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Oil Finish For Oak Floor

edcross1's picture

Hi everyone,

Wondering if you could help with a little problem. I have a solid oak floor and I'm in the process of stripping the old varish off. What is the best way to re-finish it? I was thinking Danish Oil or Teak Oil. Which one? Or indeed none of the above?

many thanks in advance for your help


rpholland's picture

(post #107554, reply #1 of 11)

An oil finish will not provide any protection for flooring.  I would recommend a good quality waterbased  Polyurethane such as CrystaLac, this product dries fast and runs about $ 40.00 to $ 50.00 per gallon.  Your old finish will have to be removed down to bare wood.


JsHerbel's picture

(post #107554, reply #2 of 11)

I finished my oak floors with linseed oil about a year ago and I like it. You don't have to worry about the finish getting chipped, peeling off, etc. Of course, it doesn't offer any film protection, but who cares. Spills need to be wiped up right away. I have an old house with old floors and I like the character that oil only gives it, plus when I want to refinish it, there's no sanding of the old finish to mess with. Danish oil would work fine too as refinishing it would not involve sanding off the old finish. If you try an oil finish and don't like it, you can always put an oil based varnish over the top of it.

Troys's picture

(post #107554, reply #3 of 11)

As a amature wood butcher a habitual home remodeler and a Realtor I have seen way to many hardwood floors that need to be refinished or have been badly refinished.  My personal opinion is that if you are going to sand down to bare wood I would use 4 coats of oil base poly after the grain has been filled.  I think the water base products tend to look to cold although there might be some that look ok.  Around here (San Francisco-Oakland) you can get somebody good to do this for about two bucks a square foot including the sanding.  Hope that helps. 


IanDG's picture

(post #107554, reply #4 of 11)

A penetrative oil finish is the absolute best for bringing out the color and figure of the timber -- it has one major disadvantage however; it isn't waterproof.
I only recommend that it be used in areas where you could safely use fitted carpet so, subject to that disclaimer, here's what I've used on many floors over the years.

Day 1
A mixture of equal parts of pure tung oil, boiled linseed oil and turpentine is swabbed onto the floor and kept wet until the timber is saturated. Clean off the excess [burn the cleaning cloths or soak them in water -- they will self-combust in 20 minutes or less if left in a heap] and apply a thin coat of Johnson's paste wax.
Day 2
Rent a floor buffer and, using a coarse nylon pad, buff the floor at least 4 times in each direction -- Do not add any more wax
Day 3
Same as Day 2
Clean the floor with a flat mop on which has been sprinkled a few drops of teak oil or cedar oil -- don't ever wash the floor.
That's it -- you'll never have to resand -- the most you'll need to do is rub a little teak or cedar oil on any areas that start to look a little dry -- in front of a doorway, say.
The floor will look better and better as it develops a patina of wear --- here's one that was 10 years old when the picture was taken.

Lilshaver's picture

(post #107554, reply #5 of 11)

I recently applied Synteko brand to my new white oak floor. It's a high solids alkyd finish. I believe that this is available only through flooring distributors and installers, but I may be wrong. I got mine from a flooring installer who has used it with success in the past although he usually applies the poly finishes because people want that glossy look. I wanted an oil and this stuff seems very durable. It is a much heavier oil than anything I've ever used on furniture. is the website. If you want the look of oil and are willing to accept the responsibilities then I say use it. Don't let the naysayers get you down!


jdubbs's picture

(post #107554, reply #6 of 11)

Waterlox! Easy to use and idiot proof. Check out their website. How do I know it's idiot proof. Easy. I've used it several times with great results.

Woodhead's picture

(post #107554, reply #7 of 11)

A combination of Tung Oil & Polyurethane (about 50/50) makes a penetrative and water resistant / hard wearing floor finish. It's like a beefed up Danish oil. Two coats with a fine sanding (240, 320 or higher) between coats. There are commercial products (in Australia - Feast Watson "FloorSeal") or you can make your own.

Good luck with it.

lwj2's picture

(post #107554, reply #8 of 11)

Did that years ago, used tung oil/turpentine 1:3, four coats, as I recall, topped with Butcher's Wax (two coats).

Re-applying the wax periodically gave the kids something to do and used up a hefty supply of their diapers that were no longer needed.

Built lots of character.

Cats hated it.

No. 1 son used to slide/skid/scoot on his tummy across the living room -- almost never crawled before he walked.

Leon Jester

Leon Jester, Roanoke VA

RickL's picture

(post #107554, reply #9 of 11)

Look into the Sutherland Wells floor finishes

jackplane's picture

(post #107554, reply #10 of 11)

What Ian DG said.

Expert since 10 am.

TXJon's picture

(post #107554, reply #11 of 11)

'nother vote for Waterlox.