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Guitar Fretboard Oiling

If your fingerboard (or fretboard) is Rosewood (dark brown coloured wood) it doesn’t have to be varnished or lacquered, the wood is tough enough on it’s own.

However, when it’s new the rosewood will need oiling to protect it from sweat and grime soaking in from your fingers and to make it look really nice. From time to time you’ll need to re-moisturise it too.

Here’s what you can use:

  • Almond oil (for very dry or brand new boards) 
  • Lemon oil (use this once every two months)
  • Danish oil (use after almond oil for very sweaty players! Danish oil is more waterproof)

These are all oils derived from their respective trees. The idea is that you keep the bare rosewood healthy and moisturised with the natural wood oil.

Tip a generous amount of almond oil onto a rag and wipe onto the fret board, making sure you moisturise up to the very edges of the frets.


Oiling Guitar Fretboard

Oiling Guitar Fretboard


This should make the wood a really nice colour.

polished guitar fretboard


Leave it for 10 minutes to soak in, and then remove excess with a bit of tissue.

taking off excess oil


(I recommend using almond oil the first time as the new seasoned timber is very dry. After this you only need to use lemon oil which isn’t as gloopy.)

 Lemon oil is great as it has a natural cleaning agent in it which is great at dissolving nasty finger grease!

fretboard polish finished