It gets really dry in Calgary, so when we took our gorgeous Bjorna table from IKEA out of storage for so long in Vancouver (our apartment was too small for it) and again in Calgary, we realised that we hadn’t been taking very good care of our dining table, and it got a bit dry. For all of you who have a slightly neglected unfinished wood table, here is a quick how-to guide for oiling the table.
It was really easy to get the natural finish back in our table, though, despite years of neglect. I’m sure you can find this elsewhere, but we bought mineral oil from IKEA for a few dollars. With all the moving and storage, the table had received a few spots and black marks. These were easily removed with a damp cloth and a bit of elbow grease. If there were deeper marks, scuffs or what-not, a light sanding might have been in order.
Note: This is the process for oiling an unfinished wood surface, such as a cutting board or table top.
You can see the difference on the table from when I put the oil on the right side compared to the drier left side.
Tip: use a rag without too much ‘fuzz’ on it, or use paper towel.
What to do:
- Lightly wipe down the top of the table to make sure the surface is clean. Wait until the top is dry before you start step 2.
- Put a generous amount of mineral oil on a rag or paper towel, rather than on the table directly. Rub it in to the wood with the grain.
- Make sure that the oil is applied evenly – look for excess dark spots, and try to spread the oil to other areas.
- Wait about an hour and then use another rag or towel to remove excess oil.
- Wait 24 hours for the oil to properly penetrate the wood surface.
- Repeat oil application.
This is the AFTER – after the first oiling when the oil has set in after 24 hours. You can see the different in the wood – the different colours are starting to really pop.
I did not know that oil can be used to make a wooden table nicer and better. I would love to try this. We have furniture that are already old and instead of using varnish, i would like to try mineral oil. Thank you for the idea.
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You could try the mineral oil, but if the table already has varnish, then the oil won't penetrate it.