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Why We Love Hardwax Oil Finishes…

Last month we were asked to come out and have a look at a tired and well worn hardwood floor that had been installed just over 7 years ago. It was one of the early floors that had hardwax oil finish applied… our beloved OSMO.

OSMO-Restoration

When we showed up to take a look, our first impression wasn’t good. The finish looked like it was in pretty rough shape from a complete lack of maintenance over the years.

Below you can see the condition of the entrance room…

OSMO-Before-1

Here’s the dining room. This room had obviously seen a lot of action and was in the worst condition. The finish was very worn down and it was quite dirty from years of traffic…

OSMO-Before-2

Below you can see what 7 years of wear and no care has done to the kitchen floor…

OSMO-Before-4

So we set to it and gave the floor a thorough cleaning and then applied another coat of OSMO. It took us under a day to transfer this old tired floor into what it is now.

Take a look at the difference!

After a fresh coat of OSMO the floors look brand new again…

OSMO-After-2

Here’s a close up of the dining room floor (the worst area)…

OSMO-After-3

Looks pretty good doesn’t it.

Can you see why we love hardwax oil finishes so much!

There’s no way you could do this in one day and come out with such a great result with any other type of finish. There was no sanding, no dust and no hassles.

Even some of the large and very heavy and delicate furniture was able to stay in place as you can see in the picture below…

OSMO-After-4

If you ever had any doubt when we said that these finishes can be touched up quickly and easily without sanding back to bare wood and moving the bigger furniture, then you have no reason not to believe us now.

This was a very extreme example though, and we beg you not to let your floors get this bad before you refresh them.

Needless to say the homeowners are VERY pleased with their “new” floors and are extremely happy they chose OSMO all those years ago 🙂

 

12 Comments

  1. nela says:

    can we apply OSMO on top of Rubio Monocoat.
    I am really not happy with the Rubio maintenance and sanding spots even with very low trafficking house in only few months

    • Hi Nela,

      Sorry for the delay in replying, I was on a much needed break.

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble. Not sure what you mean by “sanding spots” but it should be easy to maintain. Was it professionally applied? Most times the reason it leaves marks is because there is too much product left on the floor that hasn’t been buffed off properly.

      As far as using another hard wax oil over the top, I would not recommend doing it. It’s never good to mix finish systems. Sorry this isn’t the answer you were hoping for.

      Tadas

  2. Alyssa says:

    I am debating between using OSMO or pure tung oil – and I would like to stain my floors. My number one priority is ease of maintenance (realizing the “maintenance” on these floors is more than a poly). I have two small children and a big dog, I am more than ok with once a year or so – applying a re-coat and buffing the high traffic areas – in fact the ability to do so is what is attractive about these finishes and why I do not want a poly finish. My concern arises with the desire to stain – if and when I have to spot fix/recoat the floor will the stain be affected and what is the ability to match (this is actually why I do not think I want the Rubio – spot applying a stained wax seems rife with color disasters to me). One guy told me tung oil is actually more difficult to spot repair because it can leave a slightly different color. Any advice would be most appreciated. thank you!

    • Hi Alyssa,

      I would go with OSMO any day over tung oil, much more durable and user friendly for maintenance etc.

      Most spot repairs, no matter what the product, are a challenge to repair and match colors with. They take a great deal of skill and patience to do them properly. Hardwax oils are much easier to work with in this regard though compared to polyurethanes and even tung oil. The key will be finding someone that can do a great spot repair/color match so it looks invisible.

      Rubio Monocoat is great for simple spot repairs that a homeowner can do (with left over product)and get them close to 90% right because its a one coat finish.

      Hope that helps.

      Tadas

  3. Sarah says:

    My husband and I are deciding how to refinish our hardwood floors, which we will do ourselves. (We do not have the budget to hire a contractor.) The floors are oak, about 60 years old and were covered with carpet for some time. (They need to be sanded.)

    After reading your blog, we are considering if hard wax oil rather than polyurethane would be a good choice for us. We have a high traffic path through the room and would like to be able to repair the area as needed, rather than refinish the whole room every time the finish wears out.

    However, we would like a medium-dark color. If we use a tinted hard wax oil, like Rubio Monocoat, or stain the floor and use Osmo, will we be able to repair the traffic wear later on to match the rest of the room?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Yes that is possible in most situations. There could be slight color or sheen difference depending on the type of wear.

      Also, if the wear/damage went through the finish and below the stain then it would complicate the repair immensely.

      Hope this helps.

      Tadas

  4. Samuel Kaymen says:

    I had been considering the Rubio Monocoat on my Southern Yellow Pine. I realize it is not Hardwood but thought I might ask your opinion. Thanks for considering it.

    • Hi Samuel,

      We haven’t personally used this product on Southern Yellow Pine sorry. I would get a sample of the product and do a test on a scrap piece or in a closet to see how it works. I don’t think there would be a problem but we always test first to be sure.

      Tadas

  5. Patricia says:

    Thank you for your thorough articles they have been very useful. I am considering using OSMO oil on recycled 100 year old jarrah floorboards in a new house extension. Similar boards in the old part of the house have unfortunately had a penetrating oil finish and been waxed for decades and require a lot of maintenance, including the hire of a buffing machine on an annual basis. Would the OSMO product give me a similar satin patina to the old waxed boards without buffing? If repairs are made to the OSMO do I need a buffing machine? Do you think I could put OSMO over the old boards if they were sanded? Many thanks for any advice you could give.

    • Hi Patricia,

      You’re welcome, happy to help.

      Yes, OSMO has that lovely satin look. If you repair small areas, then no, you won’t need a buffer. You only need it when you need to re-apply a top coat to refresh the entire floor.

      As far as applying it over your old boards, yes it is possible. You will need to do a series of compatibility tests in various spots first though before coating the entire floor. The floors will also need to be sanded well and any old wax completely removed. This could be quite the project if they have been waxed annually for 100+ years. But still possible.

      Tadas

  6. Sherry says:

    Hi. Thank you for this great information. I have 1980s beautiful custom oak wood paneled walls that have a finish that is yellowish and flakey on a lot of the trim and some of the wood paneling throughout my house. I have used the Monocoat Pure on a few of the walls and so far it looks great. It has covered many of the nicks and seems to hide the areas where the finish is scratched off. My question to you is… will the finish remain or will it need to be redone? I originally used oil based natural stain to go over it and it looked great for a couple months but then the nicks and scratches started to show again. And it smells horrible for days! I am not certain what the original finish is – maybe varnish or poly??
    Thanks!

    • Hi Sherry,

      If you applied it over the existing finish without sanding and removing it unfortunately it will not be a permanent fix. Rubio needs to be applied to clean, unfinished freshly sanded wood.

      Hope that helps.

      Tadas

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