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Dijon Home & Flooring

How Do You Apply An Oil Finish?

Very simply with “heat and pressure” or “HP”.

We are of course talking about penetration of the product, or products, into the wood, ‘Most if not all wax derived products give the best results when a good depth of penetration is achieved. So simply the best finishes, with these types of products, are generated by those who are able to get the product to a suitable depth.

I am amazed at the number of highly regarded individuals, within our industry who forget the simple and basic rules when applying natural oil’s or waxes to wooden floors. I have spoken to many technical representatives, some who have never actually earned a living applying finishes to floors, and there are many opinions that differ, but it is the same individuals who often give you the reason you had a problem was because you never sanded it enough/never screened it properly, or the old favourite you never applied enough product.

So before we can consider the best or most appropriate method of applying a “Hard wax Oil” or “Oil” including any of the maintenance refreshers, we first must consider the product, manufacturer’s instructions are not always the best way as they are often after the more lucrative DIY market. We at FloorCoat-UK always advise that you must consider the “3 T’s” these being.

a)      The rules of application, location/product/temperature/humidity,

b)      The tools we use, (three coats by roller /brush or applicator or by buffer and burnishing).

c)      The product (penetration or sit on the surface product)

The way you apply it seems to have most effect on the end result so let us consider this first, (volume of material) –i.e. many manufacturers make very similar products, especially the well known brands, some even have exactly the same ingredients in, and some are the same product but just with a different label on the tin. For sure there are always the cheaper raw materials products and these are to be avoided at all costs, as the results can vary no matter how good you are. So you pay your money, and take your choices.

Application Processes:- To verify this whole process, I carried out a set of scientific tests as part of my case study, I used different products,  both ours and the competition, over many weeks, and in the presence of some very well-known people overseeing my experiments, that were all conducted with thermal heat sensors in the floor and on the machines and even within the buffing pad. These turn specific colours when they get to different temperature, so it is easy to see what the temperature is. We then sectioned the wood floors afterwards the results were as expected. The best results were obtained by applying the hard wax oil with a roller or applicator “before drying” then buffing the surface, after a short time “the burnishing process” was seen to get the best results without the need for second day return visit to apply another coat. !

It was also identified that hard wax oils that sit on the surface generally rub/wear off over a shorter period, requiring more product to be applied more regularly. Great for the manufacturer too as he sells more product.

The science behind are in the results, and in brief,- These are the best overall results and were achieved when getting the floor up to or over what appears, to be a 24 to 26 degrees surface temp threshold, this was a very nice feeling on my feet! Warm underfoot( using soft plastic socks of course), this temp which appears to be the catalyst to start the curing process off within the wax (even before it started to look dry). Overall these results give us a set of application and guidelines that any professional ignores at his peril or cost. These results are always questionable, for the DIY setup – These results are unquestionable for any Professional floor sander / renovator.

It is also important to note the location conditions did not have any impact on the end results. As we were able to duplicate tests and results, even after lowering the temperature and lifting the humidity, my results are not however staggering news, as in my recent visits round the flooring contractors and professional renovators, I have found this knowledge is well known, by some “who still regard Burnish floors with oil and waxed as a standard practice. There are some truly great renovators out there “do not forget the basic rules for hard wax oil’s – “heat” and “pressure” or “HP.”

We have hundreds of satisfied customers who have bought solid wood, hard wood, engineered wood, laminate flooring, natural stone flooring, under floor heating, carpet, and more and had it installed or fitted by us in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Henley on Thames, Kingston Upon Thames, Lichfield, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford, Poole, Solihull, Stratford-on-Avon, Sutton Coldfield, Warwick, and Worcester.

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