Wood Oil for Maintenance of Exterior Projects

General Finishes Outdoor Oil is an exterior-rated penetrating oil that is a wood maintenance preservative. It contains UV prohibitors, heat stabilizers & mildew prohibitors. Use Outdoor Oil for all exterior outdoor wood projects, particularly wood furniture. It can be used by itself, over any stain, and on pressure-treated wood. NOTE: Outdoor Oil may not adhere to extremely oily exotic woods. Outdoor Oil is a PFAS-free exterior wood maintenance preservative. As General Finishes strives for a cleaner and healthier environment, all future product development will be free of “Forever Chemicals." 

General Finishes Oil Based Wood Oil Finish Clear can


Step 1: Preparation for Outdoor Oil

All raw wood projects require preparation sanding, and all existing finishes require prep cleaning and sanding. If you skip this critical step, your finish may fail.

Preparation for Raw Wood Decks, Siding, Fences and Furniture

  1. Sand no finer that 120-grit sandpaper when necessary. 
  2. Remove dust.

Preparation for Raw Wood Furniture, Decor & Mailboxes

  1. Sand with 120-grit sandpaper followed by 150-grit. 
  2. Remove dust.

Preparation Projects with a Sealed Surface

  1. General Finishes Outdoor Oil can be used over any existing exterior finish.
  2. Begin by power washing and let dry overnight. 
  3. Remove noticeable residue with 120-grit sandpaper.
  4. Remove dust with a vacuum, compressed air, a tack cloth or a water-dampened rag.  
  5. Let dry completely before applying Outdoor Oil.


Step 2: How To Apply General Finishes Outdoor Oil

NOTE: Outdoor Oil may not adhere to extremely oily exotic woods. Wood must be clean & dry before use. Outdoor Oil is a maintenance product that penetrates into the wood but does not form a film.  Reapply when wear becomes evident. 

General Finishes Outdoor Oil Application Steps

Watch Outdoor Oil Product Overview Video Here

  1. Work in a well-ventilated area. 
  2. Stir thoroughly. Do NOT thin.
  3. Apply 1-2 coats.
    • Hand application: Apply a liberal coat of Outdoor Oil with a cloth, natural bristle brush, staining pad, pad applicator or roller with smooth even strokes. Allow it to penetrate for 1-2 minutes, then wipe off excess with clean cloth. It is important to remove extra oil; any oil buildup that dries on the surface may cause drying problems.
    • Spray application: Strain with medium-mesh filter. Spray wet films at 3-5-mil thickness. HVLP: 1.1mm-1.3mm spray tip, medium air cap. Verify tip sizes with your equipment supplier. See our general guide for spray tip sizes. Keep your gun at a 90° angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large, flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6-8" wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" wide to reduce overspray. Overlap each pass 25% to conceal lines. Wear a full filter respirator (NIOSH/MSHA approved). Visit this FAQ for more information on spraying techniques.
    • Spray on a wet coat and let the oil penetrate for 1-2 minutes. Be sure to wipe off the excess oil with a clean cloth. 
  4. Dry 24-36 hours between coats in ideal conditions, 70°F/20°C; 50% humidity. If in doubt, wait longer. Increase dry time if:
    • Use an inexpensive herbacide sprayer.
    • Applying over an existing sealed finish
    • Thick coats are applied
    • 3+ coats are applied
    • Humidity is over 80%

Cleanup of Oil Based Products

Clean up application materials and hands with mineral spirits or waterless hand cleaner, like Goop or Gojo. 

Take great care when disposing of product-soaked applicators. Application materials, such as brushes and towels, containing oil-based products may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately place all application materials soaked with this product in a sealed, water-filled metal container. Dispose of in accordance with local fire regulations. 

Clean up spills with mineral spirits immediately while wet. If oil-based finishes dry, they are difficult to clean off any surface, clothes or carpet. Carpet may discolor if cleaned with mineral spirits.

Protect your workspace with a tarp, your hands with gloves, and your clothes with an apron.

Storage of Outdoor Oil

Life of Product
General Finishes products do not last forever, even when unopened. They are best used within 1 year of the manufacture date listed on the bottom of the can. The life of the product may be extended with proper care and storage.

Storage Tips
See our video: Tips on Storing Leftover Finishes http://bit.ly/2q8Dn2w.
Oil-based products start to harden and cure when exposed to oxygen. The following best practices will increase the life of your product:

  1. Pry open sealed lids with a paint can opener by hooking under the lid's rolled edge. The use of a screwdriver can disfigure the rim and lid, impairing a complete seal. 
  2. Containers that have been opened must be carefully resealed and kept upright to prevent leakage. Clean the chime of the can thoroughly with a paper towel before closing to create a complete seal. Product in the chime can be minimized by using a pouring lid, such as Fitsall. Avoid wiping used brushes on the lid. Keep container tightly closed and sealed until ready for use. 
  3. Pound the lid in place using a rubber mallet to avoid distorting the chime or lid. Dents in the lid from direct contact with a hammer can impair a complete seal. Alternatively, place a flat piece of wood over can lid and firmly pound shut.
  4. Do not store in unlabeled containers.
  5. Store in moderate temperatures. Avoid temperatures below 50°F/10°C or above 80°F/26°C. Frozen and heat-damaged product cannot be revitalized. Store in well-ventilated and temperature-controlled spaces. Do not store product in an attic, garage, in direct sunlight, or next flame, heat or ignition sources such as a furnace.
  6. Store the can upside down to create a liquid seal, minimizing oxygen exposure from within the can. Decant remaining product from the can before stirring. 
  7. Add Bloxygen To Sealed Product. Bloxygen is an argon gas system that prevents oxygen and moisture from hardening leftover product. Because Bloxygen gas is heavier than air, it sinks to the surface of the leftover finish, creating a barrier between product and air trapped in the container. 
  8. Decant leftovers to a smaller container when the finish is almost used up to reduce the volume of oxygen in the container. 

Outdoor Oil is a Combustible Product


Warnings and Warranties

Outdoor Oil Warnings and Warranties

Limited Warranty
General Finishes products must be tested to your complete satisfaction before using. General Finishes will not be responsible for color satisfaction, misapplication, nor compatibility with other manufacturers' products. General Finishes will be responsible only for the cost of our products, and not for costs such as labor, damage or project replacement.

Contamination and Compatibility
Our finishes are engineered as a system and are compatible with each other. General Finishes cannot guarantee an ideal refinish when applying our products on top of or combined with another company's products or over surfaces that have been in contact with waxes, polishes or sprays containing contaminants such as silicone. Test for adherence and aesthetics before beginning.

FIRST AID: Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms occur due to the following. EYE CONTACT: Remove any contact lenses. Flush eyes with water for 20+ minutes while lifting upper and lower eyelids.^SKIN CONTACT:^Wash thoroughly after handling. INHALATION: Move to fresh air. Loosen tight clothing. If not breathing, if breathing is irregular, or if respiratory arrest occurs, trained personnel should provide artificial respiration or oxygen. INGESTION: Call physician immediately. Wash out mouth with water. Do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.

Prop 65 WARNING: This product can expose you to Benzene, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. This product can expose you to chemicals including Ethylbenzene, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer, and Toluene, which is known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.


DANGER: Can enter lungs and cause damage.
DANGER: Keep out of reach of children. Keep away from heat and flame. Use only with adequate ventilation. Do not breathe vapor or mist. Do not swallow. Avoid contact with eyes. Keep container tightly closed when not in use. Wash thoroughly after handling.


Basic Features
Product Colors Clear - Dries with an amber tone.
Base Type Oil
Ambering Yes
Interior or Exterior Exterior
Type Alkyd
Coats 1 - 2 coats
Application Method Wipe On with Clean Rag
Brushable Yes
Usable over existing finishes Yes
Sprayable Yes
Spray Tip Sizes HVLP 1.1mm-1.3mm
Dry Time
Dry Time - Touch 24+ hr
Dry Time - Recoat 36+ hr
Can Sizes Quarts, Gallons, 5 Gallon pails
Coverage 60-90 sq.ft./quart, 240-360 sq.ft./gallon
Technical Data
<548.534 g/L