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Maintaining oiled wooden tables

Maintaining oiled wooden tables

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on caring for the timeless beauty of oak wood furniture! If you’re considering adding the warmth and charm of solid oak wood furniture to your home, you’re making a choice that speaks to both elegance and durability. Oak furniture is not just a practical addition to your space; it’s a statement of timeless sophistication. Each piece boasts a natural allure and enduring appeal that can transform any room into a haven of comfort and style. However, to ensure that your investment remains as stunning as the day you first laid eyes on it, proper care and maintenance are key.

Solid oak wood is revered for its inherent qualities, including its natural beauty, sturdiness, and remarkable resilience. Unlike other materials, oak wood has the remarkable ability to regulate humidity, ensuring that your furniture remains stable and virtually indestructible over time. At SFD Furniture Design, we take pride in crafting solid oak wood furniture that maintains its pristine condition for lifetimes.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essentials of caring for your oak wood tables at home. From regular upkeep to occasional treatments, we’ll provide you with the know-how and techniques to maintain both the beauty and strength of your furniture. You’ll discover just how easy it is to preserve the classic elegance of your solid oak wood table right in your own space.

Everyday care of your wooden table: let it shine!

Upon arrival to its new Home, your oak wood SFD furniture piece is ready to grace your space, having been meticulously crafted and treated with all necessary protective oils applied to its surface. For the first six months, you can simply follow some basic recommendations to maintain its pristine condition.

General tips of wooden furniture maintenance

Taking a few proactive steps to care for your wooden furniture ensures it remains a cherished centerpiece in your Home. Here they are:

  • ✔ Elevate your dining experience by using placemats beneath dishes and vessels, preserving the wooden tabletop from moisture and water damage.
  • ✔ Enhance your table setting with coasters under glasses, mugs, and plates, along with pads beneath hot items like plates and pizza boxes, ensuring your table stays pristine.
  • ✔ Be cautious of acidic fluids such as vinegar, alcohol, or lemon water, as they can cause damage to the wood surface. In the event of accidental spills, promptly wipe them away with a damp cloth followed by a soft, dry cloth.
  • ✔ Embrace the natural beauty of your wooden furniture by placing it away from direct sunlight, heating/cooling vents, and moisture sources like humidifiers. By doing so, you preserve its rich color and texture, ensuring it remains a focal point of your decor.
  • ✔ Infuse your space with style and protection by placing felt pads under lamps, vases, and other decorative items, preventing scratches during movement.
  • ✔ Maintain the luster of your furniture by avoiding prolonged contact with materials such as plastic, nylon, or rubber, which may dull its natural shine over time.

By embracing these positive and proactive measures, you not only enhance the longevity of your wooden furniture but also elevate the ambiance of your living space, ensuring it remains a haven of comfort and style for years to come.

How to clean wooden tables

Wiping down the wood table

Wipe the oiled wood table with a clean, dry cloth. We recommend not using damp cloths on oil-treated surfaces if possible. If you cannot remove stains with a dry cloth, use a soft cloth wrung out firmly in clean water. Immediately afterwards wipe again with a dry cloth. Always wipe in the longitudinal direction of the wood grain.

Oiled table cleaning SFD

Cleaning a solid wood table from heavy dirt

If the surface of the wooden table is particularly dirty, you can add soap flakes (¼ dl) to the clean water (5 liters) or alternatively use any cleaning agent that has been specially developed for oil-treated surfaces. Once a surface has been washed, it should be pulled back with oil according to the instructions below.


  • Do not use chemicals to clean the wooden tabletop!
  • Never use scouring sponges, wire wool or similar items as they will damage the surface.
  • Never use pure linseed oil for wooden furniture.
  • Avoid any wax-based polishes and those containing silicone, as they can build up in the wood grain and compromise the integrity of the finish over time.

Oiled table cleaning SFD

Annual care of wooden furniture

To uphold the timeless elegance of your oak wood furniture over the years, regular nourishment through oiling is crucial. This practice might surprise some, as we often overlook the need to “feed” our furniture until we own a natural piece. However, oiling achieves precisely that, akin to how waxing enhances the qualities of leather shoes. It revitalizes and enriches the natural beauty of wooden furniture, thanks to traditional technologies that preserve its authenticity seamlessly.

Oiling care is typically recommended every 3-12 months, tailored to the level of use. For heavily utilized pieces like kitchen tables or dining surfaces prone to spills and abrasions, oiling every 3 months for the first year ensures optimal protection. As your table acquires better durability characteristics, you can gradually reduce the treatment frequency. Conversely, occasional tables or decorative items may only require oiling every 12 months to uphold their luster and integrity.

Oiled table cleaning and oiling

Oiling process guidelines:

  1. Dust off the wooden tabletop, clean it with a damp cloth and let it dry completely.
  2. Prepare the oil according to the producer’s instruction (we recommend using the same oil as the furniture was oiled initially). We recommend using the same oil as was originally used during the initial oiling process of that particular furniture.
  3. Then thoroughly and carefully rub the oil on the whole surface of the wooden tabletop, first in a circular motion, then along the directions of the boards. Rub the oil in so long that the oil layer is as thin as possible. The wooden tabletop should gently shine, but the oil layer should not be visible. If excess oil is visible, wipe it off with a dry cloth. The oil is thick and solidifies quickly so the oil application process should last max. 10-15 minutes.
  4. Let the tabletop dry for approx. 48 hours. If the top is heavily worn and the oil has been completely absorbed by the wood, the operation can be repeated after this time.
  5. Usually, the oil acquires full strength/hardness after about 7 days from the moment of application – earlier it is suggested to protect the top from external factors – variable temperature, humidity, etc.

Usually, you can find the product card attached when buying the oak oiled table. Useful information on preserving the tabletop should be included in there.

After proper oiling, the oiled wood furniture requires little maintenance. And that sounds good, doesn’t it?🙂

Why do we oil our wood furniture?

While varnished table surfaces have been a staple for years, boasting glossy finishes and the perception of durability, it’s worth questioning whether this method truly offers the most reliable protection. Although varnish creates a hard coating that is resistant to mechanical damage, it poses challenges in terms of renewal, often requiring intervention across the entire surface. Moreover, varnish can be prone to peeling and is flammable, raising doubts about its long-term efficacy.

Enter the oiled wooden table – a natural alternative that’s gaining popularity for its unique benefits. Oil, derived from natural resins and waxes, accentuates the individual characteristics of wood while penetrating deep into its fibers for comprehensive protection. Unlike varnish, oil copes admirably with high temperatures and can be renewed in spots, making it ideal for surfaces like wooden kitchen table tops or dining tables that endure intensive use.

Oiling not only nourishes and protects the wood, as it was mentioned earlier in this article, but also accentuates its innate beauty, leaving behind a subtle yet unmistakable impression of genuine wood craftsmanship. And that makes it attractive for those, who really appreciate natural lifestyle and tries to create organic design in their Home…

Embracing an oiled wooden table requires patience and regular maintenance, especially during the initial period. Yet, this investment pays off in the long run, as scratches, stains, or discolorations can be easily repaired with minimal effort – a simple sanding and reapplication of oil is all it takes to restore its pristine condition.

Oak table 100% re-oiling: back to new!

We assure you, as outlined in the previous section, that with proper daily care and annual maintenance, your wooden furniture will retain all its technical, practical, and aesthetic qualities for years to come. However, over time, minor scratches or stains may gradually mar its appearance, even with regular surface oiling. In such cases, a deeper renovation may be necessary to restore your furniture’s pristine condition. Fortunately, this process is both simple and highly effective, requiring just a little effort but delivering complete satisfaction with the results.

re-oiling tool kit

Prepare the wood care kit:

  • ✔ wood hard wax oil, the same oil as was originally used during the initial oiling process of that particular furniture (the info can be found in the product card that you recieve together with the furniture piece);
  • ✔ manual sandpaper with a thickness of 120, then 180 and finally 220;
  • ✔ a cube sanding sponge is helpful, which you can also click on paper of the desired thickness;
  • ✔ rubber gloves;
  • ✔ clean soft cloth

13 simple steps to re-oil your wooden table:

STEP 1. Sand the wood using progressively finer sandpaper, starting with a coarser grit and finishing with an extra fine 220-grit sandpaper to achieve a smooth finish.

STEP 2. Apply a liberal amount of oil directly to a small section of your wood.
(we recommend hard-wax natural oils)

STEP 3. Rub the oil into the wood with a clean, dry soft cloth. Make sure to rub the oil in the direction of the natural grain of the wood. Rub hard to work the oil well into the wood.

STEP 4. Continue this process until all the wood is covered.

STEP 5. Let the oil stay on the wood for approximately 30 minutes.

STEP 6. Remove any excess oil from the wood with a dry cloth.

STEP 7. Allow the wood to stand for at least 24 hours.

STEP 8. Pour a liberal amount of oil onto a piece of 600 to 800-grit wet-and-dry sandpaper.

STEP 9. Work the oil into the wood again using the sandpaper. This helps to push the oil deep into the pores and really starts to enhance the appearance of the wood’s natural grain.

STEP 10. Repeat this process until you’ve covered the entire surface of the wood with the oiled sandpaper.

STEP 11. Wipe off any excess oil from the wood with a dry cloth.

STEP 12. Allow to stand for another 24 hours.

STEP 13. Repeat the sandpaper finish as many times as you like, until the desired luster is achieved. Just make sure to remove any excess oil and allow the wood to dry for 24 hours between each coat.

It may take several days for the oil to cure completely.

Congratulations! You have successfully completed the 100% renovation of your table!

Wood restoration: Addressing stains and dents effectively

In the journey of owning wooden furniture, sometimes accidents happen. Imagine this: you’re cleaning up when suddenly, you see a berry stain on your beloved wooden table that had remained unnoticed for a day or more. How about heavy soilings like the dried circles from the red wine glasses? Or perhaps, a small dent from a careless bump or knock may appear, adding to the woes of maintaining your wooden furniture. These unforeseen accidents can happen to the best of us, but fear not! Unlike furniture with laminate, plastic, or varnished surfaces, natural wood tables offer a remarkable solution – the ability to completely address and rectify such mishaps. This unique feature not only breathes life into your wooden furniture but also cements its status as a resilient and durable choice for your Home.

The permanent stain on the solid oak tabletop
Dent injury

How to remove hard stains from wooden surfaces?

How to repair dents in wood?

To remove dents from bare wood, it’s a relatively straightforward process. However, on finished surfaces, a bit more care is needed. You’ll first have to remove the finish around the damaged area using fine-grit sandpaper, gently sanding about 1.5 centimeters around the spot.

Next, take a cotton cloth and dampen it with water, ensuring it’s not dripping wet. Fold the cloth into several layers and place it over the dent. Then, with your iron set to the cotton setting, press the cloth firmly over the affected area for about 20-30 seconds. It’s essential to avoid direct contact between the iron and the wood to prevent any damage.

The combination of moisture and heat from the iron can often be sufficient to swell the wood fibers and raise the dent, restoring the surface to its original state. This method is effective and relatively simple, but it requires careful attention to ensure the best results without causing any additional harm to the wood.

Finally, sand once more, apply oil, and polish the wooden tabletop and you will see that a dent disappeared.

To summarize, in that article, we wanted to point out the most important steps that help you to keep solid oak tables in a beautiful look and great condition for decades. Please remember the essentials of wooden tabletop maintenance and in case you still have questions on it, do not hesitate to contact us. We’re here to privide you the best service.

The Team of SFD Furniture Design

Tags: wooden tabletop, oak wood,  solid oak wood, oak furniture, solid oak furniture, wood  maintenance

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