Oil, Varnish or Wax Polish?!
We are quite often asked which finishing product to apply to a project.
Our finishing products consist of Water Based Varnishes, Wax Polishes and Superior Finishing Oils and we know it can be difficult to decide which one to choose, especially if you are new to wood finishing!
Our Water Based Varnishes or Superior Worktop and Danish Oils will provide greater protection and produce a more modern appearance on your wooden items. You can apply our Wax Polishes over the varnishes or oils when they are fully dry in order to create a durable yet softer, silky feel. Furthermore, our oils will be more suitable in damp conditions.
Water Based Varnish
Our water based varnish is available in two ranges - Extra Strong and Floor Fast which both come in a range of finishes: Matt, Satin and Gloss. Our Floor Fast Varnish, available in 2.5ltr, 5ltr or 25ltr, is specially formulated for those larger flooring projects and is designed to finish our water based Floor Dye range. For further information on our Flooring Range, please see our blog here.
A matt finish absorbs the light, rather than reflecting it, resulting in a subtle, low-shine appearance. However, having a matt finish does not mean the item will look ‘dull’, it will look smooth, modern and sophisticated.
Next is our satin finish. This type of finish does have more of a shine than a matt finish but it is not a high shine. A satin finish does reflect more light but it has more of a ‘pearl’ look to it rather than a ‘shiny gloss’ look. Finally, the gloss finish has the higher shine to it in comparison to a matt or satin finish. This is due to the finish reflecting more light.
Our varnishes are high quality, water based products that are quick drying, non-yellowing and ideal for producing a tough furniture finish on most wooden items as well as being great for sealing chalk paint. They are suitable for finishing both water and solvent based wood dyes and can be waxed after the final coat with our Littlefair’s Wax Polish, which will create a durable finish with a soft feel.
Our varnishes are perfect for projects such as floors, doors and table tops. Here are a few example projects that have been shared by our wonderful customers!
Our Titan Topcoat is a hard wearing, water based varnish that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It is super tough, waterproof and, as with our other varnishes, it's super easy to clean your brush afterwards - just rinse in warm water!
This varnish comes highly recommended in particular for those worktops that will be subjected to heavy use and spillages, such as bar tops. If you'd like to read more about Titan Topcoat, please read this blog here!
Our Wax Polish is perfect for finishing our wood dyes. They are easy to use, quick drying, environmentally friendly and will provide your wood with a non toxic finish. The wax will help protect, restore and rejuvenate all types of wood – except for floors! Our wax is beautiful and soft and is therefore not designed for use on flooring.
Here are a couple of examples of our Clear Finish and Antique Brown Wax Polishes on top of our Wood Dyes.
Clear Finish (applied over Light Oak Wood Dye)
Antique Brown Wax Polish
Here at Littlefair’s we have a range of Superior Oils, when you require a finish that is just a little more durable.
Superior Danish Oil
Our Superior Danish Oil is perfect for both interior and exterior use, it has a non-toxic finish and is highly water repellent. It is great for waterproofing our Wood Dyes or it can just be applied to bare sanded back wood. It will provide your wood and sheet materials with all round protection and will protect your wood from food or drink stains and dirt or water. Our Danish Oil is specially formulated to enable a highly durable and natural looking finish to the wood.
This oil does have a matt finish, however, the more coats you build up, the more of a shine you will start to see to the finish.
As the oil can be used for both interior and exterior wood, it is recommended to apply more thin coats outdoors than you would do if it was interior wood. The number of coats that are recommended to apply outside are 5-6 thin coats.
The recommended use for this type of oil would be for projects such as: doors, windows, floors, stair parts and furniture. Here are a few examples that have been completed and shared by our customers of projects that have been finished with our Superior Danish Oil.
This bench has three coats of our Danish Oil over our Medium Oak
Bathroom shelf finished with Danish Oil over our Black Ebony
It is important to note that there are a few wood projects that would not be recommended for our Danish Oil to be used on and these include:
- Worktops - these would be more suitable to be finished with our Worktop Oil
- Waxed surfaces - if you are hoping to oil wood that has been waxed, it is recommended to wait a few weeks until the wax has cured before applying the oil. However, it is recommended to apply the oil before you wax the surface, if possible.
Our customers quite often ask us about orange tints, which is quite a common effect with Danish Oil. They usually want to know how orange the tint will be, and does it occur with all wood? The answer to these is not a simple one as it depends on a number of factors, such as what combination of products has been used beneath the oil i.e. a stain/dye or wax, for example. Any orange tint caused by our Danish Oil would be mild at first, but can go more ‘orange’ naturally over time as the wood ages. You can always re-oil the wood later down the line!
One thing to note is that our Danish Oil will brighten our wood dyes so please bear this in mind when considering your finish.
Our Worktop Oil provides a deep penetrating long lasting protection for your wood that will not peel or flake. This oil enhances the natural colour and beauty of the wood. It is pet, toy and food surface safe as well as being easy to apply and clean, quick drying and has a nice soft satin sheen finish once dry.
This Worktop Oil is fantastic for waterproofing our wood dyes and provides a tough, natural finish that nourishes and protects your projects. It is an ideal oil for those who want to renovate and repair older damaged worktops that have been re-sanded. However, just because the name says, it does not mean that it cannot be used for anything else! For example, it can be used on doors and stair parts, such as bannisters, panels and spindles, for continual oiling and maintenance.
Here are a few examples that have been shared by our customers of projects they have completed and finished with our Worktop Oil.
Our newest oil has a waterproof and non-toxic finish and protects exterior wood, such as decking, timber buildings, gates and fences.
Our Decking Oil Plus is not just like any standard decking oil. It is completely clear (so therefore perfect for finishing our Woodland Colours, Shades of Grey and Driftwood Collection), contains added UV protection and is naturally anti-slip. It will provide your wood with all year round protection to softwood, cedar cladding and low tannin hardwood. Furthermore, this oil brings out the natural wood colours and is specially formulated to avoid leaving a surface film and will not chip, flake, peel or crack.
The type of finish this oil has is a naturally matt finish and does not leave a sheen. It also does not change the colour underneath. Here is an example where our Decking Oil Plus has been used as a finish on these reversed wooden decking planters.
We share various projects regularly on our social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. So please come and give us a like and follow and even share your own projects that you have created/finished with our Littlefair’s products!
We also have a Littlefair’s Facebook Fan Forum where our customers share tips and advice and photos of projects that they have completed. It is a great way to connect with everything Littlefair’s and be a part of a fantastic community!
Thank you for your comment. Please can you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your query and photos and we’ll get back in touch with you as soon as we can via there.
I just bought an oak door with a light stain oil finish. The rest of my doors are much darker, more like your ‘dark walnut’. What is the best way to refinish the new door to produce a dark walnut. The veneer on the new door will not stand for much sanding.
Thanks for sharing these tips. I found these tips very helpful. I believe that every mother like me who is reading this article now is truly happy about this very informative article.
Please get in touch with further information. If you could tell us what what type of finish is on the table and send us a photo, that would be fantastic. You can email us at email@example.com
Hi I have a table that is acacia wood it’s a dark brown , it’s shiny and reflects the sun but I think a hot drink has been spilt on it and it’s stripped the top coat on an obvious area…can you recommend anything?
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