Think about a piece of wooden furniture that you love the most. It can be your grandfather’s rocking chair or a table from your childhood.
No matter what it is, it might be the natural wood grain that grabs your attention the most.
Do you want your furniture to look the same? In most cases, refinishing will do the trick for you. But the confusing thing is, which finish to apply?
Well, using the best oil for wood furniture keeps the wood grain appearance as well as increases the longevity of your furniture.
Here is a list of top-quality oils to choose from. The article also includes a buying guide to help you set preference while buying an oil solution for your furniture.
After doing hours of research, I have listed these oil solutions, which are pretty reliable for furnishing wood. Read on to learn why!
The very first oil on the list is from Old English. This oil polish is specially formulated to keep the shininess of wood surfaces, and to protect and preserve the furniture for years. You can apply it on both light and dark wood surfaces.
If you are someone who doesn’t know how most finishes smell, the scent of this one isn’t going to bother you. Its lemon and almond scents feel quite soothing and warm. The light mineral oil goes beyond the wood and revitalizes the furniture.
Apart from cleaning, the oil will also protect your furniture from fingerprints, wax crayons, mustard, ketchup, and candle wax without any issue. So, it can be the perfect solution for your kitchen and dining table as well. Furthermore, it also protects your furniture from stains, moisture, and scratches.
Old English was kind enough to make it super convenient to use this product. You can spray the solution on large surfaces such as floors, tables, and desks. However, applying from the bottle is suitable for areas that require more localized treatment and when the wood needs replenishing coatings of mineral oil.
It’s one of the best oils for outdoor wood furniture and hardwood floors. Cabot is a matte finish oil that deeply penetrates the wood and cleans and protects it from within.
If you have old furniture in the house that seems drab and is sunbaked, this oil can turn the furniture into gorgeous looking ones. You cannot make the wood glossy even if you apply a few more coats to control the sheen.
Because of containing tung and linseed oil, the oil takes longer to dry. Usually, it will take two full days to dry completely.
But once it’s dried, it does more than just polishing the wood. It protects the wood from UV rays and makes it water-resistant, which makes the oil perfect for outdoor furniture without giving a second thought.
The solution is strong enough to penetrate through the grain and keep the beauty of it. So, there will be no compromise on the quality.
If you want to clean grime and residue from your wood furniture and at the same time, preserve its woody grain appearance, this lemon oil from Guardsman can be the right option to choose.
Lemon is well known for its cleaning properties. When the lemon strength is added to an oil to revitalize wood furniture, it will clean away pretty much everything from the surface.
The oil is UV protected, and once it penetrates the grain, it will prevent your furniture from discoloring and fading away.
In fact, this oil solution is best for using on an oiled surface to replenish the lost oils. You can use it for unfinished wood furniture as well.
To get the best results, firstly, you will need to wipe the wood surface with a dusting cloth and then apply the necessary amount of Guardsman lemon oil and clean it using a soft cloth. Be sure to polish in the direction of the grain.
Konrad’s woodworkers used to preserve their wood from the invasion of natural destruction, mold, and termites using this formula. Later in 1903, it was named Conrad. The effectiveness of using it is something proven over centuries of use.
This formula is made of plants, herbs, and seeds, which makes it non-flammable as well as non-poisonous. It’s the best natural oil for wood furniture on the list that you can go for.
You can use it for cleaning, restoring, and protecting any wood furniture in your house. The formula can also transform weathered wrought metal and iron outdoor furniture.
Moreover, you will get the woodsy smell when you apply it to your furniture. The formula penetrates and conditions wood to such a degree that you will be able to notice. It will restore the natural soul of your old furniture and increase the beauty of the wood as well.
According to the manufacturer, you can use the formula on leather furniture as well. Many customers used it on their leather items and found good results. Although the leather manages to absorb the formula quickly, it darkens the leather.
Not all the oil formulas available in the market can handle denser wood such as rosewood, teak, and mahogany. If you have furniture made of one of these woods, look no further, this formula from Rust-Oleum is able to provide one-step protection for both interior and exterior wood.
Conditioning wood using inappropriate formula results in chipping and peeling off the layer too soon. This is something that doesn’t happen with this one.
If your furniture has lots of scratches on it, after applying the oil, you wouldn’t believe your eyes for sure. It removes the scratches like a boss — a must-have wood oil for pet owners.
Watco teak oil finish dries within 8 hours while providing superior cleaning and protection as well. You will get a rich and warm hand-rubbed finish without waiting much. One can of this formula covers up to 170 square feet surface easily.
The formula not only cleans the furniture but also protects from outstanding Ultraviolet rays and moisture. Furthermore, it also provides decent protection for marine usage above the waterline.
When you are done applying the oil, be sure to put the rag into a metal bucket full of water to prevent consequences.
Another classy oil finish which is well known for conditioning the wood and keeping the natural grain at the same time. The oil deeply penetrates the wood and provides a low gloss and superior hand-rubbed finish. Conditioning your furniture would be an amazing experience using this formula.
As the finish is less glossy, there will be much fewer scratches or dings on the wood surface. Unlike the cheap oils, the finish doesn’t fade, peel or chip away easily. The finish it provides is exceptionally durable compared to other competitors.
Good quality wood oils provide a good finish and protect the wood as well. That isn’t an exception with this formula as well. Once you apply the oil on your furniture, you don’t have to worry about water spilling, mildew, acid, and alkali.
If you want to restore the beauty in any old furniture of your house and make it water and mildew resistant, this is the best oil for your woods to get. It carefully highlights the grain beauty without making the surface much glossier.
This oil polish is made of pure lemon oil that easily imparts very lustrous shine as well as prevents the wood from drying out.
Weiman lemon oil deeply penetrates grains and results in a rich luster finish that enhances the beauty of the wood. The lemon oil gently cleans and conditions the furniture. Also, the finish spreads a refreshing lemon scent all around.
The major advantage of this formula is that you can use it on almost all types of wood surfaces. You can clean wood surfaces such as maple, oak, cherry, walnut, birch, hickory, pine, ash, amendoim, beech, mahogany, kempas, tigerwood, teak, hardwood, and stone tile.
If you have any old furniture in the house, you can use it to revive that furniture and increase its beauty. The polish leaves no sticky residue whatsoever.
Some oils revive the actual color of the furniture but don’t care about protecting the wood from elements. Thankfully, this one provides UVX-15 sunscreen protection and prevents wood surfaces from fading, discoloring, and drying the finishes.
You can use the oil on various wood furniture, such as – finished furniture, panels, cabinets, floors, doors, trim, benches, and more.
It’s hard to find an oil formula that can clean both furniture and wooden floor at the same time. If you are looking for something that cleans both, Murphy’s 98% naturally derived oil soap wood cleaner kit might be the right one for your requirement.
Murphy’s cleaning kit is perfect for cleaning floors, all wood, and wood laminate furniture of your house. It comes with an original oil soap cleaner that does an excellent job at cleaning hardwood floors. For more convenient usage, you will get a cleaning spray, which will make it easy to reach the toughest areas of woods.
Most people struggle to clean their hardwood floors after an event or occasion. If you have this cleaner kit, it will take care of all the scuff marks and other things as well. After cleaning, the wood surface will shine and look new.
The solution is formulated with water, plant-derived cleaning ingredients, 2% synthetic ingredients, coconut, and natural fragrance.
After cleaning, it will blast your room with its fragrance. The solution doesn’t leave any oily residue and keeps everything clean and lustrous.
So far, I have reviewed multiple lemon-flavored oil polishes. If you love the scent of orange, and regularly have to clean your cabinet, this one is just right for your need. Its cleaning properties will clean up build-ups and make the cabinet look like a new one.
Orange Glo oil 2-in-1 cleaning formula cleans your wood furniture while giving them a shiny finish. Its pure Valencia orange oil perfectly revives old furniture by removing the dirt, wax, and grease build-up and restoring its luster.
For more convenient use, the oil comes in a spray bottle that makes it easy to clean hard reaching areas without giving much effort. You can clean and polish any kind of wood surface except wood floors. The properties of this oil formula aren’t suitable for floors; it might make the floors slippery. So, avoid using this on floors.
One great advantage of Orange Glo oil is that you can use it on other materials such as stainless steel, fiberglass, and ceramic tile to remove grease, stickers, gum, and soap film.
After cleaning, you will smell a soothing orange fragrance all over the place where you use the oil.
The last one is from the brand Old English. Remember the one from the same manufacturer I reviewed earlier? The distinguishable characteristic between the previous one and this one is that it makes the wood surface a bit dark.
With that being said, if you like a bit darken wood furniture, you can go with this one without giving a second thought.
The oil cleans and restores the damaged wood effectively. If you have pets in the house, then the furniture must have scratches in your home. This cleaning and polishing formula can hide those unsightly scratches as well as nicks and give the wood a dope appearance.
Apart from its cleaning properties, the polish creates a protective shield on the wood surface to prevent damages from water spillings and splashes. Although it’s not water-resistant, you can rely on it regarding minor water spilling.
You can use it on furniture in your living room, kitchen, bathroom, and even office. It will add a warm style due to its dark polish.
Why Should You Use Wood Oil?
Even if someone regularly changes the furniture of the house, that person still doesn’t expect the furniture to lose its beauty and color after a few months. Using overtime, wood tends to build up dirt, wax, grease, scratches, which ruins the beauty of the wood.
If you use an oil cleaning polish, it will clean the build ups of elements and restore the beauty of the furniture and make it look new.
Furthermore, sunlight causes damage to outdoor furniture. Some oil polish comes with UV protection that protects the wood from discoloring and fading away.
Another enemy of wood is the water. Major or minor water splashes damage the wood. These oil formulas also provide great protection against water to some extent.
Pet owners know how painful it is to see their favorite furniture got scratches on them. Wood oil smartly hides the unsighted scratches too.
Some oil formula enhances the beauty of the natural grain, while some add a dark layer on the surface.
People who organize events and celebrate various occasions frequently, they know how hard it is to clean the floors. When the celebration is over, the wood floors lose their beauty. Having an oil cleaner for floors can clean the floors effortlessly.
Factors to Consider While Buying The Best Oil for Wood Furniture?
Not all wood oil suits every type of wood. Oil formulas that are made for indoor furniture cannot protect furniture that you use outdoor.
Similarly, there are wood oils specially made for cleaning floors. You cannot pick a random oil cleaner and use it on the floors. Most oil cleaners leave an oily residue, which is very dangerous for floors to apply on.
So, depending on the type of wood and your requirements, you need to choose the right one.
This section will tell you about what are the things that you need to consider before buying a wood oil for your furniture.
Most wood oil polishes available in the market are to clean the wood surfaces. Some cleaning oils can even hide or remove the minor scratches on the furniture made by your pets. If you have pets in the house and the furniture has scratches, make sure the one you get can hide scratches.
Reviving old furniture is far tougher than cleaning a new one. For this reason, oil solutions that can clean old furniture and restore the beauty, contain much higher cleaning properties.
All the oil cleaners can handle new or already polished wood surfaces. If you are looking for a solution to revive your old furniture, be sure to check if the wood oil is able to do so.
However, you might need specially formulated oil solution for cleaning wood such as pine, mahogany, hardwood floors, etc.
Wood oils are not only used for cleaning purposes but also are great at protecting the wood surface from various elements. If your furniture is exposed to water, make sure you are getting the water-resistant one.
Ultraviolet rays make the furniture fade away and cause discoloring too soon. If you are looking for an oil cleaner and polish for outdoor furniture, you must get the one which protects the wood from UV rays.
Indoor furniture tends to build up mildew due to moisture issues. To prevent it from happening, get an oil cleanser that is mildew resistant and protects the wood from moisture.
Keeping/Changing the Wood Grain Color
Some wood oils don’t change the natural woody color of the surface. If you love the classic wood grain and want to keep it as it is, then you should get a cleaner that cleans the surface while keeping the natural color.
On the other hand, some oil polishes darken the wood surfaces to some extent. In this case, if you are the type of person who prefers a bit dark color on your furniture, get the one that cleans and changes the color of the original wood.
How the oil smells is a common concern among allergic people. Some individuals cannot tolerate the strong odor that most of these oil formulas contain.
Some manufacturers produce wood oils using lemon or orange extract to make the cleaning process more effective while spreading a soothing freshness all over the room.
Using natural oil for wood furniture is highly recommended for people who have an issue with strong chemical odor.
However, some refined lemonwood oils don’t contain lemon scent. Be sure to check the review section to know exactly about the matter.
What are the Different Types of Wood Oil?
As there are many types of woods out there, not all the wood oils properly work on them. Therefore, it’s important to know about the type of wood you have and which wood oil works best on its surface. Let’s have a look at different types of wood oil and know which one suits your wood the most.
1. Linseed Oil
Linseed oil needs to be boiled before using for finishing wood surfaces. However, you can use it without boiling, but you have to wait a long time to let the surface completely dry. Boiled oil penetrates smoothly and dries faster to protect the wood.
True linseed oils will have tags like “heat-treated” or “polymerized.” Most manufacturers add chemical additives to raw linseed oil to speed up the drying time. One major drawback of adding chemicals is that after finishing is that a toxic scent spreads around the workplace.
Linseed oil should only be used on interior and covered woods. Don’t use it on the exterior and exposed wood surfaces.
2. Hard Wax Oil
The position of hard wax oil is in between traditional oils and tougher protective polishes. You cannot address wax oil as a finish. It’s best to prevent discoloration through aging and drying. Also, this oil provides decent protection against liquid spillage.
You can mix it with color oils to get polish like appearance on wood surfaces. Its rich and varying tones will change the natural wood color and grain.
Hard wax oils are best for use on hardwood floors and kitchen worktops.
3. Danish Oil
This type of wood oil is thinner and has a more varnish mixture than other types. Danish oil provides excellent protection against chemical damage, sun and heat exposure, stains, and superficial scratches.
The oil takes about 15 minutes to soak into the wood surface. You should apply a layer of this oil per day. More layers will build up a thick and durable coating.
Danish oil is best suitable for using on untreated or new wood surfaces.
4. Tung Oil
It’s also known as China wood oil. The coating is clear and seems like plastic, which is similar to what we see in wood finishes in oil paints and printing inks.
The oil is quite similar to linseed oil, and it takes time to dry. So, most tung oil finishes in the market will have chemical additives to make the drying time faster. After applying, the wood will have a slightly golden tint on it.
It’s moisture resistant so that you can use this oil on your indoor furniture. Suitable for using on hardwoods that require power to deal with a tight grain.
5. Teak Oil
Teak oil is well known for its protective properties against UV rays and liquid stains, and how it beautifies the natural wood grain.
You will need to wipe off excess oil before it dries. The additional coats should be added after 24 hours, at least. To keep the wood surface well maintained, it’s recommended to apply a fresh layer once or twice in a year. The oil leaves a silky-smooth surface after applying and sanding the wood a bit. Also, you can use this type of oil on both exterior and interior wood surfaces.
6. Mineral Oil
This type of wood oil is non-drying and low sheen. The woodworkers commonly use it.
Mineral wood oil is considered as wood treatment, rather a wood finish. As it’s non-drying, it will not make a solid film on woods.
Best for using on kitchen cutting boards, wood crockeries.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to apply wood oils?
At first, gently sand the wood surface to remove any dirt on it. If you are working on new or untreated wood, you will need to sand using both coarse and fine sandpaper.
Take a good quality rag and gently apply the oil using it. When you are done, then carefully wipe the excess oils from the surface. Allow the wood to dry completely. Read the instructions that came with the oil to do everything correctly.
2. How do I clean the rag?
You must be careful about the used rag to prevent accidents. When finishing is done, submerge the rag into a bucket full of water with an airtight lid. Make sure the cloth is flat, and it’s dried completely.
If the oil you used, contains solvent, you will need paint thinner along with water to remove oil.
3. How to remove the wood oil from a surface?
As wood oils don’t completely soak into the timber, you need to sand the top layer of the surface to the extent that it reveals the bare wood.
However, if you want to remove the oil from the floor, you will need a heavy-duty sander to do so.
4. Can I varnish over wood oil?
As most varnishes available in the market are water-based, they don’t go well with oil surfaces. So, the answer is negative; you cannot varnish over the wood oil.
Even though some types of varnishes can be applied over oil, they require specific primers as well as varnishes to achieve that.
If you have no option but to varnish the furniture, you will need to sand to remove the oil layer from the surface, and then go for varnishing it.
5. What’s the difference between a wood oil and a varnish?
Oil is a natural component that slowly penetrates the wood surface. You can apply multiple coatings until the wood can absorb the oil.
On the other hand, the varnish is a synthetic product made from cooking oils. It creates a plastic layer-like coating on wood surfaces, which is more protective than oil. Varnishing adds an artificial woody color to the natural wood grain.
Using the best oil for wood furniture is an effective option to revive the beauty, by cleaning, and protecting the wood from elements. As this procedure requires you to deal with chemicals, you need to be careful while applying on the wood.
Make sure you completely dry the used rag on a flat concrete surface and never expose it to heat or sunlight until it’s dried. Before disposing of, you need to dry the cloth as well.