The Best Oil Finish for Wood Furniture – 2022 Guide

best oil finish for wood furniture

With all the wood finish options available, it can be tough to choose the right one for your furniture project.

The best oils for finishing wooden furniture are wax and shellac. Wax is used to protect the wood and give it a shiny and durable surface. Shellac is applied in two different ways: one is the traditional way, which is by applying it over wax.

The second way is to apply it directly to the wood. However, the latter method is not recommended. Wax and shellac are both used in combination with each other, which means that they are also known as lacquer and varnish.

Our Top Picks

Thirteen Chefs Food Grade Mineral Oil for Cutting Boards, Countertops, and Butcher Blocks – Food Safe and Made in The USA Buy Now
DEWALT DPG82-11C Concealer Clear Anti-Fog Dual Mold Safety Goggle, Clear Lens, 1 Pair Buy Now
Aleene’s 26412 Spray Gloss Finish, 6 Oz Acrylic Sealer, Original Version Buy Now
Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Waterbased Sealer, Glue and Finish (8-Ounce), CS15059 Gloss, 8 Ounce Buy Now
Angelus Brand Acrylic Leather Paint Finisher No. 600-4oz Buy Now
Howard Products FW0016 Wood Polish & Conditioner, 16 oz, Orange, 16 Fl Oz Buy Now
Odie’s Oil – Universal – 9oz Jar Buy Now
Angelus Leather Paint Set of 12 1 oz Buy Now
Mycorrhizal Fungi Root Enhancer for Plants – Bigger, Stronger, Healthier Roots, Use In Soil and Hydroponics – Super 20X Concentrated Mycorrhizae Inoculant Strain – Trifecta Myco Supreme (57 Grams / 2 OZ)Buy Now
HOWARD Butcher Block Conditioner and Cutting Board Oil, Food Grade Conditioner and Oil, Great for Wooden Bowls and Utensils, Re hydrate your Cutting Blocks, 12 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Buy Now

1. Howard Products FW0016 Wood Polish & Conditioner

  • Polishes all wood surfaces to a soft luster with a protective coating of Carnauba Wax and Beeswax
  • Introduces conditioning oils that “feed” the wood and help keep it from drying and fading
  • Enhances the natural beauty and depth of grain in finished and unfinished wood
  • For use on antiques, dining tables, kitchen cabinets, wood doors, trim, etc.
  • Helps to prevent further drying of the wood and deterioration of the finish. Contains no silicone or linseed oils
  • The perfect follow-up to Restor-A-Finish to maintain the newly restored wood finish

2. Thirteen Chefs Food Grade Mineral Oil for Cutting Boards

  • FOOD GRADE – This butcher block conditioner is lab tested to ensure that it meets food safety standards, and is also colorless, odorless, tasteless, and gluten free.
  • PROTECTION – Use this mineral oil for cutting board restoration and protection to prevent cracking and drying. It also magically restores your knives, kitchen appliances, and more!
  • EASY APPLICATION – This butcher block oil has a push-applicator cap and squeeze-bottle design that makes maintenance a breeze. Apply generously with a rag or by hand and let sit for 4 hours.
  • TREATMENT – A single bottle of mineral oil for wood cutting boards can last for years! A Thirteen Chefs 1oz oil treatment every 3 months is all you need for a cutting board up to 18″.
  • MADE IN THE USA – Our 100% pure food-grade mineral oil for cutting board cleaning undergoes regular safety testing and is bottled in FDA compliant facilities in the United States

3. HOWARD Butcher Block Conditioner and Cutting Board Oil

  • REVITALIZING FORMULA BLEND prevents drying and cracking of hardwoods and bamboo. Great for restaurant cutting boards, great for home kitchens even chef cutting boards. This is the safest conditioner and will rejuvenate and revitalizes cutting boards. Great size for restaurants and industrial kitchens.
  • HOWARD BUTCHER BLOCK OILS ARE TASTELESS AND ODORLESS. Vitamin E cutting boards will absorb oils and are great at protecting the lifespan of the wood. Apply the butcher block oil to the board and the ingredients penetrate into the wood surface. Formula is great for wooden utensils. Prevent cracking and drying of unfinished wood
  • Howard’s BUTCHER BLOCK CONDITIONER IS THE SAFEST butcher block conditioner on the market.
  • FOOD GRADE MINERAL OIL with Vitamin E. Howard Natural oils provide another level of protection High quality pure natural food grade mineral oil is Ideal for salad bowls wooden spoons and wooden toys Benefits

4. Odie’s Oil – Universal – 9oz Jar

  • If you’re looking for a wood finish that not only looks fantastic but is easy to apply, look no further than Odie’s Oil. Our finish not only works on all species of wood, but it’s also ideal for leather, metal, plastic, and more! Odie’s Oil can also be used as a wood stabilizer and is food-safe, solvent-free, and non-toxic making it great for kitchen and cooking-based projects.
  • Odie’s Oil is very easy to use. Simply wipe Odie’s Oil onto your project, wait a while, then buff it off. Unlike conventional wood finishes, there’s no sanding or stripping needed between coats or retouching. No solvents mean there is almost nothing to evaporate, so what you put on the wood, stays in the wood. Odie’s Oil covers many, many times the area of other wood finishes. Up to 20 times the coverage as conventional finishes. Coverage will vary depending on wood density and porosity.
  • Odies Oil works with all species of wood, exotic or domestic, hard or soft. It has also been specially formulated to work on the oiliest of woods and still produce a wonderful looking sheen. A unique trait of our Odie’s Oil finish is that it tends to get better looking with age once it is applied. The finish contains natural UV inhibitors which are sunscreen for your wood!
  • Where can I use Odie’s Oil? Odie’s Oil is great for interior and exterior applications like Boats, Brightwork, Doors, Floors, Decks, Gates, Fine Furniture, Patio Furniture, Bowls, Cutting Boards, Kitchen Implements, Toys, auto detail, concrete, leather, and metal, etc., etc. The list goes on and on and on!
  • Odie’s Oil is a proprietary blend of oils, born out of inspiration, hard work, and a driving need to solve problems specific to the woodworker. The culmination of 30-plus years of research, development, and field testings in the most extreme environments produced a revolutionary product that out-performs and out-covers the competition. Remember, a little Odie’s Oil goes a long way! Use it sparingly.

5. Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Waterbased Sealer

  • Mod podge water base gloss Sealer, glue, and finish
  • Dishwasher-safe formula
  • Perfect for sealing your art projects on dishwasher safe item
  • Enough glue to Seal several small projects or one larger item
  • Bottle contains 8 ounces

6. Aleene’s 26412 Spray Gloss Finish, 6 Oz Acrylic Sealer

  • Acrylic sealer spray provides a protective, clear finish
  • Give a glossy luster to virtually any indoor or outdoor project
  • A durable protective finish
  • Applies clear and dries gloss
  • Spray-on formula goes on simply and evenly
  • Available in a 6-ounce spray can
  • Contains no CFCs-in accordance with federal regulations

7. Angelus Brand Acrylic Leather Paint Finisher

  • Original formula
  • Semi to high gloss top finish for use on all smooth leathers
  • Just apply with a sponge, rag, wool, spray gun, or brush and let dry
  • Water-based product cleans up with soap and water
  • Will not rub off, crack, peel, or streak

Final Direction

Oil finishing is a beautiful thing, as long as it’s used properly. It can add a whole new dimension to your wooden furniture, and make it look like it’s been hand-carved. The process itself is easy.

First, apply a good wood conditioner and let it dry thoroughly.

Next, lightly sand down the surface, using very fine grade sandpaper (180 or 240) to remove any dust, debris, or scratches. Once the surface has been smoothed and polished, wipe off excess with a clean cloth. You’re ready to apply the finish.

Now you have two options: either oil your furniture and wait to apply the wax, or wax it yourself. For most projects, I recommend the second option. Using a mixture of beeswax, carnauba wax, and finishing oil, you can mix, pour, and brush the final coat on. Be sure to use a brush with soft bristles, so that you don’t scratch your surface.

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