Oil the wood properly - this is how it works!

A high-quality wood oil is undoubtedly ennobling, because it emphasizes the grain of the wood in a natural way. In addition, the oil coating protects the substrate from penetrating moisture and adhering dirt, it creates a relatively easy-care surface, however, should be re-oiled regularly. How does oiling wood work? We have a guide including important tips!

Which wooden surfaces can be treated with oil?

After all, any raw wood surface is ideal for being treated with oil, whether indoors or outdoors. Decorative objects and furniture also benefit from an oil coating such as wooden floors and antique pieces. Please note two important points:

  • The wood oil used must be suitable for the respective use. For outdoor applications, for example, there are special products that withstand the weather. There are also wood oils that withstand special mechanical stresses, for example for a floorboard.
  • The wood surface should already be oiled or raw, because on lacquered or waxed surfaces the wood oil does not hold. The substance must have enough possibilities to penetrate the wood pores and to adhere to the surface.

Oil and grow wood - is that possible?

Wax also represents a popular coating agent for wood surfaces, it brings a fine shine with it. Unfortunately, it also has the property to pollute faster. Also, water stains arise here rather than on oiled wood.

Waxed wood can not be properly oiled because the wood oil does not find good adhesion. But oiled wood can be grown to give the surface a soft glow. Recommended is the carnauba wax, which hardens well and sticks only slightly.

An interesting option for wood treatment is hard wax oil, which is used most often to treat floors. This material dries relatively hard and thus becomes a durable protective layer for parquet and planks.

Oil wood - or better paint?

Of course, you can also paint your wood surfaces instead of oiling them. The advantages of a paint coating are that the revision intervals are usually much larger and the respective object is easier to care for. Opposite are the advantages of the oil coating:

  • The natural material wood remains breathable with oil, it can take on moisture, but can also release it (room climate regulation).
  • The wood structure appears visually appealing after oil treatment.
  • The oil penetrates deep into the pores and unfolds there a nourishing effect.
  • The surface feels particularly natural with oil coating.
  • Scratches and quirks can be easily removed before re-oiling.

Which oil is suitable for treating wood?

Linseed has been used to treat wood surfaces hundreds of years ago and is still wonderfully suited for this purpose today. It penetrates easily into the pores and cures reliably.

Linseed oil boiled under exclusion of air is called hard oil, it forms after drying a robust surface with appealing gloss. This material is especially recommended for mechanical stressed surfaces.

Never use any household oil for oiling wood, such as olive oil or sunflower oil. These agents are not suitable as a wood coating, they hardly harden, stick and may even discolour.

Wood oil: a guide

  • Sandpaper, different grits
  • possibly sanding block
  • wood oil
  • 2 lint-free cloths
  • possibly surface brush

1. Substrate preparation

Ensure a clean, dry and even surface. Grind the wood in any case, finally fine grain in the 180 or 240 range. Then clean thoroughly!

2. Take in wood with oil

The oil is applied either with a brush or a lint-free cloth. Apply it with the spatula on the surface or tilt the container over the wood and distribute the oil with the cloth.

3. Let the oil dry

After covering the area evenly and richly with wood oil, wait about 20 minutes to half an hour. Give the material time to collect, but do not allow it to dry completely.

4. Remove surpluses

Now grab a fresh rag and remove the unswept wood oil. Be careful so that a uniform surface is created without stains.

5. Let it dry overnight

Now your work needs a few hours rest: let stand overnight and then check the effect. Does the wood need another coating?

6. Oil wood several times

In many cases it is not done with a single oil. Coat the wood a second time or even three to four times until the desired result is obtained. Note, however, that much less oil is needed during the following passes.

Tips & Tricks

Linseed oil has the unpleasant property of spontaneous combustion when fresh. Therefore, it is highly advisable to thoroughly clean the tools used after use and to dry old liners before they are discarded in the air.

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