How to Finish Oak Wood

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Finished oak wood will add value and elegance to your house. Many people find a hidden treasure of beautiful oak wood preserved underneath their carpets. To bring that floor, door or piece of furniture back to life, you need to refinish the surface. Keeping the floor in good repair is a challenge, but is certainly not impossible. By doing it yourself, you will save money and have a sense of accomplishment every time you see the floor that you finished.

Things You'll Need

  • Shop vac
  • #150-,180- and 320-grit sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Brush
  • Clean rags
  • Tack cloth
  • Air compressor
  • Linseed oil
  • Glaze
  • Shellac
  • Stiff brush
  • Clean the oak wood. You need to remove all the dust, grit and debris off the wood before you begin sanding.

  • Sand the oak wood with 150-grit sandpaper. Vacuum the dust left behind with a shop vac.

  • Change the sandpaper to 180-grit and sand the surface again. Vacuum the dust left behind. If you have an air compressor, blast the remaining dust away with compressed air. This will remove the dust from the wood’s pores.

  • Stain the wood with a brush or clean rags. Stains can range from slight to dark, or you can tweak your own colors. Experiment with a scrap piece of wood first to make sure you like the color. Work in sections at a time and leave the stain on for 30 seconds to 15 minutes. Blot up the excess stain.

  • Leave to dry for eight hours or overnight. Sand the surface with 320-grit sandpaper. Vacuum up the dust left behind from the sanding. Follow this by blasting the remainder dust away with an air compressor or use a tack cloth.

  • Apply linseed oil with a rag to the wood after the stain has dried. Scuff the surface lightly with 320-grit sandpaper. Remove dust as in previous step.

  • Apply a coat of 20-pound shellac. You can use the color shellac of your choice. Scuff the surface with 320-grit sandpaper. Vacuum the dust from the wood pores. Use a tack cloth to finish removing the dust. Repeat this step.

  • Glaze the surface of the oak wood. Mix one cup of brown glaze and one-half cup black glaze. It you find the glaze too dark, lighten with mineral spirits. Apply this glaze with a stiff brush, working it across the grain. Use a clean rag to wipe off the excess. If you find the color too dark, apply mineral spirits to your rag. This will help remove the glaze. Allow the glaze to dry according to the manufacturer's directions.

  • Seal the wood with one coat of shellac. If you need more protection for your oak wood, finish with a final coat of varnish or lacquer.

Tips & Warnings

  • If finishing oak furniture, apply a paste wax with a 0000 steel wool. Buff this when the surface hazes over. A dark wax is usually used over dark finishes.
  • Wear goggles and face mask to protect your eyes and lungs.

References

  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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