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Wood Oil FAQ's

Do wood oils dry or remain greasy?

Wood oils penetrate into the surface fibres of the wood, where they oxidise with the air and harden. The result is a finish that is dry and non-greasy so will not stain or mark clothing or soft furnishings. If a wood oil does remain sticky or greasy, it has been over applied.

What is the advantage of using a wood oil?

Wood oils help to protect and preserve interior and exterior wood by feeding the timber to to keep it nourished and supple. They are the easiest of all wood finishes to maintain and repair. A patch repair, for example, where a scuff, scratch, stain or areas of wear has occurred can be easily fixed by simply sanding the affected area and applying more wood oil.

Can I apply wood oil over varnish?

In short, no. Varnish is a coating type product that coats the wood with a plastic shell or skin. Wood oils work by penetrating into the wood but can't with a varnish covering the wood grain. All varnish coatings need to be fully removed by sanding before an oil can be applied.

Are wood oils safe for use on or near food preparation surfaces?

In general, most interior wood oils are safe for use on wooden surfaces that are close or come in to direct contact with food. Danish Oils are a good example of an oil that can be used on kitchen worktops, chopping boards and wooden food or fruit bowls. Worktop Oils are a range of wood oils that are specifically formulated to be used on food preparation surfaces. These products offer increased durability whilst enhancing the natural beauty and character of the wood.

Can exterior wood oils be used on interior wood surfaces?

We wouldn't recommend using a wood oil that is specifically formulated for exterior use on interior wood. This is because many exterior wood oils contain additional additives such as fungicides, insecticides and biocides to combat mould, algae, insect attack and wood rot, making them unsuitable for use on interior surfaces.

What is the difference between the Osmo UV Protection Oil (410) and Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra (420)?

While both products provide a clear, satin finish with very low V.O.C content and are made from a unique combination of natural oils and waxes, the main difference between the Osmo UV Protection Oil (410) and Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra (420) is that the 420 contains fungicides and biocides to protect against mould, algae and fungal growth. For this reason, the 410, which doesn’t contain fungicides and biocides, can be used on interior and exterior wood surfaces whereas the 420 is just for exterior use.

I've over applied a wood oil and it's gone sticky, is there anything i can do?

Yes, over-application of wood oil can be easily remedied by dampening a clean, lint free cloth in white spirit and wiping off the excess oil. Take care not to use too much white spirit and wipe in the direction of the wood grain. This will break down and remove the surplus oil from the surface of the wood.

How can I remove metal tin stains from an oiled work top?

Metal tins and cans can stain oiled finishes if the bottom of the tin has been or is sitting in water. The oxidisation of the metal can stain the finish or the wood if left long enough. The benefit of an oiled finish is that they are very easy to repair and when done will blend in with the surrounding area with no sign of a repair being done. Depending on how bad the stain is, it may be possible to remove it by lightly sanding with an abrasive pad such as a Woodleys Finishing Pad and then re-oiling the affected area. If the stain runs deeper into the actual wood, sand the area with a p120 grit sandpaper sheet until the stain has been sanded out and then re-oil the affected area.

Is it a good idea to apply more coats of oil than recommended for better protection?

It is always best to stick with the recommended number of coats. If additional coats of oil are applied or if it is applied too thickly, the surplus oil will remain on the surface of the wood. This could result in a number of problems including a sticky, tacky finish; a finish that could take days or longer to fully dry; or a finish that is easily scratched, scuffed and marked. In the worst cases, the surplus surface oil may just scrape or peel off.

Are you doing an Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra (420) promotion in 2019?

Due to the success of last year's Osmo oil promotion, we have again secured a stock of Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra (420) Clear 3L tins. This means 3L of oil for the price of 2.5L, an extra 20% or half a litre for free. That's enough to treat up to an additional 10 square meters of wood depending on the wood type, condition and porosity of the wood grain.

This offer is only valid whilst stocks last and if last year was anything to go by you'll need to be quick. Once its gone its gone!

Do I have to use a knotting agent before using wood oils?

No. A knotting agents job is to make a seal over the knot, blocking naturally-forming resins found in wood from being dissolved by the solvents in paints, which then seep to the surface. This then marks and discoulours the paint finish. Wood oils are not able to penetrate this seal and will not be able to bind to the wood fibres like they are supposed to, so they are not compatible.

Wiping the knot with methylated spirit and allowing it to dry before the application of the wood oil should normally be sufficient. The solvents in the wood oil should prevent the knots from bleeding and ultimately discolouring the final finish.

Is it OK to apply decking oil a couple of days after the first coat?

This is entirely dependent on the product. Some products have wax in their recipe which hardens after a few days. This is a part of the protection so it can repel rain water and other spillages. If this is the case you might struggle to apply the second coat after a longer period of time after the first coat. Double check with the instructions on the tin to be sure.

After sanding down new pine stair parts and then using Fiddes hard wax oil as per instructions the wood is now quite rough. Do you have any explanation for this please?

Because the oil penetrates the surface of the wood rather than dries on the top it will leave a very natural feel to the surface unlike varnish which will cover and dry as a far smother surface finish. It does sound like the oil has raised the grain slightly and we do recommend denibbing the surface between coats to smooth and bring the grain back down, preparing the wood for the second coat.

You can do this with a Woodleys Finishing Pad, sanding in the direction of the grain.

Ultimately using a wood oil will preserve the natural texture of the wood surface.

My project is to make a bathroom vanity countertop and a bathroom shelf made from a 4cm thick plank of live-edge yew. The wood is new, well-seasoned and has not been previously treated with anything. I bought Osmo Polyx-oil 3232 recently from yourselves and have tested this on an offcut. I have previously used this product very successfully on oak kitchen worktops and interior doors which have stayed beautiful for the past 5 years, even around the kitchen sinks, so I thought it would be perfect for the yew wood in the bathroom. I have applied one thin coat to the offcut and found that the sapwood layer of yew has remained ever so slightly tacky, while the live-edge and the heartwood has dried perfectly. I am wondering if this product is perhaps not the correct product to use on Yew after all, and would very much appreciate your advice on this. Looking at other Osmo products, I wondered whether 'Wood Wax Finish - Clear Extra Thin' might be more suitable. The info on this product states it is best for 'ingredient-rich' timber such as Teak, Cedar, Iroco and Walnut but doesn't mention Yew, and I am unsure as to whether Yew is 'ingredient-rich'. Many thanks, in anticipation.

Yew is a wood that can react slightly different to many woods, the heartwood and the sap wood can vary in hardness and you can find that the sap wood can be slightly higher in natural oil content and also a tighter grain, which is the opposite to what is usually expected. This is likely to be why you have had a different result with the Polyx Oil. Thinner application on the sap wood area or as you have mentioned you could look at using Osmo Wood Wax Finish Extra Thin (1101) as an alternate option. It will blend well with the Polyx Oil in other areas.

We have a new bathroom stool with an unfinished wooden top. We think the wood is oak or ash. We wish to treat the top so that the wood provides some water proofing but most importantly that it remains as near to the present finish as possible i.e a clear, flat finish would be ideal.

For bathrooms we always recommend a coat of Osmo Wood Protector (4006) first, this gives a more moisture repellent finish to the wood and helps to prevent mould and rot. This will slightly darken the wood however as it penetrates the woods grain.

A clear oil such as Osmo Polyx Oil will maintain the natural appearance, but will darken the wood again, much like when you wipe water over bare wood, it will enhance and enrich the woods natural tones. sample sizes are available and I would recommend these although for a stool the 125ml tin will be more than enough to complete two thin coats required for a protective finish.

An alternative is Osmo Polyx Oil Raw (3044), this contains a minute amount of white pigment to counteract the darkening effect, however you can not use the Wood protector before hand as this will darken the wood. Again samples are available and a test area is recommended.

Hi, I'm making a 'bar stool' for someone in oak and have given the client a sample finished in Osmo 3101 clear (one coat). Their comment was 'any chance of it being more golden'. My question is can I add gold tint 3092 to Osmo 3101 or to Osmo 3111? Look forward to your advice.

Osmo Polyx Oil Tint 3092 (Gold) is a clear oil with gold flecks added so it will not necessarily make it more golden.

For a warmer, more golden finish, we suggest trying the 'Amber (3072)' or 'Honey (3071)' from the Osmo Polyx Oil Tints range. Alternatively, perhaps a colour from the Osmo Wood Wax Finish Transparent range which has a wider choice of colours. Both products are available in sample sizes for testing.

Osmo Polyx Oil Tints will give you a slightly more durable finish, but both products are easy to apply and maintain if they start to look worn or tired over time. It is vital that the oil is applied very thinly and that any excess is removed with a lint free cloth. Normal application is 2 thin coats.

I've just made an oak board on which to fix a War Graves notice at my local church. It is 375mm x 280mm and 25mm thick. It will be on the church gate so exposed to the elements. What is the best way of treating it?

For exterior wood, our recommendation would be to use a wood oil as they will not crack, flake or peel over time as varnishes can and often do. Osmo WR Base Coat (4001) is an oil-based wood preservative that will penetrate the wood surface, and help to protect the wood from mould, mildew and rot. A top coat of Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra gives a moisture repellent seal to the wood, that is easy to maintain and will not peel and flake over time.

This product contains UV filters and will slow down the silvering process of the wood. The coloured or pigmented versions offer slightly better UV protection than the clear (420) oil. As a general rule, the darker or stronger the colour is, the more UV protection it provides against sun damage.

Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra is available in small 5ml sample sachets so that the colour and finish of the product can be tested on the wood to be treated. This oil has excellent coverage and even the 5ml sample sachet will cover an area of approximately 4 to 6 inches with 2 coats.

When treating the board, we recommend that all sides are treated with the preservative and oil including the edges and back. If possible, the board edges should be angled to allow any water to run off rather than sitting on flat edges. Flat edges and surfaces where water can collect and sit can be problematic and will likely require more regular maintenance.

Hi I am replacing the duckboard on a walk in shower. It is made of teak and expensive. It gets wet when you step out of the shower, but is dry most of the time. Would you recommend Danish Oil or Osmo Wood Wax Extra Thin to preserve it and make it easier to clean?

If the Duck board doesn't currently have a finish applied to it, wipe it over with Methylated Spirits followed by two very thin coats of Osmo Wood Wax Finish Extra Thin (1101). This product is thin enough to penetrate in to the tight grain of the Teak and will offer a good level of moisture repellecy to the wood. It is also very easy to maintain by simply applying a thin maintenance coat as and when required. If it is new Teak it will likely repel moisture for a while anyway. If this is the case and the Osmo Extra Thin does not absorb well in to the wood, wait for around 12 weeks and try a test area again.

Another option to consider is Colron Refined Teak Oil. This is ideal for use on Teak but will require more coats, has a slower drying time and will require more regular maintenance over time. It does however have excellent water repellent properties like the Osmo Extra Thin 1101.

Whichever option you choose, when treating the wood with the oil and if possible before installation, take care to oil all surfaces including the edges and especially the cut ends or end grain. Always do a test area to assess product suitability and final finish before starting any project.

We have recently fitted new internal oak veneer doors, we bought a tin of the clear Osmo door oil and I thought with it being clear, doors would stay the same colour... they have gone a lot darker in colour than I wanted them too, can this be rectified, maybe with a light sanding ?? And if so what would be best used?

Any clear wood finishing product such as an oil or varnish will darken the wood slightly. To get an idea of how this will likely look, you can wipe the bare wood with a clean cloth dampened with water. Water, the clearest of liquids will darken the porous surface of the wood despite being totally colourless. It would be fair to say that wood oils will change the wood more than a varnish as it penetrates the woods surface. Water-based varnishes tend to change the colour of the wood the least.

In terms of rectifying the situation you could try dampening a clean, uncoloured, lint-free cloth or rag with White Spirit and wiping over the door. The white spirit will break down the Polyx Oil and should remove much of it from the wood. Take care not to soak the door with white spirit as this may cause issues with the glue that holds the veneer in place. Sanding may also be a solution but without knowing how thick the veneer is, its probably better to hand sand rather than use a power sander. A combination of white spirit and then light sanding may be required. When sanding, use a 120 Grit abrasive and no finer. Finer sand paper can cause absorption issues when re-oiling the doors. When doing any of the above, do a small test area on one of the doors to assess effectiveness and final results. It might be worth checking with the door manufacturer first to find out what they say about using white-spirit or sanding the doors. They may advise against one, the other or both methods.

To avoid this darkening effect, there are some oils specially developed to retain the natural, untreated look of the wood such as Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural and Osmo Door Oil Raw 3033. These products contain a small amount of white pigment that counteracts the darkening associated with clear products. The amount of white is minimal and if applied correctly, will not appear white on the wood. These products are only suitable for lighter coloured timbers such as Oak, Pine, Fire and Spruce as examples. If applied to dark exotic hard woods they may give a slightly milky appearance.

Can you use Osmo Polyx Oil on kitchen worktops?

Osmo Polyx Oil is a hardwax oil which combines all the advantages of oils and waxes in one product. it goes on and gives the appearance of a traditional oil but offers a durability comparable to some varnishes. It is resistant to water, dirt, wine, coffee etc and is microporous, so will not crack, peel or blister. A better option could be Osmo Top Oil that is specifically formulated for kitchen worktops and is available in a range of finish types including clear matt and satin, natural, white, acacia and more. Osmo oils are very easy to apply, maintain and patch repair.

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Disclaimer: Whilst every attempt has been made to provide product information that is as accurate as possible, it's important to clarify that trees and the wood that they produce can be affected by many factors. For example, the same species of tree grown in the same wood, even in close proximity, will be affected by age along with the amount of sunlight and water they receive. Other naturally occurring biological and environmental factors will also influence the density and grain of the wood as well as the moisture and oil content of the timber. No two trees are the same, meaning each piece of wood has the potential to look and react differently to the same wood finish. For example, product adhesion, colour variations, absorption rates and sheen levels. It is for this reason that we always strongly recommend carrying out test areas before starting any project