Will clear varnish on door darken?

(11 Posts)
hellogem Mon 14-Jun-21 20:58:42

I have the oak mexicano internal doors. Not finished. Will clear varnish darken it? I like the colour they are and don't want them goin dark

OP’s posts: |
ChequerBoard Mon 14-Jun-21 21:05:49

We have just installed new unfinished oak doors and have used Osmo Door Oil on them rathe than varnish. We went for the 'raw Matt' finish so the colour would be as light as possible.


hellogem Tue 15-Jun-21 23:51:02

Hi thanks for that!! Glad to know there's a product out there to maintain the light colour. How many doors would a 1l tub cover? Has the oil kept your oak doors it's original colour as possible with just a very slight colour change?

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PigletJohn Wed 16-Jun-21 01:10:12

The manufacturers of veneered doors usually say you mustn't use oil or wax on them. I don't know why, perhaps it makes the glue unstick.

I use Diamond water-based clear matt or satin varnish, it doesn't darken.

If you want to colour your doors or bring out the grain, use a spirit-based wood dye before varnishing. Not a tinted varnish or stain.

BlueMongoose Wed 16-Jun-21 08:35:14

Even with the special uv resistant clear varnishes, which don't themselves darken, most lighter woods will darken slowly with age. Most woods in most situations, that is- darker woods can bleach if in a lot of direct sunlight. Sanding and revarnishing takes them back again, but you can't do that with very thin veneers. We have maple kitchen units- just bought some matching ones for our new larger kitchen, and they are much lighter- exactly as the original ones were when we first got them. I'm easy about it, as they will darken to match in time, though like you, I prefer the 'new' colour.

hellogem Wed 16-Jun-21 08:58:53

@PigletJohn what brand is that product? Where can I purchase it. A quick google is giving me Ronseal, is that the one?

OP’s posts: |
PigletJohn Wed 16-Jun-21 09:02:06

There is also a Wickes own brand. The one I use is branded Diamond Floor Varnish so I think it is very durable. It is indoor use only.


PigletJohn Wed 16-Jun-21 09:04:34

But yes, Ronseal. Maybe I just bought it at Wickes. Can't remember now.

TwoLeftSocksWithHoles Wed 16-Jun-21 09:42:37

I recall a book by Kevin Jan Bonner on furniture restoration saying (about the effect of clear varnish) "the colour when wet, is the colour you'll get"
So try dabbing the doors with a wet cloth...

ChequerBoard Wed 16-Jun-21 09:52:24

Osmo Oil is actually suitable for veneered oak doors, or I wouldn't have used it and recommended it.

Our doors are from Howdens which is a manufacturer whose products are specifically mentioned as being compatible with the product.

Please see below the statement from Osmo Oil on this subject:


PigletJohn Wed 16-Jun-21 11:08:54

that's good. I wonder what the trouble is with others.

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