Oil

The two most common oils in wood finishing are linseed oil and tung oil (true tung oil, that is, not a mixture). Linseed oil comes from the seeds of the flax plant and cures slowly. Driers are commonly added to speed the process. When driers are added, this finish is called "boiled" linseed oil (even though it is not really boiled). It's easier to use than raw linseed oil.

Tung oil cures faster than raw linseed oil, but slower than boiled. It is rarely used to finish wood because it cures so slowly. Also, it can take five or more coats to achieve the desired build-up and sheen.

Oil finishes are easy to apply, but they don't cure hard, so you have to wipe off the excess after each coat.

i Wax doesn't darken wood.

An oil finish is easy to apply, but cannot be built up to form a thick, protective film. It's best suited for non-wear surfaces.

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