How to Prepare a Wooden Surface Before Oiling
Oiling woodwork is for protecting the wood and for enhancing the natural grain of the surface. It gives the wooden surfaces a natural sheen and texture and makes the grains stand out. Wood oiling is widely used for a variety of high-end finish applications, such as maintenance of countertops, oiling furniture, refinishing kitchen countertops and recoating old surfaces.
Before, in-between and after the oiling, you need to ensure that the wood has been properly sanded. Mirka offers a wide range of sanding solutions to prepare the wood before oiling.
- Prior to oiling, the wood is sanded with correct grit, which results in an excellent finish.
- The special structure of the abrasives ensures a long lifetime together with safer sanding.
The process of wood oiling
How to Prepare the Surface
Sand the wooden surface with either Mirka Abranet ® or Mirka® Galaxy abrasives up to P150 with a Mirka ® DEROS or Mirka ® LEROS-S electric sander.
Abranet features a net structure instead of the conventional paper backing. This results in extremely efficient on-tool dust removal that improves both the work quality and the working environment. Most oiled surfaces are hardwood, and exposure to hardwood dust is hazardous for your health. By using a dust-free sanding solution such as Abranet, you can reduce exposure to harmful sanding dust. The benefits of dust-free sanding aren’t just improved health and reduced risks, but also a better surface finish.
Note: We recommend using Abranet on untreated wood surfaces. There is a risk of clogging if it is used on already oiled wood. Since Abranet is a net product, we, therefore recommend it to be used in case the wooden surface doesn’t have cutouts and sharp corners.
Galaxy combines effectiveness with long life, thanks to a new self-sharpening ceramic grain and a clogging resistant coating. The ceramic grains of Galaxy are engineered to stay sharp, as new abrasive edges are formed when they break down during the sanding process, enabling Galaxy to continue cutting – from edge to edge.
The edge wear resistance of Galaxy is perfect for challenging wooden surfaces in terms of cutouts and sharp corners. We recommend using Galaxy if the wooden surface is already oiled and the purpose is maintaining the surface.
Overall, it is important not to sand with too fine grits, because this closes fibers in the wood which results in the oil or wax not penetrating into the surface. We recommend using P120-150 grit for surfaces such as flooring and P150-180 grit for finer surfaces such as furniture, depending on guidance from the oil manufacturer.
Please always follow the oil or wax manufacturer’s recommendations.
Step by Step to High-End Result
1/3 - Step 1
Apply oil (instead of using a brush)
- The oil or wax can be applied directly onto the wooden surface instead of using a brush. Mirlon Total® is a cost-effective abrasive, as it is two-sided, and it is perfect for wood oiling as it does not absorb the wax. By using Mirlon Total VF as either hand sanding or together with Mirka® DEROS or Mirka® LEROS-S sander, it will result in a more even spread of the wax or the oil which will penetrate deeper into the wooden surface. The net interface is used to avoid fibers leaving in the backing pad.
- Apply 1-4 layers of coating depending on the quality you would like to achieve. Several steps give you a finer result. We recommend you follow the instructions defined by the oil manufacturer.
- Depending on which oil manufacturer is used:
- Alternative 1: Apply oil or wax with Mirlon Total VF 360 with a Mirka® Net interface on Mirka® DEROS or LEROS-S sander depending on the size of the surface.
- Alternative 2: Apply with Mirlon Total VF 360 strips as hand sanding.
- Process properly over the whole surface, do not let the surface dry.
- Clean the surface with a cloth.
- Apply more coating (if the manufacturer recommends).
2/3 - Step 2
Intermediate sanding or recoating old surfaces
- When the coating has absorbed, sand with one of the following:
- Mirlon Total® is a more flexible and adaptable abrasive, following the contours of the surface. It is a cost-effective, two-sided abrasive. Mirlon Total is ideal for matting surfaces and creates an excellent base for the next lacquer layer.
- Mirka® Galaxy is perfect for challenging wooden surfaces with a lot of dust and other types of waste because of its self-sharpening ceramic grain and a clogging resistant coating. The self-sharpening ceramic grains of Galaxy are engineered to stay sharp, as new abrasive edges are formed when they break down during the sanding process, enabling Galaxy to continue cutting.
- Alternative 1: Sand with Mirlon Total VF 360. Mirlon VF 360 can be used either as hand sanding or with a DEROS or LEROS-S and a Mirka® Net interface
- Alternative 2: Sand with Galaxy (or Abranet) P400 or P500 using a DEROS or LEROS-S sander
- Apply a new layer of coating.
- Repeat these steps as many times as needed.
3/3 - Step 3
- After the final layer has dried:
- Alternative 1: Sand with Mirlon Total XF 800 or Mirlon UF 1500 with a DEROS or LEROS-S sander using a Mirka® Net interface.
- Alternative 2: Hand sand with Mirlon Total XF 800 or Mirlon UF 1500 strips.
- If you are hand sanding, remember to sand in the direction of the grain!
- Apply a thin layer of coating with a cloth if needed.
Maintaining the wooden surface
For the wood oiling process, we recommend Mirlon Total®, which is a three-dimensional Total Coating™ fiber sanding material that is easy to use on profiled surfaces and produces a dense scratch pattern and rapid result. Mirlon Total features an open and flexible structure with strengthened fibers, which make it strong and long-lasting. Suitable for both wet and dry sanding, Mirlon Total® is ideal for matting surfaces, creating an excellent base for the next lacquer layer.
The wood oiling process is mainly about the quality of the finished surface, with better sanding finish improving durability. Done properly from the start, maintenance of your wood surface is time-saving.
Sustainable Woodwork Maintenance
For the perfect high-end finish, we recommend using the following Mirka products:
- Mirka ® DEROS (150mm, 125mm or 77mm depending on the size of the surface)
- Mirka ® LEROS-S (for larger surfaces)
- Hand block
- Dust extractor
- Mirka Abranet ® or Mirka® Galaxy
- Mirka Mirlon Total®
- Microfiber cloth
- Net interface
Recommended Abrasives and Accessories
Why Choose Mirka?
Save time and money – You can cut costs and reduce working hours
Why Choose Mirka?
Sand and polish safely without strain – Our tools and abrasives are ergonomic, efficient, and easy to use
Why Choose Mirka?
Improve the quality of work – The finish is excellent, with less effort
Kauhavan Puutyö, Finland
Mirka's Dust-Free Solutions
Kauhavan Puutyö has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing and reconstructing workbenches, serving a diverse set of clients. Thanks to Mirka's dust-free solutions they can work more efficiently with better results.
"52 hours saved yearly thanks to Mirka's solutions. More time to create something new."