Wood Finish Marketing Myths

Wood finishes serve a variety of useful purposes (such as protection), but no finish supplies useful nutrients to the wood.

Q:

The makers of a lot of wood finishing products describe how they “nourish the wood” or “replace natural oils.” Are these accurate statements or hokum?
—Joe Brickner, Lima, Ohio

A:

As much as we woodworkers like to romanticize wood’s mysterious qualities, Joe, the plain fact is that wood is composed of dead cells and a small percentage of water. Only a few types of wood species have more than a trace of natural oil in them. For this reason it’s not possible to replace oil when the wood didn’t have it in the first place. And even woods that have natural oils don’t require special feeding or oil changes any more than dried flowers need fertilizer.

Send your woodworking questions to askwood@woodmagazine.com

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