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The joy of osmo oil – let’s do wood some good!

Listed under Blog, Martin Dunn, Osmo, Painting Posted Jan 30 2014

This article about the uses of Osmo oil for treating wood, was written by Traditional Painter for Stafford, Martin Dunn. As a former college lecturer and assessor, he has a great deal of indepth information to share.

Osmo oil on interior timber, worktops and furniture

Osmo Polyx oil for flooring and internal joinery Over the last couple of years I have been using more and more Osmo oil on interior timber, worktops and furniture. The product I turn to the most is the polyx-oil original interior wood finish, which comes in both a clear satin matt and matt finish plus tinted versions (more later).

It’s a hardwax oil which combines all the advantages of oils and waxes in one product ie it goes on like a traditional varnish or oil but gives the appearance and durability of a wax. It is resistant to water, dirt, wine, coffee etc and is microporous, so will not crack, peel or blister. I think a lot of people will know it as a natural wood floor finish.

At the moment I have been using the rapid version of the polyx-oil which is touch dry after 2-3 hours (dependant on conditions) and re-coatable in aprox 6 hours. The original needs overnight drying.

The property I have been working on has just had a loft conversion, and because of regs needed fire doors fitted on all the stairs and rooms leading off from it. They also fitted a new bannister and spindles which the customer wanted matching to a piece of furniture.

How to apply Osmo Oil to new timber doors

1 – The bare timber doors receive a first coat applied with a slightly worn natural bristle brush (don’t use a new one, you will spend most of your time picking bits of bristle or the tip ends, the flags, from the applied osmo oil). You could also use a synthetic brush or even a painting pad, but I prefer natural bristle for this.

2 – I DO NOT sand any wood until I have put the 1st coat on and let it dry. The reason for this is two-fold. I don’t want to scratch the bare timber because the product will raise the grain when applied, so I ALWAYS rub down after the 1st coat to remove any nibs and flatten the raised grain. (Remember to follow the grain of the wood when rubbing down and use either a fine sanding pad or some 240 grade finishing paper.)

3 – The second coat is applied – and thats it!

No thinned primer coats; no 3 coats to build it up; no top coats of wax applied by rags or mops when finished.

The bannister and spindles received 2 coats of matt woodstain in antique pine, followed by 2 coats of Osmo Oil. As I said, the client was trying to match the new installation to some existing furniture.

Different sheen levels for clear finish on timber

The customer went for a satin matt finish in the Polyx Oil, but it is available in a matt finish as well. If you wanted a totally flat matt finish, I would probably look at the Polyvine products which have a “flatter matt” finish.

Coverage of Osmo Oil

It only needs 2 coats to bare timber, and goes a long, long way! To give you an idea, on the stairway there were 10 doors – both sides had 2 coats – plus the bannister and spindles. The first coat, being on bare timber, soaked up more product than you would expect if oiling a previously coated surface, yet all this work was completed with just 2.5 litres of Osmo Oil!

Osmo Oil for worktops

As a specialist kitchen painter, I also offer clients additional options for upgrades, and Osmo do a specific product called “Top Oil” for worktops, which I have successfully used. So, after stripping existing coatings back to the bare surface, I apply 2 coats in the same way as described above for doors. It needs to be left overnight to dry between coats.

Osmo Oil for slate, tiles and furniture

Osmo Polyx-oil can also be used on slate and non-glazed ceramic tiles as well as furniture. It also meets European regs for safe use with children’s toys, plants and animals ( although I don’t think they would look that good coated in wax??!!!)

So with this product, we can get away from traditional “brittle” varnishes and wood stains (Like I said, they do a tinted wax oil too, for interiors.)

Osmo oil also offers a natural alternative to other wood treatments such as linseed oils, danish oils, teak oils and the highly effective but often overlooked tung oil – they all still have there uses though.

Osmo oil – Not just for floors.

Martin Dunn Painting and decorating specialist Birmingham Staffordshire South CheshireSpecialist painter and decorator, Martin Dunn, is a member of the Traditional Painter UK network. He is the first port of call for painting and decorating projects from Birmingham to Stafford and S Cheshire.

Martin has been a specialist decorator for many years, and is expert in most traditional decorative finishes, and wallcoverings. He also spent 7 years lecturing, and is one of only a few in the country who were qualified to assess the workmanship of professional decorators.


Paints and Interiors are Osmo stockists and we are very impressed with the product knowledge of Ben, the owner. The overall level of service is also top drawer, from advice to orders to delivery, so well worth dropping in online, if you are in the market for Osmo wood care products.

(See other Trade Corner associate suppliers, like Paints and Interiors.

These are a select group of companies we know professionally and can recommend wholeheartedly to Traditional Painter readers on the basis of their exceptional service and ethos.)

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16 comments to “The joy of osmo oil – let’s do wood some good!”

  1. ailsa marcham

    I have some pine dipped doors which I have coated in the past with oil – danish, linseed etc. Can I use Osmo wood wax finish high solid now. I plan to wash the doors down and paint when dry. Is there a big possibility that they would come out lookng worse? I want to smarten them up. I have chosen Cherry coloured to brighten up the colour which, having been chemically dipped in the past, are not a great colour.
    I went to an outlet here in Norwich and they did not issue warnings when I said I had used linseed oil and when I asked about preparing the doors, they suggested sugar soap wash. I also have Danish oil here and a ronseal furniture oil. I want to nourish and protect so, in my world, I would think about feeding with oil and then putting the wax on top.
    I would like advice before I open a 25 pound tin of woodwax. I do not want to make things worse.

    Thank you

  2. Kirkwood Decor

    I have never actually used osmo oil before as its not something that my local paint shed actually stocks. I have a job to price for and after reading your blog I think I will try this product out! Thanks for taking your time to post this information.

  3. chris montague

    When caulking around applied Danish oil do you have to be careful with water

  4. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Wait till the Danish oil has hardened, i.e. this is when any water drops bead on the surface.

  5. Darlic

    if you apply to new doors do you still have to seal knots first

  6. Nick

    Hi, thanks for the review. I’m literally between coats of Osmo topoil natural on some new ash worktops to be used as a desk.

    I’ve applied very thinly using a cloth as directed on the the tin. Am I missing a trick by not using a bristly as you suggest?

    I did notice my rag drank a lot of the oil which is a bit of a waste! Finish is nice but winter of it will be too thin even with two coats?

  7. Chiara

    hi, can I use Osmo oil to varnish a piece of furniture painted with chalk paint (Grand Illusions. Thank you. Elena

  8. Ben

    Has anyone used osmo oil on a slate floor ,

  9. john hagan

    joiner asked for Osmo oil for skirting and architive can you let me know what i need.

    Many Thanks

  10. Yasmin

    Can I use osmo oil over chalk or. Latex paint on a. Floor

  11. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    I wouldn’t. Old paints and lacquers must be completely removed.

  12. Painter and Decorator Glasgow

    Like others on in the comments box, I have never used this product. After reading the article I will definitely be giving this a try so thanks very much for making me aware of this

  13. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Thanks for reading and glad you can take something positive from the info.

  14. Michael Blackburn

    Hello. We have a pine floor in our kitchen that needs to be re-sanded and finished. One floor specialist has recommended Osmo hardwax oil.
    Another has said that because of the different sanding tools used to get around radiators and into corners etc, the oil will show up all lines from the sanding. The only way to avoid this is to sand down to such a smooth surface that the oil does not take.
    We are confused as to which is right, and would appreciate any thoughts.

  15. Chris Morgan

    We’ve had Osmo Polyx-Oil High Solid 3044 Raw transparent put on our oak floors and in the more trafficked areas it’s coming off although we had it done less than 6months ago. On most areas we have 3 coats. What should we do about this? We expected it to be an oil which would sink in but it sits on top of the wood despite it being well sanded.

  16. George kenny

    The osmois a terrible product. A better one is treatex. We used osmo in out kitchen and it lasted a month or two. We put polish on top to help it but it eventually needed redoing. We used a product called treatex. Very similar oil byt far superior. It leaves a finish that last for years. I mean in my bathroom it is now 5 years old and the wooden floor still looks ghe same.

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