How To: Avoid using synthetic furniture oils

I was watching something on television recently (I can’t remember the program) where a crew of people were helping families to “green up” their lives. Besides the usual remedies, something caught my interest: an alternative for synthetic furniture oil.

The thing is, I have this rad teak coffee table from the 1960s that I inherited from my older brother, who inherited it from our parents, who themselves inherited it from my grandparents:

As you can see on the left, it hasn’t been oiled in quite some time. I’ve always been hesitant using harsh oils of stains without a lacquer, and I definitely didn’t want to lacquer the table, so I was left standing there with my paintbrush in my hand – what to do? Well, not only is it a healthy alternative to butter, but olive oil can, apparently, oil wooden furniture (right side). After applying a few small dabs of oil into a paper towel, I rubbed the oil into the tabletop for about 5 minutes. The wood looks much better now, and its almost wind-weathered top now glistens with the deep shade of brown I remembered it once having.

Note: Although it looks like the water stains and imperfections from the last 40 years are more apparent after the oiling, I think its an artifact of my camera; in person, it looks pretty boss.

Note 2: I added a second coat – looks even better, and no – it doesn’t smell.

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: