Our prefered finish for bright Nordic hard woods such as oak, ash, beech and maple is soap treatment. This is a particularly Danish tradition that goes back several hundreds of years. Soap treated furniture is left with the natural surface of the wood and the patina of the surface will be beautiful and smooth.
Before the soap treatment, the furniture is carefully sanded with fine grain sandpaper. As the wood is being washed with a solution of soap and water the grain of the wood will rise to make the surface feel rough. Consequently, the surface is sanded again with even finer grain sandpaper.
Despite the great effort put into finishing, the surface may occasionally become slightly rough the first couple of times it is exposed to changing humidity or washing. This is a natural reaction, and a soap treated surface may always be gently sanded along the wood grain with fine sandpaper.
The finish of the wood surface requires a lot of sanding, and the result is regularly evaluated by stroking the surface with the hands sensing the smoothness in detail.
For darker woods such as cherry, teak or walnut we prefer a treatment of a mix of vegetable oils and waxes. This enhances the colour and brings out the many nuances hidden within the wood.