Briwax Danish Oil and Teak Oil
Briwax Danish Oil is an easy to use, clear protective finish for bare timber, which hardens fully overnight. It does not need to be rubbed or burnished, and unlike most oils it doesn’t remain ‘wet’ and attract dust and dirt. When applied correctly, it protects timber even against hot water. The finish is between matt and satin, depending on technique. Briwax Teak Oil is similar, but gives a full gloss finish.
On bare timber furniture and benchtops:
- Sand the timber with 180 or preferably 240 grade sandpaper and dust off.
- Apply first coat with cheesecloth, covering the whole surface with enough oil to get it nice and wet.
- The timber will absorb as much oil as it needs. Wring the cheesecloth out until it’s just damp and wipe off the excess oil along the grain. The objective is to give the timber as much oil as it can absorb, but not to leave a thick surface of oil sitting on top the wood.
- Leave this coat to dry for 6-8 hours or overnight. Sand lightly with 320-400 grade sandpaper, dust off and apply the second coat in the same way as the first.
- For benchtops, tables, windowsills and other flat surfaces that may get water on them, apply a minimum of three coats, sanding and dusting between coats as before. • To repair a dull or scratched surface in the future, wipe down with turps, sand lightly, and apply another coat with cheesecloth as above.
- To lift the sheen level, use grade 0000 steel wool between coats instead of sandpaper, this will give a satin to semi-gloss finish. For a high gloss, use Briwax Teak Oil for the second and subsequent coats.
- Sand to a 120-grit finish, dust off the floor.
- Apply the Danish Oil with a foam roller (usually either blue foam or any roller cover specified for oil-based paints) or a lambswool pad. • For the first coat, thin by 10% with turps. Using thinned Danish Oil avoids the need to wipe off the excess described in the notes for furniture above.
- Leave to dry 6-8 hours. Lightly rub with 240-400 grit sandpaper or grade 0000 steel wool and dust off.
- Apply the second coat again with a roller, this time thinned with 30% turps. When dry, lightly rub down and dust off.
- Apply the final coat with the same roller, this time thinned down between 30-50% with turps. More coats can be applied if desired particularly on heavily used areas.
- When using the roller do not try to apply thickly — keep thin even coats.
- Revive the finish by mopping with Briwax Furniture Reviver (two capfuls in a bucket of water), or with normal household floor cleaner and a mop. When the surface is damaged by scratching or wear, renew the finish by washing down with turps, lightly sanding, and applying another thinned coat in the same way as the last one above.
- For a high gloss finish, use thinned Teak Oil for the final coats. You can change your mind about the sheen level and recoat with Danish Oil, Teak Oil, or a mixture or the two at any stage in the future.
- You can apply Briwax Original Wax over the finished floor if desired, to maintain the sheen level as needed. For light scratches and damage marks use a coloured wax. Once you’ve used wax over the top of the Danish Oil, continue maintenance with wax, or wash off the wax with turps before applying another coat of Danish Oil.
- Matai and Totara woods have natural oils and acids that can prevent the Danish Oil from drying properly. Apply a coat of Briwax Shellac Sanding Sealer first, to lock in these oils, and then use Danish Oil or Teak Oil as above.
- Very occasionally, the Danish Oil won’t dry fully because of oils in the timber or high humidity. Wash the surface down with turps and rub with steel wool while still wet. This forces the oil to dry. Sand lightly and apply another coat of thinned Danish Oil.
- If you have patchy levels of sheen on the finished surface, it’s probably because the wood was very absorbent and insufficient oil was applied at the start. Sanding and applying another coat should even out the sheen.
- If you get watermarking after using Briwax Danish Oil, it’s again probably because the oil has penetrated too deeply the first time. Give the surface a light sand and apply one or two more coats to repair the watermarks and protect against them in the future.
Other things to know about Danish Oil:
- To remove Briwax Danish Oil, use Briwax Furniture Cleaner, or a good quality paint stripper such as Paramose, or physically sand off the finish.
- You can use the Briwax Colourfast Spirit-based Dyes to tint Briwax Danish Oil. This will give you a one-coat solution to stain and finish timber. However, we usually recommend staining first to get the colour you want, then oiling to lock in the color and finish the surface. Using tinted oil makes it harder to predict the final colour. Tinted oils don’t store well. Teak Oil shouldn’t be tinted.
- Store unused Danish Oil and Teak Oil in an airtight tin in a cool place. Unused Teak Oil in particular can harden after a few months. If the oil has turned into a slight gel, add some turps and mix vigorously.
- Briwax Danish Oil can be used to seal paint finishes, particularly before using an antiquing wax. A raw paint surface is quite chalky and can absorb stain in inconsistent ways. Sealing with a coat of Danish Oil will protect the paint and stop coloured wax from creating a patchy finish
- A five litre tin of Danish Oil applied as above will give three or four coats to about 45 square meters of flooring or more, depending on the absorbency of the timber.
- References to “white spirit” on the tin label refer to the UK definition. In New Zealand, we call this “mineralised turpentine” or turps. Some NZ suppliers confuse white spirit with “Fuelite”, a fuel for camp stoves. Fuelite shouldn’t be used to thin Briwax Oils.