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How to Protect Unfinished Wood Furniture

Karen Waggoner

A piece of unfinished furniture will remain clean and last longer if it is sealed with an product like tung oil. The oil product will not change the color of the wood, but it will enhance gloss or shine, protect surfaces from dirt, pollen, other airborne soils, and help protect from scuffs and scrapes. Oil finishes are generally one-step processes, and may be repeated if the finish is damaged or worn.

Step 1

Clean the surfaces of the furniture of any trace of dust by wiping it with a dry cloth.

Step 2

Clean again by lightly sanding with 150-grit sandpaper to remove marks and rubs.

Step 3

Clean again with a tack cloth or a damp cloth. Allow it to dry if necessary.

Step 4

Pour a small amount of the oil onto a clean, dry rag.

Step 5

Apply the oil with the rag, beginning at the bottom of the piece of furniture, by rubbing the oil into the wood. Be certain to apply the oil to every exposed surface. Some brands of oil will suggest applying it with bare hands.

Step 6

Allow it to dry thoroughly. This may require up to 72 hours.

Step 7

Apply a second coat of oil for improved durability.

Step 8

Add a coat of polyurethane if more protection is desired.