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?
I think most woodworkers have their own favourite finishes. My favourite
for oak is Rustins Danish oil followed, when fully dry, by Briwax
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.
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?
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
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.
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