Fiddes Hard Wax Oil

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Above: Small 4mm generic microfibre rollers work well.

Review and photos: David Luckensmeyer

Fiddes hardwax oil applies easily, dries exceptionally quickly, seems harder than other products I’ve used recently, and looks and feels beautiful. I used Fiddes for my last furniture project and was pleased with the outcome.

According to the Fiddes Australia website, this product contains a ‘blend of natural oils and waxes’. Like most hardwax oils, this version is best applied with a short nap microfibre roller. Just keep in mind that the shortest nap provides the best results.

The application guidelines are straightforward. Prepare the surface to be finished in the usual way, but avoid sanding beyond P180 as this can adversely affect adherence and durability. The microfibre roller does an excellent job of applying an even, thin coat. Hardwax oil coats are generally textured upon drying and need to be denibbed before applying a second. A maroon pad works well, although I used P1000 sandpaper. Make sure you clean the surface carefully.


Above left: Hardwax oils soak into timber unlike polyurethane which is more of a ‘film finish’. Above right: The sheen level reveals itself with the application of a second coat (pictured wet).

I noticed a marked difference between sheen levels for the first and second coats. I’m using the ‘satin’ version although there are four sheen levels available: matt, silk, satin and gloss. Only two coats are recommended which is a point of difference as sometimes I put on three or four coats with other products.

This oil is quite viscous so I decided to try brushing a coat on. It flowed beautifully off the standard brush I used. Just follow the typical advice of working quickly, applying a sparing amount of oil, and brushing with the grain. I found brushing gave a very smooth result which did not require denibbing. 


Above left: This close-up shows a remarkably even and pleasing final result. Above right: Showing the viscosity of the product.

This oil dries faster than average. I’ve used many competing products over the years and this one dries fast and hard. The four hour guideline is accurate. However, this might be why buffing is not recommended for the clear version. I gave it a try anyway and found that hard rubbing or buffing with a lint-free cloth did not work as expected. The oil becomes sticky and uneven and is difficult to wipe off.

Otherwise, I found Fiddes hardwax oil easy to work with. It has a non-offensive smell, a good coverage rate of 20–24 sqm per litre, and comes in clear and also 12 tinted versions, in many sizes from 125mL up to 20L containers.

Fiddes products available from

David Luckensmeyer @luckensmeyer is a designer maker and regular contributor to Australian Wood Review. Learn more at

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