You’ve probably heard about the various uses of olive oil for skin and facial care.
But I am sure most of you haven’t heard how olive oil may be beneficial to your house, especially in terms of treating wood floors, wooden furniture, and other wood-based items.
Thus, in this article, I’ll discuss whether can you use olive oil on timber, what it will do to your wood surfaces, and how you can use it effectively for wood treatment.
Benefits of Olive Oil on Wood
People have started using olive oil as surface polishes in recent years because it’s milder than many other petroleum-based wood polishing products found on the market. Additionally, it’s environmentally friendly and significantly cheaper.
Even though some people are concerned that using olive oil might damage their wooden furniture or hardwood floors, it actually nourishes the wood from the inside to bring out its natural shine and charm.
The good thing is olive oil can be used to treat several kinds of wood and surfaces, including chairs, tables, cabinets, storage boxes, cutting boards, etc.
When used correctly for indoor surfaces, it can act as a good protective layer to preserve your wood from getting mild dents, scratches as well as moisture.
But with so many benefits, should you really use olive oil on wood furniture?
Well, I would say yes and no. While you can use olive oil as a protective wood treatment for your indoor furniture, it’s not the best option for outdoor furniture. The main reason being olive oil (like many other vegetable oils) can go rancid when exposed to sunlight and other elements.
So, if you’re looking for a premium wood sealant or a treatment solution for your patio furniture, fences, sheds, or any other outdoor wooden surfaces, olive oil is not an ideal option.
For these surfaces, you should look for other products that are specifically designed for outdoor wood use. These might include sealants like tung oil, linseed oil, shellac, etc., that contain UV inhibitors to protect the wood from sunlight damage.
Homemade Olive Oil Furniture Polish
Making your own DIY olive oil furniture polish is pretty simple and straightforward. All you will need is some olive oil and lemon juice.
Here’s how you can proceed with polishing finished wood:
- Into a small bowl, pour olive oil and lemon juice in a ratio of 2:1.
- Apply the finish with a towel or cheesecloth in a circular motion, paying particular attention to the wood’s problem regions.
- Towel-dry the oil and remove any excess after a couple of minutes.
A word of caution – This recipe will not work on raw wood. If you need to polish unfinished wood, consider using mineral oil instead of olive oil. Also, you should avoid using virgin olive oil because it doesn’t function nearly as effectively.
What Other Natural Oils Can I Use for Wood?
Natural oils such as walnut oil, jojoba oil, and sunflower oil are some of the best alternatives to wood varnishes and sealants if your want to avoid using synthetic chemicals inside your home.
Just like olive oil, these natural oils enhance the wood’s appearance by bringing out its natural color and grain by penetrating deep into the surface. Additionally, these oils are quite affordable, and you can easily find them in any grocery or health food store.
That said, there are a few varieties of oils that are not suitable to be used on wood surfaces.
Vegetable-based oils mainly fall in this category. These include canola oil, corn oil, almond oil, sesame oil, hemp oil, peanut oil, argan oil, palm oil, etc. All of them can go rancid when exposed to sunlight and other elements for a few months.
Many of these oils also never really dry out and always remain oily, which then attracts dust, dirt, and hair with time. So, if you’re looking for an oil-based wood sealant or treatment, make sure to use an oil that is not vegetable-based.
The Bottom Line
Olive oil can be used as a wood treatment solution for indoor furniture. It not only helps nourish the wood but also brings out its natural shine.
However, it’s not the best option for sealing or waterproofing outdoor furniture as it can go rancid when exposed to sunlight. If you’re looking for a natural oil-based wood sealant treatment for outside wood surfaces, make sure to use an oil that is not vegetable-based.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.