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Recommendations on Hardwax oil finish on Millwork, Furniture and cabinetry5/12
I am looking for a natural Hardwax oil finish that can be applied by hand (rag, etc) on millwork, furniture, and cabinetry. Any recommendations from people who have EXPERIENCE using one? Monocoat? Woca? Osmo? Pallman? other?
I am doing a Tatami room in VG Hemlock for a client and want a natural finish that offers some protection to the wood but leaves that natural, matte/satin finish that almost looks raw and unfinished.
BTW, I am well aware of spray finishes and their advantages (and disadvantages) so please keep this thread 100% focused on responses by people sharing their experience using a hardwax oil finish.
If you are looking for natural appearence, you have to use water based finishing.
About half of the companies you listed produce standard wax + oil products (with nothing else) and market them as "hardwax oil", but these are generally not considered suitable for professional finishing at all.
The other half are mostly marketing hand-appliable urethanes as "hardwax oil"
It's interesting that apparently whatever a "hardwax oil" is runs the gamut from "paraffin wax" to "urethane polymer".
You also keep repeating the word "natural" - if you want bare-to-wood looking finishes, there are lots of options and i wouldn't limit myself to some particular marketing term, but instead try to understand what i want out of it - what is the level of chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, etc.
Personally, I would start by selling my clients on the look rather than the marketing of random companies of their finishing products.
They are all just tools in the toolbelt, not a way of life.
I have used both Osmo and Rubio Monocoat on furniture. My experience has shown that for me the Osmo is a better product. The Osmo has better sheen options and needs less maintenance. The Osmo requires more coats so more labor. You need to educate your clients on maintenance of either of these products. I have found that Osmo service is professional and prompt.
We have used Watco liquid natural wax for a smooth to touch finish. It takes at least 5 coats with 24 hours between coats, water will bead up on the surface. We have installed 7 projects in the same house with this finish schedule over 5 years. The Kitchen still looks just as good as the day we installed it. I'm sure at some time it will need a re coat but all you need to do is brush a coat on and wipe off to a light rub out.
Thanks Todd, Scott B, Mauricio
Mauricio we've done oil finishes for years and we like the look and feel of the grain of hand-rubbed oils. Like an old antique. I think the WB you are talking about is probably sprayed? Not the look we are after.
To the others... The finishes I'm asking about are commercial ones that are used extensively in Europe, and to a growing degree in the US, for the very demanding application of flooring, including in intense environments like restaurants.
I'm just looking to hear the experience of guys using these a bit off-label on furniture and millwork.
thanks all! Always fun to learn new ways of doing things. Isn't it great we all get to make beautiful things in wood?
Depending on the material and surface prep we have applied Osmo with a rag, brush and spray. I suggest you contact Midwest Flooring. They are a retailer of Osmo and are very knowledgeable on the Osmo line of products.
Scott, you make me chuckle each post. Your posts read like advertisements. "The finishes I'm asking about are commercial ones that are used extensively in Europe, and to a growing degree in the US, for the very demanding application of flooring, including in intense environments like restaurants. For someone that has never used them, you sure are in love with them! LOL That growing degree here in America doesn't seem to be too wide spread on this forum.
Hi Rich !
I used Pallmann magic oil on some curly maple flooring and maple cabinets I installed in my home. Did it as an experiment, wouldn't do it for an actual customer. We have been pleased with the results. The finish has held up surprisingly well after 6 years. It is a real pain to apply. If i remember correctly, you had to start buffing the stuff off within about 15 mins of applying it. The recommended tool for applying it to the floor was a trowel or squeegee. Not ideal for anything other than a flat surface. If you wait to long before you start buffing it turns into a tacky nightmare. A power buffer is recommended over a rag.
So i acquired a bit of this stuff to test yesterday.
Not surprisingly, it *is* in fact just a urethane with random stuff added.
It will hold up as well as a urethane.
To Chuckles, I mean Rich C, I'm glad I could make you laugh. It's good to laugh a little in hard times.
I try to base my confidence on data and the experience of others. I came to this forum knowing it was not a flooring forum but general woodworking finishing forum but hoping to hear some data points from people who had actually tried it, not just arm-chair critics.
Thanks to those of you who have tried the product on off-label use of cabinets and millwork. Good information!
What got me interested in these "hard-wax oil finishes at all was reading the blog of a flooring installer in the broader Chicago area who uses all kinds of finishes including Pallman and Rubio Monocoat. As of 4 years ago he had done over 50 floors with Pallman and about the same with Rubio and he and his customers have been very satisfied, including in some heavy traffic commercial applications. This is a guy who has done even more flooring with other waterborne finishes, and with traditional urethane finishes so I was quite intrigued by his experience. He found these newer finishes as vastly superior to traditional Urethane. Check out his blog - I gave it either above or on the related thread here in finishing.
Thanks again everyone for sharing your experience!
And Chuckles, I have used oil finishes for 30 years, mostly UV cured wax-oil finishes out of Sweden. I just don't have experience with these air-dry finishes and I'm trying to learn. We have a high-intensity UV lamp tunnel that we run our doors, flooring and millwork thru after hand-rubbing the UV oils. Not a finish for every one, but it has given us a look and feel our customers like.
The product is GX1540. It is not a nasty smelling finish, oil-wax smell. It does take a special high-intensity UV tunnel to use. We have used it in our factory in China for 8 years and really like it (we mostly take American hardwoods - Walnut, Cherry, White Oak and do complete interiors for Luxury Chinese homes). You cannot cure it properly without a UV tunnel.
Coatings companies are now developing LED cured coatings for industry. Not sure if anyone has a LED cured wax-oil yet.
We would usually do two coats of this UV oil, then a top coat of hand-rubbed polymerized tung oil. Looks and feels like a beautiful old antique.
We would hand apply with rags or short brush applicator, then rub off with rags until it felt smooth and dry, then you can immediately run thru the UV, no need to let it dry. Very little solvent in it. Not dangerous.
Not sure if you could shoot a laquer over the top or not. We never spray finishes.
Thank you very much Scott.
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