oil_rubbed_tableimage: Ashley Thalman

No other finish affords the same flexibility as Danish oil and wax.  It is a low sheen finish which revelas the full depth of the wood’s color and grain.  After years of working with wood I have decided that an oil-rubbed finish is the truest way to showcase what is beautiful about each species of wood.  For texture, feel and depth, it is the best way to send my pieces out into the world. Think of it as a finish inside of, and not merely resting on top of the furniture.

I hope that you will use your Ivory Bill Furniture well and not be too precious about it  or keep the kids off of it.  We do not live in museums!  Putting the furniture in display cases will not be taken as a compliment to the designer!  “But what about scratches?!” you reply.  That is the other beatiful thing about the finish.  Just rub a new coat of oil over it and let the piece take on signs of age as evidence of its treasured history.

This finish requires care.  A coat of polish.  A layer of richness. We recommend re-applying a coat of oil every six months to a year, and using paste wax in between as needed.

These two products, aside from having nothing scary hidden in the list of ingredients, work really well:  

Danish Oil by Tried & True Wood Finish – this product is 100% foodsafe!
Daddy Van’s All Natural Beeswax Furniture Polish.

intheshopDanish Oil How-To

This is a short tutorial about maintaining an oil-rubbed finish, not about starting the process from scratch!  Don’t worry, it is easy!

Begin by wiping the table clean with a wet rag, being careful to wipe until the surface feels smooth.  If there are rough spots, or stains (markers, blueberries, etc!) fine grit sand-paper or steel wool may be used to gently remove them.  When the table is dry, run your hands over the surface to ensure that the grain feels smooth before applying oil.  You are ready to begin!


Step 1.  Pour, wipe or brush on the oil.  Remember the sides and edges. The whole surface should be shiny and wet looking, but there is no need to use so much that it pools up.  Let sit for 10 min.

Step 2. Using a clean rag, wipe the surface “with the grain,” or in the same direction as the grain of the wood.  Use as many rags as needed until there is no more oil coming off onto the rag.  Wait another 30-60 min.

Step 3. Buff the surface with a clean lint-free rag.


Paste Wax How-To

Always start by  finding the most natural products possible!  They work better!  They are safer to use and produce and they are better for the earth.  A good paste wax will usually contain a mixture of beeswax, carnauba wax and sometimes a drop of essential oil to simplify application.


Step 1.  Place a small amount of wax in a clean rag.

Step 2.  Twist the rag around the wax and apply through your “rag applicator” in small overlapping circles.  More is not better!  Just apply one even coat.

Step 2.  With a clean rag wipe off wax and buff until rag glides smoothly.  Use your fingers to feel the surface.  If it feels sticky you are not finished wiping!  It may take a little pressure depending on the temperature, but the feel will tell you when you’re finished.

There you have it!  One thing to note:  wax does not/should not build up.  Only one application at a time should be sufficient!




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