You are here:Home > Wood Floors
USING NATURAL OILS FOR YOUR WOODEN FLOORS

We have had countless conversations with folks using Heritage Natural Finishes on their wood floors.
We'd like to provide a little more information to help you finish your floor successfully. Additionally, there
are a few basic things to understand about the qualities of a natural oil finish. Note that our finishes aren’t
designed specifically for wood floors. However, many customers have used them with great success.
We strongly recommend doing a sample first to be sure you that like the look and surface feel and are
comfortable with how long it takes to dry (4-6 weeks for final curing, dry to the touch within 2 days). The
overall finished sheen is very matted and well... natural!

Our natural oil finishes are a distinctly different product than a typical polyurethane-based floor finish. All
of our products are penetrating finishes; polyurethane is a film finish, which means it sits on the surface of
the wood. When you touch or walk across a floor finished with natural oil, you are in direct contact with
the wood itself. And when you touch or walk across a floor finished with polyurethane, you are walking on
what is essentially a thin layer of petrochemical plastic. When a floor finished with natural oils is scratched, it is the wood itself that is scratched. In the case of a
polyurethane-finished floor, the finish itself is scratched. Poly finishes are difficult to maintain and usually
entail stripping for significant repairs. Natural oil finishes can be spot re-finished with a small amount of
sanding and oil re-application. The oils blend seamlessly, rendering the repair invisible.

Tips For a Successful Natural Oil Finishing Job
Here are a few tips for a successful wood floor finishing job using Heritage Natural Finishes.
● For less dense wood species (including pine, spruce and others), use our Concentrated Finishing
Oil.* Apply 2 coats using a cotton rag, brush, or lambswool applicator pad. (You can find
lambswool pads specifically for floor finishing at the hardware store.) Apply the first coat (not too
heavy) and leave until the wood has absorbed the oil and wipe off any excess. Less dense woods use the Original Finish.
● Apply a second coat the same or next day and let sit for up to 1 day. (Optional: use the Original
Finish for your 2nd coat, it has more solvent and should penetrate more quickly.) Wipe down any
areas with finish pooled on the surface to avoid stickiness later!
● Between 1 and 7 days later, buff surface using a floor buffing machine.
● If desired, top coat with a very thin coat of Liquid Wax End Sealer 1-2 days after applying the first
two coats of oil. (In this case, buffing the 2nd coat of oil can be omitted.)
● Let wax sit for 1 day up to 1 week and buff out by hand, with a power small car buffer or large
buffing machine with buffing pad. Multiple passes with a floor buffer lend greater results.
● The oils in the floor won't fully cure for 4-6 weeks, so please be patient. It will be hard after the
curing period. Wait to move furniture into the room until several weeks after application if you can.
● For any smudging during the cure period, just rub out with a cotton rag or buff.
● DO NOT use the UVA additive mixed into your finish if you're doing your floor. It can leave a
sticky residue which is a real pain to get off! The UVA is great for timbers, exteriors or T&G. All
the places you'll not touching and walking on.

* For denser species, the Concentrated works fine as well, but may be slower in absorption time.
Troubleshooting: Some folks have had problems, mainly with not allowing it time to cure and putting on
too much oil. Always wipe away excess oil to avoid stickiness! If you get stickiness, use more oil finish to
break it down and rub out. Also, people often think they want natural oils because that sounds cool, but
they really want polyurethane in overall look and performance. The two do behave quite differently so
please do test areas to make sure you or your customers LOVE it!

Clean Up: Use the
Pure Citrus Solvent to take off oil you may have gotten on your equipment, glass
windows, or tile.

Maintenance and Floor Cleaning
● For long term cleaning, use any oil soaps including Murphy's, Ecover floor cleaner, etc. For
abrasions or deep scuffing you can use a green Scotch-Brite scrub pad with the oil soap or even
more Concentrated Finishing Oil and buff dry.
● For fixing worn and dry areas over the years, just buff in more Concentrated Finishing Oil as
needed. There is no need to sand off the old finish. It will blend.
You can read more about our Concentrated Finishing Oil and Liquid Wax End Sealer on our product
pages. We are available by phone to discuss further finishing details: 888-526-3275
Photo credit: Photo submitted by Alex Greene of Red Beard Lumber Co. Used with permission.