Which Is The Best Oil For Garden Furniture?

UV and water: the two things you need to worry about when it comes to maintaining garden furniture. They are also the two things garden furniture oil protects the wood from.

UV from the sun will quickly age furniture, robbing it of its rich warm colours and leaving it with a silvery grey hue. UV also discolours and fades staining or paint on furniture.

Water, on the other hand, will penetrate the wood, causing warping, cracking and rot.

Good quality oil for garden furniture forms a protective coat on the wood, ensuring your outdoor furniture to retain its colour and last longer. It also prevents wood from dying out by replacing the natural oils that have been lost to weathering.

In this buying guide, I recommend the best oils for garden furniture in the UK, and give you a few tips on how to choose the best one for your particular furniture.

Key Considerations When Choosing Oil for Garden Furniture

A. Water and UV Protection

Most oils contain a mixture of tung and linseed oil. They are called teak oils. They provide both moisture and UV protection. Some manufacturers use a proprietary formulation containing wax and other additives.

Whatever type of garden furniture oil you choose, make sure it provides moisture and UV protection. Otherwise, it won’t help maintain your furniture in good condition.

A high quality protective oil is especially important if your furniture is completely exposed to the elements rather than being under a shade.

B. Type of Wood

Check whether the oil is safe for your furniture. Some oils are formulated for application only on hardwoods like teak, while others are safe for application both on hardwood and softwood furniture.

Be especially careful if your garden furniture is made with engineered wood. Most of the garden furniture oils you’ll come across are meant for use on natural wood.

Another thing to check is whether the oil can be used on painted or stained furniture. Some oils have strict instructions on what kind of furniture finish you can use them on.

C. Lifespan

For how long does the oil protect your garden furniture? This will determine how frequently you’ll need to reapply the oil.

Most furniture oils have a lifespan of one year, after when you’ll need to apply it again to avoid fading, rot and dryness.

If your furniture is exposed to extreme elements – lots of rain or very hot/cold conditions – it’s a good idea to re-apply protective oil more frequently, perhaps every six months.

Note that some oils need to be applied in 2-3 coats to maintain the expected lifespan.

D. Amount

For most garden furniture sets, a 1-litre bottle of oil is adequate. It’ll cover a table and chairs as well as a garden bench.

If you have lots of garden furniture or you want to apply oil on a large surface like a deck, get one of those big 5-litre cans of oil.

E. Drying Time

If you love spending time outdoors, look for a quick-drying oil that lets you get back on your furniture in no time.

The fastest-drying oils we’ve found generally take about two hours to dry.

A fast-drying formulation is also handy if it requires multiple coats. You can apply two or three coats within a few hours and have your furniture ready to use by the next day.

F. Finish

Finally, check what kind of finish the oil leaves on your furniture.

Most people prefer clear oils that leave no mark at all on furniture. Clear oil is good if you already love how your garden furniture looks.

But if the furniture has started to age and grey, look for pigmented oil that imparts a warm woody finish. It’ll restore a like-new look to your furniture.

You can also find oils with a glossy or matte finish.

Best Oil for Garden Furniture: Top 5 Reviews

1. Cuprinol 5212402 Ultimate Furniture Oil, 1L

Cuprinol ultimate furniture oil is formulated for exterior hardwood furniture. It penetrates deep into the wood to replace the lost natural oils.

UV additives form a protective coating on the surface that keeps furniture from fading and discolouring. The Cuprinol ultimate furniture oil also contains wax to keep out moisture.

Just a single coat of Cuprinol is enough to protect your garden furniture for a year. The 1-litre can is enough to cover several pieces of furniture.

For best results, apply using a brush. If you want an oil you can spray, Cuprinol also sells a 500ml spray formulation.

What I like about it:

  • Provides long lasting UV and moisture protection.
  • Easy to apply using brush,
  • Clear finish – retains the natural appearance of wood.

2. Ronseal UHWGFOC1L Ultimate Protection Hardwood Garden Furniture Oil, 1L

If you are looking for a quick-drying oil, I recommend this one by Ronseal. It dries in a quick two hours and does not leave furniture feeling sticky or oily.

The fast drying time is great because the manufacturer recommends applying three coats. For multiple coats however, you have to wait 4 hours between each coat. That’s still pretty fast drying and it allows you to apply all three coats within one day.

For best results, apply using a soft cloth. A cloth will push the oil deeper into the wood compared to a brush or sprayer.

The oil has a 12-month lifespan.

The 1-litre can covers a surface area of six square metres. That should give you an idea of how many can you need to cover all your outdoor furniture.

One thing I love about the Ronseal garden furniture oil is all the finish options it comes in. There’s natural, clear, teak and oak.

What I like about it:

  • Long lasting protection.
  • Multiple finish options.
  • Easy to apply using a cloth.

3. OLI-Natura Yacht and Teak Oil, 1L

The OLI-Natura Yacht and Teak Oil is the best choice for furniture that are exposed to extreme elements. If your garden furniture sits outside completely exposed rather than being under a shade or porch, the OLI-Natura provides the best protection against moisture and UV.

The oil penetrates the wood and forms a protective coating on top, preventing premature weathering and greying. It also keeps water from rotting and warping the wood.

In addition to furniture, the OLI-Natura Yacht and Teak Oil is also great for other outdoor wooden surfaces like railing, steps, pool surround and deck.

One litre of the oil goes pretty far – between 12 and 25 square metres depending on type of wood. One or two cans should cover all your outdoor furniture and other wooden surfaces.

You can apply the OLI-Natura oil with a brush, a microfiber roller brush or a cotton cloth. But you cannot put it in a sprayer.

What I like about it:

  • Long-lasting UV and moisture protection.
  • Wide coverage.
  • Beautiful light brown finish.
  • Suitable for most types of hardwood and exotic woods.

4. Bartoline Teak Oil, 5L

If you have a lot of garden furniture or want an oil that will cover a large surface like a deck or railing, I recommend this 5L can of Bartoline teak oil.

It costs about the same as other 1L cans, so it’s a good bargain. The best part is that it protects your furniture and outdoor surfaces just as well as other pricier oils.

You can apply Bartoline teak oil using a normal brush or roller brush. It’s also thin enough to put in a sprayer for when you want to apply it on a large surface area or get it into small crack and crevices on garden furniture.

Similar to other teak oils, Bartoline has a light golden pigment. It’s not enough to change the colour of your furniture, but it gives greyed furniture a beautiful new sheen.

The protective sheen lasts about one year, after which you should re-apply the oil.

What I like about it:

  • Good value for money.
  • Perfect for applying on large surfaces like a deck, garden fence or railing.
  • Long lasting protection.
  • Multiple ways to apply it including a sprayer.

5. Furniture Clinic Teak Oil, 0.5L

If your garden furniture consists of just one table and a few chairs, or perhaps just a bench, you don’t need a 1L can of furniture oil.

This smaller and cheaper can of teak oil from Furniture Clinic is perfect.

The combination of Tung and Linseed Oil waterproofs the surface of the furniture and shields it from ageing UV rays.

You can apply the Furniture Clinic oil using a brush, but a piece of soft cloth will give you the best results. A cloth works the oil into the wood much more effectively than a brush.

A single coat works fine for furniture in decent condition. For very aged and weathered surfaces, I recommend two coats. The oil dries quickly, so you should be able to apply both coats in one day.

The Furniture Clinic oil has the usual light brown finish you get from teak oils. It work great at restoring the look of greyed furniture.

What I like about it:

  • Affordable.
  • Easy to apply.
  • Long lasting protection.

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