Best oils and sealants for Bamboo furniture

Sealing and or oiling your Bamboo is essential to give it the best protection possible, doing this will ensure it withstands moisture and weather damage.

Most of these options are applied in similar ways, but some of the applications vary. You should choose the sealant that best fits your needs and desired look. All protective sealants are flammable, so make sure you keep them away from extreme heat.



Tung Oil:

  • Using tung oil will not give you a smooth finish because it does not fill in Bamboo grain. It is a great option if you want the authentic feel of Bamboo.
  • Tung oil is also commonly referred to as Chinawood Oil.
  • You should be careful when you buy tung oil. Most retail products are not pure tung oil.
  • Tung oil is more durable than most sealants and is easy to apply and redo, as necessary. It also protects against water stains.
  • Tung Oil doesn't develop any odours after prolonged use and exposure.
  • Tung oil is also flexible so it can withstand any movement in your furniture.
How to apply:

    1. Brush your tung oil on with a natural-bristled paintbrush and then wipe it off your bamboo with a soft cloth.

    2. You can use 0000 grade steel wool to remove surface issues once the furniture is completely dry.

    3. Repeat steps one and two 3-6 times to get the look/finish you desire.

    4. Apply Tung oil to your bamboo furniture twice a year to keep your furniture best protected. You can most likely get away with once a year if this isn't in a moisture-full area or vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.



    Linseed Oil:

    • Linseed oil does not emit and odours after prolongued use and exposure to weather and water.
    • Sadly, Linseed oil isn't recommended for outside use but is fine to use in the Bathroom.
    • Linseed oil is readily available and easy to purchase quality oil.

    How to apply:

    1. Apply with a cloth and rub well into the bamboo.

    2. Leave at least 2-3 days for raw linseed oil and 24 hours for boiled linseed oil between applications.

    3. Once you are happy with the finish, buff the furniture with a soft cloth.



    Clear Lacquer Sealant:

    • Clear lacquer sealant is easy to find in stores and relatively cheap.
    • You can apply clear lacquer sealant to your bamboo furniture in multiple ways depending on what you find easiest: 

    How to apply:

    You can paint it on thickly with a brush


    You can use a spray nozzle to coat your furniture in an even layer.



    Oil-Based Paint:

    • Using Oil-based paint is a great option if you want to change the color of your bamboo furniture. It is perfect for modernising and refurbishing older pieces.
    • You're able to choose whichever colour you think may suit.

    How to apply:

    1. Apply atleast two coats of paint, allowing the paint to completely dry in between coats.

    2. Repaint when necessary to maintain your Bamboo furniture’s new water-protective look.



    Spar Urethane:

    • Spar Urethane is like polyurethane, but it is recommended for furniture made of bamboo and wicker that may move a lot when used. Spar Urethane is more flexible than polyurethane, so it moves with the furniture as people sit on it. This would be recommended for any type of stool or Bamboo seat.
    • Spar Urethane not only protects your furniture from water and moisture damage, but it also prevents your bamboo furniture from drying out and cracking.
    • Choice from either Satin, Semi Gloss or Gloss 

    How to apply:

    1. Apply with a brush and let dry.

    2. Reapply every two years.



    Marine Varnish:

    • Marine varnish is great because it can be used alone or in conjunction with another method of sealing to boost the waterproofing of your bamboo furniture.
    • Marine varnish may alter the color of your furniture slightly, but not a lot.

    How to apply:

    1. Apply evenly with a brush.

    2. Let dry for at least 12 hours before you use it.


    We believe that Tung Oil is likely the best option for in the bamboo furniture in the bathroom as you keep the authentic bamboo grain feel whilst also making your funiture waterproof and durable. Tung oil is flexible, so can withstand the movement of bamboo, without cracking or checking. Tung oil soaks into the pores of the bamboo, sealing the moisture in. It also provides a good coating on the surface of the bamboo furniture, giving a soft sheen finish.

    There are plenty other oils and varnishes that can be applied to Bamboo to give it similar affects, but these are the most commonly known and researched.

    Always make sure you apply any sealant in a well ventilated environment, preferably outside. Please note, the sealants and oils linked are only recommended by us and we are not responsible for any issues with the oils. For more information on which oil might suit you best, please get in touch with us or consult an expert or tradesman.

    If you haven't already, have a look at our article on why bamboo is so great for in the bathroom.