Odie’s Oil Review – Why It’s My Favorite Wood Finish

Have you ever tried finding a wood finish that isn’t packed with toxic chemicals? It’s not an easy task. And not to mention, you have to wear masks and gloves when applying these products. Well, I found a solution that I’m glad to share with you – Odie’s Oil. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a natural alternative that not only gives your wood a beautiful finish but also keeps you and the environment safe.

There is a lot of debate over whether this is a good wood finish or not. There is even debate over whether it can be considered a wood finish at all. There are lots of opinions floating around the internet. I have an opinion too but mine is based on a lot of experience using their products.

Odie's Oil Products

In my experience, once you learn how to properly apply it, the finish is second to none. It’s worth the learning curve required because not only will this learning curve give you a great finish but it will also make you a better woodworker. In the end, you’ll have a great finish and more confidence in the workshop.

If you’ve never used it or are a bit skeptical, keep reading to learn how I use it for products that I sell and why I wouldn’t even consider using anything else.

Disclaimer: I am NOT sponsored by Odie’s Oil and am not compensated in any way. This is an honest review based on my experience using it on my personal and professional woodworking projects.

The Problem With Wood Finishes

When I started selling handmade wooden items, I struggled to find a finishing solution. I wanted something that wasn’t harmful to people or the environment. As someone who builds small wooden items to fill customer orders, a chemical finish would mean that I would be exposed to it all day, every day. This just wasn’t a good idea.

Besides that, the items that I create are memorial boxes and other related items. I couldn’t stand the thought of providing a customer with a box full of stinky chemicals to store precious memories in.

Most any finish you find at your local hardware store contains toxic chemicals that require gloves and masks to apply. It’s not easy finding a non-toxic wood finish, especially one that looks great when applied. This leaves you in quite a predicament and a choice to make. Do you choose the toxic product that finishes with a lustrous sheen? Or do you go with a natural solution that leaves you with a more subdued, natural sheen?

In the past, my favorite type of finish has been a wipe-on polyurethane for smaller projects or a Danish oil for larger projects. While these gave great results, they just weren’t the solution I needed for constant exposure in my small garage workshop.

That’s when I stumbled upon Odie’s Oil.

The Solution – Odie’s Oil

Odie's Oil being used on Cherry wood

Odie’s Oil is made up of a proprietary blend of natural, food-safe oils that penetrate deeply into the wood, leaving a protective, water-resistant finish. Unlike many other wood finishes, there are no toxic chemicals in Odie’s Oil. This means you don’t need to wear a mask or gloves when applying it, making it much safer for regular exposure.

It’s also much safer for the environment, as the natural oils won’t harm the soil or water supply. It’s more than just a mineral oil and is a mixture of various oils and waxes that molecularly bond with the material being applied to. Some might even call it the perfect finish.

It can be used for projects of all types including fine furniture, toys, and even patio furniture. It also beautifies hardwood floors and other high-traffic areas where a protective finish is required. It gives your wooden items an amazing finish that will vary depending on your finishing techniques.

It has a unique honey-like consistency and is very easy to work with. It’s made in small batches to ensure quality.

Besides being a great finish for wood, it can be used on other materials. I use Super Duper Oil for auto detail work. It is great for bringing plastic trim back to life and it contains natural UV inhibitors to help protect it from the sun.

Not only is Odie’s Oil non-toxic and solvent-free, but it’s also food safe, which means you can use it on surfaces that come into contact with food. So, if you have a wooden cutting board or dining table, you can use Odie’s Oil without worrying about any harmful effects.

If all that’s not good enough to win you over, It also smells great and it can be used for interior and exterior applications.

Odie’s Oil in a Real-World Application

As mentioned above, I build and sell small wooden items. These items need to have some kind of protective finish on them that not only protects but also looks good.

Let’s look at some examples of how Odie’s oil looks on some of the woods I use.

American Cherry, Black Walnut, and Red Oak are the main species of wood that I use. I typically sand all of my products to 800-grit, starting with 80-grit and progressing through each necessary grit.

The following is an example of cherry lumber sanded to 800-grit with Odie’s Oil applied. It has a nice sheen and a super smooth feel that photos can’t quite capture. The wood plank in the background is unfinished.

Cherry wood with Odie's Oil on it

10 Reasons I Love Using Odie’s Oil

1. It’s a Food-Safe Finish That Is Non-toxic

If you’re like me, this part matters! I hate the thought of using toxic products that have to be carefully applied and disposed of. It’s bad for our health and the environment. It just makes sense to use a food-safe, non-toxic finish. It’s great for finishing wood floors where children and pets spend a lot of time. It’s also great for kitchen items such as cutting boards, wooden bowls, and utensils.

2. You Can Control the Sheen With Sanding

When sanding wood in preparation for adding a final finish, most conventional finishes recommend around 220-grit. However, with Odie’s Oil, the grit can be much higher. The higher the grit, the more lustrous the sheen will be. I have found this to be true and generally finish my natural wood products to 600 or 800-grit before applying the Universal Oil or other Odie’s products.

3. It’s Easy to Apply and Only Requires One Coat for Protection

Odie’s Oil is so simple to use! It can be applied with applicator pads and then wipes off easily with cotton terry cloths. It’s virtually foolproof as long as your wood is sanded and cleaned properly before applying. It does require a little elbow grease to work it into the wood but you’ll see that it’s well worth the effort once you buff it out.

4. A Little Odie’s Oil Goes a Long Way

A small amount of Odie’s Oil covers a large surface area. Coverage will vary depending on the size of your project and the type of wood you are using. Wood density and porosity will determine the amount you’ll need to use. Hardwoods will require less product than softer woods since soft woods will soak it up more.

5. It Dries Quickly and Does Not Leave Behind Any Sticky Residue

For my use, I have found that it only takes about 24 hours for it to be stable enough to use. It may take a few weeks to fully cure but all finishes have a curing time. Once dried and cured, it looks great and feels smooth to the touch without a greasy or sticky residue.

6. It Is Water Resistant and Will Not Fade or Discolor Over Time

With the exception of their dark products, Odie’s products provide a water-resistant finish that helps protect your wood from water spills or condensation rings. It can be used outside in the most extreme environments while still providing protection for many years.

7. It Provides a Long-Lasting, Durable Finish That Looks Great!

This oil is not a film-forming finish like lacquer or polyurethane. It penetrates deeply into the wood, providing protection from both water and everyday wear and tear. The sheen will last for many years with minimal maintenance required. Even when maintenance is needed, it’s easy to sand and re-apply the finish.

8. It’s More Than Just a Wood Finish

I use many of their products on my wood projects but that’s not all I use it for. I have used them on other types of materials such as slate, plastic, and rubber. You can see the difference below in the slate coasters. The one on the left is finished with Odie’s Universal finish and you can see how well it brings out the beauty of the natural rock.

Slate coasters

9. It Can Be Used as a Wood Stain

Need a non-toxic stain for your project? Look no further than Odie’s oil combined with their pigment colors. You don’t even have to use their pigments. You just need to add oil-compatible pigments to any of their finishing products to achieve nearly any color you can imagine. It’s not quite the same as a stain but with practice and experience, you can certainly use it to take the place of other harmful stain products on the market.

Color pigments

10. It Smells Great

How often do you find that wood finishes have a pleasant aroma? More often than not, they leave a chemical smell behind. With Odie’s Oil, you don’t have to worry about that as it has a pleasant, natural scent instead. It is reminiscent of orange oil and it won’t stink up your work space.

What About the Bad?

With all this good stuff about the finish, there has to be something bad, right? Well, not really. The biggest downside is that it does require some extra work and effort to prepare the wood for application, as you need to sand with a very high grit paper, or else the finish won’t look its best. However, once prepared, the finish goes on quickly and easily with minimal effort and yields amazing results.

Other issues that people might have an issue with include the following:


Some might gawk at the initial sticker shock when looking to purchase any of Odie’s products. It may seem expensive but you have to realize how much you can do with a small jar of any of their products. You only need to use a small amount and they claim that it goes 10 times further than conventional finishes. After using it for a while now, I know this to be true.

It Requires More Woodworking & Finishing Knowledge

Before I was introduced to Odie’s products, I used standard finishing products like most others. The fact is, using products like polyurethanes, varnishes, and lacquers can cover up lots of mistakes. Your piece doesn’t need to be perfect before applying these finishes, as they have a bit of forgiveness built into them. Since the layers build up, you can sand in between and hide imperfections along the way.

With Odie’s oil, you’ll need to take more time to ensure your workpiece is ready for the finish. You won’t be able to hide imperfections as well with a natural oil-based product like this. However, I see this as a good thing. It pushes you to become better and go above and beyond what others might do.

It Takes Time to Cure

The cure time can be a bit slower than conventional finishes. This slow curing process can be a drawback for individuals who are seeking quicker results or have time constraints. The unique composition of Odie’s Oil, which includes natural oils and waxes, necessitates a longer drying time to allow for deep penetration and optimal protection. While this extended curing period ensures a robust and long-lasting finish, those seeking a faster solution may want to explore alternative options better suited to their time frame.

Bottom Line

In summary, Odie’s Oil is a natural and safe alternative wood finish that provides beauty, safety, and durability. It’s non-toxic, food safe, easy to apply, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly. It may take some time to learn how to properly apply it, but the effort is well worth it.

Woodworkers, wood turners, makers of fine furniture, pyrography artists, and many others will be able to find lots of use from Odie’s Oil.

With Odie’s Oil, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re using a product that’s safe for you, your family, and the environment, while also enhancing the natural beauty of your wooden, and other objects.