wood finishing oil

Best Wood Oil – What is the Best Wood Finishing Oil for Your Project?

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If you have wooden floors, furniture, or finishes, then you will want to enhance and appreciate the natural beauty of the wood. In order to achieve this, you will need the perfect clear finish. This can be achieved through the use of quality wood oil. So, how do you choose the best wood oil? And can any type of oil be used on wood? The right oil for wood will help you to get many years of use out of the wood. It will preserve the wood, maintain its natural beauty, and keep it looking great. Follow our article below on finding the best wood finishing oil, and why you need to apply a wood oil finish to floors and furniture.



Wood Finishing Oil vs. Varnish

There are various ways to seal and finish wood. You will want to make sure to choose a product that offers the best protection and preservation of your wood. It also needs to suit the surrounding area. The best wood oil provides multiple benefits. It penetrates deep into the surface of the wood and is easy to work with. This gives you a beautiful finish that is simple to achieve.

oil for wood



What is Oil For Wood?

There are various types of wood oil finish available. These include linseed oil and mineral oil amongst others. This oil is rubbed into untreated wood in order to bring out and enhance the natural appeal of the wood grain. It can even be used over wood stains, and it offers a layer of protection.

Wood oil is a good choice for those wanting to enhance the natural properties of wood. However, even the best wood oil is not as strong and durable as varnish. Oil finishing does provide more protection than wood wax polish though. Some oil for wood combines wax or varnish to add additional benefits. There is also shellac or lacquer to use as a wood finish.

If you do use a wood oil, then it will be challenging to coat this again with varnish or paint. When you add oil to wood, the oil penetrates deep into the wood. This helps to replace natural oils that may have dried out of the wood. The point of this is to keep the wood from drying out and helping it to retain its rich color. Wood oils also add a layer of durability, and they help the wood to become easier to clean. Wood treatment oil is a good option for those seeking a more natural solution for maintaining wooden furniture. It is also easy and safe to use.



What is Wood Varnish?

Varnish is an oil-based substance made up of synthetic resins. Unlike the more natural furniture oil, varnish contains a high amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This could make it potentially harmful to the environment and to health.

Varnish is not a paint or a stain, and it dries to a clear and highly glossy shine. Layers of varnish add a greater amount of durability than oil. This is why varnish is often used in outdoor uses.



Wood Oil Finish Pros and Cons

There are many different options out there for the best wood oil. Choosing between a varnish, wood oil, or other sealers should depend on your specific project needs. Let’s unpack some of the advantages and disadvantages of wood oil below.


  • Easy to use and safe to work with
  • More environmentally friendly and natural
  • Oil penetrates deep into the wood which holds up longer than a layer of varnish
  • An affordable solution
  • Offers a perfect natural look for wood
  • Available in multiple tints


  • Requires multiple layers
  • You cant use the wood item for some time after applying the oil
  • You will struggle to apply paint or varnish over oiled wood
  • Long drying time
  • Not the most durable finish and not very resistant to solvent damage
  • You need different oils for different types of wood

wood oil finish



Different Types of Wood Finishing Oil

One of the challenges to finding the best wood oil for your project is knowing which type to use. There are many different oil types available – some can be used on most types of wood and others are only suitable for specific woods. This is important, as you can ruin the finish of the wood if you use the wrong oil.

Wood finishing oil is categorized based on the surface that you will apply it. For example, there are furniture oils, deck oil, indoor wood oils, and outdoor wood oil. Some wood oils are blended with other components to add layers of durability and weather resistance.

Out of all the wood oil options, the most common one is linseed oil. This is made from flaxseed. In its most natural state, this oil takes very long to dry. However, there are polymerized versions that offer a very fast drying time. Linseed oil is versatile and used on all kinds of common indoor projects. This oil penetrate deep into the wood, and it enhances the true beauty of the wood.

Sometimes, you will need to choose the best wood oil based on the type of wood that you are using. For example, beechwood should be used with Danish oil, and mahogany should be used with tung, linseed, or teak oil. Oak works very well with Danish oil and tung oil. You can use any oil on any wood, but this will not always produce a very attractive finish.

Most oils are made from a single ingredient (such as linseed oil), while others are produced by blending a variety. For example, Danish oil can be produced through a mix of all kinds of oils. This is usually a cheaper kind of tung oil that is enhanced with other oils. Different manufacturers have their own formulas.



Finding the Best Wood Oil

With so many different products available, finding the best wood oil can be a  confusing task. We have selected a few of the best wood treatment oil options below from the most popular categories. These can be used for various projects and finishes.

best oil for wood furniture


Best Oil for Wood Furniture

If you own wooden furniture, it will need some care every so often. Oil for wood furniture helps to revive and enhance old wood finishes. If you have indoor wooden, or outdoor wooden furniture, different conditions apply. This means that there are different oil for wood furniture options depending on where the furniture is placed.


Best Indoor Oil For Wood Furniture: WATCO Danish Furniture Oil

This Danish furniture oil is an excellent choice for any indoor furniture. The oil offers versatility and can be used on untreated bare wood, or on wood that has been stripped and sanded down. This Danish oil is one of the best wood oil options for furniture thanks to its deep penetrating protection.

WATCO Danish Furniture Oil
  • Can be used on a variety of indoor wood surfaces
  • Blended oil and varnish formula
  • Protects against spills, abrasion, chipping and peeling
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For a wood finishing oil, this product manages to dry pretty quickly (around 6 hours). You can get about 17- square feet of coverage from this product. The Watco Danish furniture oil is also easy to work with and apply. It will help wooden furniture to withstand spills, abrasions, and peeling. Of course, the oil helps to enrich the wood and bring out its natural qualities.


  • Fairly fast drying time compared to other wood oils
  • Non-toxic formula
  • A water-resistant Danish oil
  • Versatile and easy to apply


  • Not the most durable wood oil
  • Additional maintenance could be required after using this oil
  • The oil is flammable – you must be careful of any rags with oil on them

Overall this is an easy to use furniture that dries particularly quickly. It penetrates deep into the wood, offering a beautiful finish and protection.


Best Outdoor Oil For Wood Furniture: WEIMAN Lemon Oil Wood Polish

This is one of the best wood oil options for furniture as it can be easily applied to all kinds of wood surfaces. This product by Weiman consists of lemon oil and sinks into various wood varieties well. It can be used indoors or outdoors.

WEIMAN Lemon Oil Wood Polish
  • Cleans, moisturizes, and conditions wood furniture
  • Can be used to rejuvenate any wood surface
  • UV protected and leaves a shiny finish
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The outdoor application of this oil is particularly popular, as this oil is UV protected. It also helps to slow down drying out, discoloration, and fading.


  • Can be used on all types of wood
  • UV protected
  • Offers resistance from fading, stains, discoloration, and watermarks
  • Cleans, protects, and restores the wood
  • Has a pleasant lemon scent


  • Not-food safe

This lemon wood oil by Weiman offers the ideal solution for restoring and reviving old wood. It works great on scratched and damaged furniture and can be utilized indoors or outdoors.


Best Oil Finishing For Wooden Floors

If you are looking for a wood treatment oil to use on wooden floors, then there are various options available.  As wooden floors cover a large surface area, you will likely need quite a significant amount of oil. Let’s take a look at some of the best wood oil options for indoor floors and outdoor decks.

best wood oil


Indoor Floors: Wooden Floors: OSMO Polyx Oil

This Polyx oil by Osmo is made up of various oils and waxes in order to provide the ideal solution for your wood flooring. This oil has been formulated to condition all types of hardwood floors while providing a durable finish.

OSMO Polyx Oil, 2.5 Liters
  • High solid Polyx oil for floors and furniture
  • Allows the wood to breathe to reduce expansion and contraction
  • Water repellant and durable
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Using this wood oil will help to prevent the floors from cracking and peeling, as the oil penetrates deeply into the wood. The wood will still be able to breathe through. The oil also adds a durable layer of resistance which helps to protect it from things like liquid spills. The Osmo Polyx oil is completely safe to use.


  • Low odor – safe for everyone to use
  • Easy to apply and work with
  • Offers a long-lasting solution for wooden floors
  • Water and liquid repellant


  • A more expensive wood oil product
  • Only for use on indoor floors
  • Some maintenance may be required when using this oil

Sure, the Osmo Polyx oil may be a little bit more expensive than other wood oils. However, the results and end finish really make up for it. Whether you use this oil on indoor wooden floors or furniture, you will achieve a durable, beautiful finish that lasts a long time.


Best Wood Oil For Outdoor Decking: CABOT Australian Timber Oil

If you are looking for a product to help protect and maintain your outdoor wooden deck, then this oil by Cabot is the perfect solution. An American version of a formula first created for the extreme punishment suffered by exterior wood in the Australian climate, this oil offers great protection against the outdoor elements, and it will last much longer than other comparable products.

CABOT Australian Timber Oil
  • Nourishes, enhances, and protects resin-rich decking woods
  • Contains complex translucent iron oxide pigments for UV absorption
  • Blend of linseed oil, long-oil alkyds, and pure South American Tung oil
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The oil also helps to provide an attractive natural finish to the wood and will repel all water with ease.


  • Extremely durable decking wood oil. 
  • Ideal for exotic hardwoods
  • It is long-lasting and will moisturize your wood
  • Protects against water and UV damage
  • The application process is easy 
  • It is easy to clean


  • You may need more than anticipated depending on your wood
  • Not ideal for softwoods

This decking oil has been formulated to last twice as long as comparable products. If you are looking for the best wood oil to use on your deck in terms of durability and lifespan, then this product would be it.


Best Wood Oil For Outdoor Use: STAR BRITE Premium Golden Teak Oil

This product by Star Brite is a quality teak oil finishing that can be used for outdoor applications. This oil is best used on fine and teak wood, providing an excellent finish for maintaining the appearance of the wood.

STAR BRITE Premium Golden Teak Oil
  • Ultra-refined and chemically modified premium natural oils
  • Contains UV absorbers to protect against fading and sun damage
  • Contains high molecular weight polymers for extreme weather resistance
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The Star Brite golden teak oil is formulated for outdoor use and offers a good amount of weather resistance. This teak oil dries quickly, is easy to use, and offers a quality finish to keep your wood looking great.


  • Offers sun protection through UV protectors
  • Deeply enriches the finish of teak wood
  • Fast drying
  • Easy to apply
  • Offers a warm, golden color


  • Takes a long time to penetrate the wood
  • The oil is flammable
  • This oil is toxic

This has got to be the best teak oil finishing for outdoor use. The durable and weather-resistant oil is great for use on wooden furniture, pool decks, boats, and other surfaces.


Best All-Around Wood Finishing Oil: FDC CHEM Pure Tung Oil Finish

Pure tung oil offers a superior natural look for all kinds of wood finishes. This is one of our best wood oil options thanks to its lack of any chemicals or additives. Instead, the product offers a completely natural solution for enhancing the beauty and finish of wood surfaces.

FDC CHEM 100% Pure Tung Oil Finish
  • 100% pure tung oil finisher
  • Contains no additives, solvents, or varnishes
  • Forms a strong moisture-resistant barrier
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This tung oil dries significantly faster than comparable wood oil products and is particularly perfect for pinewood surfaces. If you are after better penetration, there is also the option for heated or polymerized tung oil. This also dries much faster.


  • All-natural – no added chemicals
  • Enriches woods natural aesthetic
  • Faster to dry than other wood oils
  • Has good water resistance
  • Non-toxic and environmentally friendly
  • Easy to apply


  • Not as durable as varnish
  • Pure tung oil does not permeate as deeply as other oils
  • The oil can have a slight odor

Tung oil is a great natural choice for outdoor furniture, decks, and flooring, or any other expose wood finishes. Many people choose tung oil over linseed or shellac thanks to its effective natural properties.


Best Food Safe Wood Oil: THIRTEEN CHEFS Food Grade Mineral Oil

There are a number of wood products that are used in the kitchen or around food. For these items, you will need a food-grade wood oil. This mineral oil by Thirteen Chefs is the ideal finish for cutting boards, wooden salad bowls, countertops, butcher blocks, or general kitchen use.

THIRTEEN CHEFS Food Grade Mineral Oil
  • Highest quality, pure USP mineral oil
  • Food grade oil - safe to use on food prep surfaces
  • Restores, hydrates, seals and protects wood
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The oil will help to restore and protect the integrity of the wood from drying out or forming cracks. Although this is the best wood oil for food products, it can also be used over a range of other surfaces – including granite, marble, slate, and steel.


  • Useful for a variety of different kitchen objects
  • Safe and easy to use
  • Can be used on more surfaces than just wood
  • A small amount of oil goes a long way


  • Comes in a small bottle

If you want to seal a wooden cutting board or foiod surface, then this oil is an excellent choice. It offers great protection for the wood while being completely food safe.

oil finishing



Applying a Wood Oil Finish

When you apply a wood oil finish, it should be done on bare wood or over wood that has a water-based stain. If the wood is coated in an oil-based stain, the wood oil will not penetrate into the wood. While there are many different types of wood oil available, the application process is generally the same across the board. Some woods are more porous than other types, some oils take longer to dry, and so on. However, the general application idea remains the same.

The basic idea of applying wood oil is as follows:

  • First, you will need to know what kind of wood you are working with
  • Try to sand the wood down smooth, as this is when it will best absorb the oil
  • When sanding wood, start with coarse sandpaper and slowly move up to a finer sandpaper
  • Generously apply the oil. Some types of wood oil, such as Danish oil, are best applied in small portions at a time
  • Use a dry cloth to slowly rub the oil into the wood’s surface
  • Leave the oil for about 30 minutes to soak, then wipe off any oil remaining on the surface
  • Leave the wood to properly dry. This should take at least a day
  • You can then add some oil to a 600 – 800 grit sandpaper and apply this to the wood for better oil penetration
  • Any extra oil can be wiped off
  • Leave the oil to soak into the wood for another 24 hours
  • You can continue this process and add as many layers of wood oil as you want until you reach the desired end result

oil on wood



Safety Procedures

The application of wood oil is pretty simple and standard. However, there should always be safety considerations put into place when working with DIY substances. Furniture oil is a flammable substance, so special care always needs to be taken when working with it. Be extra cautious with any cloths that you used for wiping the oil, as these can be highly flammable. Try to dry the cloths out on a concrete area properly before throwing them away.  Never leave the wet oiled rags out in the sunlight or hot areas, and don’t bunch them all together in a pile.

When wood oil dries, it becomes very rigid and hard. This makes it incredibly difficult to clean up after it has dried. After working with oil, make sure to clean the area up completely while the oil is still wet. Also, make sure to thoroughly clean the brush with turpentine or mineral spirits, otherwise, it will not be able to be used again. You can also wrap the brush in cling wrap to keep it wet between coats.

When using a wood oil, always try to do it in a well-ventilated environment with plenty of fresh airflow. Always keep any wood finishes safely stored away and out of reach of children. If you are using wood oil in the kitchen or anywhere that food will be prepared, always make sure that the product is specifically marked as being food safe.



Buying the Best Wood Oil

You can either get a pure oil for wood or blended wood oil. The pure version will always be a little bit more expensive. In general, wood oil is a budget-friendly product. It is also pretty easy to store and can be used multiple times. Some of the more expensive products often have added features – such as being blended with a wax finish. While these are more expensive, they add extra value for a greater lifespan.

If you will be covering large areas in wood oil, such as a wooden floor, it is best to buy in bulk. While saving money is always appealing, never opt for p[roducts that are too cheap, because sometimes these can let you down. Always make sure to buy something that will really look after your wood.

wood treatment oil



Frequently Asked Questions


Does Wood Oil Seal Wood?

Oil is a finish, not a sealant. This means that it will not protect the wood as effectively against the elements. However, wood oil does waterproof wood – providing a certain level of sealing. Specific sealants are generally more artificial/synthetic products.


Will Wood Get Darker With Oil?

The natural color of the wood will remain the same with a layer of wood oil. However, the oil will slightly darken everything when it is absorbed into the wood. As the wood lightens again you should add more oil.


Can Other Types of Finishes be Applied Over Wood Oil?

Once you treat wood with oil, it will prevent most types of finishes from being able to be used on the wood. The oil takes away any adhesion properties of the wood. First, remove any oil before adding something like a varnish.


Can You Remove a Wood Oil Finish?

Removing wood oil completely is not an easy task. You can sand down the top layer of wood to remove that part of wood oil and expose the bare wood. This can then be painted over. However, the oil penetrates deep into the wood which is very difficult to remove.


Is Wax or Wood Oil a Better Finish?

This is a matter of personal preference. Wood oils provide a greater level of durability and are easier to use and maintain. Wax can be used over absolutely any type of wood, and provide a unique look. Some people prefer using products that combine the two.


How Do You Put Oil on Wood?

Simply use a rag to wipe the furniture oil into the wood. Slowly rub it in and leave it to stand for a few moments, then wipe any excess oil off. You could also apply the oil with a foam pad or brush.


Do You Get Food Safe Wood Oil?

Certain oils can be used for wood that will have food prepared on it. Not all wood oil is food safe, so always check this out in advance. Some food-safe oils include mineral oil, walnut oil, certain coconut oil, and olive oil amongst others.


Wood finishing oil can be used to restore and enhance natural wood. The best oil for wood furniture, floors, or finishes will help to bring out the natural beauty of the underlying wood while still adding a level of protection. We hope that this article has inspired you to find the perfect wood oil finish for your next project.


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