choosing the right wood oilChoosing the right wood oil finishes for your projects ensures their durability, beauty and safety. Though options abound for interior and exterior wood surfaces, some wood oils work better than others on specific projects. Use this guide to discover key considerations that go into choosing wood oils so you can make a more informed decision when it’s time to finish various types of wood.

Understand Your Project Needs

Before picking out wood oils for your interior and exterior wood projects, answer a few essential questions about the wood finish you need for your project. These include:

  • What types of wood am I working with?
  • Will I use this piece indoors or outdoors?
  • What kind of wood finish do I want?
  • How long do I have to complete the project?
  • Does the wood oil I choose need to be non-toxic, food-safe, and sustainable?

Once you understand the precise needs of your project and your wood surface, it’s easier to pick out wood oils for various surfaces that bring out the natural beauty of wood furniture, bare wood and hardwood floors.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Wood Oils

Selecting the right natural oils for interior or exterior wood finishes requires careful consideration of various factors. Use this rundown to ensure you pick wood oils that provide a safe, protective finish and a beautiful natural appearance.

Type of Project

The type of project matters most when you’re picking out wood oil because different wooden surfaces have wildly divergent demands. For instance, indoor furniture that sees frequent use benefits greatly from a durable finish with Hemp Oil, while toys and kitchen items like butcher blocks require food-safe options like cutting board oil. Hardwood floors, however, require a more hard-wearing finish like one provided by tung oil. Likewise, outdoor wood furnishings need extra protection from wood oil specially designed for UV protection and inhibiting mold and mildew.

Applications for All-Natural Pure Tung Oil

Wood Type

Different types of wood require different types of wood oil, including those for interior or exterior use. For instance, hardwoods like oak and maple do best when finished with deeply penetrating oils like tung or linseed oil because they complement the wood grain. Softwoods like pine, however, require less penetration but provide a great surface finish, making a hemp oil finish a good choice. More exotic wood types like teak sometimes need specialized finishes, but in most instances, a high-quality Pure Tung Oil finish gets the job done beautifully.

Environmental Factors

Consider environmental factors when choosing wood finishes for indoor and outdoor wood furnishings. Because interior wood furniture already has ample protection from the elements, you can use a broader range of wood oils to prevent surface damage. An outdoor wood surface, however, needs a bit more care. Look for oils with protective ingredients like Outdoor Defense Oil, which contains a tung oil base, zinc for UV protection and pine oil to ward off mold and mildew.

Desired Finish

When completing a wood finishing project, determine the type of look you want for your final result. For instance, hemp and tung oil both provide a matte finish that lets the natural beauty of the wood grain shine through. Boiled linseed oil offers a glossy finish, but chemicals in the formulation typically mean you can’t use your projects for toys or food contact surfaces. For a satin finish, look for walnut oil products that leave behind a soft luster.

Ease of Application

Application, curing and maintenance times should also factor into your wood oil decision-making process. Some oils, like a Danish oil finish, go on easily and dry quickly — though often at the expense of eco-friendliness. Tung oil goes on easily when you cut it at a 1:1 ratio with a solvent like Odorless Mineral Spirits or Natural Orange Oil Citrus Solvent, but it takes up to 30 days to cure. For a wood oil that’s ready to use straight from the container and simple to apply, consider hemp oil or Outdoor Defense Oil, depending on whether you’re working on indoor or outdoor wood surfaces. Keep in mind that these oils typically have drying times of 30 days, but they’re usually safe for light use after 7 to 15 days.

Health and Safety

Wood surfaces like toys and kitchen items require nontoxic, food-safe wood oil finishes. For instance, Cutting Board Oil contains a mixture of high-quality food-safe oils, including palm fruit, grapefruit seed and refined almond oils, to deliver a protective wood finish that doesn’t have health risks. Options like Pure Tung Oil and Hemp Oil also work well for wood surfaces that come into contact with food.

Dark Half Mineral Oil Products

Real Milk Paint Co. Wood Oil Products Are Perfect for All Your Projects

When you want to choose the best wood oil for your project, the Real Milk Paint Co. has you covered. Our selection of wood oil finishes provides nontoxic options for your home for added safety around kids and pets. Effective solutions for treating wood, these wood oils bring out the natural beauty in your pieces and help them retain their natural color for a gorgeous look in your home.

Pure Tung Oil

Also known as china wood oil, Pure Tung Oil offers a Grade 1 formulation featuring a warm honey hue that maintains the natural color of your wooden surfaces. If you want a deeper look, use Dark Tung Oil instead for an all-natural formulation colored with resin. This hard-wearing wood oil leaves behind a gorgeous matte luster that enhances the look of the wood grain while resisting scratching and marring, protecting your wood furnishings with ease. Safe for food contact, Pure Tung Oil works just as well on wood floors and furniture as it does on kitchen utensils and kids’ toys.

Zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the formulation make this wood finish exceptionally safe to add indoors, and the all-natural ingredients ensure it’s a sustainable choice when you want to go green. With a formulation that polymerizes rather than oxidizes, this wood oil cures to a durable, flexible finish within 30 days for long-term protection against water, abrasions and acids — without the risks of mold linseed oil brings to your home. Mix this wood oil with Citrus Solvent or mineral spirits to thin it down for deep penetration, or use premixed options like Half & Half and Dark Half for immediate application.

Hemp Oil

A hemp oil finish provides lasting protection to wood surfaces inside your home, and the food-safe formulation lets you use it anywhere, including in your kitchen. Designed for deep penetration right out of the container, Hemp Oil works on any porous surface, including wooden floors, giving you a handy option for adding a soft matte finish to furniture and furnishings you’ve decorated with Real Milk Paint. It also makes a good choice for untreated wood and bare wood. Because this product has no VOCs, you can apply a Hemp Oil finish indoors without adverse effects for easy project planning.

Cutting Board Oil

After looking at numerous wood oils on the market for cutting boards, the Real Milk Paint Co. developed Cutting Board Oil — a durable wood finish for kitchen items that eschews the use of mineral oil. This all-natural formulation is safe for food contact with ingredients like palm fruit, grapefruit seed and refined almond oils, plus rice bran and hemp floral waxes filling in for harsher additives in many mineral oil formulations. The unique nature of this wood oil makes it the ideal choice for protecting charcuterie boards, cutting boards, wooden bowls, and utensils.

finish decks and porches using Outdoor Defense oil

Outdoor Defense Oil

Prevent damage to furnishings on your porch, deck or patio or in your yard or garden with Outdoor Defense Oil. Zinc in the all-natural formulation imbues UV protection to this wood finish, while pine oil makes your furnishing more resistant to mold and mildew. The pure tung oil base makes this wood finishing product durable, flexible and water resistant to help you better maintain your outdoor space in any season.

Why Use Wood Finishes From the Real Milk Paint Co.

When you’re looking for ways to make your wood finishes more environmentally friendly, the Real Milk Paint Co. understands the assignment. Our wood oils are carefully formulated with sustainability and eco-friendliness in mind, helping you feel good about your solid wood projects while providing a tougher protective coating than our competitors. Consider all the factors for your project, and then browse our product offerings to find options that deliver long-lasting protection with the most durable finish that’s still easy to maintain.