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  • Best oil for my project?

    I'm working on refinishing an ancient dresser.

    It's all sanded now and I have to pick a finish for it and would like to use an oil, but I'm a little overwhelmed by all the choices and their pros/cons.

    I don't know what kind of wood it is, may be maple. Very old, very dry. I'm looking for a product that will bring out the wood grain, be easy to apply for a beginner, will be matte/satin, and will not change the colour too much.

    My local store has tung, teak, danish and linseed oils.

    TIA
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  • #2

    Re: Best oil for my project?

    HI and welcome.

    any oil that you use will yellow and darken the wood....all of them will bring out the wood grain. If it is maple there will not likely be much grain to bring out.

    If you lick your finger and wet the wood, that is the least color you will get, just to give you an idea.

    All of the oils will form a finish with enough coats. If it is an "______oil finish" it will dry faster that a pure oil and usually about three coats will be enough. I don't think there will be much difference in appearance with any of the oil finishes.

    Post pictures if you want more advice. You also can try the finish you but on a hidden spot and see what you think. If you don't can for it, you can return the can usually.
    When someone tells you it can't be done, it's a reflection of their limitations, not yours.

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    • #3

      Re: Best oil for my project?

      Any of the ones you listed above would be fine.

      I actually like truoil, available from Lee valley.
      Its a linseed oil /varnish blend that wipes on.
      It works fantastically with very minimal effort.

      Nathan

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      • #4

        Re: Best oil for my project?

        Thanks for the input. I guess I am overthinking it a little!

        I have added some photos below. This was just before my last pass with 80grit and moving up (finished 150 last night) so it's a little paler than this now.

        I'm leaning towards tung or teak which both seem pretty similar and low-lustre.

        The wood is very dry. Should I apply something like a lemon oil before I use a finishing oil, or will any finishing oil condition the wood perfectly find on its own?

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        • #5

          Re: Best oil for my project?

          I think the oils you mentioned would be perfect for your dresser.

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          • #6

            Re: Best oil for my project?

            Originally posted by Miramooke View Post
            Thanks for the input. I guess I am overthinking it a little!

            I have added some photos below. This was just before my last pass with 80grit and moving up (finished 150 last night) so it's a little paler than this now.

            I'm leaning towards tung or teak which both seem pretty similar and low-lustre.

            The wood is very dry. Should I apply something like a lemon oil before I use a finishing oil, or will any finishing oil condition the wood perfectly find on its own?
            No don’t bother.
            Either of the two you mentioned are fine on their own.

            nathan

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            • #7

              Re: Best oil for my project?

              Originally posted by nnieman View Post
              I actually like truoil, available from Lee valley.
              Nathan - did you mean Tried and True finishes?

              There are several variations in the Tried and True line - which would you be referring to?

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              • #8

                Re: Best oil for my project?

                Originally posted by rfielder View Post
                Nathan - did you mean Tried and True finishes?

                There are several variations in the Tried and True line - which would you be referring to?
                Nope, I’ve never used them.

                http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...7594&cat=42942

                Its sold as gunstock oil but it’s a great wipe in finish.

                Nathan
                Stuart Jacobs likes this.

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                • #9

                  Re: Best oil for my project?

                  Just a small clarification...
                  Pure tung oil does not yellow.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Best oil for my project?

                    I know I'm late to the party but I wonder why the preference for oil. Pure tung oil will take a long time to dry (polymerize) and take a commensurate amount of time to build a protective finish. Polymerized tung oil works better but is expensive and has a short shelf life unless unusual precautions are taken. All the other oils, Blo etc. suffer from the same problems. You might consider preparing a satin wipe on polyurethane which is satin polyurethane thinned about 2 to 1 with mineral spirits. The first coat will act as a sealer and may raise the grain. Light sanding to de-nib and apply 2-3 more coats, light sanding between. The poly is much more resistant to abrasions, scuffing etc. An alternative would be water based poly which will not darken the wood but, in my opinion, is harder to handle and often results in a bland looking finish. With the exception of the water based finish be sure to put used rags outside or, at least, in a metal container as they can spontaneously combust. Good luck with your project.
                    I'm not getting older, I'm getting worse.
                    Bob
                    Member Valley Woodturners

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                    • #11

                      Re: Best oil for my project?

                      The TruOil from Lee Valley is great to work with and will build with each coat you put on. It will get shinier with each coat but can be dulled with fine bronze wool or 0000 steel wool.
                      As the ad says it is meant for gun stocks but is a great finish for many other things including guitars and furniture.
                      Stu
                      Previously Wallace's Dad

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