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This page contains more detailed information to help you get the best results with Briwax products.  Scroll down the page to see more, or use the menu on the lower left to jump directly to the section you want.

Protecting a floor with Danish Oil

For wooden floors new and old, Briwax Danish Oil is a far better finish than polyurethane.  Instead of forming a synthetic coating over the top of the floor, Briwax Danish Oil penetrates and hardens the wood from the inside, allowing the natural beauty to shine through.  Danish Oil won't yellow or crack over time.  When the surface wears or gets scratched, polyurethane coatings have to be laboriously sanded off and reapplied.  Briwax Danish Oil can be easily re-coated at any stage in its life to bring back the original finish.

Briwax Danish Oil doesn't stick floorboards together.  Floorboards can and will move over time.  If you use a polyurethane or other ‘plastic’ surface finish, this will crack as the floorboards move.  With Danish Oil, each board is coated and protected.  It doesn't matter if the boards move, the finish remains intact.

Whether the floor is new or old, make sure the surface is clean and sanded smooth.  The better finish you start with, the better the final result will be.

For the first coat use Briwax Danish Oil neat, or thinned slightly with about 10% mineral turpentine.  Apply plenty of oil with a brush, cloth, or a foam roller, to make sure the wood takes up all the oil it needs.  Wipe off the excess with a cloth as you go.  This way you make sure there's enough oil in the timber, but you don't run the risk of creating a 'surface’ of Danish Oil on top of the wood.  Leave this first coat to dry overnight.

Once it's dry, rub the floor lightly with a fine sandpaper (about 320 grit), and wipe off the dust.  You can apply the second coat either neat or thinned up to 50% with mineral turpentine, again making sure that you don't leave too much on the surface.

For a more durable finish, rub with 0000 grade steel wool and apply another coat.  Some people even like to apply four coats, if the floor is particularly heavily used or subject to water, such as a kitchen or entranceway.

When the surface becomes worn, you can restore it very easily.  Wipe the floor with mineral turpentine, and apply another very thin coat of Danish Oil.  This will renew the original finish with very little effort.

Danish Oil goes a lot further than most finishes.  As a guide, we find that a 5 litre tin of Danish Oil is enough for four coats on about 30 square metres of flooring.  The first coat uses around half of the oil, and the subsequent coats are much thinner, because the wood has been sealed by the first coat.

If you want your floor to have a gloss finish, apply Danish Oil for the first coat as described above, then use Teak Oil for the second and subsequent coats.  The first coat of Danish Oil 'grips' the wood slightly better.

Applying Briwax Original WaxFinish bare furniture using wax

A lot of modern furniture is supplied as bare unfinished pine.  To colour and protect the furniture, the easiest way is to apply a coloured wax.  Just rub the furniture with Briwax Original Wax, applied with 0000 steel wool.  After about 10 minutes, the wax will have hardened, and you can buff it to a deep shine with a soft cloth.  That's all there is to it!

If you want a deeper colour, apply another coat of coloured wax.  If you want a lighter colour, apply a coat of Briwax Clear Wax.  The Clear wax will ‘thin’ the colour that was applied first.

In hot weather, Briwax Original can go liquid.  It's harder to apply the wax when it's like this, and it doesn't go as far.  Put the tin in the fridge for a while, or in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, and the wax will harden again.  It's a lot easier to create a good finish when the wax is firm, particularly with the darker colours.

Wax is not waterproof, and if spills are allowed to stay on waxed surfaces they can cause white spotting or watermarks.  To remove these, just apply another coat of wax to the affected area.  Applying new wax will remove the old wax and replace it with a new coat, which should remove the watermarks.  However, if you allow the surface to remain wet for a long time, the watermark will get into the wood, and applying more wax won't solve this.

Finish bare furniture using stains and oils

For a more durable finish, particularly on horizontal surfaces, use Danish or Teak Oil.  You can apply Briwax Spirit-based dye first, to give you the colour you want.

Spirit-based dyes give a very intense and long-lasting colour deep inside the wood.  Unlike many other finishes such as wood stains, Briwax Spirit-based dyes are not a finish in themselves.  This means that you can get exactly the colour you want, and then protect it with oil as a final step.

You can mix the spirit-based dyes to achieve almost any colour.  Even if you've already applied some dye, you can apply another colour and they will mix together.  Briwax spirit-based dyes are based on methylated spirits, so you can lighten the colour by adding methylated spirits.  Because they are a dye, not a stain, Briwax Spirit-based dyes don't create ‘tide-marks’ when they dry.  You can wipe over the existing dyed area with more dye, and you won't be able to see the join.

Applying Briwax Danish Oil Once you're happy with the colour, protect it with one or two coats of Briwax Danish Oil or Briwax Teak Oil.  Danish Oil has a matt/satin finish, and Teak Oil gives a gloss finish.  Sand between coats with very fine sandpaper or 0000 steel wool.  See the section on finishing floors with Danish Oil above for more details.

For table and bench tops, use three or four coats of Danish Oil.  If the surface is well sanded and carefully finished, we've found that Danish Oil is resistant even to hot water.  Many of our clients have finished commercial bar tops with Danish Oil.  However, we wouldn't suggest using Danish Oil where the surface is likely to be used for cutting; sharp knives can cut through the surface into the wood, which will allow water to get into the wood at a later stage and damage the finish.

One of the biggest advantages of Danish Oil is that it's very easy to repair the surface if it gets damaged.  Wipe down the surfact with mineral turpentine and 0000 grade steel wool, and apply one more coat with a cloth.  Once dry, the surface will be good as new.  If the surface is more seriously damaged, sand it lightly first and apply one or two coats of Danish Oil.

Once you've finished your furniture with Danish Oil, you can create a deeper sheen on surfaces that aren't likely to get wet by applying a coat of clear Briwax Original Wax over the top.  The two different finishes create a beautiful depth to the shine.

Revive faded outdoor furniture

All wood, however it's finished, will soon fade in the sun.  In New Zealand, the intense UV of the sun makes this happen particularly quickly.  Using Briwax Spirit-based dye and Teak Oil you can restore your outdoor furniture to look even better than it did when it was new.

If the furniture is blackened and dirty, clean it thoroughly.  A waterblaster makes this job easy.  Allow the furniture to dry out completely, then sand the surface.  Again, make life easier with a random orbit sander.  Start with 80 grit sandpaper to get the worst off, and finish with about 180 grit, or finer if you like. 

Now apply the colour.  Use disposable rubber gloves when handling the Briwax Spirit-based dye, as it won't come off easily! Antique Mahogany is a favourite for Kwila furniture.  Light Oak is an alternative if you like a lighter colour, but any colour will work.  It's easiest to pour the dye into a shallow dish, and apply it with a cloth.  The dye will be dry within 20-30 minutes.

Now, with another shallow dish and another cloth, apply a coat of Teak Oil in exactly the same way.  Just wipe it on with the cloth, and make sure you don't leave too much on the surface, to avoid any drips.  Leave this first coat to dry overnight.

In the morning, rub the surface with 0000 steel wool, wipe off the dust, and wipe on a second coat of Teak Oil with a cloth.  Once dry, this should be enough.  If you want a higher gloss, apply another coat.

The surface won't last forever nothing will in our climate.  However, it's amazing how easy it is to repair the finish when you want to.  A very light sand, another wipe with stain, and a wipe with Teak Oil will bring the surface back to new.  At the start of the season, this can take as little as half an hour to restore a whole outdoor setting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I use Briwax Original Wax?

Briwax is most commonly used to clean and protect antique furniture but can also be used on wood floors and kitchen cabinets that have laquer based finishes.  Briwax can also be used on bare wood to colour and protect.  There is no faster, easier way to colour and protect wood mouldings, spindles, and unpainted furniture.  Briwax can also be used to protect metals such as brass, chrome, copper, and aluminum from tarnishing as quickly as unprotected metals. Briwax Original Wax shouldn't be used outdoors, or on areas that are likely to get wet.

How long will Briwax last?

Of course it depends on where it is used, but in general, if you cannot get a shine with a soft buffing, it is time to re-apply. In high traffic areas this can be as often as every few months.  In vertical applications and low traffic areas Briwax will last for years.  Note: Briwax does not contain UV inhibitors so direct sunlight will cause it to fade.  Briwax is not an exterior product for this reason.

What if I don't like the finish?

Briwax, or in fact any wax, can be removed with Briwax Furniture Cleaner.

Can Briwax Danish Oil be used over polyurethane?

Yes, if the surface is rubbed down with 240 grade sandpaper first.  This should be considered only a temporary repair, though.  We always recommend removing the existing finish completely first (by sanding or stripping), as the underlying problems inherent with polyurethane finishes (yellowing and cracking) will still happen over time, and will cause the entire coating to degenerate.

Does Briwax Danish Oil come in colours?

No, Briwax Danish Oil does not come in colours, but you can tint it with Briwax Spirit-based Wood Dye.  The resultant coloured oil does not have a long shelf life, and so it should be mixed and used within a few days.  The disadvantage of mixing the Wood Dyes with Oil is that you are committed to a specific colour.  If you apply the Wood Dye to your wood first, you can add more or different colours until you are happy with the colour, and then seal the colour with Oil afterwards.  If you apply tinted Danish Oil and don't like the finished colour, you will need to sand the finish off before you can re-colour the timber.

Can I use Briwax Danish Oil on a kitchen bench top?

Yes, you can use Briwax Danish Oil on your kitchen bench top, table tops, floors, window sills and doors (interior & exterior) as long as you follow our instructions.  See the section on Protecting a floor with Danish Oil for more information on how to create a strong, waterproof finish with Danish Oil.

I have brush markings in my Danish Oil! What can I do?

This does happen sometimes on the second or third coat.  Lightly sand the surface with a 240 grade sand paper and then apply Briwax Danish Oil thinned with mineral turps by 15-20%.  By giving the product more flow in this way, it should cure the problem.

How far will my Briwax Danish Oil go?

This depends on the application and on the timber it is applied to, but generally 12-14 square metres per litre is the norm, although on the second and subsequent coats this can double or treble! A five litre tin of Danish Oil is normally sufficient for four coats on a floor of 30 square metres.

I have trouble with my Briwax Danish Oil not drying, why is that?

There are a few reasons why this can happen: temperature; a contaminate in the timber; unshaken cans or application too thick. Generally a wipe down with mineral turpentine, left to dry and lightly sanded, then a thin coat of the oil will remedy this.

If I want a high gloss finish on the Danish Oil what can I do?

Danish Oil gives a flat natural look to the timber.  If you apply two further coats of Briwax Teak Oil over the first coat of Danish Oil, this will give you a gloss finish.

Can I use wax on top of Briwax Danish Oil?

Yes. Briwax Original Wax is recommened, to give a deep and long lasting sheen.  Try one of the Briwax coloured waxes to give a deeper colour.

On this page...
Protecting a floor with Danish Oil
Finishing furniture using wax
Finishing furniture using dyes and oils
Reviving outdoor furniture
Frequently Asked Questions