What is Danish Oil?

Top quality Danish Oil is made to be absorbed into wood, protecting, nourishing and ‘feeding’ the wood from the inside. It is easy to apply, has an attractive ‘natural’ low sheen finish and excellent long-term protective properties.

Danish Oil, various sizes

Danish Oil has the following benefits:-

  • It is very easy to apply with a cotton cloth or a brush.
  • It dries in 4-6 hours per coat.
  • It contains over 50% Pure Tung Oil.
  • It is food and toy safe when dry.
  • It gives an attractive natural low sheen finish.
  • It has a low odour when drying, and none when dry.
  • It is specially formulated to penetrate deep into all types of timber, nourishing and protecting.
  • It does not leave a surface film or varnish, and will not chip, flake, crack or peel.
  • It is dirt resistant and will resist stains from wine, beer, coffee, tea, coca-cola, orange juice and food.
  • It is naturally water resistant, yet is microporous to water vapour allowing the wood to ‘breathe’
water beading on danish oil
Water beading on oak protected with Danish Oil
Click for a larger image.

Why is it called ‘Danish’ Oil?

Historically the term Danish Oil seems to have appeared when Scandinavian furniture, protected with an attractive low sheen finish, began to be exported around the world during the second half of the 20th Century.

In America there are a number of manufacturers of ‘Danish Oil’ and each product has widely varying ingredients. They are comprised of many different combinations of natural and synthetic varnish and resins, mineral oil, tung oil, linseed oil, poppy oil, cotton oil, sunflower oil, white spirit, naptha, driers, anti-skin agents, etc etc! The actual non-evaporating ‘solids’ content of these products can be as low as 10%

We are based in the UK, and when we began manufacturing our own oil products for wood we decided to find out for ourselves what was available here as as Danish Oil. Generally in the UK we found that Danish Oil usually has a low sheen finish, with  a drying time of 4-8 hours per coat. UK products are mainly Tung and/or Linseed oil based, although some use only vegetable oils and synthetic varnishes. Solids content of the best known brands is usually around 30-40%. We haven’t found any products (except ours) with 50% or more solids.

Danish Oiled Oak Block

Where to use

Danish Oil can be used on almost any wooden surface, including interior and exterior furniture, doors, window frames, cladding, hardwood floors, skirting boards, gates, children’s play areas, kitchen worktops, turned wood, musical instruments and food preparation areas etc.

Bestwood Danish Oil is naturally water, food and alcohol resistant. It is safe for food contact when dry and can be used for wooden bowls, chopping boards and butchers blocks.  We do not use any synthetic or modified resins or varnish in our Danish Oil.

Danish Oil is simple to use and easy to maintain. Re-application of one or two thin coats every year will keep wood looking naturally ‘fresh’. Damaged or scratched areas can easily be maintained by reapplication of BestwoodDanish Oil.

Bestwood Danish Oil is suitable for use with all softwood and hardwood, including exterior oak and teak.

Application of Danish Oil

(please visit the ‘how to apply Danish Oil’ page for more information)

Danish Oil is best applied with a lint-free cloth (e.g. T-shirt material). It may also be applied with a good quality brush.  Danish Oil should be applied liberally and evenly. When using a cloth, use a circular or figure of eight pattern to work into the wood, and apply until the wood stops absorbing. Allow to penetrate for 10-20 minutes before wiping off any excess with a lint-free cloth in the direction of the grain. After the first and/or second coats have dried, any nibs or raised grain can be removed with a fine grade sandpaper or wire wool (000 or 0000 grade). The dust created should be removed with white spirit on a lint-free rag. For both interior and exterior wood 3-5 coats are recommended.

Danish Oil naturally has a low-sheen finish, which can be buffed slightly with a  fine grade (000) wire wool. Care should be taken when using wire wool on oak, as any fibres left behind can react with the wood causing staining.

Surface Preparation

Bestwood Danish Oil can be used on previously oiled or stained surfaces and can be overcoated when dry with any good quality water based or white spirit based woodstain.  As every project is different,  always apply a small trial area first. Bear in mind when working with previously sealed surfaces that if the Danish oil cannot penetrate the wood, it cannot protect it fully.

On previously waxed or polished surfaces it is essential for an even finish and protection to strip back to bare wood with sandpaper, wire wool and white spirit as necessary.

Maintainence and Repair

Danish Oil finish is very simple to maintain and repair. Most knocks, minor scuffs, cup rings and stains from spills such as wine can be removed by gently sanding the affected area and re-applying more Danish oil, which will blend in with the original finish.

Danish Oil will need reapplication to fully protect exterior timber at least once a year, as required, as the wood begins to naturally ‘dry out’.


Danish Oil will cover about 10-15 square metres per litre per coat depending on porosity, surface texture, and thickness applied. Do not over apply. Two thin coats will always penetrate more and do a better long-term job than one thick coat.

Drying Time

4 to 6 hours at normal room temperature and humidity. Allow 24 hours between coats to allow absorbed Danish Oil to dry fully. Do not apply in direct sunlight, or in cold or damp conditions, or when rain or condensation may be expected during drying.

Important: Danish Oil will enhance the natural colour of the wood. Always test the product on an inconspicuous area to ensure satisfaction.

Thanks for visiting. If you would like to buy Bestwood Finest Danish Oil, please visit the shop at our tungoil website here: www.tungoil.co.uk