Wood is coarse and rough by itself. It's very fragile in many cases, too, as exposure and other conditions can wear it down. That's why you should always coat them with oil to give them a level of durability and smoothness. Of course, it's not just any random oil, but something specifically dedicated to wood.
However, it’s not that easy figuring out which ones are effective and which ones aren’t. So, we have put together a list of the best oil for wood to help you find the ideal oils for your woodworking projects.
Check out the reviews to see the top oils in the market and read the buying guide to find out what you need to look for before choosing what to buy.
Get your tools ready because we're diving into the reviews right away!
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Oil for Wood
- 1. HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil
- 2. Real Milk Paint PTO-G Pure Tung Oil
- 3. Minwax Antique Oil Finish
- 4. Watco 65931 Danish Oil
- 5. Watco 242219 Danish Oil Wood Finish
- 6. Sunnyside Corporation 87232S Boiled Linseed Oil
- 7. RUST-OLEUM Watco A67141 Teak Oil Finish
- 8. Original Wood Finish, Quart - Oil Based Household Varnishes
- 9. Formby 30064 30064000 Low Gloss Tung Oil Finish
- 10. Cabot 140.0003400.005 Australian Timber Oil
- What to Look for Before Buying?
10 Best Oil for Wood
There are a ton of different oils in the market. Some are great, while others are bad. After thorough testing, we believe we found 10 of the best performing oils out there. Give the reviews a read and see if they interest you.
1. HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil
In most cases, oils are mixed with many artificial compounds that might be effective but overall harmful. However, it's possible to make completely pure and natural oils that are just as effective as their more artificial counterparts.
HOPE'S is one of those incredible brands that offer a highly effective natural formula.
The natural quality makes it non-toxic. So, this solution is perfect for furniture like dining tables, where you're expected to keep a lot of food. This keeps you and your food healthy and fresh. Simultaneously, the wooden surfaces will stay strong and durable due to the incredible quality of this 100% pure Tung Oil.
If you think that oils like this must be hard to apply, then we're happy to tell you that you're wrong. Simply rub it against a wooden surface, and give it time to properly cure. Room temperature is enough, so you won't have to worry about many heating methods. Essentially, all you need to do is rub the oil and wait.
Once you apply this to a surface, it doesn't become a coat over the wood; it becomes part of the wood itself. Meaning, it builds the durability and properties of the wood directly.
So, if you want to avoid oily surfaces, this Tung oil is an excellent option to go for. It even protects the table from environmental and other conditions. You’ll see your table stay unharmed, even if you spill wine, juice, milk, and more.
2. Real Milk Paint PTO-G Pure Tung Oil
We’d like to start off by assuring you that this isn’t actually milk. It’s actually an expertly mixed Tung Oil that enhances your wood’s finish to whole new degrees. Real Milk has outdone themselves with this pure and effective solution that will grant you both safety and high-quality finishes for all your wooden surfaces.
You won’t have to worry about impure additives giving off toxic fumes. Instead, you’ll get all natural Tung Oil with no distillates. Real Milk's solution does not pretend to be a finish but something that enhances your wood qualities. Once you apply it to a surface, it'll blend with it to boost its durability and capabilities.
If you want to preserve the original look and feel of the wood, you should opt for Tung Oils like the PTO-G. You might think, "Okay, so it's only for wood." While this particular oil specializes in wood, it also is incredibly effective with pretty much any other porous object. You can even apply it to bricks! And, yes, it'll work in unison with the best wood floor paint.
The quality of the oil is what makes this so special. Real Milk assures you get top of the line, grade 1 yellow oil to drastically improve your surfaces' qualities. If you're looking for superb color, long term elastic finish, and extremely fast drying times, then the PTO-G is the oil for you.
3. Minwax Antique Oil Finish
As the name suggests, this oil is an antique finish that’ll leave your wood both strong and smooth. Minwax applied a unique formula to bring the most out of these oils to give you the exact texture and durability one could ask for. Let’s go into more detail, shall we?
Of course, we want our wood to be hard and durable. It must be able to withstand anything and receive no damage. However, what’s the point if it ends up making the wood feel like rocks. Instead, Minwax does something different. They retain the durability of other oils, but they enhance the feel and texture as well.
Your projects will feel soft and comfortable while still resisting scratches and damages. This is a must-have if you’re looking to apply oils on furniture. As a result, your chairs, tables, and sofas will feel more comfortable than you could ever imagine.
If you’re just looking for a nice finish, Minwax has you covered as well. You can simply apply it to bare wood to enhance its look. Each coat takes about 5 to 10 minutes to dry.
So, you won't have to stay away from your project for long between coats. After 2 or 3 coats, you’ll have gorgeous looking wooden surfaces with this magnificent antique finish.
4. Watco 65931 Danish Oil
Sometimes you might want to add some extra color to your wood. This is especially true if the wood you have doesn’t have the exact feel or texture you want.
In that case, a purely clear oil won’t do. That’s where Rust-Oleum comes in with their magnificent Danish oil. There’s a lot to love about this ingeniously created oil.
But our favorite aspect has to be the medium walnut color. It's a nice color by itself; it can make any texture beautiful when applied to wood. Your projects can have a uniform coloring scheme, and it'll enhance the look and feel to great heights.
Medium walnut is just a great texture, to begin with, so there's no doubt that it'll make your projects a lot prettier.
Of course, this Danish oil is no slouch when it comes to durability. It can effectively seep into the pores of any wooden surface and strengthen it. You can say goodbye to scratches and stains, as your all-new walnut-colored surfaces will remain nothing short of flawless.
All in all, the Watco 65931 offers rich and smooth textures that you won't find anywhere else. The finish will leave a pleasant warm glow on all your wooden surfaces without it feeling artificial. This is why it was a product we had to recommend in spades.
5. Watco 242219 Danish Oil Wood Finish
Rust-Oleum is clearly an expert when it comes to interior oils. Their Watco series is a clear indicator of that. We understand that a lot of you saw the Watco 65931 and liked it a lot.
However, you were turned off by the idea of the medium walnut coloring. That's understandable; a lot of us want to preserve the natural look of our surfaces.
That’s why our fifth product is the Watco 242219. This answers your concerns directly as it offers an all-natural finish that keeps the original texture of the wood. The clear solution is perfect for anyone who wants to coat their interior surfaces with a rich natural color.
Like the previous model, it also provides a gorgeous glow while presenting your furniture's natural look and feel. Surfaces look new and pristine while gaining extreme durability to protect them from scratches and stains. Of course, it's not enough for outdoor wooden surfaces, but it's incredibly effective for indoor ones.
The Watco Danish oil is an overall fantastic interior surface oil. We love how it can give us such a natural glow while still preserving the wood's original look. So, if you want a clear oil that'll keep your surfaces in their original form, but will enhance their look through a gorgeous sheen and warm glow, then this is for you!
6. Sunnyside Corporation 87232S Boiled Linseed Oil
If you want a classic, then the Sunnyside Corporation’s boiled linseed oil is an amazing option. They constantly create some of the best oils for unfinished woods, and this is no exception. The 87232S excels in many regards as it always offers top of the line performance, durability, and color.
Let's get this straight, you'll want to use this on unfinished wood. As you do, you'll find that the end result will be on a whole new league. That's because the oil brings out the most color and texture to your wooden surfaces.
At the same time, it maintains the original color. So, it keeps the wood natural and enhances it further to look absolutely incredible.
Next, we will be praising its drying times. Sunnyside Corporation boils this linseed oil to significantly speed up drying times. This makes application fast and easy, and you can get the most of your wooden surfaces with very little effort. Not only that, you can apply this over existing finishes as well.
Why would you do that? Simply because of how it's able to enhance durability. It seeps into the wood's pores and strengthens it to such a degree that it can handle lots of water. That’s right, this guy is waterproof, so it can be used both in and outdoors.
7. RUST-OLEUM Watco A67141 Teak Oil Finish
We talked about Rust-Oleum products a lot already, but we swear that this will be the last time. But can you blame us? Their Watco lineup constantly pushes out high-quality oil finishes.
The A67141 is just another example of what makes this brand so great. Many of the previous oils can work great on harder woods but not as effective as you might want.
That's where this Teak oil finish comes in. It can handle dense woods such as teak and rosewood for highly effective results. You'll be able to apply it to pretty much anything and get ample protection. So much so that you can use it for outdoor surfaces.
The oil is very easy to apply. Simply wipe it on with a cloth, and the wooden surfaces will receive an elegant finish. Drying times are also impressive, as it gets done so fast that you’ll enjoy the benefits of a durable and gorgeous finish in no time at all. Simply put, its resistances are out of this world.
Need UV resistance or waterproofing? The A67141 has you covered. It offers improved resistances on all fronts to drastically boost quality and performance.
That's why you can effectively use it for both indoor and outdoor purposes. So, if you ever want to take on harder woods, this Rust-Oleum teak oil is what you should get.
8. Original Wood Finish, Quart - Oil Based Household Varnishes
So far, we've gone through a lot of oils that specialize in certain aspects. Specialization is great, but many of us just want a safe bet – an oil we can use for general purposes at any time. What do we do then? Well, there's this superb finish from Tried and True.
Just like their name implies, they employ a tried-and-true formula to offer a highly effective, general-purpose oil finish. It's applicable in almost every situation and still grants a ton of durability and protection.
However, it's mostly aimed for indoor use. Nevertheless, if you're ever confused about which finish you should get, this is an easy choice.
The solution does whatever it can to maintain the originality of your wood. It’s clear and won’t filter the original look of your surfaces. Instead, it gives it a beautiful shine. They make sure the shine isn’t glossy.
As such, the shine feels natural and subtle. So, if you want to coat your furniture with a subtle glow, this Tried and True oil is perfect.
You'll be astounded to know that this finish evolves over time. As years go by, the finish develops with the wood to become stronger and more durable. Like wine, it gets better with age.
Its easily a safe and reliable finish to apply on all your furniture. The minimal solvent or heavy metal driers makes it a safer and healthier oil as well.
9. Formby 30064 30064000 Low Gloss Tung Oil Finish
We're at the semi-final entry, and we assure you that we've got lots to show. Formby's has been in the game for a while. So, when they put out a new oil, you can be sure that it's been made by experts with tons of experience behind them.
So, what about this Tung oil that is so special? Well, a lot, actually. From its easy application to its high effectiveness, this oil has a lot to offer.
Let’s start off with the low gloss build. A lot of us like gloss, but many prefer to keep it subtle. Anyone who doesn’t want to make their furniture or doors too glossy should definitely get a hold of one of these oils. At the same time, it offers a very natural glow that enhances the wood's look rather than changing it.
This particular formula has a long list of resistances. It can hold its own against acids, alkali, and even mildew. This way, you can be sure that your surfaces are protected no matter what's being thrown at them. With so many resistances on its side, there's no way we can't recommend this masterpiece from Formby's.
Lastly, we’ll mention its durability. The low gloss formula effectively spreads into the wood to enhance its performance considerably. At the same time, you can be sure that the wood will retain its natural texture. So, you get a stronger build, with a soft and comfortable texture.
10. Cabot 140.0003400.005 Australian Timber Oil
We’re finally at our last oil for wood. So far, we have had a lot of indoor oils. So, we’ve decided to introduce a fantastic outdoor-effective oil for our final entry.
Was there anything better to recommend than this outstanding Cabot Timber Oil? We doubt it for a lot of reasons. Mainly because of just how excellent the oil actually is at coating any kind of outdoor surface.
Need to protect your deck, railings, sidings, or any other outdoor furniture? Well, the Cabot oil has you covered with its superior durability and incredible performance. You’ll feel the oil make your wood stronger and more resistant. It can handle environmental conditions easily as you simply apply it over the surfaces.
On top of that, the finish offers natural coloration. So, if you ever want a reliable outdoor oil that respects your wood's color, then this Cabot Timber oil is a great option. Moreover, it enhances the color, giving it a nicer look and making it more pleasant to look at.
However, its high effectiveness comes at a cost. The solvent-based formula means that you can expect it to give off a smell. So, you shouldn't use it indoors without ventilation. As this is dedicated to outdoor use, it's hardly a flaw because the open-air will carry the smell away.
As such, it might not be suited for indoor use, but for outdoor purposes, you'll hardly find anything better.
What to Look for Before Buying?
Although we've gone over our top choices, you aren't ready to grab an oil just yet. As we've mentioned, each oil is unique in many ways, and you need to know what each formula can do before choosing what to buy. So, read through our buying guide, just like you did while shopping for the security bar for door, and find out what unit fits your needs.
Type of Oil
There are a ton of different kinds of oils that offer different kinds of results. You've read about many of them so far, such as Tung, Danish, Australian, and so on.
Each has different properties, and you need to see if they align with the kind of finish you want. So, we'll go over a few common ones.
- Tung Oil
When you're working with hardwood, you'll find that many oils just can't penetrate it. You'll need something stronger and more powerful to actually get through the pores and enhance their durability. That's where Tung oil comes in. It's the go-to oil when concerning hardwood materials.
As they are so potent, they also take a while to dry up. This can be solved with added solvents. But if you want to maintain the purity, you’ll have to deal with longer drying times. This oil also adds moisture resistance, making it suitable for outdoor surfaces as well.
- Linseed Oil
If you want to make your surfaces smooth to the touch, then you'll want to get your hands on some Linseed oil. They are quite unique and can provide superb protection against various factors, making them a highly reliable oil. However, they can take a lot of time to dry in their most natural state.
Unlike Tung oil, you don’t need to add additional solvents to speed up the drying time. Boiled Linseed oil retain its abilities while also significantly reducing drying times. So, it can be healthy and fast at the same time. Thus, if you want to go for Linseed oil, make sure it's boiled.
- Danish Oil
Wood can be harmed if exposed to too much heat. However, not all oils can protect them from the sun. If you live in sunny regions, we highly recommend you get Danish oil for its superior heat resistant capabilities. That's not all; they can protect from chemicals and stains as well.
Something to note is that this isn’t purely oil. It combines some varnish to give it the properties it has. The solution takes some time to mix into the wood, and you shouldn’t apply it more than once per day. By any chance, if you're looking for a varnish only solution, then you can always opt for the best varnish for wood products.
So, one coat must be applied each day till you think it’s ready. Furthermore, you should be aware that it’s more effective on fresh wood than old. You won’t be able to lather it on your old furniture and call it a day. Try a different oil for that.
You shouldn't buy more oil than you need. As such, you should check how much you actually buy first. Oils come in many sizes. Quarts and Gallons are the most common measures you'll find. 4 quarts is roughly 1 gallon; keep that in mind when trying to determine exactly how much you need to buy.
Of course, you won't know exactly how much you need to finish your projects, but you can make reasonable estimates. It's alright to be a bit liberal on how much you get, but don't end up buying too much extra oil.
Indoors or Outdoors
There's quite a big distinction between oils that work only indoors or outdoors. Mostly, indoor formulas are cheaper and have less resistance. They are also effective on lighter woods. Moreover, you should try to get a solution that keeps the wood soft after applying to keep them comfortable. These should be compatible with the best epoxy for wood slabs as well – keeping the resin's outlook pristine.
Outdoor oils boast multiple resistances. They need to be waterproof and UV resistant so that they can handle sunlight and rain. Usually, outdoor formulas are more potent and effective on hardwoods, though that's not always true.
Some oils work in both cases, but if you want the most out of your oil, get one specializing in one aspect or another. And if you're using nails to affix the wooden pieces together, try to use the best wood and metal countersink bit for an even surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do oils work on wood?
Wood is porous to some degree. When you apply oil, they penetrate into those pores to strengthen and enhance the wood's capabilities and give them resistance to certain elements based on the oil.
2. Can I mix them?
Yes. You can try and mix them with other solutions to give them new properties. In fact, Danish oil is made by mixing thin oil with varnish.
3. Do I need specific oils for hardwood?
Generally, yes. Hardwood is much harder to penetrate. So, you can't expect the same level of effectiveness. That's why we recommended a few quality oils for hardwood in our reviews.
4. Does sunlight really damage wood?
Yes. UV rays destroy the hardness and strength of wood. So, overexposure can mean that your surfaces will go softer and weaker over time. That's why you should apply UV resistant formulas over them.
5. Can I apply outdoor oils indoors?
You shouldn’t. If a solution is specialized for one task, it’s safe to bet that it won’t be as effective for other tasks. So, invest in oils suitable for indoor finishing if that’s what you’re looking for.
Oil can easily upgrade wooden surfaces' properties and make them more durable and resistant to lots of conditions. They're a must-use for any woodworker for all the benefits they bring.
Now that you’ve gone through our guide, we’re sure that you’re ready to buy the best oil for wood and upgrade your wooden surfaces to new heights!