How we make Danish Oil

How we set out to make the ‘finest’ Danish Oil

When we began to make our own Danish Oil over 10 years ago, we wanted ours to be at least as good as the best product on the market. Because there is no general standard for Danish Oil, and we found that quality can vary a lot, we ended up changing our approach and asking ‘what would we want from the best Danish Oil?’

danish oiled oak block showing sheen finish

We came up with the following:-

1). Danish Oil should be an oil – so everyone knows exactly what they are getting. There should be no added varnish or resin. There is nothing wrong with resins – we use them ourselves to make our woodstains and varnishes, but we don’t think they should be included in a product called Danish ‘Oil’.

Synthetic varnish and resins ‘cure’ to a solid film, which is fine for protection on the surface, but if absorbed deeply into wood with Danish Oil they could act as a solid filler, blocking pores and harming the woods’ natural movement due to changes in temperature and humidity.

2). The oil used should be only the best natural oil.  The best natural oil for wood, proven through centuries of use is Tung Oil. Tung Oil is waterproof, penetrates deeply into the fibres of wood, is flexible, and has a natural low sheen.

We decided not to use Linseed Oil in our Danish Oil, because although it is cheaper than Tung Oil, it is not as waterproof, it is prone to fungal attack outdoors, and it gives a glossy finish.

Other oils, for instance sunflower oil are unproven for long-term use, and being ‘semi-drying’ oils they require large amounts of driers to cure. We do not use them in our products.

3). It should have the highest oil, and therefore solids, content possible, because for one thing this means value for money. We experimented with various solids levels and found that at 50% Tung Oil solids the Danish Oil was quite thin enough to penetrate deeply into wood, and didn’t necessarily need to be any thinner.

4). It should dry as quickly as possible, but still slowly enough to penetrate deeply into wood first.  Our Danish Oil is blended to dry in 4-6 hours at room temperature and humidity.

5). It should be as ‘green’ as possible – All Danish Oils have thinners added to help absorption into wood. Most competitors still use white spirit (it is cheap to buy), but there are ‘friendlier’ alternatives. The thinners we use is a white spirit replacement which is low in odour, non marine-polluting, biodegradable and less irritating to skin than white spirit.

6). It should be as ‘safe’ in use as possible. Our Danish Oil is food safe when dry and complies with BS EN 71-3: 1995, safe for use on toys.

Our Bestwood Danish Oil meets all of the above ideals. We believe it is the only product available that does. It has all the benefits of pure Tung Oil with the added advantage of a reduced drying time. Bestwood Danish Oil almost certainly costs more to make than any other Danish Oil. As we do not have the marketing power of some of our multi-national rivals we know that we have to offer outstanding product performance and value for money to compete and keep our customers coming back. We believe we have managed that with Bestwood Danish Oil.