How to Finish Wood With Walnut Oil

Written by c. taylor
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Walnut oil magnifies the beauty of wood furniture and flooring, while adding a protective finish. Unlike many finishes, walnut oil is all natural, which means it does not possess any toxic chemicals, although there is still a danger of nut allergies if food comes into contact with a walnut finish. Walnut oil finishes "in" the wood, rather than "on" the wood, like varnish, which means walnut oil does not form a layer on the wood. This prevents the finish from being chipped off and allows straight reapplication without removal of the previous treatment.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Purchase a 100 per cent walnut oil product if applying to a food preparation area. Some impure solutions may introduce potentially toxic chemicals, but pure walnut oil is non-toxic.

  2. 2

    Apply liberal amounts of walnut oil over the area to be finished. Use a rag for small areas or a roller for large areas.

  3. 3

    Allow the walnut oil to absorb into the wood for approximately 30 minutes.

  4. 4

    Wipe off any remaining walnut oil, using a clean rag along the direction of the grain.

  5. 5

    Repeat the procedure for a second coat, if desired. Walnut oil is non-curing, so one or two coats will be sufficient.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also use a mixture of walnut oil and beeswax for a more protective, all-natural finish.
  • Walnut oil is derived from nuts, which means there is a danger of allergic reactions if used on food preparation surfaces. If you are allergic to nuts, use a mineral oil for any area that comes into contact with food.

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