Best Finish For Wood Coffee Mug

Wood is a beautiful material that can be used to create many different things, including cups and mugs. However, the porosity of wood makes it tricky to use as a container for liquid. Is there a safe way to seal a wood coffee mug? What is the best finish for a wood coffee mug?

There are many ways to finish a wood coffee mug. For example, you can use resin or an oil finish. However, it is important to use a finish that is non-toxic and neutral in taste. The best finish for a wood coffee mug is thus a raw, natural oil such as mineral oil, linseed oil, tung oil, or walnut oil.

Many raw oils can be used to finish a wood coffee mug. All of them have their characteristics. The type of wood that you have used to make the coffee mug and the finished look you would like to have determines what the best finish will be for you to use.

What Finishes Are There For Wood Coffee Mugs?

There are two kinds of wood finishes that you can use for a wooden coffee mug: resin and natural oils.

Resin is a material that you use to seal wood or ceramic. It is a liquid substance that hardens when exposed to oxygen or heat. While plants secrete resin to seal any exposed parts, such as cuts or tears, most resins we are able to buy are synthetic.

Synthetic resins are great to finish wood or ceramic. It is hard, durable, and makes it easy to clean. However, many resins are not food-safe and cannot withstand high temperatures. For example, melamine is a substance commonly used in making resin. Melamine is known to leach into food and liquid if exposed to temperatures above 158°F.

If you plan to use your wood mug for hot beverages, it is best to stay clear from using synthetic resins as a finish.

The other, safer option is to use a natural oil. Natural oils are a great option because they are absorbed into the wood and will help to keep the wood looking its best. Be sure to use raw, natural oils. Processed oils sometimes contain toxins or other additives that make them unsafe for human consumption.

There are many different natural oils to choose from. We will discuss each option in more detail.

Which Oil Is The Best Finish For a Wood Coffee Mug?

While you could use any natural oil as a finish for a wood coffee mug, you don’t wish to use an oil that will impart its flavor into the coffee. Neutral oils are better to use because they don’t give off a scent or taste.

You don’t necessarily want to be smelling coconut when enjoying your morning coffee. Mineral oil, linseed oil, tung oil, and walnut oil are neutral-tasting oils. Each of these oils has its characteristics and will affect your wood coffee mug’s finished look.

Mineral Oil Finish For Wood Coffee Mug

Mineral oil is on this list even though it is not natural. Mineral oil is made from petroleum that is processed to remove any impurities. For this reason, mineral oil is not an environmentally friendly oil to use.

It is a colorless and odorless oil. Unfortunately, not all mineral oil is food-safe, but you can purchase food-safe mineral oil at a pharmacy.

Mineral oil is a good finish to use on wood because it can withstand high temperatures. Also, because it is colorless, mineral oil will not affect the look of your wood coffee mug but will give it a shiny finish.

To apply mineral oil to your wood coffee mug, you simply need to rub it onto the wood with a cloth. Then, allow it to dry and repeat a few more times to ensure the wood is evenly saturated.

Linseed Oil Finish For Wood Coffee Mug

Linseed oil is a natural oil made from the flaxseed plant. It has a beautiful, golden color that eventually gives your wood coffee mug an amber finish. Raw linseed oil is also food-safe and environmentally friendly. It will be soaked up into the wood to protect against stains and heat.

Linseed oil gives a beautiful color to wood. But, if you don’t want to change the color of your wood coffee mug, this is not the best finish for you.

To apply linseed oil to a wood coffee mug, you would rub it on the mug and allow it to saturate the wood. Apply as many coats as necessary, giving each coat time to dry. Note that linseed oil does take a long time to be absorbed into the wood. Patience is key when using linseed oil as a finish.

Tung Oil Finish For Wood Coffee Mug

Pure tung oil is a natural oil derived from a tree found in Asia. It acts in the same way as linseed oil by soaking into the wood. Tung oil hardens as it dries to protect the wood against water.

Tung oil is clear. When it dries, it will have a honey color. However, tung oil will not change the color of the wood you are using, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to mineral oil.

Tung oil is also applied in thin coats and allowed to dry.

Walnut Oil Finish For Wood Coffee Mug

Walnut oil is another natural, environmentally friendly oil that can be used to finish a wood coffee mug. Walnut oil gives the wood a dark finish and enhances the natural beauty of the wood you are using.

You should be sure to mention that your wood coffee mug is finished with walnut oil, as people with nut allergies can possibly have a reaction to this finish.

Walnut oil acts the same way as the other natural oils, soaking into the wood to protect it from the inside rather than forming a coat over the wood. Therefore, Walnut oil can be applied the same way as the other oils.

How To Reapply The Finish Of A Wood Coffee Mug

The advantage of using natural oil to finish a wood coffee mug is that you don’t need to remove any coats before reapplying the oil. Instead, you can simply take a cloth with some oil and rub it onto the surface of the wood coffee mug.

It is best to reapply oil to your wood coffee mug every couple of months. This ensures that it remains resistant to water and that the wood is nourished and protected from the inside.


There are two ways to finish a wood coffee mug. The first is by using a resin, although not all resins are food safe and not environmentally friendly. The second option is to use oil to finish a wood coffee mug.

Using oil is great because it soaks into the wood, protecting it from the inside. Oils can easily be reapplied and are environmentally friendly. Be sure to use a raw, natural oil that is food-safe. The best oil to use will depend on the finish you want your wood coffee mug to have.


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