Oiling garden furniture with olive oil - is that possible?

Olive oil is mentioned again and again as a "home remedy" when it comes to oiling furniture outdoors. You can read in our article whether this actually works, what you should consider and what natural alternatives there are for wood oils.

How wood oils work

Wood oils are supposed to protect raw, untreated wood. Their effect is based on the fact that they penetrate deep into the wood in a liquid state and protect the individual wood fibers. There they harden and form an elastic, very effective protection of the wood fibers, which make the wood very resistant to deep beneath the surface. Strongly hardening oils or combinations of oils are used for this.

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Mode of action of edible oils

Edible oils penetrate just as deeply into the wood - but never harden there. This does not provide any protection for the wood fibers, but only a constant, oily moisture penetration of the wood deep below the surface. That accelerates its decline.

Non-hardening oils are counterproductive because they do not provide any protection for the wood itself. Only the surface of the wood becomes nice and shiny and a little easier to clean because it becomes smoother.

The problem with this, however, is that treatment with a "real " wood oil is no longer possible afterwards. The wood oil cannot displace the cooking oil inside and therefore no longer work. Wood surfaces that have been treated with cooking oil can no longer be protected by wood oil. Painting or painting will most likely prove problematic because of the oily surface. For this reason, you should urgently refrain from treatment with edible oils.

Natural alternative: linseed oil

Like tung oil, linseed oil is one of the very strong hardening oils. It is a food and therefore represents a completely natural wood protection. It has also been tried and tested for centuries and has always been used to protect wood.

The only disadvantage of linseed oil is the long drying time. Linseed oil can take up to 14 days to dry properly. If you want to save yourself this long drying time, you can use linseed oil varnish instead. This is boiled linseed oil, the drying time is then significantly shorter for this completely natural product.

Other alternatives:

  • Wood oil for outdoor use (highly recommended)
  • Hard wax oils (better surface protection)
  • colored wood oils (emphasize the natural wood color)
Tips & Tricks If you want to protect wood with oil, remember that you also have to re-oil frequently. Over time, this can be a nuisance.