How to Polish Wood


Wood has a sort of almost magical quality due to how it can seemingly take on many different forms. It can be sleek, rustic, elegant and there’s a huge variety of wood types to choose from. Wood is simply fantastic. Wood also gets scuffed up and dirty as everything does, so it’s important to keep it polished and clean. Wood polish keeps your wooden items safe from scrapes and makes it looks shiny and new (or at least better than before you’d polished it). Polish doesn’t last as long as wood wax does, but applying it is a much simpler job.

So How Do You Polish Wood?

If you’re looking to simply restore shine to raw wood, then you can always polish it up with some boiled linseed oil. To accomplish this, all you need to do this is:

  • Some cloth
  • Boiled linseed oil
  • Your hands

Pour and dampen the cloth with the oil and wipe it onto the surface of the wood. After you’ve done that, just let it soak for a bit and wipe it with a dry cloth. Once you’ve done this, pour and rub some of the linseed oil into your palm and start applying it on an area of the wood that’s about 3-inches wide. Do this until your arm gets tired and then set the wood aside for the day. Come back and keep repeating this process once a week for up to six months. Be sure to focus on different areas of the wood every time you do this and you’ll be sure to get a deep, polished look when you’re done.

How to Clean and Polish Bare Wood

We’re going to be focusing on bare wood here, as well, so the first thing we should get out of the way is that you’re probably going to have to clean it. If this is the case, then you should know that any cleaners that are specifically made for woods that are sealed or finished are a definite no. They’ll just cause the wood grain to raise. To get the wood all clean and polished, you’re going to need some soft and dry cloths, a vacuum, a rubber sponge, kerosene (or mineral spirits) and vegetable oil.

The first thing that you’ll want to do is dust the wood with your cloth and then vacuum it. It isn’t necessary, but a vacuum attachment can make the job a bit easier. If you’re looking to really get built-up grime off, then this is where the rubber sponge comes in. It’ll allow you to scrub at the wood more effectively than with just the cloth.

Now is where we get to the actual cleaning. For this part, you’ll want to thoroughly wet a cloth with the mineral spirits – or kerosene, whichever you prefer – and make sure that you wring out any excess any extra liquid. Start in a small, preferably hidden, area first and if you’re satisfied with how it turns out, scrub at the wood with the cloth. If the cloth gets dirty, move to a clean part of the cloth and if you need another cloth, feel free to replace the used one. After you’ve gotten all of the dirt off, you can then wipe it down with the vegetable oil to make it shine again.

With this, hopefully, you’ve got some helpful tips on how to polish and clean any raw wood pieces that you have. If you’ve got any other kind of tips and techniques that you prefer to use, then let us know in the comments below! Help us spread some knowledge around!

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