rings are inevitable unfortunately.

        If you’d like to give us a call on 01303 213838, we’d be more than happy to give you further detail and advice around this.

        Kind regards,

    3. Hi there,

      I have just purchased 4 untreated oak spindle chairs. But I am not sure how to go about up-cycling (I.e. would they need to be sanded and oiled/ waxed). Please help!


      • Good Afternoon,

        Can you get in touch via our contact us page, with details of the look you would like to achieve, clear or coloured? Transparent or opaque? And maybe some photos, and I can narrow down some options for you to consider.

        I look forward to hearing from you.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    4. Hi There, I’m hoping you can help me…
      …I’d like to re-condition an oak kitchen table, which is mostly solid oak but has some oak veneered MDF panelling in the centre. It has marks (biro scribbles, some etches) in the table top which I know I need to gently sand (emphasis on gently as it’s partly veneer!!), but I am not sure what varnish / oil I need to use to finish and re-waterproof it. It’s a warm oak at the moment and I don’t want to re-colour it, just give it a new lease of life.
      Any tips on sanding also welcome!
      Thanks, Anne

      • Hello Anne,

        So yes, some gentle sanding is the best option, if you try with a 100 grit first to see if that works, if you are looking to remove current finish however you may need to go down to an 80 grit. It is always best to remove previous finishes before applying new ones. This helps to ensure an even all over result, the key to a great finish is always in good preparation. You are right to be cautious for the veneered areas, gentle sanding to avoid going through to the base wood.

        Once you have sanded to remove the current finish and any marks, you can sand at a 100 grit and if filler is required this is the time to apply it. Then sand for the final time at a 150 – 180 grit sandpaper, always in the direction of the grain of the wood. I would also recommend a good wipe down with Methylated Spirits to clean and remove and resins or grease on the wood. Doing this can also highlight any flaws in the wood that may require further sanding before you apply a product.

        Once you are ready to apply you could take a look at a varnish for durability the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish is a great option, two coats of this will give a well protected and easy to clean surface. It will darken very slightly and sample sizes are available, which I would recommend for test areas first and to decide which sheen level you might want to consider.

        If you would like a more natural appearance to the wood you could also look at a Hard Wax Oil, this soaks into the wood and become part of it. Drying to a hard finish that offers great protection, its not quite as durable as a varnish, however has the benefit of being easier to maintain over time. It is again available in sample sizes and will darken the wood slightly more than a varnish will, because it penetrates the surface of the wood. Fiddes Hard Wax Oil is suitable for most wood types. And it well worth checking out our You Tube Channel >>> https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodFinishesDirect-Folkestone as this has lots of helpful videos with hints and tips for preparation and application methods.

        For more help and advice please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

        • Hi Samantha,
          I have read about Bona traffic for oak floors but can this be used on internal desktops and benches that are oak and have had a two pack finish applied(suspect it might have been oil based). I would like to get back to the original very light color of the wood.

          • Hello Mary,

            Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. Bona Traffic HD will normally have very good adhesion to pre-varnished flooring, however, it is advisable to check the intercoat adhesion prior to overcoating. To check intercoat adhesion, apply a coat of Bona Traffic HD to a pre-prepared area. Allow the coating to set for 3 days then scratch the treated floor surface gently with a coin. If the Bona Traffic finish stays firmly attached to the surface, the adhesion is satisfactory and the main application can begin.

            It is a viable option to use the Bona Traffic on desktops and benches, however it is a very durable product and designed to be used on commercial flooring, there are alternate options that may be more cost effective for projects such as furniture and if you would like any advice on these please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

            It is also unlikely that the Bona will lighten the desks or benches when applied over the top of an existing finish, to do this you are likely to need to sand back to bare wood and then you could also consider and option such as the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural a penetrating oil that gives a natural look and feel and maintains an almost untreated appearance on the wood.

            I hope this helps and please do get in touch if you have further questions.

            Kind regards Samantha.

    5. Hi there

      We have just sanded our engineered oak floor.

      It’s come out unfinished and really light.

      We love the colour and want to leave it as light as possible. We understand that it’s not a light wood but is there anything we can do to seal it and keep it as light as unfinished looking as possible?

      Thanks so much

      • Hello Fran,

        We often hear from people who have sanded their floors and found the natural tones to be beautiful, and so want to be able to maintain that very natural and light appearance. We have two products that you could have a look at for this, the first and most popular is a Hard Wax Oil that has a minute amount of white pigment in it, that counteracts the darkening you get with a clear option. From Osmo Osmo Polyx Oil Raw and from Fiddes Fiddes Hard Wax oil Natural these can help achieve that almost untreated appearance. As oils the penetrate the wood surface and give a very natural look and feel. Sample sachets are available for test areas and I would recommend these to ensure you are getting the desired result.

        If you have a thorough read up of those products and do feel free to get back to me if you have any further questions via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    6. Hi We have an external oak front door which was installed two years ago. We have a river in front of the house and the door is exposed to wind/rain and field flooding. The door was treated with Osmo but moisture has got in underneath the “laquer” surface and created mould/mildew black staining. So we sanded off the osmo and treated with Oxalic and have now got the natural slightly silvered colour back. To avoid the same thing happening again and especially to prevent the door absorbing water and swelling, we thought to use a natural solid bees wax or a soap to
      treat the door rather than an oil or varnish. Is this likely to work or should we use a wood preserver and then tung oil?

      • Hello Matthew, I would have to recommend sticking with the oil for your door. Oak is a long lasting and tough wood, when its quite new it will naturally leech tannins, this can happen for up to around 5 years. The tannins are dormant in the warmer months and become active in the winter, and is like candy for mould spores, the dampness will also encourage this.

        You are able to deal with this effectively however and with a regular wipe down with Methylated Spirits and the use of a cleaner such as the Osmo Decking Cleaner will greatly reduce the problem.

        And I would also recommend the application of the Osmo WR Base Coat before the oil as this will further help to prevent mould build up. And then two thin coats of the Osmo Oil.

        Any horizontal details and the lower part of the door are always the areas to be effected first and so keeping an eye on these areas will let you know when maintenance and cleaning is needed.

        I hope that helps and if you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    7. Hello – thanks for such an informative blog! I don’t know where to start! I have two questions if I may:

      1) I have reconditioned an old scaffolding plank into a bench. The plank was sanded down and turps applied before I used Osmo Polyx White Oil Tint from yourselves. The tint has dried buy made no difference to the appearance of the wood. Where did I go wrong?

      2) I am looking to make some new planks into garden furniture. My plan is to trim down and then sand before applying the finish. I want the wood to be hardwearing, but I am not looking for a orange or glossy finish nor for the wood to turn silver over time. I would like the wood to stay raw looking and even have a white oiled effect if possible. What would you recommend?

      • Hello Victoria,

        Thank you for getting in touch, I am happy to answer your questions. The Osmo Polyx Oil Tints in white is a very very subtle white finish, more slightly milky in appearance. i would say the lighter the natural colour of the wood, the harder it will be to see. It is not suitable for exterior wood work, however if your Bench is for the Interior it will be fine.

        If you wanted a slightly more intense white result then I would recommend the Osmo Wood Wax Finish Transparent which has a higher pigment content. You would need to remove the current oil application however to make way for fresh oil. The white will be more visible, and still allow you to see the natural beauty of the wood and any grain pattern.

        For your exterior wood you could again look at Osmo products, Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain has a wide range of natural colours and white. It is always better to apply a coloured oil, the pigments are far better for UV protection and reduce the natural silvering of the wood. And I would recommend a preserver be applied first to help prevent mould and decay, especially if the wood is not tanalised. Osmo WR Base Coat is a good option to use with the Osmo Oils.

        If you take a look at these options for your project and do feel free to get back to me if you have any further questions, and as always my advice is always to try a test area first.

        All the Best Samantha.

    8. Please can you help a complete newbie? I have 6 ‘pre finished’ (I think) Holdenby Oak veneered internal doors. I need to get them protected/treated/preserved against the general wear and tear of life. I am desperate to keep the colour as natural as I can. I think either Matt or Satin would be good (definitely not Gloss) I realise that some treatments might involve a little darkening but need to keep this to an absolute minimum.
      The doors have arrived with instructions that only Osmo oil can be used to treat them.
      Do I need to sand in between each coat? – if so which grade of sandpaper do I need?
      Also how many coats would you advise?
      Please can you suggest which would be the best product to use?

      Thank you

      • Good Afternoon Jan,

        Thank you for getting in touch. The instructions have made it quite simple for you. If only Osmo is allowed then I can recommend the Osmo Polyx Oil Raw as the best option for your project. The Raw is designed to keep the wood looking as natural and untreated as possible. It has a minute amount of white pigment that counteracts the darkening you would get with a clear oil.

        It comes in a sample size and I would recommend this for test area first, to ensure that you get the desired result.

        If you take a look at this and feel free to get back to me via our contact us page if you have any further questions.

        kind Regards Samantha.


    9. Hi, I recently acquired some freshly felled oak rounds and want to make them into chopping boards) I got a few so I can experiment and keep the best when they’re done 🙂 what’s the best way to dry them and how long should I dry them before sanding and applying oils? Thanks very much in advance

      • Hello Lynz,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your question. Green oak can take a long period to dry out, as a guide, 1 inch thickness will take around a year to get to a moisture level that is suitable for application of a product.

        Sealing the wood before then and trapping that moisture into the wood, will cause poor adhesion, discolouration or mould further down the line.

        When they are dry, I would recommend taking a look at any of the top oils for protection of a chopping board, they are food safe and easy to apply, clean and maintain. Osmo Top Oil or Manns Premier Top Oil are both good options to consider and if you need any further advice please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    10. Hi, I’m enjoying reading your blog. We have a solid oak front door that is starting to look unhappy, with areas looking a little pale and rough. The door faces South, with no porch or overhang. It was last treated about 5 years ago, with Osmo clear UV protector. I’m not sure what the best course of action is. We could sand it and apply a couple of coats of Osmo clear UV protector again. Or, we could paint the door a dark colour. I don’t know whether, for a door facing South, clear Osmo will be enough protection against the elements. What do you suggest?

      • Hello Bob,

        I think its fair to say that any south facing surface is likely to need a little more regular TLC to keep it looking good, and the same is true for your door.

        The Osmo is an ideal product for the door and if you like the finish it gives, then stick with it. I would just recommend a slightly more regular maintenance routine.

        So if after a year the finish is starting to look a little dry and tired then a top up coat to a clean dry surface will help. Depending on the exposure a year might be too soon and the wood will not be ready to accept more oil, so wait another year and look again.

        In the mean time a refresh with a cleaning product such as the Osmo Liquid Wax Cleaner will help to keep it looking good.

        It is also fair to say that the application of a colour will improve the protection and appearance longer than a clear product will, the pigments are great UV filters and so you could take a look at the Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain as Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain option for this.

        I hope that all helps and if you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    11. Hi there,
      I’m currently designing 5x oak sash windows to replace the rotten old softwood ones currently in my house.
      On the outside I want to paint them to match the trim elsewhere, but on the inside I want to oil them for the rich golden colour.
      My concern is that I will be unbalancing the material and creating a bias for it to expand/contract unevenly.

      What is your experience for a situation like this?

      Thanks for you help 🙂

      • Hello George,

        Its quite possible that varying products on either side may result in slight imbalance of the wood. However I would expect it to be very minimal if any, depending of course on the many variables that will also factor in. Such as wood type, treatment types and how exposed the exterior is to the elements.

        If both sides of the frames are well sealed with durable products then there really should not be too much of an issue to be had here. It is further down the line when one starts to wear and the other does not that the issue may become more obvious and ensuring good maintenance will help to avoid future problems.

        You could consider a product such as the Osmo Country Colour this is a penetrating oil that gives an opaque paint like look and may be better matched to an oiled finish on the inside. Both sides then being Microporous and better suited to expansion and retraction of the wood.

        I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do feel free to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    12. Hi, really hope you can help. I am wanting to know if oiling or varnishing is the best way to protect oak slats on garden benches?

      • Hello Tina,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your question. I tend to recommend oils over varnishes for exterior projects, the reason being, that although they oils are not quite as durable as varnishes they are far easier to maintain over time. Oils penetrate the woods surface and will not peel and flake. They are very good at repelling moisture and when they wear and need refreshing you can simply apply a coat to the clean, dry surface and refresh the appearance and the protective quality.

        We have a range of Garden Furniture oils that you could have a look at, a popular choice is the Barrettine Garden Furniture Oil which is suitable for hard and soft woods.

        Good preparation will be the key to a good finish and I would always recommend a test area first to ensure you like the result achieved.

        I hope that helps and if you need any further advice please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        All the Best Samantha.

        • Thanks so much for your suggestion, Samantha.

          The windows are now built and I’ll look at getting in a few samples to test the finishes. They look so nice that I think I may leave them natural and oil both sides.

          Very excited to see how it turns out.

          thanks again for your help. 🙂

    13. Hi,
      We have treated an oak (external door) with the Barratine Preservative and Osmo (Oak) Oil (as per the guidelines above).
      However, 3 full days after applying the Osmo, it is still tacky and wet to the touch in lots of places.
      The weather isn’t that hot, but the container states 24 hours drying time.
      Can you provide any pointers?

      • Good Morning John,

        My apologies for not getting back to you sooner. Slow drying time is often an indication of over application of the oil. Osmo oils do require very thin coats to be applied and depending on the type and preparation of the wood will depend on how much. Oak being a hard wood, for example will require less oil that a pine or other softwood. And the preparation can also impact on uptake, sanding to a grit higher than 150 can start to close the grain and make the oil less likely to absorb into the surface of the wood. Or previous product that remains on the wood can also reduce penetration.

        Of course the cooler weather and damp conditions of this time of year will also slow down the drying time some what.

        Over time the oil will dry, however if it is on the surface it could offer reduce protection over time and you may need to consider sanding back and re applying more thinly.

        If you need any further help or advice please do not hesitate to get in touch with me via our contact us page.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    14. Hi we have had a oak pegolla built over our fish pond 8 weeks ago the oak is untreated but every time it rains the tanning oil comes out the wood and discoulors the water in the pond and stains the brick work around it, the oil is totally harmless to the fish but my question is how long will the tanning oil come from the oak?


      • Good Morning Mark,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. Its a bit of a how long is a piece of string question I am afraid. It will depend on how old the wood is, how it has been dried, where and how long it has been stored before it came to you.

        I would say you can expect the issue to continue for around 5 years. More so in the colder and damper months as this is what activates the tannins. My usual advice would be to wipe down occasionally with some Methylated Spirits, however the proximity of the pond makes this difficult, but if you are able to clean or remove tannins that leach out it will help to avoid black mould.

        The tannins are a bit like candy for mould and it is advisable where possible to keep the wood clean.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    15. Hi
      I recently purchased some oak veneer doors, I did one in Osmo Polyx raw, I didn’t like the finish so lightly sanded and redid with Osmo Polyx clear satin, however the finish on this particular door is now totally different to the other 2 doors I have finished. (The other 2 doors have only had the clear satin on) The surface of the door feels smooth with no grain and the colour hasn’t darkened off any like the others which still feel like wood. Is there a way to bring it back or have I sanded the grain away, I fear it’s the latter!!

      • Good Afternoon Shar,

        It does sound like you have changed the texture of the door by sanding it. Often you can get the texture back by wetting bare wood, this raises the grain a little. However as you have applied an oil this will not now work and as the doors are veneered I would not like to recommend a further sand at this stage unless it was absolutely necessary or if you are sure that you will never be sanding those doors again in the future.

        Veneers in general will only take sanding once or twice, before you start to get through to the base wood ruining the overall appearance of the veneer. If you do need any further advice or guidance please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page

        Kind regards Samantha.

    16. Hi there I wonder whether you can help. We’ve recently had a new staircase fitted (oak handrail and newell posts) and I’ve used Osmo Wood Hardwax Finish with a light oak tint in it. Colour is great, especially after 2 thin coats applied, however, I’d like a bit of shine to it if possible (but still looking natural). Any advise please? Thank you.

      • Hello Carmen,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your question, because oils penetrate the surface of the wood there is little reflective surface and so little shine.

        You are able to apply a wax over the current finish and this can give the desired shine to your wood. Wax can be applied over most finishes with out issue, however you can not apply anything over a wax and so you will need to remove the wax, should you need to refresh or top up the Oil on a future date.

        You could take a look at the Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish which has a clear within the range that you can apply to your handrails and newell posts. Although it is suitable for use on the flooring and treads I would not recommend as wax can be slippery underfoot over time.

        For further advice or alternate product options, you can visit our website or get in touch via contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    17. Does staining on the surface of oak depend on water getting though the timber. Or can it be brought out by water running over the surface. I have an internal situation where there is tannin staining on the surface, I cannot believe that water is getting through the thick oak beams, so it must be coming round/over and between joints. (Just cannot seem to find where the water is getting in!).

      • Hello Robert,

        Tannins in oak can become reactive because of colder temperatures as well as moisture ingress. If the beams are very aged and very porous the moisture could be traveling around the surfaces of the wood much easier.

        Barrettine Methylated Spirits can be used to wipe away the tannins, although any that have stained may need sanding.

        Locating that source of moisture ingress will be the only way to truly prevent further damage, I am sure you know. And if there is anything further that I can help with please do let me know.

        kind Regards Samantha.

    18. Hi
      I bought a oak tv unit secondhand.
      It has a very orange look off it that I dont like.
      What is the best way to get rid of this? I dont want it darkened as I like natural looking wood.
      Also can you tell me how to take off acrylic paint from the top off it as the previous owner sprayed it.
      Thanks in advance.

      • Hello Erica,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your question. I would recommend the Barrettine Paint Panther Paint and Varnish Remover as a quick and effective stripper to remove much of the current finish. Its a little messy but work well on most previous coatings, a test area should always be done to ensure there are no adverse reactions.

        Once most or all of the previous product is gone you are able to sand the wood. How much will depend on the condition of the wood, but as a guide you can start at 80 grit and work up to 120 – 150 grit. You will find the natural colour of the wood is far less orange in appearance and from there you can start to consider your options for a natural finish and Oils are very good for a natural look and feel.

        Fiddes Hard Wax Oil requires just two thin coats to be applied for a finish that will nourish and protect the wood. It will darken slightly to give that ‘wet look’ and if you want to avoid this and maintain an untreated appearance you can look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural.

        I am here to help if you have any questions at all just get in touch contact us

        And we always love a before and after shot if you fancy sharing.

        All the Best Samantha.

    19. Hi there, i stumbled across your blog and hope you can help… We’re having some work done on our new house that requires the white oak doors fitted by the previous owners be varnished using an intumescent coating to hit building regs. I think i’ve found a reasonable coating that is a nice matte finish, but the doors appear to have either been left raw/bare wood (some even have the manufacturer labels still attached!) or, at the very most, been wiped with a bit of oil perhaps. I cant contact the previous owners to check and i have 9 doors to work on. What would you advise to eliminate any previous coatings, grease, and day to day grime that may have built up on the doors before applying the new varnish etc?

      • Good Morning Stephen,

        For an all over good clean I would recommend Barrettine Methylated Spirits it will degrease the surface and remove any grime.

        It does not remove any remaining finish on the woods surface however and to remove these will depend on the type of finish that has been used. Oils will have to be sanded out, waxes can be removed with a Woodleys Wax and Polish Remover and varnishes, either sanded out or a stripper such as the Barrettine Paint Panther Paint and Varnish Remover. With any stripper a test area should always be carried out first to ensure there is no adverse reaction.

        Its also worth checking all the details for the product that you are applying to the door for any preparation guidance that they recommend.

        For further advice please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    20. Hi. I’m very pleased to have my two front posts of my front porch replaced with oak. (They support the porch roof which is all open) I want them looking natural and not looking varnished. I want to protect them against the elements without looking a fake colour. Please can you advise the best way forward for me please. A very excited customer, dawn

      • Hi Dawn,

        A popular choice for exterior oak is to use a wood oil such as Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra. Using an oil will help to feed and nourish the wood whilst protecting it from weathering. Oils are very easy to apply and maintain and will never crack, flake or peel off. In terms of the finish they produce, if you use the clear (420) from this range, it will darken the wood to give it an almost damp like appearance and will also enhance the oaks natural colour character and grain. If you prefer to keep a more natural, untreated look, consider using the ‘Natural (429)’ from the same range which has been designed to do just this. This version will keep the wood lighter in appearance.

        If you want to get an idea of how the wood will look with the ‘clear (420)’, simply dampen a section of the wood with a clean cloth and some water. This gives a fairly good representation of how the wood will look once oiled.

        I hope the above helps but if you have any further questions about your project or which products to use, please feel free to contact us at any time.

        Kind regards,

    21. Hi
      Your expert advise would be hugely welcomed. I am ordering some new custom cut oak kitchen worktops. The company.’s policy is that they treat it with rustins Danish oil 3 coats before despatch. I think on balance I would prefer to use the osmo hard wax products than Danish oil so want to order the tops untreated then on delivery treat with osmo products.
      They say the tops are kiln dried and want me to sign a waiver for bowing or warping from any moisture during transit. It’s warm and sunny weather by the way! As I intend to treat them on arrival is this a real risk I shouldn’t take and settle for their their Danish oil pre treatment?

      My thoughts for best protection are osmo wood protector followed by top oil. Is this a good combination or are Fidders products better? I am happy with any slight darkening/ enriching of the finished colour but prefer not yellow which is another reason for avoiding Danish oil

      Many thanks

      • Hi Robert,

        If you have concerns about the transit waiver with the worktop supplier then settle for the Danish Oil finish. It does not mean that you can’t use Osmo Top Oil at a later date. Once the worktops have been installed you can either wait for the danish oil finish to naturally wear then apply the Osmo Top Oil, or alternatively, they can be lightly sanded with a 120 grit sandpaper, then wiped down with white spirit and then treated with the Osmo Top Oil.

        I hope this helps but if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.

    22. Hi, I have an old bookcase purchased from a house clearence sale, I’ve no idea how old it is, was promised it was oak, I’ve removed the varnish, (after reading comments, I now know I used too much water) to wipe if after scraping off the paint stripper. it has ridges where the wood seems to have sunk around knotted areas and along grains, I like it, it has a character, I applied some teak oil, but after reading the comments, I’m assuming this was not a good product to use, I’m a complete beginner at all this. What would you recommend? I like the lighter look of the wood, & I enjoy seeing the knots and grain of the wood, what would you recoend?
      Thank you

      • Hi Shalana,

        It sounds like the grain has raised after being wetted with water. This is where the soft grain of the wood swells after absorbing water whereas the denser, harder grain does not.

        Applying a wood oil will usually darken the wood and enhance the natural colour and character of the timber, some more than others. To better retain the natural, untreated look of the wood whilst still offering protection from dust, dirt and moisture try either Osmo Polyx Oil Raw or Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural. Both products are ‘hard wax oils’ and are easy to apply and maintain. These 2 products will better retain the natural, freshly stripped or sanded look rather than darkening and enhancing the wood grain. Both products are available in sample or small tin sizes if you would like to try them first.

        Hard Wax Oils have excellent coverage and you will only need a small amount to do a bookcase.

        You may be able to remove much of the teak oil by using a clean, white (uncoloured) lint-free or microfibre cloth dampened in white spirit. This will help to dissolve the teak oil and you should be able to wash out and wipe it off. The only other alternative is to sand the teak oil out but you will unfortunately loose the raised grain look that you like.

        I hope the above helps but if you have any further questions about your project or the products to use, please feel free to contact us at any time.

    23. Hi. We have an oak framed extension on our house that has now started to darken after 2-3 years. What’s the best action please. Should I sand back and preserve or will putting on a mould resistance treatment pull out the black.
      I clear wax annually but it is still blackening with the British weather and south facing sun.
      Please advise what’s best and if sanding what grades to use.
      Much appreciated

      • Hi Craig,

        Can you explain what you mean by ‘darken’ please. Is it an overall, general darkening of the wood or black patches? Do you know what product was originally used and can you tell us what you are currently using annually to treat the wood? Some pictures would also be helpful. Please use our contact us page to send us some details or alternatively, give us a call and speak with one of our in-house experts to discuss this further. Once we have a better understanding of the issue, we will be able to recommend some actions and what products will be needed.

        If it is indeed mould, the wood should be stripped then treated with a mould and mildew cleaner such as Barrettine Mould and Mildew Cleaner. This will clean and kill off any active or dormant mould spores in the wood. It can then be refinished with an exterior wood oil that provides UV protection. Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra is a popular choice and is available in both clear and colour tinted options.

        In terms of stripping the wood, it depends on what products have been used in the past. sanding will work but if the wood has been waxed, the sandpaper will probably clog up quickly and will need changing frequently. do not sand any finer than with a P120 to P150 grit sandpaper. If the wood is sanded to finely, it will prevent or restrict the oil from penetrating into the wood grain.

        I hope the above helps but feel free to contact us with further details and to get further guidance with your project.

    24. I have some fine internal oak doors which are about 20 years old, the two middle doors open outwards and fold backwards so that on nice days they can be open and facing the garden.

      All of the doors could do with a revarnish, but as you can appreciate, the middle doors have faded quite a bit more than the rest because of their external exposure to the sunshine.

      Can you please advise me how to best go about preparing and revarnishing the doors, and if there is any way of ensuring that the revarnished door colour looks consistent throughout.

      Many thanks


      • Hi Michael,

        As the doors are being refinished, am I right in assuming that they are all being sanded back to bare wood? Sanding and re-varnishing all the doors will result in a better matching finish across all the doors. The colour of the doors that have faded the most will likely require a slightly more aggressive sanding, starting with perhaps a p40 or p80 grit sandpaper and working up to a p120 or p150 grit. This will remove the UV damaged surface fibres of the wood and reveal the naturally coloured wood beneath.

        Once the doors have been sanded, they can be re-finished with either a wood oil or varnish that contains UV filters or stabilisers. This will help to protect the wood and will slow down the colour bleaching process caused by the suns UV rays, a little like suntan cream.

        In terms of a tough, durable varnish that is suitable for both interior and exterior wood and contains UV filters, consider Polyvine Heavy Duty Extreme Varnish. This water-based polyurethane varnish is extremely tough and durable and is available in a dead-flat and satin finish.

        I hope the above helps but if you would like to discuss this project further with one of our in-house experts, please feel free to contact us at any time.

        Kind regards,

    25. I am building a green oak porch. I know that it is detrimental to treat it before it naturally dries out. This may sound stupid but, in order to retain the colour could it be treated on the front side , thus allowing it to dry out on the other 3 sides ?

      • Good Morning Stephen, thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry and I can see the logic in your theory, however I would still probably not advice it. Blocking one side will just prevent that side from drying out and could possibly cause warping in the wood, depending on thickness and exposure. My advice will be to allow all surfaces of the wood to dry out. It is always difficult with green oak the wood will naturally silver before you are able to put any product on it.

        There is the option of once it is dry that you can use the Wood Reviver Gel to get some of the original colour back to the wood, test areas are always recommended. And then consider application of a protective finishing product, colour will help to slow down any further UV damage as the pigments act as sunscreen.

        I hope all that helps and if you do need any further advice please do not hesitate to get in touch.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

        • Hi Samantha,
          Many thanks for getting back. I thought that may be the answer. I’ll put the tin of OSMO in storage and test the moisture content periodically. The wood is 22% at the moment. I don’t suppose you know, approximately, what percentage it would dry out each year do you ?
          Best regards


          • Hello Stephen,

            It would be difficult for me to predict as the age, thickness, environment are all factors in the drying of the wood. There is a general consensus that one inch per year is the drying time of green oak, but again I would not say this is a given. And actually if your wood is at 22% then it has dried afair amount already, it will be ready when it settles at its general level of moisture in the environment.

            I am sorry that I can not give a more definitive answer, just keep an eye on the wood and keep measuring, you don’t have long to go, I don’t think.

            Kind Regards Samantha.

    26. Hello,
      We have an oak staircase which has a shiny look and feel to it so we think it has been varnished. We would love to remove the varnish and get it back to looking like unfinished/ natural oak.
      Please can you tell me the best way to go about this?

      • Good Afternoon Zoe,

        You could look at a stripper such as the Paint Panther Paint and Varnish Remover this is a quick working gel that makes the varnish bubble up to be scraped off. A light sand with a 120 grit and a wipe over with Methylated Spirits and you should be back to bare wood.

        You can then look at application of a Fiddes Hard Wax Oil which gives a natural look and feel to the wood, as well as great protection. Sample sizes are available and I would recommend this as the wood type, age and condition will all impact on the over all finish result.

        For further advice please feel free to get in touch via or contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    27. Hi,
      we just bought a dining table which is untreated dry oak and already see how quickly it stains from everything.

      Would you please suggest what could be done to protect the table in the future considering we want it as close to natural as possible.
      Also, what could be done to remove already existing water and oil stains?

      Thank you so much for your time.

      Best Regards,

      • Good Afternoon Nina,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. I can recommend a great product for you to have a look at that will maintain the natural appearance of the wood, Fiddes Hard Wax oil Natural this contains a minute amount of white pigment to counteract the darkening that you get with a standard clear oil.

        This oil penetrates the surface of the wood with just two very thin coats being required for application. Sample sizes are available and I would recommend these as the wood you are applying to will impact on the colour and result that can be achieved. The oil dries hard and gives a protective, moisture repellent finish to the woods surface and it is easy to apply, clean and maintain over time. It will not peel and flake and can simply be topped up when you feel the wood needs it, depending on how much the table, this could be annually, but more likely 2 or 3+ years on.

        If you have a read up of the product details and I would recommend visiting our You Tube Channel >>> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7-tgwbsUxm73aVnAjLGHRA for videos with helpful hints and tips on preparation and application.

        Plus I am here to help if you have any further questions.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    28. I had used hot water with a little Murphy’s oil soap and vinegar along with 0000 grit steel wool to clean oak adirondack chairs that had molded outside. It worked really well and got them clean. I then ingorantly used this same technique on my finished white oak banister to try and remove the oil and dirty from the hand rail. This was a complete failer. Some areas look clean and perfect while others have turned grey. I don’t know where to start…any help would be great

      • Good Morning Erin,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. Whilst Vinegar is good for many things, I would not necessarily recommend it for cleaning wood, although it depends on the type of vinegar you use, as it can react with the wood. You can use it to clean if thinned down or simply add a small amount to warm soapy water if that is what you are using to clean your floor with. Undiluted Vinegar and steel wool are often used to create a treatment that ages the wood, giving a silvered appearance or a natural patina.

        You may find that this is what has occurred on your banister and I would think that sanding may be the best way to restore the natural colour of the wood. If the effect has penetrated fairly deeply then Fiddes Oxalic Acid Crystals may also be worth considering, a test area is strongly advised.

        I also would not advice using steel wool on oak, or other woods such as Iroko or Teak as often little particles of the steel get caught in the wood and over time react with the tannins in the wood and cause black or blue staining to the wood, that is difficult to get out.

        I hope that helps and please do not hesitate to get back in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    29. Hi I am thinking of buying a deeply carved antique table and chairs made of oak. They have many years of dust buildup. The top of the table is deeply carved with glass sitting on top so it can be used. It is going to be very hard to clean and I do not know what finish is on it. It looks like it could use a high pressure cleaner on it to clean out all the crannies but I have been reading comments above and noticed that water will turn it black. I have no idea how I am going to clean this if I go ahead. Thank you

      • Good Morning Kerry,

        Anything with a lot of detail and carving can be difficult to clean and not knowing what the current finish is makes it that little bit harder also. A pressure cleaner may be an option, however its not one that I would necessarily recommend as it could damage the current finish. And if the table is of value, then care will need to be taken and you may have to work by hand to get the wood clean.

        We have a great range of cleaning products suitable for wood and wood finishes Cleaners but you will need to work out which is best for your project.

        If you have any questions or need further advice please feel free to email direct via our contact us page.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

      • Good Morning Rachel,

        Oak is not generally a dark wood and so perhaps there is a finish or stain of some sort on it? Perhaps you could sand a small area to see what the result is, if the natural colour of the wood is lighter.

        I would be happy to take a look at some photos, you can send then direct to wfd.advice@wood-finishes-direct.com and I will be happy to advise you further.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    30. Hi

      We have had a 300 year old ish Oak beam from a Barn and have cut & smoothed it down for a mantel over a stove, we have treated woodworm we think successfully but we think any we have missed will die with heat from a stove which will now be on for 3-4 months daily.

      Can you offer any advice on products to use to keep it looking a similar colour to original but will be safe and not dry out and look awful near heat.

      Many Thanks

      • Good Afternoon Doug,

        It will be difficult to keep a piece of wood that age totally natural and unchanged, the age of the oak is highly likely to result in some considerable darkening when you apply a clear product to it. There are things you are able to do to reduce the darkening, use a water based product that sits on the surface rather than an oil that penetrates, or consider an oil with a minute amount of white pigment in it to reduce darkening, however until you try your test area it can be difficult to predict how this oak will react.

        Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish is a water based product that may suit your needs, it comes in a range of sheens and in sample sizes to allow you to test first. It will withstand some heat, although direct or long term exposure may shorten the life of the varnish and increase the chance of flaking. Should flaking occur you are likely to need to sand back to bare wood to re apply an all over even finish again.

        The alternate is Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural this is an oil that absorbs into the wood and dries hard to give a durable protective finish. I would expect this to darken slightly, even though it is designed not to, how much you will not know, again until you try a test area first. The benefit of oil application is the ease of maintenance, as the oil wears away you are able to top up with a refresher coat, with out the need to sand back, just ensure the surface of the wood is clean, dry, grease free and ready to take on and absorb more oil. Again heat may reduce the life of the oil, this depends very much on how close and how hot the exposure is.

        I hope that helps and if you need any further guidance please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    31. Hi. we have just purchased air dried waney edge oak for our 1900 house to replace the 100+ year old cladding that was on the gable at the top of the house (which was starting to fall off!) The boards would be in a pyramid shape once up so 7x different lengths. We want the boards to age to silver and don’t want the hassle of having to treat it every few years as we are nearing retirement. We aren’t sure if we should be treating it before it goes up with anything to protect it from insects and the weather (it’s a very exposed area in the north west of England with a lot of rain) i’m also not sure if we should be treating it with something for the tannin staining, though maybe this won’t be too visible as it’s high up?


      • Good Morning Sharyn,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. I would say your best option will be to treat the cladding before putting up, this way you will be able to apply to both sides of the boards for a better level of protection. A clear preserver will help protect the wood from mould, fungus and rot and with a product such as the Barrettine Cladding Preserver which is ideal for your project.

        With new oak tannins are an inevitable issue and if you take the time to wipe over the wood with Methylated spirits first, this can pull out some of the surface tannins and reduce staining. If you do this before application of the preserver, it will not stop or prevent the tannins from coming out, and this will mostly occur with damp, cooler weather, but it will help reduce initial leaching.

        The preserver will protect for a number of years however to maintain that protection top up coats will be required at some point in the future, when will depend on how exposed the wood is to the elements.

        I hope that helps and should you have any questions please do get back in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    32. Hi, I yesterday mounted a brass plaque on a piece of untreated oak board and then onto a wicket gate. the plaque is a memorial plaque to a friend’s husband who died last year. Overnight it has rained and the plaque now has two slight trickle stains down its surface which I presume has been caused by tannin release from the oak. I understand this might go on for 6 months before all the tannin has run out? Is there any treatment for the oak which could minimise or even remove this problem altogether? Many thanks for any advice you can give.

      • Good Afternoon Roger,

        It is as you say a common issue with Oak, moist or cooler conditions will activate the tannins and this can go on for while depending on the age of the wood. Wiping over well with Methylated Spirits regularly will help to remove and reduce this. And staining however may require a light sand.

        Its worth a regular clean as those tannins will encourage black mould spores and these will certainly mark the wood if not cleaned away regularly. It will over time stop occurring but if you keep and eye on the wood for up to 2 years to ensure it is well looked after. And if you need any advice on a product to treat and protect the oak with please do feel free get in touch and speak to one of our friendly advisers via our contact us page.

        If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get back to me.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    33. i have an oak door which i would like to sand and then oil. i intend to use sandpaper and sand it by hand. i will also use the oils and wood preserves mentioned above. is there anything i should be wary of?


      • Good Afternoon,

        It is vital to ensure that all previous product is removed. The finishing oils need to penetrate the surface of the wood in order to provide effective protection. Any remaining previous treatments may prevent this from happening and uneven sanding will be highlighted when the oil is applied. There are lots of helpful videos on our You Tube Channel >>> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7-tgwbsUxm73aVnAjLGHRA?view_as=subscriber with helpful hints and tips on preparation and application.

        All the Best Samantha.

    34. We are trying to match a new section of unfinished oak stair case to our existing. We’re struggling to find the right finish and have tried medium and light oak varnishes, which are too brown as well as antique pine varnish which is too dark. The finish of the existing stairs is more of a honey/orangey colour. The handrail has a slight gloss to it, the spindles less so. Any tips to finishes we could try please?

      • Hello Claire,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your question. Colour matching can be difficult, even with the same type of wood, and the age, type and condition will all impact on the colour that will be achieved. Even how you prepare the wood can impact on product uptake and in turn colour.

        You could have a look at a stain to get the desired colour followed by a top coat of clear varnish, the Manns Classic Oak Stain has a wide range of colours available that may come close to the colour that you want, and they can be intermixed to create an alternate colour or lightened by adding water. Its worth baring in mind that the top coat of varnish will slightly darken the colour also and full test areas are recommended to ensure you are getting the desired finish.

        If you take a look at those and feel free to get back to me with any questions you may have.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    35. Hi I have just put in solid oak worktops in my kitchen and ragged on two coats of osmo poly-x, any slightest bit of water marks it and even if it’s dried up straight away it fur’s up the timber. It was finished to p240 before oiling. What have I done wrong?? Thankyou

      • Good Afternoon James,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your question. I believe the problem you have had is down to the oil being unable to penetrate the woods surface. Oak is a naturally hard wood with a tight grain and as you have sanded to a 240 grit this has closed the grain further, making it difficult for the oil to absorb into the wood.

        When this happens some or all of the oil may have dried in the surface and this will offer little protection and is probably why it is marking so easily. Unfortunately the only way to resolve this will be to remove the current oil and re sand to a 120 – 150 grit, to open up the grain, wipe over with Methylated spirits and re apply the oil.

        You may also want to consider a slightly thinner oil, more suited for hardwoods called Osmo Wood Wax Extra Thin whilst the Polyx Oil can be used for most wood types the Extra Thin can be easier and just as protective to use.

        I hope that help and if you need an further guidance please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    36. I have just had two solid hardwood tree trunk tables delivered which are being used as side tables. They have their bark stripped and have been sanded down. The seller advised that they had been kiln dried but within 2 days of arriving they have started to grow white and green mound from the top and bottom of the stumps. Is there anything I can do to salvage them? They are lovely looking pieces are were quite expensive but obviously can’t have mould growing next to our sofas. Do you have advice? Many thanks!

      • Good Afternoon Natalie,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. This could just be the last of the moisture coming to the surface. A piece of wood this size will take a long time to dry out naturally and if kiln dried may have needed longer than it originally got. If you wipe over the surface with a Barrettine Mould and Mildew Spray to remove the current growth. And then you could look at treating with a wood preservative suitable for interior use which will help to prevent mould and fungi from re developing.

        This advised is based on the wood having no current treatments applied. The preservative is likely to darken the wood slightly and a test area is recommended to ensure you like to darkened appearance. You could also consider application of a penetrative oil to offer some further protection, although I would recommend doing this a little further down the line when you are sure the wood is fully dry and there will be no more mould issue.

        I am happy to help if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

        All the Best Samantha.

    37. Hi, I have an old oak bannister which has been sanded back. I applied one coat of boiled linseed oil with a brush, then wiped off any excess oil with a cloth. The next day I discovered parts of the oak have discoloured to a very dark black. I wanted to retain a natural looking colour for the oak. How do I remove the black areas? Thankfully I applied the linseed oil to the part of the bannister that faces the wall. Should I have used another type of oil eg Danish oil to avoid black parts? Kind regards

      • Good Afternoon Brendan,

        It is rare but it does happen. Linseed can turn the oak and some other wood types, black. You can scrub with Barrettine Cellulose Thinner and this will help to remove some of the staining, but any stubborn stains may require sanding back to remove.

        As an alternative I would recommend a product such as Fiddes Hard Wax Oil this is a much more durable finish that will be more longer lasting than the linseed oil, it only requires two thin coats. It will not turn the wood black, however it will darken to give the ‘wet look’. Sample sachets are available.

        Danish oil is an option however this is mixture of natural oils and may contain Linseed oil also, and so you may find you have a similar problem.

        I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    38. We cut some fresh oak rounds about an inch thick to be used at a wedding reception on May 4. Can you please tell me the best way to keep the beautiful color. The rounds feel like they have some moisture in them. Do they need to dry first before coating with something? Any help would be appreciated.

      • Good Morning,

        If the rounds still have a high moisture content then it is not advised to apply any product just yet. Ideally the wood needs time to dry out and as a guide an inch thick will take around a year to dry enough for a finish. If they are wet to the touch now it is unlikely that they will be dry for May.

        However, you can aid this by leaving in a warm dry area or on the rare occasion that we have a warm/hot day putting them in the sun, this will help but rushing the drying process can result in cracking or warping.

        As they are needed for May my recommendation will be to try a test application now on one, with something like the Osmo Wood wax Finish Extra Thin see if it soaks in okay and dries and if that works carry out the rest, but be prepared that long term the finish may fail, if you just require them for the wedding and the test works okay then it is a short term fix.

        The Oil should penetrate the surface of the wood and will slightly darken and enhance the natural tones and grain of the wood. I hope that helps and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    39. I have an American oak staircase and American oak front door. Both Timbers were delivered and installed raw. I’ve recently hired a painter who has coated them with clear varnish. It appears that the varnish has dried out the timber and the timber is now looking a lot rougher than it originally was when it was raw. It appears the varnish may have dried the timber and someone looks like it’s splitting, dry and rough. Do you have any advice you can give me?

      • Good Morning,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your question. I would not expect the varnish to have this impact on the wood and it will certainly not draw out any moisture from the wood. The wood may be drying out naturally and this is resulting in some shrinking and cracking. It may be worth getting in touch with the door manufacturer to see if the wood was stored some where damp, if you could also let me know which varnish has been applied to the wood and the method of preparation and application, I may be able to advice further.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    40. Hi,
      I have built a new bathroom on the side of my house and have a false wall which houses the wall mounted taps for the bath. The wall is about 1200mm high and want to put a nice looking shelf on top to finish it off.. I am having some waned oak delivered soon to be used as the shelf ..
      what can I use to protect it from the moisture in the bathroom whilst still keeping its original look?

      • Good Afternoon Kevin,

        Thank you for your question. Often for Bathrooms I recommend the Osmo Wood Protector this is ideal for bathroom areas that are exposed to humidity and temperature changes on a regular basis. It will darken the wood slightly however. And you are able to get an idea of this by wiping a damp cloth over the surface of the bare wood. It is superior at repelling moisture and is a base coat for an oiled finish with the Osmo Polyx Oil

        To keep the wood looking as untreated as possible you could also look at the Osmo Polyx Oil Raw this has a minute amount of white pigment to counter act the darkening effect of a clear oil, however it can not be used with the Wood Protector as this darkens the wood and will defeat the object of using the Raw.

        I hope that makes sense and helps but if you do have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

        Kind regards Samantha.

      • Good Afternoon Lyn,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. My best advice would be to sand back to bare wood, this will ensure a good base for any product that you will use and opens up your options for a range of achievable looks.

        Oil finishes have the benefit of looking and feeling very natural and they are easy to apply, clean and maintain. Hard Wax Oil offer enough durability for dining tables and coffee tables. To add colour you could have a look at the Tints Ranges from Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Tints there are some darker tones in this range or alternatively the Osmo Polyx Oil Tints

        These penetrative oils penetrate the surface of the wood and require just two very thin coats to be applied. They do require application to bare wood.

        There is a chance that if the current oil finish is fairly old then a light sand will be enough before application however test areas are required and this will not give the best finish. For further advice please feel free to call in and speak to one of our friendly advisers on 01303 213 838 or via our contact us page.

        All the Best Samantha.

    41. I have three green oak timbers to install as part of a new stud wall in an old 1780s house. What’s the best product to paint them black. Also do I need to treat all surfaces pre installation?



      • Good Afternoon Dan,

        When you say ‘Green Oak’ is it freshly felled ? Been allowed to dry naturally or kiln Dried? The reason I ask is ‘Green Oak’ will have a naturally high moisture content and can not have treatment applied whilst the moisture levels are still high. Within months you will get problems with either the treatment or mould. Perhaps if you can get in touch via our contact us page with some further details. I can advice further.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    42. We had a green oak porch built in Feb this year and all the rain water is coming though at the bottom and marking all the wood. The wood is not drying out as we have had so much rain. Any suggestions please many thanks

      • Hello Andrea,

        Its a bit of a catch 22 you have there as I can not advice treating the wood unless it has dried out but you need to apply treatment to protect the wood from moisture.

        If it is ‘Green Oak’ which is freshly cut oak that has not been naturally or kiln dried, it is design to dry slowly over time, moving and flexing as it does with some cracks appearing to give that rustic oak look. Green oak can not be treated as it has a high moisture content that you should not seal in.

        As a guide ‘green’ wood will dry approximately 1 inch in thickness per year. So as you can imagine it will take a while for some Green Oak structures to be at a stage where they are ready for treatment and for many people even at this stage they do not apply anything as the like the way that the wood ages.

        All that said I would not expect a porch structure to allow water in, are you able to email me directly with further details or photos and I may be able to help further. You can email me via our contact us page

        Kind regards Samantha.


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