Furniture in the form of tables, chairs, chests, bed frames and cupboards are a natural asset for the house and hence is necessary to keep them in good condition. An oil finish on wooden furniture is helpful in revitalizing the furniture. As a natural rule, to retain the sheen and texture of home furniture having oil-and-wax finishes or stain-and-wax finishes, they must be oiled at least twice a year. Oil is water and alcohol resistant, and hence durable in nature. The kind of natural glow that oiling shall bring, depends on the kind of oil applied and the way of its application. Overall, oiling is a good practice for home furniture, especially in winters, when they might dry up and crack, and oiling tends to moisturize them.
Types of oil finishes
Oil finishes protect and improve the appearance of unfurnished wood as natural oil present in the wood dries out over time. Oil finishes can be of various kinds. A linseed oil finish is rich and glossy and requires many applications for a good finish. The classic linseed oil mixture consists of a mixture of equal parts of boiled linseed oil and turpentine. There are many variations of linseed oil, the best of which is Mary Roalman finish and can be hand-rubbed to provide a natural glossy look.
Modern oil finishes like Danish oil and natural tung oil sealers are of far superior quality than linseed oil and require lesser reapplication. They provide penetrating finishes and should be applied periodically. Tung oil finishes are available in semi-gloss and high-gloss forms and also in many stain colors while Danish oil usually has a satin finish.
Hemp oil is also an ideal polish for home furniture. Hemp oil is produced from strong natural fiber and grown without the use of pesticides. Besides being easy to use and maintain, Hemp oil has low carbon footprint and eco-friendly in nature. Hemp oil dries to a matte finish and does not produce much of gloss. Its naturally thin viscosity penetrates porous surfaces well to revive old wood finishes. It is less durable and not as water resistant as pure Tung Oil, but is safe for food contact and can be used on wood items in the kitchens such as cutting boards and wooden utensils.
Before applying the oil the surface of the furniture must be thoroughly cleaned. The oil should be rubbed firmly into the wood and allowed to dry completely. Danish oil and tung oil dry more quickly than linseed and they can be reapplied after 12 to 24 hours; while Linseed-oil finishes must dry for about a week and drying takes longer in very humid weather. Do not recoat a linseed-oil finish until it’s completely dry and with no trace of stickiness. Finally, after the first coat is completely dry, apply one further coat for Danish and Tung oil and around twenty coats for Linseed oil and rub each coat thoroughly. Finally, choosing your furniture finish should depend upon the nature of your furniture to give it the best look desired.