Coconut Oil to Renew Wood

I got this chair from my father as a hand me down. Well, the true story is he had it in storage and I begged and bothered him for this chair until he dug it out. It’s something I remember from my childhood, and it’s broken and missing cushions, but knowing me, it wasn’t going to stop me from wanting it. The wood on this old teak chair was dry and looked just sad. There were 2 choices I had, I could polyurethane it or find something to renew the wood itself. I came across a blog post about rubbing coconut oil on old dry wood to renew the luster. I thought it was worth a shot. After testing it on the underside and liking what I saw, I went ahead and did the rest of the chair.

chair 1

This is what the chair looked like before, dry and aged.

chair 2

Here’s another shot. Cats love to help. They also love coconut oil.

chair 3

Here’s what it started to look like once I rubbed the oil on the chair. It looks amazing! The downside was that I had to rub and rub and rub to get the oily feeling out of the chair. I wanted that refreshed look without the feel, and went through quite a few paper towels.

chair 4

Here’s the arm of the chair after I finished it.

chair 5

The finished chair! With no cushions, I just draped a blanket over it and added a folded blanket to the seat.

chair 6

This is the arm in the sunlight. The chair looks great next to the table by it (that WILL get refinished this summer.)

chair 7

I think the chair looks great. NOTE: Don’t start using coconut oil on chairs and furniture around your house to freshen them up if you plan on refinishing them. You’ll get the oil into the grain making the color weird or keeping a water based poly from sticking to the furniture. I would only recommend this for pieces like this, natural wood that’s been dried out that you just want to bring back to life. Happy re-finishing!


7 thoughts on “Coconut Oil to Renew Wood

  1. Teak is naturally an oily wood so I hope it holds up . It is a thirsty wood also so more treatments will be necessary. Looks wonderful Roxanne !

  2. I used Coconut oil on African sitting group, the chairs and the table where fetched in Gabon in the early seventies, in a village specalising in making traditional African furniture. The construction is simple but the work is fantastic. Using only knives and axes they sculpt the tree in a wonderful way. These furniture had been standing in a living room in Reykjavik for forty years. That is guaranteeing the driest and and warmest condition available. The wood had turned grayish dull but had kept its shape. The coconut oil gave it a wonderful shiny surface but the wood also darkened a bit.
    I think you are absolutely right when you say it should only be applied to natural wood not processed/painted/varnished.

  3. Thank you for this lesson. I have old chairs in our deer stands and I am using coconut oil and didn’t quiet know what to do. Your pics and tutorial surely helped.

  4. I love your blog! Subscribed and following. We have alot in common, I’m a bargain gal who loves restoring and DIY projects. My husband and I are planning on buying our own farm soon and going completely organic. So great to connect with like minded people!

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