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Teak Oil vs Danish Oil: Which is Better?

High-quality oils can protect and enhance wooden furniture, fencing, floors, and decking. Teak oil and Danish oil are two of the most popular wood oils that you can use on wooden furniture and fixtures both indoors and outside, with similar coverage and price points. Understanding the differences between these oils can help you choose the right oil for your wood maintenance jobs.


Paint brush brushing wood finish on wood

Image by sweetlouise is licensed with Pixabay License

Teak oil and Danish oil are both oil blends rather than raw oils. The formulations help you get better results than you would using raw oils. However, this means there’s no standard for these oils. You might find that some teak oils and Danish oils dry faster or penetrate wood deeper, for example, than others.

Teak oil is usually a combination of tung oil, for repelling water, and boiled linseed oil, for durability. It may also contain some varnish and mineral spirits. Danish oil is a mix of a penetrating oil, such as boiled linseed oil, tung oil, or rosewater oil, and varnish, for a smooth, glossy finish.

How They Work

Teak oil creates a protective layer that helps treated wooden fixtures and items to resist fading in sunlight and water stains. It can also enhance the look of the wood grain. The ingredients of Danish oil bind together and dry hard. This hard finish seals the wood to prevent damage from the elements. That hard layer can also help wood that you treat with Danish oil to resist cracking and chipping. It’s also more durable than the protective layer that teak oil provides.


Teak oil and Danish oil both make wood darken slightly, although the darkening is usually more dramatic with Danish oil. Wood usually looks golden when you treat it with teak oil and a darker brown after you treat it with Danish oil. Teak oil has a matte to subtle satin finish when it dries. This looks quite different from the shinier satin to semi-gloss finish that Danish oil provides.

Food Safety

Danish oil is usually food safe, whereas teak oil is not. As the chemicals in teak oil may make you sick if you ingest them, you’re usually better off treating any wooden food preparation surfaces or serving items with Danish oil instead.

Just remember that there is no consistent standard for Danish oil, so some companies may add toxic chemicals to their Danish oil. Read the ingredient list carefully if you intend to use Danish oil on cutting boards, wooden serving platters, or kitchen benches. You can also ask a manufacturer for its material safety data sheet if you’re unsure whether its Danish oil is food safe.

Water Protection

Danish oil creates a watertight layer that can repel water for excellent protection. Teak oil is water resistant rather than waterproof. Wooden items that you treat with teak oil can resist moisture damage, but they won’t repel water in the same way as items that you treat with Danish oil. Note that teak oil and Danish oil are both blends, so results may vary slightly between manufacturers.


Danish oil requires no special preparation, unlike teak oil. You can simply use a brush or cloth to apply it to any wood surface, including bare or sanded pieces. In contrast, you should wipe your wood down with a brush or cloth before applying teak oil. If the wood already has an oil or paint coating, you’ll need to remove it before you get to work. Once the wood is clean, you should sand it until it’s smooth before applying teak oil.

Drying Time

The drying times for teak and Danish oils vary depending on the products and their formulations, along with conditions such as temperature and humidity. However, Danish oil usually takes longer to completely dry than teak oil.

Usually, you’ll need to wait between 15 to 30 minutes between coats of teak oil, then wait around eight hours before it’s completely cured. While you can apply a new coat of Danish oil in minutes and technically use oiled furniture or fixtures in four to six hours, it can take weeks before this oil is completely dry. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you give your chosen oil the drying time it needs.

Best Use

As teak oil and Danish oil are versatile oils that can work both indoors and outdoors, the jury’s out on the best applications for each. Some say teak oil’s solid water and ultra-violet protection ratings make it a better option for fences and outdoor furniture than Danish oil. While Danish oil’s finish is more water protective, this layer can wear away and leave outdoor items more exposed. Others prefer Danish oil for outdoor applications, as it doesn’t strip away natural oils as teak oil can. Since Danish oil creates a waterproof layer, it can also help outdoor furniture resist mold.

Most people agree that Danish oil is a better option if you’re treating your indoor furniture, indoor flooring, doors, kitchen countertops, or wooden toys. Since these items stay away from the elements, you’ll enjoy the glossy finish Danish oil provides for longer. As it’s food safe, you also don’t need to worry about people getting sick from indoor spaces and items, such as wooden cutting boards and serving platters, that you treat with Danish oil.

Since Danish oil doesn’t require the extensive preparation of teak oil and can effectively seal wood, you can use Danish oil for a base coat. You then apply a layer or two of teak oil over the top. You can technically use Danish oil over the top of teak oil, as both oils have the same chemical composition. You may like to do this to give your wooden pieces a glossy finish. However, some experts discourage this, as teak oil doesn’t make the best primer.

Contact Teak Master for Expert Wood Restoration

While wood oils can restore wooden furniture and fixtures, they can’t totally turn back the clock and reverse years of aging or neglect. If your furniture, floors, fence, or decking needs more attention, contact Teak Master in El Monte, California. Our refinishing and restoration services can rejuvenate your wood furniture and fixtures to beautify your indoor or outdoor spaces. Contact us online or call us at 888-483-5313 to learn more about our professional wood maintenance services.

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