Oiled Oak Furniture Care Instructions
Oiled oak furniture has generally been pre-finished with several coats of pure Tung Oil*, giving a durable, water resistant finish whilst enhancing the texture and beauty of the natural wood. To maintain the beauty and finish of your oak furniture, we recommend regular treatments with Tung, or similar drying oils (Danish oil, Teak oil, linseed oil etc.).
Since leaving the factory, your furniture may have spent several weeks in transport and storage and a treatment soon after you take delivery may benefit the appearance of your furniture. After that, six monthly intervals should suffice. More frequent applications can be applied. Besides protecting the surface, the oil will enhance the colour, adding depth and lustre to the finish. There are no hard and fast rules but areas of heavy usage, such as table-tops or the tops of chests, will benefit from more frequent applications.
How should the oil be applied?
Oiling could not be easier. Simply apply with a soft, lint free cloth and leave for 5-10 minutes for the oil to penetrate, before removing any excess. Leave for a further 30 minutes and wipe dry. A beeswax can be applied to add shine and depth.
What are the advantages of an oiled finish?
Unlike conventional lacquers, drying oils penetrate deep into the surface of the timber, protecting from within. Any minor scratches to the surface of the timber can be retreated with the application of a little more oil. Drying oils protect without obscuring the natural 'feel' and texture of the grain.
Which oils can I use?
Drying oils vary from pure oil (Tung or Linseed) to many commercial preparations (Danish oil, Teak oil, Trip-trap oil etc.). All are suitable and most are readily available from DIY stores and supermarkets. *Tung oil is a natural, non-toxic oil obtained from the seed of the tung tree (Aleures fordii). Records of tung oil date back two millennia in China, its uses varying from water proofing ships to finishing the highest quality furniture. It is quick drying, penetrates deep into the pores of the timber, forms an almost permanent seal against moisture and does not lose its elasticity with age. It is widely recognised as one of the finest drying oils. Always pay careful attention to all manufacturer's instructions included on proprietary brands of drying oils and finishing products.
For a lacquer finish the colour is applied in the for m of a stain and a polyurethane top coat is applied on top giving it a resistant finish. The polyurethane top coat gives a hard protection to the furniture and seals the wood, the wood can still breathe as it is only the outer facing wood which is coated. Lacquered wood offers protection from liquid penetration and heat sources although any prelonged exposure will test or damage therefore it is advisable to use mats where possible and clean up spills as soon as they happen.Constant water exposure will wear down the lacquer, becoming dull and having a mottled appearance. Lacquered finishes can be wiped down with a damp cloth if cleansing is required be sure to dry off the wood immediatley afterwards Dust with a soft cloth and polish with wax or spray polish(we recommend Mylands finishing products),please note that most polishes or waxes are suitable but check the products directions.
Waxed Finished Wood
A wax finish does not offer the same protection as laquer, the colour is applied in the same way as above but is then finished with a liquid wax which results in the wood not being sealed.With this finish the furniture can breathe and take on the elements of its surroundings, such as smoke from an open fire. Rings will occur if mats are not used and spills will be absorbed into the wood. Waxed wood needs periodical waxing depending on what wear and tear it receives, a chest of drawers would probably benefit from a wax from time to time, whereas a table with a lot more use would benefit from more attention(depending on the enviroment).The process is not labour intensive, only the tops need be done with a clear wax being sure to follow the instructions on the tin. If a coloured wax is applied the furniture colour will subtly change over time.Six to twelve month intervals it is wise to wax the whole piece.The wax soaks into to the wood keeping the wood hydrated and keeps the colour sharp, if rewaxing was not adhered to the colour will fade and dry out encouraging splits in places. As wax furniture does absorb dust particles and grease from finger tips and such like, a top tip is to wipe waxed furniture over with wipes as they hold just the right amount of moisture.
The information above is a generic guide only.
To download a printable version of the 'oiled furniture caresheet' click this link
To download a printable version of the 'wax and lacquer caresheet' click this link