Which Wood Finish Is Best?

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A question we’re asked frequently here at Wood Finishes Direct is simply ‘which wood finish is best?’ Like most things involving wood, there’s no simple answer to this but fear not, help is at hand.

which-wood-finish-is-best
Which wood finish is best? A wood oil, varnish, stain, wax or paint?

Wood finishing can be complex. Trees are naturally growing organisms, with their own unique DNA and as with most living things, are sensitive and adaptive to the environmental conditions they grow in. Because of this, even two pieces of wood from the same species of tree from the same woodland or forest could produce different results when treated. It’s a little like two children from the same parents, unless they’re identical twins, chances are that they may be similar but have distinct differences or be as different as chalk and cheese.

So what is the best finish for wood? In a nutshell it depends on a host of factors, the most common being listed below:-

  • What type of wood, Softwood or Hardwood?
  • Is the wood interior or exterior?
  • Has the wood been sanded and how?
  • What is the wood being used for i.e. floor, door, picture frame, bookshelf, dog kennel etc
  • Is it old or new wood?
  • Is it bare or treated wood?
  • What sort of finish is required coloured or clear?
  • What sheen is required, matt, satin or gloss?
  • Easy maintenance or outright durability?
  • What is the expectation of durability?

So to help with trying to determine which wood finish is best for you, the wood your working with and the project to hand, let’s explore some of these key questions.

What type of wood? Softwood or Hardwood?

And before anyone answers ‘from a tree’ it’s worth noting that there are a lot of ‘wood’ products that are not strictly from a tree but can still be treated in the same way. As an example, Bamboo is technically a grass and what about all those man-made woods such as MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) and particle board?

softwood-or-hardwood
It’s not always easy to know if something is softwood or hardwood

Softwood and hardwoods

This is another area that can be confusing as the classification of a softwood or hardwood is determined by how it fruits and its leaves and not just by the weight, density or strength of the wood. There are actually some softwoods that are harder than some hardwoods and some hardwoods that are softer than some softwoods. Confused yet? We’ve written a blog post entitled Confused everything you need to know about wood if you want to know more.

Natural colouration of the timber

Wood has its own natural coloration that isn’t always evident when freshly planed or sanded. As an example, pine, especially old pine can look pale and virtually colourless in its raw state. Put on a clear wood oil or varnish and they will enhance the natural character and colour of the timber, normally a warm golden or orange colour. Although some people like and enjoy the warm colouration that this gives, it’s not to everyone’s taste. The natural colouration of the timber will also have an effect on the final colour if treating the wood with a pigmented or coloured product. Stain a piece of Pine and Beech with the same wood stain and it will produce quite different results. Remember those school days of mixing two colours to make a completely different colour?

The good news is that if you want to keep wood, especially Pine, Oak and other light coloured woods looking natural, without the natural colouration coming through, there are some great hard wax oils from Osmo and Fiddes that do the trick, namely Osmo Polyx Oil Raw 3044 and Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural (also known as Oak Lightning).

Is the wood interior or exterior?

Although softwoods and hardwoods can both be used for interior and exterior projects, it’s fair to say that some wood types are better for some projects than others based on practicality, cost and the types of finish required.

inside-outside-wood
Decaying roof exposing inside wood to the outside elements

Exotic hardwoods such as Teak, Iroko, Balau and Ipe are great for decking, garden furniture and other exterior projects due to their dense and oil rich nature. They’re naturally hardy, resistant to weathering, and biological issues such as mould, algae and other types of fungal and insect attack. The flip side is that because of their dense, oily nature, they have to be carefully prepared if coating with a varnish or paint, to ensure good adhesion with the surface of the timber and to prevent the finish from breaking away from the surface of the wood. Specialist opaque products from brands such as Sadolin, Sikkens and Dulux Trade work well and are available in a range of colours.

Very dense hardwoods can also be problematic when it comes to oiling. Many types of decking oil and other exterior wood oils are too thick to penetrate into the dense grain of the timber with specialist, highly refined oils such as Osmo Extra Thin 1101 for interior wood, or high quality Teak Oil for exterior wood being the best option. These products are clear so will not add additional colour to the timber other than giving the wood a darker damp look and drawing out the natural grain and colour of the wood. Even with these oils, the wood may need to be left to weather for a while to open up the wood grain before oiling. It’s highly likely that these types of wood will only absorb one or two very thin coats of oil. Not all clear wood oils contain UV filters meaning that when exposed to direct sunlight and rain, the wood will naturally turn grey / silver over time.

Generally, commonly used timbers such as Pine and Oak are easier to paint, varnish, oil and stain than exotic hardwoods. If protected correctly with a suitable preservative and finished in the correct way, they will perform very well in external environments and could last a life time if maintained correctly. The other benefit of using these woods is that they are cheaper and more suitable for products with UV resistance or the thicker pigmented or coloured oils.

Has the wood been sanded and how?

Proper sanding is key to a good finish, especially so with wooden floors. If you’re looking to oil a piece of wood that has been previously painted or varnished, it’s imperative that all traces of the old surface coating are completely removed. Failing to do this may prevent the oil from penetrating into sections of the timber resulting in an inconsistent finish.

sanding-wood-correctly
Sanding wood correctly is imperative to get the best results

In most cases, sanding to a 120 or 150 grit is perfect. If wood is sanded too finely it can block the surface pores of the timber making it difficult for wood oils to penetrate. This could result in a tacky or sticky surface or an inconsistent finish / colour if using a pigmented product or stain.

Wooden floors should be sanded a number of times using progressively finer grits of sandpaper. Depending on the condition of the floor, it may require a very course grit to start with then several passes with varying grits until reaching a 120 / 150 grit smoothness. If the sanding hasn’t been done properly, swirls, scratches and other strange patterns and marks may appear when staining with inconsistent colour patches. If this happens the only option is to sand again taking extra care to sand properly.

What is the wood being used for?

If you’re working on a picture frame, there’s no need to use a bullet proof varnish that is more suitable for a dance floor or sports hall. Easy maintenance wood oils may be better in high moisture environments where a varnish may start to crack and peel. For a classic Shabby Chic look, some products are better at giving that ‘worn over time’ look than others. This is why we have wood finishing project pages on our site which list which products are best for which projects.

shabby-chic-furniture-finish
Different wood finishes work better on different projects.

Is it old or new wood?

Old wood can react differently to new wood. If the wood has been recycled and was previously treated, this could also have an impact on the type of product to use and the finish it will give. For example, old wood that was previously oiled or treated with a wood preservative that contained wax could repel water based paints and varnishes.

new-or-old-wood
New wood can be treated with almost anything, old wood may need thorough sanding.

Is it bare or treated wood?

This is similar to the point above. If its new bare wood then it can be treated, stained or coated with a huge variety of products. If it is or has been previously treated, it could limit the type of product that can be used. As an example, you can’t oil a floor that has a varnish finish.

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Bare wood is ready for treating, pre-finished wood may need sanding.

What sort of finish is required coloured or clear?

There are a vast range of products that give a variety of different finishes from the slightly tinted to the totally opaque, soft colour tones to vibrant primary colours and everything in between. We always take it upon ourselves to try and understand the type of finish that the customer wants and make recommendations based on the information provided.

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Wood can be kept bare or coloured with a wide variety of semi translucent or opaque colours.

When we are asked what product is best to achieve a Medium Oak or a Victorian Pine colour, our first response is ‘define what colour Medium Oak or Victorian Pine is? A good way to demonstrate this it to go to Google Image Search and type in ‘medium Oak wood’. Google will present thousands of images of wood and furniture and it soon becomes very apparent that everyone’s interpretation of medium oak is different. This also applies to high street brands. Buy a tin of dark oak wood stain from one manufacturer and the same from another and they could be anything from slightly different to not having any similarity at all. When it comes to colour, the best approach is to ignore the product colour name and decide visually on what colour best meets your preference and the needs of the project.

Another reason why colour is always tricky is because everyone’s computer monitor is calibrated differently in terms of brightness, colour and contrast. A product colour on one monitor may look different on another and different again on another. Then there’s the issue of the type, age, condition and natural characteristics of the wood, the same product on one piece may look different on another. This is why we always stipulate that a test area must be done and allowed to fully dry before starting any project to test colour suitability.

Which sheen level, matt, satin or gloss?

The sheen level of a product can change the whole appearance and feel of an object or room. while a shiny floor screams elegance and class a matt finish gives a more natural, cosy feel. In terms of exterior finishes, most wood oils leave a soft satin finish when first applied. For a lasting exterior satin or gloss finish, opaque wood coatings and paints are the answer.

Interior finishes tend to come with more sheen options from dead matt through to super gloss. in some cases, a satin variation can be mixed with a matt or gloss to achieve a sheen level that is something in between what the manufacturer supplies.

Easy maintenance or outright durability?

In a nut shell wood finishes tend to fall into just a few categories, waxes and oils (products that penetrate into the surface of the wood), varnishes and paints including pigmented opaques (Products that form a skin or seal on the surface of the wood).

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Varnishes and paints can be longer lasting. Wood oils are easier to maintain

Generally speaking, If the wood has been prepared correctly and the product has been applied correctly, surface coatings such as paints and varnishes tend to have a longer service life than waxes and oils, potentially lasting many years before requiring attention. The thing to consider is that when these types of wood finishes reach the end of their useful life, usually when they start to show signs of wear, peeling, flaking or cracking, its often a case of stripping the old coating back to bare wood by sanding or using a suitable paint and varnish remover, before re-coating or painting.

Wood waxes are used for interior surfaces, usually furniture (see Wood Furniture Wax) and other low contact surfaces such as picture frames and wood panelling. Wax will never crack and peel and is very easy to maintain. Although stand alone waxes can be used on flooring, they’re not very durable and are prone to wear and staining from liquid spillages, far from ideal in kitchens and bathrooms. The only wax products we recommend for wooden floors are hard wax oil products.

Wood oils are very popular and it’s not difficult to see why. There are a wide range of interior and exterior wood oils that are all formulated to provide a specific look and function. Interior wood oils for floors and kitchen worktops are highly durable, potentially lasting years but unlike a varnish, there is never a need to sand them off when they start to look tired and worn. It’s simply a case of cleaning the surface or perhaps giving a very light sanding before applying a fresh coat of oil over the top of the old. As good as new.

Exterior wood oils move with the wood so will not crack and split. They allow the wood to breath and many, not all, offer some degree of UV protection to protect the natural colour of the timber for longer. If colour is desired there are a range of semi translucent tints and opaque coloured oils that can provide a ‘paint like’ appearance. These are great for protecting and colouring exterior wooden surfaces without the risks of cracking, peeling or flaking.

How long will a wood finish last

This is the classic ‘How long is a piece of string?’ question. As with anything, how long something lasts comes down to the amount of wear and tear it’s subjected to. An oiled floor in a restaurant will require more regular maintenance than one in a domestic property, An exterior coating on a beach side property will likely require more maintenance than that of a sheltered town house. This is why manufacturers rarely give a stipulated life expectancy of a product. This said however it doesn’t mean that a job will have to be redone every year or two. If a wooden surface has been properly prepared and a product has been applied to the manufacturers guidelines, then most wood finishes will provide years of protection to the timber and pleasure to the property owner.

Wood Finishing Help

We hope that the above article and video helps to explain some of the finer points about wood finishing, but if you have any questions about which wood finish is best for your project, just give our team of resident experts a call. They’re always on hand to give friendly help and advice.

97 COMMENTS

  1. Hi have just bought interior oak unfinished doors and would like to keep them the pale colour they are what would you suggest I use

    • Hello Jacqueline,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. I would recommend taking a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural this is a penetrating oil that is designed to leave the wood looking and feeling as untreated and natural as possible. It contains a minute amount of white pigment and I would strongly recommend a test area with a sample sachet first, this is because the type age and condition of the wood you are applying to will impact on the finish that will be achieved.

      As the doors are oak, it is important to ensure that the oil penetrates the wood well and does not dry on the surface. If you find the oil does not penetrate the wood then a thinner oil Osmo Wood Wax Finish Extra Thin may be a better option, although this one will darken the wood slightly.

      I hope this helps, if you have a read up of those products and feel free to get back to me with any questions you may have and always try a test area first.

      kind regards Samantha.

  2. I have a set of Ercol chairs, beech framed in beech with elm seats that I would like to refurbish. Like most commercial beech furniture, they are finished with a semi-opaque honey coloured varnish or laquer. I have thus far been unable to locate a DIY product that replicates this finish. Can you offer me any advice on this?

    • Good Morning Richard,

      Thank you for your question, coloured varnishes are always a bit hit or miss, and the finish can be some what lacking in natural appearance. With so many other products available on the market that colour and protect there are lots of alternate options to get the desired finish.

      You can send me some photos of the finish that you are looking to achieve to wfd.advice@wood-finishes-direct.com and I will happily take a look. And make some recommendations.

      You could start by looking at the Manns Classic Oak Stain to achieve a transparent colour, this stain is very versatile and can be lightened by adding water, applied in a number of coats to intensify colour of mixed with other colours to create a whole new colour. And then finished with a top coat of varnish to seal.

      But if you send me some photos I may be able to help further. And test areas are strongly recommended , Beech can sometimes be a little difficult to get an even finish all over so good preparation is key.

      Kind Regards Samantha

  3. I have just purchased an unfinished parawood (rubberwood) kitchen table and chairs that I wish to stain and finish. I am concerned about the durability and tolerance of the finish. The table is in direct sunlight for several hours many months of the year and being a kitchen table, will be exposed to moisture and heat. What kind of finish do you recommend that will also not yellow over time. Thank you for your advice. Love your blog.

    • Good Afternoon Wanda,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. So the Parawood is considered to be mid way between soft and hardwood and some what ecological in it manufacture give that it main purpose is to produce rubber, and so the use of the wood is a secondary and way to re purpose a good quality substrate.

      As this is a table it will require a durable finish for the everyday uses that it is exposed to and the UV damage and there are two options that you can consider. A long lasting and durable varnish, or a natural looking and easy to maintain oil. Both finishes have their pros and cons.

      A varnish is, for sure, the most durable of the finishes, it creates a surface seal over the wood and is very protective and hard wearing. With a range of sheen level and sample sizes available I would recommend the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish as a good option to consider.

      A Hard Wax Oil such as the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil will penetrate the surface of the wood and dry hard, it leaves the wood looking and feeling very natural and whilst it will not last as long as an oil it will be far easier to maintain over time. It will not peel and flake and you are able to apply a fresh coat when you feel that it is needed.

      For the non yellowing factor the varnish will be better for this, particularly as it is water based, however with excessive UV it is likely to still yellow a little over time. The oil will highlight the natural tones of the wood itself and with either product a test area is strongly recommended first to ensure you like the finish that will be achieved.

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

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  4. Hi,
    I have owned a 6ft ‘Woodfurn’ wooden painted mahogany? bench seat from new, which has been exposed to at least 12 years sun and rain without attention apart from a bi-annual karchering to clean off the algal growth down to the wood. The wood shows minor splitting along the grain, but the seat is still reasonably firm to handle and seems entirely rot free.
    My thought is that I should first apply filler to the grain splits, and then sand it all down before painting.
    Am I correct in my thoughts regarding this intended renovation process, and what preservative if any and in what order to apply it, and what paint would you recommend ?

    • Good Afternoon Ian,

      Thank you for your question. The Morrells Two Part Coloured Wood Fillers is a good option for and exterior project and comes in a range of colours so you can match the finish colour or paint over with a compatible paint. To check compatibility you will need to do some test areas to check for adhesion.

      For a wide range of coloured paints you could take a look at the Protek Royal Exterior Finish there are some opaque colour finishes and some more translucent more natural tones with in the range.

      As always test areas are vital not only to ensure you like the colour but also to ensure compatibility between products.

      And if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with your enquiry via our contact us page.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  5. I have a very old and dark oak front door that over the past thirty years has been preserved with Barratine dark preserve , Danish oil or whatever was around at the time though suitable. It is dirty Sinai intend to brush off then wash….and would like to know what you recommend I preserve it with for now and future years. Thank you.

    • Good Afternoon Phil,

      Can you get in touch via our contact us page to clarify your message. Did you mean that you intend to sand back to bare wood and what look are you hoping to achieve and I will be able to help further with some recommendations.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  6. Hi,

    We have some new pine king trusses throughout our renovation and need some advice on getting the best finish on them. We would either like to keep them in there current state and bring the grain out as much as possible without the pine going yellow over time or achieve a oak style finish. Any advise would be great.

    Thanks

    Jack

    • Good Afternoon Jack,

      Thank you for your question. With trusses it can depend on how much protection they require. If the finish is just for show and a gentle clean every now and then, then a Wax will be ideal, it is a surface sealer that will alter the wood very little and is easy to apply and maintain. A good choice will be the Colron Refined Beeswax which comes in a Natural Clear or some subtle colour finishes.

      If you require a more durable and and hard-wearing finish then you could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil this is a penetrative oil that dries hard, it is only suited to smooth wood and so if the surface is a little rough or raised the uptake of the oil will double and so be a costly finish and you would be best sticking with the Wax above.

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

      And always try a test area first.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  7. We are in the south of France and naturally have a hot summer climate and fierce sunshine. I have had to replace an entire veranda 12 metres x 4 metres, as the previous property owners did not protect for the timber (pine) and it was rotten. The floor is not a problem, as it is tiles, but the 8″ square pine columns and cross beams supporting the roof get the direct sunlight at the front. Can you please recommend a suitable product with special thought for the intense UV.
    Thank you

    • Good Afternoon John,

      For the best UV protection I would recommend applying a coloured product, the pigments act like filters and the darker the colour the higher the UV factor. Ideally, you should apply a preservative first, this will help to prevent mould, mildew and rot. A good choice is the Barrettine Premier Universal Preserver followed by a Decking Oil.

      Decking Oil is a very versatile oil and can be used for a wide range of projects. And with the coloured oils you will also get the desired UV protection. Barrettine Decking Oil will go well with the preservative and is one of our most popular items.

      If you have a read up of those and feel free to get back to me if you have any further questions.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  8. We building a green oak conservatory faces north and west but gets sun most of day as sun swings round back garden. We plan to have softwood (pine) windows and French doors alongside 4 direct glazed non opening windows encased in oak. While we had thought of painting the softwood I wonder if we can oil or varnish it, firstly to make it easier to repaint or varnish but mainly so it matches more with the oak. Was thinking is there such a thing as oak coloured hard wax or oil or varnish and what would this look like on softwood etc? I would buy oak windows and doors but the cost is out of our budget. Thanks

    • Good Afternoon Helen,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. You could have a look at a coloured oil finish. This is a penetrative oil that colours and protects at the same time with just two thin coats required for a finish. So a little goes a long way.

      Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain is a good option with a range of colours and sample sizes that allow you to try test areas first. I would recommend test areas as the wood you are applying to will impact on the finish that will be achieved.

      I hope that helps and if you have any further question please do not hesitate to get back in touch.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  9. Hi, I’m currently in the process of renovating a single storey barn. Within the pitched roof there are 4 oak king posts over 100 years old which I have cleaned and sanded back to there former glory!! I’ve initially tried a Danish oil as a test patch on one of the pearlings and found it darkened the wood instantly. I want to keep the exposed timber as light as possible with a dull/Matt finish. Any suggestions gratefully received. Thanks.

    • Hello Richard,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your questions. The age of the wood could be an issue with keeping the wood as natural as possible but adding protection to. Often for retaining the natural look of the wood I recommend the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural this is designed to counteract the darkening you get with clear products, however I do think there is a possibility that this will still darken due to the age of the wood and a test area is again vital.

      The only other option is to look at a clear wax such as Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish this will nourish the wood. It is a common product recommended for beams and is easy to apply and can be applied as often as you would like to refresh the appearance of the wood.

      Beam require little protection, just the ability to wipe down occasionally and a fresh appearance, the wax will be ideal for this.

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

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  10. Hi,

    We bought a bed and side tables of pine wood, couple of days back. All the pieces of the wood were stained and oiled and delivered separately and we had to assemble them together.
    While assembling it together we also need to use a hammer here and there. The wood is not very smooth and there are places where it’s rough. Is there any suggestion of any sort of top coat to smoothen it and which can protect it for longer as well? Could you please recommend any top coat which can go well with pre-oiled wood and the application should be simple? Thanks a lot in a advance

    • Good Afternoon Krishma,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. It is likely that the current finish is durable enough to stand up to every day wear and tear, this doesn’t really include knocking with a hammer. But as a general rule oil over oil or varnish over varnish. Of course it is not that simple, and test areas are recommended moving forward. Wood will only accept so much oil before it becomes saturated and as there is already some on the furniture you may find it a struggle to apply more. Over application of oil will result in the surface easily marking.

      The roughness you can feel may be from a slightly raised grain and this can be smoothed slightly by rubbing over with a course Woodleys Finishing Pad although with oiled finishes the ideal is often to have a natural look and feel.

      If the pad does not help you may be looking at sanding, which could in turn start to strip the oil, requiring then for you to top it back up.

      The other option will be to sand back to bare wood, this will open up your choices on what to finish the furniture with and for further advice please feel free to call and speak to on eof our very knowledgeable advisers on 01303 213 838.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  11. Hi

    I have engineered real wood, dark stained floorboards throughout the downstairs. They have faired well in the living room and hall but in the kitchen don’t cope so well with the high traffic – we’ve re coated them several times and need to re stain some of the heavy footfall areas.

    We have previously used a polyurethane vanish and, when re coating, have lightly sanded, touched up the stain where necessary and revarnished. Is that the best way to handle these floors in your opinion? If no, what else could we do? If yes, do you have a product you could recommend?

    Thank you!

    • Good Morning Josephine,

      Patch repairing a varnished floor can be difficult and often lead to uneven finish over all. It will depend on the products you are using as well. Stains are often just a penetrative liquid that colours the wood, it can not be applied over a varnish as the varnish will prevent penetration. Perhaps if you could email me with further details via our contact us page.

      My best advice for a worn varnished floor, particularly one which has faded in colour will be to sand back to bare wood, to start again, this will ensure you are able to get an even all over colour. As an alternate finish you can consider a coloured Hard Wax oil, this is a protective finish that penetrates the surface rather than being surface seal like varnish. It would be fair to say that it is not as long lasting as varnish, however it is easy to clean and maintain over time, with no need for sanding when it wears, you can easily patch repair or apply a full fresh coat when needed with out having to sand back first.

      We have a great video on varnish versus oiled floors >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Umn0CgJpdSg&t=125s and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

    • Good Afternoon Don,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. If you are looking for a natural clear finish for your project, you could have a look at the Osmo Wood Wax Extra Thin this is ideal for use on hard woods that are less willing to absorb oil. It will darken the tone slightly and give the ‘wet look’, enhancing the grain. And with this oil a little goes a very long way as you only require two very thin coats to be applied.

      If you take a look at the product information, try a test area and feel free to get back to me if you have any questions.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  12. I am looking at buying a porch kit made of premium redwood porch. The front posts are 140mm x 140mm, the main front truss is 145mm x 70mm and the rafters are cut from 95mm x 45mm. We intend putting a slate roof on the porch and may tongue and groove the inside.

    Originally, I wanted an Oak porch, but the cost is a lot more and there appears to be a lot of poor quality oak being put on the market. I am told the redwood is a premium wood.

    So we think we will buy the Redwood option, but I would be interested in what products you would recommend for us to stain/finish. The porch will sit on an 1850s cottage with old red brick. We want it to look as though it has been there sometime, rather than a modern, bright wood colour. We want to retain the natural wood colour. I do not see it as a problem if the porch goes grey over time, it would look more in keeping with an old property. Would the heritage oak colour work with redwood? Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks

    • Good Afternoon Ann,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. Redwood is a soft wood option and is quite stable in its ageing, less likely to warp over time. It has a natural resistance to wood boring insects also, however I would still recommend a good quality finishing treatment for application. Oak can be a longer lasting wood and stronger, however soft woods can also last a look time if well maintained and cared for.

      You have mentioned that you would like to use the Heritage Oak from the Sadolin range and so I would recommend one or two coat Sadolin Quick Drying Preserver first and then follow this with 1 to 2 coats of the Sadolin Classic Wood Protection and 1-2 coats of the Sadolin Extra Durable Woodstain

      The reason for the number of coats for each woodstain is dependent on the intensity of colour you would like, using a product like this will maintain a strong colour however and not allow the wood to silver over time. Pigments act like sunscreen the darker and denser the pigment the more the protection against the suns UV damage. Its worth having a good read of the products to make sure they suit your needs.

      So in order to allow the wood to age naturally you would need to consider a clear product to give protection against mould, mildew and rot as well as moisture but that does not have colour or UV stabalisers in. For further advice please feel free to get in touch with me via our contact us page.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  13. What would you recommend for exterior wooden (teak) driveway gates, we are having professionally stripped and sanded and can have wax or oil finish or treat the wood ourselves. What would you recommend?

    • Good Afternoon Ruth,

      Thank you for coming to us with your questions. As you stripping back to bare wood this opens up your options and I would recommend taking a look at the Osmo Decking Oil although it is designed and marketed for use on decking it is versatile enough to be used on a wide range of exterior projects including your Teak gates.

      The Osmo Decking Oil is slightly thinner product that is more suited to tropical hardwoods, such as teak, iroko, balau and Ipe. All these woods are naturally high in oil and have a tight grain, resulting in less oil being effectively absorbed. The Decking oil is thin enough that it will still penetrate the surface to give effective protection with just two very thin coats.

      I would recommend a test area first and also wiping down the surface of the wood with Barrettine Methylated Spirit this will reduce any grease or oils on the surface to allow for application of the Decking Oil, always try a test area first to ensure you like the look that will be achieved.

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

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  14. Hi,

    I have a number of exterior mahogany door sills/threshold sills that have previously been varnished but are now in need of re-doing. I would like to know whether oiling or varnishing is best? Osmo don’t recommend using their exterior products on any horizontal surface due to ‘sitting’ moisture. if so, then I assume most oils will be the same? if this is the case then what product is best to use?

    Thank you for your help,
    Ian Allen

    • Good Afternoon Ian,

      If the sill does not have any gradient/run off then any product applied will wear quicker due to standing water. Varnish can last longer for sure, but even this is susceptible to damage when exposed to standing water. So regular maintenance is the key to keeping the wood looking good.

      If you want to veer away from an oiled finish then you could have a look at the Sikkens Cetol HLS Plus one coat followed by two coats of the Sikkens Cetol Filter 7 Plus although these only come in coloured finishes, they will give superior protection and the colour will protect the wood from UV danmage.

      Alternatively for a clear coat product you could consider the Sadolin Extra Durable Clearcoat

      If you take a look at the details of both products and let me know if you have any further questions. Always try a test area first.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  15. Hi I have brought a old African carved table , which looks like it could be rose wood or hard would of some kind , when wet looks great a orange red colour but when dry not so , what’s best to use oil or wax on it . Cheers les

    • Hello,

      For such a hard and possibly naturally oily wood I would recommend the Osmo Wood Wax Finish Extra Thin it is designed for use on harder woods, although it may still take some working in to the woods surface. Sample sachets are available to allow you to try before purchasing a larger tin, and with this particular product a little goes a very long way.

      For more advice or to order feel free to call in and speak to one of our friendly advisers on 01303 213 838 or get int ouch via our contact us page.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  16. Hello,

    I am restoring two lovely Parker Knoll chairs that I think are made of Beech. I have stripped the varnish off and got down to the original wood – and wonder what would be the best protection for them? The wood is light and I would like to keep it as natural as possible.

    Many thanks,

    John

    • Good Morning John,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your question. You could have a look at the Osmo Polyx Oil Raw which is a penetrative oil that is designed to leave the wood looking as natural as possible. Two thin coats are all that is required and I would strongly recommend a test area first to ensure you like the finish that will be achieved. This will give great protection to the wood and is easy to maintain with top up coats, although this should not be required for a number of years, how many will depend on use.

      An alternative option if the oil is not what you are looking for is the Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish which is slightly less protective that an oil but will give a natural unchanged look to the wood. Test areas are vital to ensure you like the finish that will be ahcieved and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch via contact us page.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  17. I am in the process of making a gate out of idigbo and would like to know what finish to use ,I prefer not to paint but various web sites say don’t use oils

    • Good Afternoon John,

      Idigbo is a tropical hardwood that is naturally high in oil content and this may be why you have read recommendations against using it. Wood will only accept so much oil before it become saturated and will not take on any more. And this is why weathering is often recommended, allowing the natural oils to disperse a little before applying an oil treatment.
      Idigbo also contains a natural yellow dye which can sometimes leach out when the wood gets wet so allowing this to happen naturally before applying a treatment is a good idea.

      Once ready you could have a look at the Sikkens Ranges, 1 coat of the Sikkens Cetol HLS Plus followed by two coats of the Sikkens Filter 7 Plus will give a long lasting protection to the gates in a natural colour.

      My advice would be to wipe the surface down well with some Methylated Spirits before application, this will remove any surface grease, oil or dirt and give a good surface for application.

      I hope that helps, if you take a look at the Sikkens to see if they are the right products for your project and feel free to get beck to me if you have any further questions.

      Always try a test area first.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  18. Hi, I’m replacing my kitchen plinths and have bought solid oak. However, I want the colour to be as dark brown as possible and not to show the grain too much. What do you recommend? A coloured satin varnish (say ronseal) or a wood dye or something else?

    Best regards

    Malcolm

  19. Good afternoon,
    We have a mid 20h century Macintosh teak table. We have been polishing it with Antiquax Brown Wax. We are now wanting the tablle to have a harder finish as it matks easily, scratches etc. We are considering sanding the table top bt are not sure how to do this or which finish to use. We are thinking of having a matt finish.
    Thanks for your help, Andy

    • Good Afternoon Andy,

      You can remove a lot of the existing wax with Woodleys Wax and Polish Remover and a Woodleys Finishing Pad This will help greatly as sanding wax can clog up sandpaper fairly quickly. The grit to start sanding with will depend on the condition of the surface, it is is well marked and scratched and you want to remove this then you can start with a lower grit 80 perhaps and then move to a 120 – 150 grit. Work in the direction of the grain and sand the whole surface evenly.

      Once you have the wood as you want and ready for application you could have a look at the Osmo Wood Wax Finish Extra Thin this is a protective hard wax oil that is suited for use on hardwoods such as Teak, it will give a longer lasting and more protective finish than a wax. Before application I would advice wiping the surface down with Barrettine Methylated Spirits first to remove the natural oils that sanding will have exposed. Then two thin coats applied with a brush,, allowing the oil to soak in or 15 – 20 minute before wiping the excess oil off with a lint free cloth.

      For further information we have some very helpful videos on our You Tube Channel >>> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7-tgwbsUxm73aVnAjLGHRA?view_as=subscriber and should you have any questions I am here to help.

      All the Best Samantha.

  20. Hello Samantha I am having a beech Wood worktop installed in my kitchen and would like the wood to stay as pale and natural as possible. I don’t want to use the finishing product that is supplied with the worktop as from experience I know that it will darken the wood. Is there anything I can use to protect the worktop that will not alter the colour.
    Many thanks
    Lynn

    • Good Afternoon Lynn,

      There are two products that you can consider for your worktop and they are essentually very similar products. Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural and the Osmo Polyx Oil Raw.

      So these are both Hard Wax Oils they both contain a minute amount of white pigment to counter act the darkening of a clear oil and they both require two very thin coats for application, they both give a moisture repellent protective finish to the wood. Whats the difference, well apart from the Osmo being more expensive, the solvent content in the Fiddes is higher, resulting in a slightly quicker drying time. The Fiddes is produced in Wales and so has less travel impact where as the Osmo is more natural products and Osmo are considered a very environmentally friendly company.

      The finish from both will be very close but they are both available in sample sizes and so I would recommend these first for test areas.

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

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  21. Hi, I have used ronseal satin 10 year wood stain on my outside window frames. I like the finish but a little too shiny for me. Can I take the sheen down with anything? If I use a finishing pad or steel wool 0000 will it affect the durability?

    Thanks
    Mark

    • Hello Mark,

      If you use the Trollull Profession Steel Wool grade 00 this should dull it down a little, try a test area first. And if there is anything further that we can help with please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team on 01303 213 838.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  22. We found this cool Landshark bench at a beach restaurant it was sitting outside neglected, so we bought it from them. It’s weather worn raw wood, but that’s the way we like it, very rustic. We would however like to put some sort of protective coating on it, something that will bring out the character. HELP!!

    • Good Afternoon Debi,

      I am curious as when I checked out what a Landshark Bench is it shows me a surf board bench. Is this what you have ? I am keen to get a better idea of the project so if you are able to get in touch via our contact us page with details of the type of wood and if there is any current treatments on it ? and perhaps a photo and I will see if we have something that will suit your needs.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  23. I have a lid of a whisky barrel that I would like to use as a tabletop. I still need to do the finish on it. I would like it to be natural looking, and grains maybe a bit enhanced. Which product would you recommend?

    • Good Afternoon Suzanne,

      Thank you for coming to us with your question. I can make some recommendations for products to consider but it will depend on the age and condition of the wood. I am going to assume that it is an Oak Barrel top as most whiskey barrels are and so I would recommend the Osmo Wood Wax Finish Extra Thin

      This is designed for use with hardwood, such as oak, that are less willing to take in the oils. Two very thin coats will leave the wood looking and feeling very natural whilst offering great protection that is food safe and moisture repellent. It will be easy to clean and maintain over time, enhancing the grain of the wood and darkening very slightly.

      A test area is strongly recommend to ensure there is no reaction when applied to the wood as a result of years of whiskey storage.

      Another option to consider if you are looking to add some colour is the Holzol Furniture Oil Tints this is a slightly thinner oil than many of the standards and so may work better with the oak, and has a range of colours should you want to add a little colour to the wood.

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

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  24. Hi there,

    I have sanded down my oak dining table and am looking to wax it so that natural colour is shown. What would be the best wax that will protect the table top but also bring out the natural features.

    Thanks

    • Hello Jeremy,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. I will recommend two products for you, one is a wax and the other is a Hard Wax Oil. The wax is a traditional finish that can be used on dining tables but will offer little protection against every day use and you may find that it needs a regular fresh application to upkeep a fresh look, the Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish it will however leave the wood very natural and unchanged in colour.

      The Fiddes Hard Wax Oil is designed to soak into the surface of the wood and will dry hard to give a more durable and moisture repellent finish. It leaves the wood looking and feeling very natural but it will darken the wood slightly. Or for an even more natural finish you could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Natural

      If you take a look at those options and feel free to get back to me if you have any further questions.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  25. Hi,
    I’m helping my dad make a small card table from mahogany. What product would give the best finish? We’d like something which brings out the grain and gives a medium sheen (probably not a varnish?) without darkening the wood too much. It doesn’t need to be too durable as the table top will covered in baize.
    Thanks!

    • Good Afternoon Lee,

      I often recommend a Hard Wax Oil for a project such as this if you do not want to use a varnish. The Fiddes Hard Wax Oil is a good option and you will probably only need the 250ml sample tin. This oil soaks into the surface of the wood and requires very thin application of two coats. It dries to a hard protective finish that leaves the wood looking and feeling very natural.

      Oils are not as reflective as varnishes and so the satin will be a very subtle sheen and the Semi Gloss will be more like a satin varnish. 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.

  26. I’m making a dining table from reclaimed scaffolding boards and need some advice on which is the best way to finish it to make it durable to spills and food debris. I’ve sanded them down using 120 grit then 80, I’d like them natural in colour with a good finish.
    Thank you
    Catherine

    • Good Morning Catherine,

      Scaffold boards are great for so many projects! I would advice sanding to a 120 as the last sand, its the ideal grit for most treatments, and 80grit sand will open up the grain a little more than required and you could get a rough finish or use more of the product that expected.

      Once sanded you can wipe over the surface with Barrettine Methylated Spirit this will remove any surface grease and dust from sanding and you can then apply your finishing product.

      For a natural look and feel you could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil this is a sealer that soaks into the surface of the wood and requires just two very thin coats, it is easy to apply, clean and maintain over time.

      Or for a more durable and long lasting finish you could consider the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish this is a surface sealer that comes in a range of sheens.

      If you look at those options and feel free to get back to me if you have a any further questions.

      All the Best Samantha.

  27. We have just had an ash veneer top put on a low run of storage drawers and cupboards in our loft bedroom. Can you oil then varnish? I think I’d like to use an oil to bring out the colour/grain a little bit more, but realistically people will put drinks on it without a coaster etc. Do you have any specific recommendations? I definitely don’t want a tinted varnish. Thank you

    • Good Afternoon Sophie,

      Thank you for contacting us with your question. Oil and varnish are not compatible products and it is very rare that you are able to use them together. If you believe the surface will be used for cups and glasses without coasters then I would recommend a Varnish finish, this is also because you are treating a veneer.

      Oils are very good protective finishes and will stand up to general use and spillages and they are generally suitable for use on veneers but the varnish will give that little bit more durability and longevity for your project.

      I can recommend the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish as a very good option, it has a range of sheen levels and will highlight the natural tones of the wood. It is also available in samples size for a test area to be carried out first.

      If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

      Many Thanks Samantha.

  28. Hi
    I make pagan wands and staffs from oak, beech, yew, alder, hazel, rowan, etc. I find the peeling and sanding very therapeutic. I use Tung Oil or Beeswax depending on my mood. Is one better than the other? Also, when we had a lathe we used coloured vegetable dyes which produced fantastic finishes. Can I get the same results by hand?

    • Hello Dolly,

      Not something that we get enquiries about very often and if you get chance I would love to see some of your wands. I suspect that any treatments applied to these wands are for aesthetics more than any form of protection and so either the Tung Oil or the Beeswax will be suitable, the only real difference is that the wax is more surface based and so can scratch or mark easily particularly when in a warm hand for a while.

      And for a dry hard wearing finish that will last for years a Hard Wax Oil will dry harder than a Tung Oil so could be a consideration Fiddes hard Wax Oil is a good option, a little goes a very long way as very thin application is required.

      With the vegetable oils you will probably know more than me I am sure so I can not be of much help I am afraid. A bit of experimentation I suspect.

      If there is anything further that I can help with please do let me know.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  29. Hi, just about to build a garden bench, have purchased a couple of ‘vintage’ bench ends and 50x22mm Ash slats. Wondered what you would recommend to protect the Ash. I have no space to store the bench internally over the winter so will need to be able to stand up to a British winter (East Anglia) and a South facing garden that gets the full summer sun from 10:00 until sunset. Don’t mind reapplying the finish every couple of years but don’t want to have to strip the bench down and go through the laborious process of preparation every time.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Dave

    • Hello Dave,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. For ease of maintenance you could have a look at the Barrettine Garden Furniture Oil is a great option.

      Because it is an oil into soaks into the surface of the wood and protects it. Nourishing and enhancing the natural tones of the wood. It will not peel and flake over time and can simply have a fresh coat applied when you feel the wood needs it, in your case this could be annually due to the fact that it is fairly exposed.

      For more UV protection to the wood that will slow down the silvering process you could have a look at the Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra this is a very good oil that requires just two thin coats for application. Osmo do not recommend it for horizontal surfaces as these are more exposed and will be susceptible to wear and tear quicker, however for benches I believe that this will be fine and as long as you keep and eye on it and ensure it is well maintained.

      If you have a look at the products recommended and feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  30. Hi, i have a softwood exterior gate that i have just finished staining with Rustins wood dye. What would You recommend to seal/preserve/protect it? Thanks

    • Hi Chris,

      To seal the stain and protect it and the gate from weathering you can use a clear exterior wood oil or decking oil. Using an oil with UV filters will also help to protect the colour of the stain.

      Oils to consider are Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra (420) Clear or a clear decking oil such as Manns Premier UV Decking Oil in ‘clear’.

      Applying an oil is likely to darken and enhance the colour of the stain slightly. It’s also recommended to apply the first coat of oil lightly with minimal brush strokes so as to not reactivate the solvent in the stain and drag the colour. Once the first coat of oil is dry, any subsequent coats of oil will be fine.

      If you have any questions regarding the above, please feel free to contact us.

  31. Hi,

    We are looking to stain and oil pine floorboards in our 1930s house. We have sanded them down and applied water based manns pine stain samples.

    My question is do we need to treat floorboards with any pre-stain treatment or is it OK just to put stain on the freshly sanded floorboards and then apply oil?

    Best,
    Paul

    • Hello Paul,

      Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. A pre stain is not something that we tend to recommend, the stain can raise the grain and so it is recommended to denib (lightly sand) using a fine finishing pad or steel wool to bring this back down and you are able to apply further coats should more depth of colour be required.

      When you have the desired colour then the oil can be applied. Always try a test area first and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      We also have some very helpful videos on our You Tube Channel >>> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7-tgwbsUxm73aVnAjLGHRA?view_as=subscriber

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  32. Good morning
    I’ve recently moved to a house which is completely featheredged horizontal wise with pine 120mm wide
    It quality of the fitting has been given the highest attention and is about 3 years old.
    Being a softwood I would think it would need some sort of protection .
    It does get a bettering from the west but still looks virtually newish. I failed to ask the previous owner if he treated yearly or not and what with if he did.
    What would you suggest please

    • Hello Alison,

      Thank you for your enquiry. Are you able to send me some photograph of the featheredge boards and this may help me with how to advice you for your project moving forward. wood@finishes.direct

      Kind regards Samantha.

  33. Is it ok to Osmo Door oil on oak veneered doors eve though manufacturers instructions say finish with varnish lacquer or stain.

    • Good Morning Ros,

      Thank you for getting in touch, this is a question we are asked regularly as so many manufacturers recommend against using oils on veneers. In the past when veneers became very very thin the oils could penetrate through to the adhesive layer and react with the glue causing the veneer to peel away. There have been many changes to manufacturing and adhesive since and so it is far less of a problem, however many companies like to cover themselves as a ‘just in case’

      I have work with wood finishes for over 4 years now and have never had a customer call in to say their veneer has peeled as a result of any product that they have applied. It is in fact unlikely that any oil will penetrate through the veneer to impact on the glue. That said using a product against the manufacturers advice is very likely to invalidate any guarantee that you have with the doors.

      So in my opinion you will be able to use the Osmo Door Oil for your project, however it will be at your own risk.

      As an alternative we often recommend the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish which comes in a range of sheen levels and in sample sizes to allow you to carry out test areas first.

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

      All the Best Samantha.

  34. Hi;
    Am looking for advice on what oil to use on a fence I am about to build. The timber is untreated redwood pine. Looking for a clear oil to preserve it please.

    • Good Morning Gerry,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. You could have a look at a preservative first, a good choice is the Barrettine Premier Universal this will help to prevent mould, mildew and rot.

      It is a clear finish and you can follow it up with a top coat product such as Barrettine Decking Oil this will help to slow down the natural silvering process and offer moisture repellency to the wood. Always try a test area first.

      If you have a look at these product and do feel free to get back to me if you have any further questions.

      All the best Samantha.

    • Hello Willie,

      I would need to know a little more about the project. What the current finish is ? What type of wood you are applying to ? Is it interior or exterior ? Some pictures may help also and so if you are able to email me at wood@finishes.direct with the information and photos and I may be able to offer some advice for your project.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  35. Hi

    I’ve recently bought 11 x oak veneer doors from Travis Perkins. The doors are quite light in colour and I am keen to keep it that way when treated, what would you recommend? I am aware that while the manufacturer says not to use oil on them but that in reality it should not really be a problem, so if this is the best option I will do that, I’m just keen to keep the oak finish quite light in colour after the treatment.

    Thanks

    Ian

    • Hello Ian,

      For an oil that will leave the wood looking as natural and unchanged as possible you could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural. This contains a minute amount of White Pigment in it to counteract the darkening effect of a clear oil.

      It is the best product to leave the wood looking as unchanged as possible. I must state however that if you move forward with an oil it can invalidate any guarantee that you have with the doors. As always I recommend test area first to ensure that you like the finish to be achieved.

      If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  36. Hi. I have recently build a wooden cabin of yellow balau wood.
    Can i apply oil first then a coat of clear varnish?
    Also we are in the process of building a deck around the pool
    Of cumaru wood. Can i also apply oil followed by clear varnish?
    Thank you and kind regards.
    Deepak

    • Hello Deepak,

      Oils and varnishes are not compatible! Each are protective products in their own right. A varnish is a surface sealer that will last long and give a really good level of protection against moisture ingress. It can be difficult to maintain and repair over time if the varnish breaks down however.

      Oils will soak into the surface of the wood and help to make it moisture repellent and many will have UV filters also, it will not last as long as a varnish, however is far easier to maintain by simply applying a fresh coat of oil when you feel the wood needs it, with out the need to strip back.

      As you are applying to Balau, which is a tropical hardwood with a naturally high oil content when new, you may need to allow it to weather for a few weeks. If you wish to apply a varnish you will need to wipe down with Methylated Spirit to de-grease and avoid adhesion issues.

      And if you wish to apply oil then the Teak Oil is more suited as it is a thinner oil for hardwoods. Test area will need to be carried out which ever you choose to go with.

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

      All the Best Samantha.

  37. What would be best for the finish on pine clad cathedral ceiling, it has received no treatment as yet. I am looking for satin or matt finish, and probably a clear finush

    • Hello Polly,

      As a ceiling, I would not expect the wood to need too much in the way of protection. So you could have a look at applying a Wax. This will nourish and seal the wood to make it easy to clean if needed. As it is unlikely to be exposed to moisture or dirt this should suffice.

      If you do want to consider a more durable finish however, then I can recommend the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil which will soak into the surface of the wood and longer lasing and more durable. Test areas are recommended for both recommendations and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  38. Come to think of it, is there any reason that it is unsuitable for use on indoor bedroom wooden plank floors in an old property?

    • Hi again Kevino,

      I would not recommend it for interior use. That said many customers have used it previously with no issues and if you do choose to then good ventilation during application and drying is a must.

      We do have a vast range of suitable interior oils that would be better suited and I would be happy to make some suggestions should you need any further advice.

      All the Best Samantha.

    • Hello Kevino,

      If you are treating bare or previously oils garden furniture then it is likely to be fine and a test area will show if there are any problems. For wood that has previously been treated with a varnish or exterior stain, all of this will need to be removed before application of an oil will be accepted. Decking oil can also be good for a number of exterior projects including fencing, steps, sheds, furniture and much more.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  39. Hi, I have applied Osmo country colour pebble grey over two Coats of Osmo wr base coat to my log cabin and white to the windows. I would like to treat the insides of the doors and windows with a clear finish and also at a later date coat the insides of the cabin with a clear protective finish. What do you recommend for this.

    I though it better to wait for everything to dry out properly before painting the full inside however and ask what you think would be best for this.
    Regards

    • Hello Alastair,

      For an interior finish you could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil. It is a durable, natural finish for your interior wood. It will darken the wood slightly to give the ‘wet look’ and it will be suitable for all interior areas including windows, doors, flooring and cladding. I hope that helps and do let me know if you have any further questions.

      All the best Samantha.

  40. I have a front door at my house in France. It get full HOT sun during the summer and the normal rain showers. It was painted with a satin clear varnish about 7 years ago which is now in need of renovation. I want to retain the natural appearance of the wood and a satin finish. Can you suggest how I approach this job and the varnish/paint/oil that would be best. The door is made of a very heavy light coloured (hardwood?) wood. Thanks

  41. What is the best product to use to finish the wood in my front room. New doors coloured with wood dye/stain. And sanded and restrained skirting boards and nest of tables.
    Thanks

    • Hello Tara,

      I will be happy to make some recommendations, can you tell me if these projects are all bare wood ? What you would like the finishes to look like, natural or coloured? Would you prefer varnish or oil ?

      We do have some very helpful videos on our YouTube Channel that may help with product choice. Feel free to email me with more details at wood@finishes.direct.

      All the Best Samantha.

  42. Hi

    I am using iroko slats on my garden fence, what would be best to protect them with, oil or something else. I want to retain the natural colour of the iroko but dont want ot to weather too much

    Thanks

    • Hello Stephen,

      For tropical hardwoods, we tend to recommend the Teak Oil. This is a thinner oil that will absorb more easily into this hard wood. Unfortunately it does not have the UV filters that will slow down the silvering process of the wood. For this the Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra would be ideal if it absorbs readily into the surface of the wood. Both are available in sample sizes to allow you to carry out a test area first.

      I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to let me know.

      All the Best Samantha.

  43. I completely sanded down the upper surface of an oval coffee table manufactured by Ducal because the surface was badly heat damaged. The table is made of pine which has a rich patina to it and I’m concerned that if I treat the top with a clear Matt varnish it will be a completely different (lighter) colour. My question is do I need a matching stain, or should I try and ask Ducal what they used originally?

    • Hello Laurence,

      Wiping a damp cloth over the surface of the bare wood will give you an idea of how much a clear varnish will darken the tone of the wood

      As you have sanded back to the bare wood it is possible that the finish will be a different colour. But you are able to re-stain should you find the water test shows that clear varnish is not dark enough, the Manns Classic Pine Stain is a good option. It is a versatile finish that can be applied in a number of coats to intensify the colour or lighten by adding water.

      You can then apply a Varnish to seal and protect the table. I hope this helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to let me know.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  44. Have made side gate from redwood but trying to achieve low mtce matt finish without staining.
    If I need to effect colour of wood it should be minimal.
    Presume it will age regardless.
    Your advice and guidance would be welcome

    Thanks

    • Hello,

      I would recommend the Holzol Decking Oil as a good choice for your project. It would be fair to say that a clear product will allow the wood to silver naturally, however there are UV Filters in this product that help to slow down that process.

      Regular maintenance will help keep the natural colour of the wood. This is a penetrative oil that is great for water repellency. It is available in a sample size to allow you to try it and I would always recommend a test area to be done. And if you ave any further questions please do not hesitate to let me know.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  45. Hi,

    We have got a new pine floor fitted which will be filled and sanded today. We need a floor finish which is hard wearing, 2 shades darker and satin finish. We are thinking of the Ronseal diamond hard range but would like to have your advice too?

    Thank you in advance

    • Hello,

      Thank you for your inquiry it would be fair to say that the Ronseal Diamond Hard Coloured Floor Varnis would be a good option. It is hard wearing and durable for your flooring. I always recommend a test area first to ensure that you like the finish that will be achieved. This is because until you apply the varnish to your wood you will not get a true idea of how the colour will look.

      The Diamond Hard is the only varnish that we do that is translucent, most others are opaque finishes. If you have any further question please do not hesitate to ask.

      Kind regards Sam.

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