Can You Apply Osmo Oil with a Cloth? Best Application Tips

A professional finish on wooden surfaces with Osmo oil requires proper preparation and high-quality application tools. The first step is to sand the surface with 220-grit sandpaper and wipe dust particles with a tack cloth. The next step is to mix the Osmo oil in the can thoroughly.

Your choice of application tools and techniques is equally important. Read on to discover the best application tools and tips for different surfaces.

Best Application Methods for Osmo Oil Finish

You have several application methods to choose from when coating wooden surfaces with Osmo oil. It is advisable to pick the easiest methods and locally available tools for DIY projects. You can use an easy pad or a piece of cloth, brush, roller, or spray gun.

Let us discuss each application method separately.

1) Cloth Application

If you have been wondering whether a piece of cloth is enough to apply Osmo oil, here is your answer. You can apply Osmo oil with a cloth. However, you need to use a dry, lint-free cloth for a clean finish.

Use light circular motions for this application method and ensure that you work along the wood grains. Apply a thin coat on every section and use a separate dry cloth to remove any excess oil. Clean any surplus oil along the grain as well to avoid ugly streaks.

Most manufacturers recommend 3-4 coats when applying Osmo oil with a cloth. The wooden surface absorbs the first coat fast. Hence, you can apply the second coat after 4 hours. Test a small section to check if the coat is dry before sanding and applying the second coat.

A cloth is probably the cheapest application tool you can get. However, a cloth soaked in Osmo oil is highly flammable when left in the open. Store it in a closed container if you intend to reuse it.

You can reuse the cloth within a few days if you store it well. However, if the cloth is dry or you do not intend to reuse it, allow it to dry completely and dispose of it safely away from any fire source.

2) Floor Brush Application

A high-quality brush is a great alternative to a lint-free cloth. Brush application is a better method for a wide surface. A cloth can cover one tabletop easily. However, several or larger pieces of furniture and floors may require a brush or other application methods.

A floor brush with natural bristles is preferable. You can use an alternative, but ensure that the bristles are soft but firm. Apply the Osmo oil in thin layers while wiping any excesses with a dry cloth.

One or two coats are enough for brush application. The bristles spread the oil well enough to protect the surface for years.

3) Roller Application

You can use a roller on wooden floors instead of a brush. Order a microfiber roller for this project and ensure that the handle is firm. Apply the Osmo oil in the direction of the natural wood grain.

Caution is necessary when using a roller to ensure that you spread the oil evenly on the surface. Two coats of Osmo oil are recommended for a first-time application. One coat is enough for touch-ups or reapplication.

4) Buffing

Buffing is advisable for professionals. If you are experienced in using a buffer machine, ask the supplier if the Osmo oil brand is suitable for buffing after application. Some brands do not give lasting results with this method.

The buffing application is in two steps. Use a wide paint scraper to apply the oil on the surface. You can also use a roller or brush to apply the first coat evenly.

Give the surface 30 to 60 minutes to absorb the first oil coat. The second step is buffing the surface to spread the oil further into the wood. A single-disc buffing machine is recommended. You will also need at least two pads for the machine.

Apply a second coat on the surface and use a white pad to spread it evenly on the surface. Most brands give professional results with two coats, but you can add a third coat if the finish appears too thin.

It is advisable to apply thin layers even when using a buffing machine. The machine will leave streaks if you use too much oil. Turn over the pad on the machine or replace it if you notice streaks on the surface.

5) Spraying

You need a spray gun with a 1.2 to 1.5mm nozzle to apply the oil evenly.  You can also use an HVLP or airless equipment to spray the oil. Slow movements will lead to uneven application or over-application.

Be swift and spray in vertical sections while following the wood grain.

Osmo Oil Application Tips

You can achieve a professional finish with Osmo oil even as a first-timer. Here are some additional tips to consider.

1. Apply Osmo oil on a clean and dry surface

Osmo oil produces the best results on a clean and dry wooden surface. Clean the surface thoroughly and allow it to dry. Sand it slightly and use a dry cloth to wipe off all the dust. Dust particles will show on the finished surface if you skip or rush the cleaning process.

2. Avoid over-application

The application method determines the number of coats you need to get an even finish. For instance, two coats are enough when using a floor brush or roller because they fetch and spread enough oil.

You need 3 to 4 coats when using a cloth or easy pad. Do not exceed the recommended number of coats, especially if you need to buff the surface in between the coats.

3. Apply Osmo oil in thin layers

The easiest way to avoid over-application or uneven surfaces is to apply the oil in thin layers. Aim for thin layers no matter the application method you choose, which brings us to another tip. Choose an application tool that you can easily control to achieve thin layers.

Stick to an easy finish pad or lint-free cloth if you have never used a roller or floor brush. In addition, avoid a buffing machine for DIY projects or first-time projects with Osmo oil. You would rather than take longer but get professional-looking results.

4. Trial apply

Apply the Osmo oil on a small section first before spreading it to the surface. A trial application gives you a chance to test the application tool’s efficiency and strength. You may change the application tool if you do not like the results.

The trial application also helps you to determine the viscosity of the Osmo oil brand, especially when using a new brand. You can determine at this point the amount of oil to fetch to apply thin layers evenly.

5. Sand between coats

The step is optional. An Osmo oil finish does not require much sanding. However, sanding slightly in between coats helps the oil to settle firmly on the surface. Remember that you applying in thin layers. Hence, over-sanding will expose the underlying surface and leave dents.

Use fine-grit sandpaper to even out any noticeable lumps or streaks. Wipe the surface gently with a clean pad or dry cloth before applying the next step. Skip this step if you are using a buffing machine because it evens out the surface better than sandpaper.

6. Allow enough dry time

Give the surface enough time to absorb the first layer. Apply the second coat when the first coat is completely dry and allow the second coat to dry before adding a third coat. Some manufacturers recommend 8-10 hours for each coat to dry.

The dry time may be longer (up to 24 hours) depending on the brand. Remember, the finish will take another 10-14 days to cure. Hence, you cannot rush the finishing process when working with Osmo oil.

7. Work along the wood grain

The tip applies to all application methods. The natural grains are visible on any wooden surface. Apply Osmo oil coats gently while following the wood grain’s direction. Use the same tip when cleaning any excess oil or sanding in between coats.

How to Maintain Wood with Osmo Oil Finish

Osmo oil finish on a wooden surface can last up to 4 years without requiring reapplication. You can keep the glossy finish on all floors and furniture with proper maintenance. Liquids can seep into the wood if you allow them to sit on the floor for long.

Wipe spillages immediately. Another tip is to damp clean the floor and avoid corrosive cleaners or harsh cleaning products. Use mats and floor protectors to protect wooden floors from scratches that furniture and spiked shoes make.


You can apply Osmo oil on a wooden surface with a cloth or finishing pad. Other safe application tools include a natural bristle floor brush, a microfiber roller, and a spray gun. Ensure that the surface is dry and clean before applying Osmo oil. Follow the wood grain and spread the oil in thin layers.

Wipe any excess oil immediately with a dry cloth and allow each coat 8-10 hours to dry before adding a new coat. We recommend 3-4 coats for the best results. Sanding in between coats is not mandatory, but it helps the second and third coats to settle well.