Renovating a pine table – finishing?

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  • Renovating a pine table – finishing?
  • I bought an old pine table from gumtree, which I’m in the process of sanding down and renovating. The wood is proving to be lovely below the varnish and scratches, and I’d like to show this on the final surface. I’m thinking of using Danish oil, as it seems to be prett hard wearing, but I’ve seen some images online and it can look like really cheap pine warehouse type furniture at times.

    Does anyone have any experience in this, and possibly some pics?.

    Much appreciated, Greg.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    Danish oil/wood oil of all sorts is a superb wood finish – we used to sell lots of the stuff, and I still use in on any wood we have from outside furnature, to boats and inside wooden table tops.

    Easy to put on – wipe on ‘a bit too much’, leave a few mins and wipe off excess. Repeat second time.
    Repeat every few years or when needed.

    Watch out, the rags can spontaneously combust supposedly.


    Yebbut…. Danish oil is just a vegetable oil, which “wets” the wood and makes the colour stand out. The other problem is that it won’t prevent the wood from drying and shrinking. If you want a more durable protective finish use a varnish but don’t use gloss because it will look naff, we have finished all the doors in our house with Dulux Trade polyurethane varnish in satin. It’s very easy to apply, forgiving of mistakes and dries down to a nice even sheen, which looks like a wax finish. Three coats rubbed down and de-dusted in between looks really smooth and not shiny and doesn’t show imperfections.

    The problem with pine is the nasty orange colour it goes. I would use a paint stripper rather than sanding it to preserve any natural colour the table has aquired over time.

    The orange colour comes mainly from the lacquer and tends to be worse with spirit based varnishes. Clear water based lacquered would be less orange. Wax doesn’t really change the colour but offers sod all protection.

    I’d probably recomend a water based lacquer but even this will orange over time.

    Have you thought about painting it?

    Imo oil is not a suitable finish for pine.

    Edit:Unless it’s Victorian or something in which case wax and do regular maintenance.


    Made a table top with some old floorboards (sanded) and used Danish oil. Darkened the wood quite a bit which I liked – just try a bit underneath first.

    Premier Icon chorlton

    I’ve used Colron coloured Beeswax range a few times and really like it. Haven’t used it on a dining table but the cabinet and small table I used it on a couple of years ago has easily stood up to all the knocks and spilt drinks the kids throw at them.
    It does say, not to use on previously varnished wood but I’ve just stripped and waxed an old chest of drawers that were in a very dark brown varnish. Now it’s a lovely light oak. Smells nice too.

    Premier Icon cloudnine

    Seal the table with shellac (will pretty much stop water marks and coffee rings) and then use a coloured wax polish such as antique brown (can recommend Fiddes wax polish)

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