Osmo oil hit the British market around 20 years ago and since then it seems to have taken over!! It is everywhere!! In this review I’m going to talk about the Osmo products I’m most familiar with and give you my honest opinion based on my experience as a Professional Decorator. As well as giving you my Osmo oil review, I want to talk about the best place to buy Osmo oil. I hope you find it useful.
One thing you need to remember when using Osmo oil is it doesn’t work too well over previously sealed timber. You can use it on bare timber, or you can use it over the top of itself. Avoid using it over anything that already has stain or varnish on it.
Osmo Polyx-Oil Review
Osmo Polyx-oil is for interior use. It is available to buy in satin or matt finish. You can pick it up in clear or even anti-slip. Recoat time is around 16-hours which is the same as most oil-based products.
My preference is the satin over the matt, as I think it gives you the most dramatic impact. The best thing about any Osmo oil is how rich it makes your timber look!! Osmo brings out the grain like no other product I have used in my professional career, except maybe Fiddes Hard Wax Oil. Even when using tinted Osmo oil you loose nothing in the way of character and charm from the wood.
You need to work and manipulate the first coat of Osmo oil into your timber. The second coat flies on. A clear satin has the same effect as putting “wet look” gel into your hair, but for timber. You’ll understand what I mean by that when you get cracking. Clear satin is probably my favorite to use. Click here to see online prices.
Using Osmo Oil on Veneered Doors –
It may sound like I’m getting carried away, but I genuinely have a passion for woodcare products. It’s art and the results really are stunning! A lot of other Decorators I know use Osmo oil on veneered doors, the idea being the oil will not penetrate deeply enough to lift the veneer.
They have a point, and Osmo does work well, however you do need to be careful not to apply too much product or work it too heavily onto your wood. If you do either of those things, there is a chance of lifting that veneer and ruining your door. That being said, it is safer than most other products on veneer and a lot of suppliers recommend it.
Using Osmo Oil on Old Floorboards –
I live in a Victorian seaside town with a lot of old houses. One of the services I offer as a Professional Decorator is the renovation of old floorboards. Now old floorboards were never meant to be on show when installed and they’re often very beaten up. I quite like that though as it just adds to the character. Osmo Polyx-Oil is my product of choice for coating the floorboards up for a few reasons. The rich, deep, subtle finish has the perfect affect to suit any older house or farm cottage. The finished product seems to last for years and years.
Osmo UV-Protection Oil Review
I could basically copy and paste the description for Polyx-oil as far as the finish goes. My favorite to use is still the clear satin, however the tints look good too. Osmo looks amazing external cedar but it also suits hardwood such as oak windows and doors.
There is a couple of downsides to choosing Osmo oil on an exterior over other products. The first, you need to give your timber extra coats of oil!! The more protection you can give external timber the better, so bare timber should get at least 3, maybe even 4 coats of Osmo oil. The second is your timber is going to need topping up with Osmo every year or 2 or it won’t last. One plus point is Osmo UV-Protection oil remains microporous, meaning you can apply additional coats further down the line without the need to sand.
Top tip – Although you need additional coats Osmo UV-Protection oil, make them thin. Work your first coat into the timber, give it a quick sand down to get your surface nice and smooth, then just skim over it with a couple more thin coats after that. If too much oil sits on top of the timber it will blister and fail over time. Once this has happened it is hard to restore your timber to its former glory. A great alternative to Osmo UV-Protection Oil is Fiddes HD wood oil.
Osmo Top Oil Review
I use Osmo top oil on kitchen worktops. All you do is prepare your surface, tip a little bit of the product on, then work it into the timber with a lint free cloth. There is a nack, you need to keep a wet edge and you need to be conscious not to apply too much oil. Give it a quick sand after the first coat (use wire wool and go with the grain), then apply again. Another thing you need to be conscious of is dust settling on the worktop before the oil is dry, but that is the same with any product. A worktop will need 3 or 4 coats of oil to be fully protected, then a coat of oil every couple of years.
Osmo Top Oil does look good, but it doesn’t last, or protect your timber very well. For this reason, I tend to look at the alternatives.
Best Place to Buy
Osmo oil is basically everywhere, including most of the main trade centres. I buy mine from the Decorating Centre Online because the products are in one place and they’re all reasonably priced. Click here to see online prices.
Osmo Oil Review – by Mike Gregory
What do Other Decorators Think?
I like using Osmo oil inside, particularly on veneered doors and even floors. I think it brings out the grain of the wood brilliantly. I don’t like the fact you can’t coat a previously sealed surface with it, but other than that I think it’s brilliant.
I don’t like using the top oil on worktops in a kitchen. Even after applying 5 or 6 coats it just doesn’t last!! You need to keep going back to it every year or even less to maintain it. It doesn’t give you enough of a colour change to hide imperfections either, so you’d only ever use it on a new worktop anyway.
I don’t use osmo oil outside for similar reasons. Although it does look awesome, you must apply additional coats and then re-coat it every year. They can’t claim “exterior protection” if the coating itself fails after such a short time, surly?
Osmo oil has it’s place and it is a very popular product. I think people need to understand the limitations of the product though
I absolutely love Osmo Oil and so do my clients!! It brings the grain out in the timber, but still keeps everything looking natural. I know there are a few issues with longevity outside, but as long as you stay on top of the maintenance, Osmo oil is still the best thing to use on softwood. It’s a no brainer for me. There’s a reason Osmo is so popular, it’s because it looks amazing when it’s on!!
I love Osmo Oil for interior work such as veneered doors and stuff like that, but I wouldn’t use it outside. It just doesn’t last, and their customer service is a joke. They can’t even tell you how long a product is going to last. Fiddes HD wood oil is much better.
You can’t use Osmo Oil over previously sealed surfaces either. Plus, it isn’t very good on worktops.
It comes into it’s own on internal trim like oak doors and skirtings. If I was going to write a comparison review on the best products to coat interior oak, then Osmo would be number one!
There is a reason Osmo Oil is so popular, and that is how it looks! It is fantastic on any new timber, and no one can say otherwise. The only issue is the longevity of the product, which is naff!!
Osmo oil is great on interior timber. I can remember the first time I used it years ago; it was an interior designer who specified it for a job. It took some working in, but I couldn’t believe how good it looked. We used loads on a job on different surfaces and different colours.
I went back to the job a couple of years later. The timber we had coated inside the building still looked fantastic, but we also used the Osmo UV on thousands of pounds of exterior cedar, and it had all failed. The wood was ruined! There were water marks all over the place.