Finish for oak desk

I’m using 28mm oak furniture board to make a desk top.
I need to give it a durable working finish, but want to keep it as natural
and light in colour as possible, so no polyurethane gloss!


An oil finish will be durable and have a natural sheen rather than a high gloss. Consider Chestnut Hard Wax Oil or Osmo Oil.

Will this give the lightest colouring possible?


The Chestnut brand Acrylic finishes are the clearest / neutral / lightest finishes I have found and are easy to use.
Try Chestnut Acrylic Sanding Sealer and Acrylic Lacquer.
I also use tung oil and Osmo oil for projects and they always warm up the colour of the wood which is what you are trying to avoid I think?

Osmo do a Clear Polyx in a matt, Satin or Gloss. I haven’t used the gloss but have used the others on oak and it hardly changes the tone at all. Of course it depends if you put a sanding sealer underneath and what tone that gives.

I find a couple of coats of Osmo oil give a very durable finish without distracting from the look of the timber. I apply a thin first coat and then wipe off any excess after about 15 to 20 minutes. Leave at least 24 hours before a light denib with 600 wet and dry followed by a further light coat and again wiping off any excess.

Jules, is that the same Osmo oil as Badger mentioned, do I need a sanding sealer?
Their range is confusing, is there a product number?


Consider using Rubio Monocoat
It does only need one coat
It is not gloss
Has worn well on our kitchen table
If an area gets damaged I have found that sanding/scraping then re-coating, you can’t tell the difference between the repaired and the original

Take a look at the Chestnut products website - - where you will find a huge number of past weekly newsletters which cover customer questions. You could also email Terry Smart at Chestnut with your question and I am sure he will reply in person with his advise. Hope you find it useful, Steve.