We apply a very thin layer of invisible matte and colorless water-based varnish to our solid oak benches. Its purpose is to protect it from water splashes or other things that could mark the wood. This treatment has the advantage of not altering the nature of the wood or its color and of providing slight protection against the vagaries of everyday life. We recommend all the same to wipe quickly with a cloth the water which could find on the bench.If you want to oil the wood for a more rustic look, we recommend first sanding the wood, wiping it off to remove the wood dust and applying the oil. Note that the oil will change the color of the wood, this is the main reason why we did not choose this protection.