What Oil?

What oil do you use on your boards?

This is a question that is becoming increasingly more frequent…


For years I used a special oil… Organoil WoodWipe… and then I discovered that the Mineral Oil touted in American blogs was available here as Paraffin Oil… the medical type found in Chemists… they both worked well…but cost between AU$24 and AU$48 per litre…[1 quart]

Then Ken from Kenscraft put me onto Grape Seed Oil

Only AU$9 for the same amount…and readily available at any supermarket…

I tried it and I liked it… it works great, absorbs well, dries fairly swiftly and makes the colours of my boards pop… It does not go rancid as some vegetable oils can and I can use it in the kitchen… read I can get it from the kitchen when I run out in the workshop LOL

I generally like to give a board a few coats and let them dry over night.. before buffing with a clean cloth…

About Lazy Larry

Just a woodworker sharing some of the things learnt the hard way... so you don't make the same mistakes...
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4 Responses to What Oil?

  1. Mac Simmons says:

    Hi Larry,

    From my experience, Mineral Oil and Parriffin Oil are not the same oil, although some sellers may say they are,
    Pure Mineral OIl is a “non drying oil”, if yours dries, it maybe be mixed with another drying oil.
    There are many companies and suppliers that do this and use whatever name they think will sell.
    A non drying oil will not “build” up and dry, as all of the drying oils all do.
    I do notice, that you do a lot of “sanding” this maybe the reason that you are getting a nice looking finish.
    Mac Simmons

  2. Michael Wurm says:

    I’ve never heard of grape oil. I can get mineral oil for about 10 USD, so I’ll probably stick with that. Come in handy, David Craig and I just bought a bunk of spalted Maple for $125.00 apiece from a local sawyer. Great deal and beautiful wood. David wants to make some kitchen chairs. I’ll have to wait till I get moved to use any of mine. Mineral oil, back to the subject, works about as well as the grape as far as bringing out the grain and wood beauty. Love the pic of the baby and Malakai in his pirate outfit, what a cute little guy. Cheers buddy, mike.

  3. The oil I’ve used (sold by Chestnut Wood Finishes in the UK) is sold as a ‘Food Safe’ oil in the tin but, on the back, it states that it is both mineral oil and light paraffin oil! Go figure! 😀

    Whatever it is, I find it works best if you leave the oil to soak in for ten-to-fifteen minutes before wiping away the excess. That way, it has a greater chance of soaking in to the end-grain and sealing the wood with subsequent coats. With any other oil finish on your average piece of furniture, I would wipe the excess away almost immediately.

    I’ve only been told to avoid things like vegetable oil, which can apparently go rancid and start to smell in no time at all. Tung oil is apparently safe to use in food-contact areas but, it does tend to darken lighter timbers more than some other oils.

  4. Bill says:

    Thanks for the Tip Larry, when I run out of paraffin oil I’ll give it a try.
    Always defer to the master!

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