Reclaimed Woodworks in Southern California | Veteran Owned

Old World Oil Finish

Viking Boat

Inspired by a connection to ancient craftsmanship techniques we have developed and perfected our Old World Oil Finish.  Studying the way Vikings prepared vessels for maiden voyages, we learned the principles of a finishing practice that truly changes the nature of the wood and speaks to our dedication to craftsmanship.

The process begins with a true appreciation for the wood.  Not only the type of wood being used in the project, but also the natural beauty of it’s knots, checks, live edges and what some may call imperfections.  We embrace these imperfections and through this process emphasize them to establish the character of the pieces we make.


Reclaimed Wood and Steel Outdoor Dining Table under construction 2

“Reclaimed Wood and Steel Table under construction. This is a long-leaf pine reclaimed from a barn in Wisconsin. The wood is old-growth, meaning that the tree lived in a natural forest where it competed with other trees for water and nutrients over a long period of time. Contrary to the way forests are manufactured today, the wood from this tree is tightly grained, dense and is loaded with character.” |

Transitioning from construction to finishing, we refine the working surfaces to a texture that is completely smooth to the touch yet both physically and visually textured.  This takes much practice and requires a keen eye for detail.  We don’t do sharp corners or mass-produced surfaces that only “look” like real wood.

Once satisfied with the texture of the working surfaces, the process of applying the Old World Oil finish begins.  The traditional method applies one coat an hour for a day, one coat a day for a week, one coat a week for a month and one coat a month for a year. In between each coat, we Drawing upon these principles, we’ve adapted this method to meet modern times. It still takes dedicated craftsmanship, just not as much time. The result of this iterative method transforms the wood, hardening and protecting it.   The durable finish that results is long-lasting and won’t be compromised by everyday use.

The Old World Oil finish looks great on both hardwood and softwood. Specifically, it compliments Reclaimed Wood very well. It does favor a darker tone, so if you are looking for something lighter, please see our Wax Finish, or All Natural Water-Based.