Oil finishes are sometimes described as just being slow-drying varnishes which is technically incorrect on many levels. Oils are usually based on slow drying resins, which means the oil has time to penetrate the timber before it dries. This in turn seals the timber, leaving a hard wearing coating that almost becomes part of the wood itself.
Penetrating the timber helps the oil bind to the surface, and ensures a thin coat. Oils are also quite flexible so if the timber moves slightly (either whilst drying or if damaged) they won’t crack, thus making them chip resistant too.
Being slow drying makes oils very easy to apply and also very forgiving; it’s difficult to go wrong with an oil finish (but not impossible so don’t see that as a challenge!)
The choice of oils can be confusing, they all have different properties for drying, hardness and clarity…
Tung Oil is a pure oil, with no solvents or driers. This makes it quite slow drying but perfect if you want a completely natural finish. It dries to a tough, hard-wearing finish.
Finishing Oil contains tung oil to make it tough , but is modified to dry quicker, in about eight hours.
Hard Wax Oil is a clear, very tough finish and the quickest drying of our oils at around four hours.
Lemon Oil is a clear, matt finish which will protect your work without giving it a discernible coating – but you’ll know it’s there!
And Food Safe Finish is perfect for salad bowls, chopping boards, wooden spoons and the like where a safe-for-food-contact finish is essential.
Click/tap on any of the images below for more specific information on our oils.