Solid oak skirting - wax or oil?


I've just fitted new oak skirting and I'd like to give it a satin finish without varnishing it. Any advice on whether oil or wax is best would be appreciated. Also, which product (brand) would you recommend?
TIA
Lizzie
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Lizzie wrote:

I think most woodworkers have their own favourite finishes. My favourite for oak is Rustins Danish oil followed, when fully dry, by Briwax Original wax.
In all truthfulness, any drying oil will seal the surface and give a satin finish (and look good). There are very slight differences between makes and types of oil but this is down to your own personal preference. Just remember to apply liberally and then wipe off the excess after about 10 minutes or so. Also, don't leave oily rags scrunched up to dry. They have been known to ignite due to the heat created as the oil dries. Either lay them out flat to dry or take them to a safe place and set fire to them.
I usually finish with the wax because I, personally, like the finish (I just use the oil to seal the wood and impart a little colour) and the surface feels better (on items that will be handled). You probably will not need this on skirting.
--
Howard Neil

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Howard, Thanks for your very helpful advice. Could I also pick your brains about another wood related matter. I've just received a new solid oak dining table and chairs which have an oiled finish. Could you advice me how to care for it so that it keeps its appearance. What should I use to clean it, re-oil, and how often? Lizzie

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Lizzie wrote:

Initially, a simple wipe down with a damp cloth is all that will be needed but it will, eventually, require a little more. You could, of course use the drying oil left over from the skirting but I would be inclined to use wax. When you first apply oil it can leave a slightly greasy feel, even when dry. The wax will leave a more pleasant (to the touch) finish.
Try a little wax on the underside of the table first. You may not be able to see the difference between the wax finish and the oil (it depends a lot on what oil they used). If the finish given by the wax is acceptable to you, I would then just give it an occasional waxing. I made my oak dining table over 10 years ago and I have maintained its finish using wax (over an initial oil finish) ever since.
I use Briwax Original wax. This has a quick drying solvent base. They also do a wax without this particular solvent but it does not seem, to me, to give such a good finish (and it doesn't smell as nice <g>). Personally, I would make sure that it has the word "original" on the tin. A tin will last for years if you only use it on the table and chairs. You use it *very* sparingly.
--
Howard Neil

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Howard, Thank you again for your advice. I've printed out both replies and have checked out Brimax on the web. I can buy it at Homebase. Lizzie

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