Eucalyptus is an excellent choice for outdoor furniture, especially when you need something that won’t warp with the weather. However, just like other wood types, it is not indestructible. Prolonged exposure to the elements can affect its durability.
Besides regular cleaning, one of the best ways to extend the lifespan of eucalyptus wood furniture is by oiling it. Oiling helps to create a protective seal on the wood surface and enhances its natural beauty and feel.
This article will examine the top 5 best oil for eucalyptus outdoor furniture that currently exists in the market. These include products from linseed oil, Danish oil, tung oil, and teak oil.
Before we delve into the meat of the review, let’s look at some of the ways you can preserve eucalyptus wood.
Just like your other patio investments, eucalyptus wood needs to be treated right if you want it to last. Follow the tips below to care for eucalyptus outdoor furniture properly.
Avoid Direct Sun Exposure
Even though eucalyptus wood holds up well against weather elements, keeping it away from direct sunlight will make it last longer. The internal oil from the wood does not provide tone resistance to the sun’s UV rays. Keeping the furniture under a pergola, shade, or an area that doesn’t get much sunlight is a great way to ensure it stays for longer.
Wipe Off Spills Quickly
Whenever the wood gets wet from rain or beverage spills, wipe it down using a piece of cloth. For food and animal droppings, you can dampen the cloth with water. Allow the affected area to dry well before using the furniture again.
To keep eucalyptus clean and happy, you need to wash it regularly. Usually, plain water is enough, but you can also use soap for more thorough cleaning of the furniture if it’s dirty.
First, remove dirt and grime by washing with water. Then scrub gently with a bristle brush to remove the dirt or stain. Next, rinse the furniture and then wash again with soapy water using a sponge. Rinse and dry.
This can be done weekly or bi-weekly, depending on how much you use the furniture
Use a Quality Cover
If you can’t position the furniture under a shade or move them indoors for storage, the next best thing is to cover it when it’s not in use.
Look for a cover that is waterproof and offers UV resistance. Most outdoor furniture covers are products of synthetic materials. They often feature fasteners and straps.
Only use covers when it’s necessary, as prolonged use can encourage mold buildup.
Use Rubber Caps
Like other wood types, eucalyptus wood can rot. In most cases, the furniture legs are the most vulnerable ones.
Once the chair or table starts to rot from the bottom, it builds up to other areas. This is why it’s recommended to protect the legs, and one of the best ways to do this is to fix rubber caps at the bottom.
Apply Oil or Sealer
When eucalyptus is used outdoors, it is recommended to treat it with a sealer or penetrating oil. This helps to resist the elements and maintain the natural beauty of the wood.
We recommend doing this at least once a year to prolong the lifespan of the wood and keep it looking fresh.
What factors to consider when buying oil for eucalyptus outdoor furniture?
To ensure you find the best wood for your eucalyptus furniture, here are the key things to look for.
Type of Oil
Just like wood, oil finishes come in various types. The ones commonly used for eucalyptus furniture are discussed below:
Linseed oil is typically featured in sealants but can be very effective when it’s used directly. It is commonly used for indoor furniture but can also work outdoors under the right conditions and blend.
Raw linseed oil usually takes a long time to dry, so the boiled formula is often preferred because it dries faster.
For optimal protection, you may need to apply 4-5 coats of oil. With each coat, you will notice that the wood gets a little darker
Tung oil penetrates deep into wood to form a protective layer on the wood surface. This layer is resistant to chemicals and water.
It takes a longer time to dry than linseed oil but is usually more water-resistant.
Danish oil, a popular option for treating outdoor wood contains solvents and drying agents. It is commonly made by combining tung oil, linseed oil, lemon, and other substances.
It penetrates the wood to provide optimal protection from UV rays, water, and chemicals. It also dries faster than the other oils.
Before deciding on any oil product, check to see how resistive it is.
Ideally, the oil should offer protection from the water and heat (sunlight). In addition, it should have resistance against chemicals and solvents. Typical examples are alcohol, alkaline cleaners, and oil from acidic foods.
Choosing anything less would mean compromising on the durability of your outdoor furniture.
Wood finishes like wax, lacquer, and shellac are not usually waterproof enough for prolonged exterior use. They also get scratched easily.
Penetrating oils like tung oil, Danish oil, and teak oil usually offer the most protection for eucalyptus wood furniture. Whichever oil you opt for, it’s still recommended to check the type of resistance offered by the particular product.
The shell life of a wood oil refers to how long it can stay potent after being opened.
Some products may have a shell life of only months, which means you have to use them within that time frame. After that time, the oil may no longer be effective.
Since most eucalyptus furniture are treated annually, you might want to get a product that you can use over and over again for years. In this case, you need something with higher shell life, preferably 2-5 years.
Note: Proper storage is required to ensure the oil fulfills its shell life. Also, prevent air from getting into the container by keeping it closed.
In addition to performance, it’s also important to choose a wood oil that is safe to use. This is essential to keep you out of harm’s way.
Toxicity depends on the composition of the oil. Some oils with solvents may not be safe for consumption and shouldn’t be used on surfaces that come in direct contact with food.
In the same manner, some products may contain combustible materials. A good example is boiled linseed oil. For such oils, it’s important to wash and dispose of the applicators properly.
Even for oils that are safe to work with (especially the ones listed here), we still recommend you wear gloves and a respirator if the smell is strong.
Can you stain eucalyptus outdoor furniture?
Yes, you can, but that would be difficult (if not impossible) to achieve with a traditional wood stain.
This is because eucalyptus wood is quite dense due to its high level of resin. This resin makes it very hard for the stain to seep into the wood. Even if you succeeded in staining the wood, it would create a blotchy and uneven finish.
So the best advice, as far as eucalyptus wood is concerned, is to bypass wood stain and go for an oil treatment instead.
Best oil for eucalyptus outdoor furniture
Here’s a review of our top picks for the best eucalyptus wood oil.
Pure tung oil is often the preferred choice when looking to obtain the best natural-looking wood finish. This is why Hope’s Waterproof Pure Tung Oil gets our vote as one of the best wood enhancers and preservatives out there.
As the name suggests, the product is 100 percent pure tung oil. It doesn’t contain additives or solvents. It penetrates deeply in wood to provide a water-resistant, natural-looking, warm finish.
The oil works for all fine wood, including teak and eucalyptus. It is suitable for outdoor furniture, floors, decks, and other non-slip surfaces. It is often preferred to other options like shellac and linseed due to its longevity and resistive properties.
You can apply the oil using a clean brush or lint-free cloth (an old cotton t-shirt or sheet is a good example). We recommend using several thin coats to get a more even finish with a better sheen and protection.
Once you apply the first coat, give it 20-30 minutes to soak in, then wipe off any leftovers with a lint-free cloth. Let it cure for a day before applying the next coat. You can apply up to six coats depending on the level of shine and shade you wish to achieve.
The oil produces a clear natural finish but slightly darkens the wood, which helps in protecting it from the elements. The best way to describe it is a nice matte finish.
Some people prefer to add a “diluent” to the oil for faster penetration, but this is not necessary and can ruin the project if you use the wrong product. You can achieve the same result or even better by using light coats and warm-drying in the sun.
If you do decide to dilute the oil, you can opt for turpentine or white spirit and reduce the amount you use in each (subsequent) coat. Again, allow it to dry for 24 hours.
Interestingly, the oil is FDA approved, so it’s safe to use on cutting boards, wooden utensils, and other wooden surfaces that can get in contact with food.
- No added chemicals, varnishes, or additives
- Produces a beautiful, natural finish
- Resistant to moisture, oil, and alcohol
- Only needs to be applied once a year
- Non-toxic and FDA approved
- Versatile (can be used on any wood)
- Has a strong smell (goes away after a day or two)
The Boiled Linseed Oil from Furniture Clinic is a perfect example of what it means to have “cheap” and “good” in one product. It’s not every time you get so lucky!
The oil is a great protectant or seal for most wood types and acts by forming a tough finish over the wood surface.
If you’re looking for a product that adds color to wood, then this is not the ideal option. This oil only protects and gives shine and can be used to remove spots resulting from liquid spills like alcohol; it doesn’t add color.
You can use it on an existing finish or as a fortifying base for sealers. It can be applied to any type of wood (except oak) and other materials such as terracotta and concrete.
Some of the common use cases include outdoor furniture such as tabletops, musical instruments, and sports equipment like cricket bats.
It is also safe for food preparation surfaces.
Another major highlight of the oil is that it dries very fast, forming an attractive, slightly gloss finish on the wood surface. This makes it an excellent choice for restoring dry, old wood and protecting it from cracks.
Specifically, you are expected to wait for 12-18 hours for the oil to dry completely, but we recommend 24 hours, especially if you plan to paint something over it. And be sure to follow the instructions provided.
The oil is made in the US and comes with a seal from Good Housekeeping Institute, which says a lot about its quality.
- Suitable for all wood types
- Sealed by Good Housekeeping Institute
- Easy to apply
- Mild odor
- Forms a nice sheen
- A little goes a long way
- Highly flammable (wash and dispose of applicator rags properly).
Danish oil is one of the strongest choices for eucalyptus wood, and the Watco 65551 tops the list of the best Danish oil finish in the market. It is arguably the best oil for eucalyptus outdoor furniture.
Not only does it offer the best polishing experience, but it also produces a smooth, warm glow that improves the natural look of the wood.
The formula also contains varnish for deeper penetration and more superior protection. Once applied, it protects the wood against chips, peeling, abrasion, and liquid spills.
The oil is not only limited to eucalyptus but also works for other wood types, including oak, maple, and teak. However, it’s best used on raw wood. It doesn’t penetrate deeply on sealed wood and might leave behind an uneven finish.
Another thing we like about the product is that it’s hard to mess up. Unlike other oils (such as tung oil), it doesn’t create a gummy mess in between coats, even if it takes a long time. It dries within 8 hours and forms a subtle gloss, low build finish.
Most times, it takes around 2-3 coats to achieve the desired effect. Although not required, you can apply polyurethane or sealant as a finish coat to make it more waterproof.
Unfortunately, there’s no indication on the product on whether it’s food safe or not. So, we don’t recommend applying it on food preparation surfaces. Perhaps, it contains “petroleum distillates,” which can be harmful if swallowed.
Also, the shell life of the product is not stated, but we’ve seen people use it after four years and still got amazing results. So it’s definitely meant for the keep.
- Super easy to apply
- Creates a smooth, even, low gloss finish
- Long shell life
- Dries very quickly
- Doesn’t smell strong
The LinSheen Boiled Linseed Oil is a great choice when you need a faster-drying oil finish that penetrates wood deeply.
Like the other products we’ve mentioned, it helps to enhance the natural texture and color of the wood grain while creating a water-resistant seal.
It is commonly used to safeguard untreated wood or to restore weathered surfaces. This includes but is not limited to patio furniture, flooring, decks, and sports equipment.
Besides wood, you can also use the oil on other surfaces, such as cork, terracotta, and metal, to provide a natural layer of protection.
Unlike the raw oil, boiled linseed oil contains solvents that help to speed up the drying process. You won’t have to wait for 24 hours before your furniture is ready.
Another thing we like about the oil is that it’s easy to apply. You can apply it with a paintbrush, roller, or cloth.
Make sure you clean the wood surface first before applying the oil.
You might want to wear your gloves, but even if you don’t, the oil is easy to wash off from your hands.
Once you apply the first coat, allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes, then wipe off excess oil to prevent buildup. Wait for 12-24 hours before applying another coat. It might take two or three coats to achieve the desired result.
You can reapply the oil every six months when it dries out, though this depends on the weather in your area.
There’s no specific information about the shell life, but from experience, we recommend using the product within three years after opening it.
- Leaves behind a nice glossy finish
- Repels water
- Prevents oxidation from sunlight
- Long shell life
- Fast drying time
- Suitable for different materials
The Sunnyside Boiled Linseed Oil is an excellent solution for treating plain wood or strengthening existing finishes. In other words, it can be used to condition dry wood (as well as antiques and furniture) or to fortify oil-based coatings or paints.
When applied to the wood surface, it exposes the grain finish without altering the natural color of the wood.
However, besides enhancing the natural texture of wood, the oil also seals the wood surface completely. This helps to prevent cracks, nicks, watermarks, and other damages that are inflicted by outdoor conditions.
As the name suggests, this is boiled linseed oil, not the raw product. So, it has a faster drying time. Specifically, it takes around 12-18 hours for the oil to dry completely, and when it does, it produces a smooth, uniform finish that repels water.
For optimum results, ensure drying is complete, or else there’s a chance the product will streak.
The oil can be used on both indoor and outdoor wood surfaces to provide natural protection against wear, moisture, and harsh weather conditions. Thus using this on your eucalyptus furniture will significantly increase the lifespan.
Interestingly, the product is not only limited to wood. You can also apply it on metal tools to prevent rust. It’s worth noting that, like any other linseed product, this oil should be used with caution.
Choose a ventilated place to work and promptly dispose of all application rags you use. This is important to prevent any fire outbursts. More importantly, follow all the instructions and precautions on the product label.
Also, while the oil is safe for general use, it’s not recommended for anything used for food preparation.
Overall, if you want to create a quality finish on eucalyptus wood, then the Sunnyside Boiled Linseed Oil is recommended.
Perfect for reviving weathered wood
Can be used as a base for sealant
Protects wood from Nick and watermarks
Accentuates the natural beauty of the wood grain
Suitable for both interior and exterior furniture
Prevents moisture buildup and chalking
Not safe for food-based products
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does eucalyptus patio furniture last?
With proper maintenance, eucalyptus wood furniture can last up to 25 years, which makes it a great alternative to teak, given its lower price.
How often should you oil eucalyptus outdoor furniture?
This depends on the type of oil you’re using. However, it’s generally recommended to oil eucalyptus wood at least twice a year to prolong the lifespan of the wood. You may need to do this more often if you live in an area that gets a lot of sun or rain.
Is eucalyptus wood good for outdoor furniture?
Yes, eucalyptus wood is a good choice for outdoor wood. It is resistant to rot and decay and contains natural oil that provides some level of water resistance. However, it will eventually lose its durability after prolonged exposure to the elements. This is why it’s important to oil it.
Can eucalyptus outdoor furniture be left outside?
Yes, you can leave eucalyptus outside. However, just like other wood types, it will eventually fade from all that sunlight. You can always restore it by sanding it down and reapplying oil.
Is eucalyptus wood weather resistant?
It depends. Under normal conditions, eucalyptus is usually weather-resistant. However, in extremely cold conditions, it can crack. This is why we recommend covering or storing it away during winter or colder climates.
Treating eucalyptus wood can significantly increase its useful life. And there’s no better way to do this than with the best oil for eucalyptus outdoor furniture.
The products mentioned here do not only guarantee superior protection for your wood pieces but will also expose their grain quality. For the best results, we recommend applying the oils at least twice a year.