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USING NATURAL OILS FOR YOUR WOODEN FLOORS

We have had countless conversations with folks using Heritage Natural Finishes (formerly Land Ark) on their floors. I'd like to give a little more information about that to help you finish your floor successfully. Firstly, our finish wasn't designed specifically for floor finishing. However, woodworkers being the adventurers they are, use it and for many with great success. We strongly recommend doing a sample first to be sure you like the look and surface feel and are comfortable with how long it takes to dry (4-6 weeks for final curing). The overall finished sheen is very matted and well... natural! Here are a few tips.
  • For less dense wood species such as pine use the Concentrated Finishing Oil, 2 coats using a cotton rag, brush or lambswool pad (you can get them for floor finishing specifically). Put on the first coat (not too thick) leave overnight or until the wood has taken the oil in and buff off any excess. Repeat the second coat and let sit for a 1 day up to 1 week and buff out. For denser species, the Concentrated works fine as well, but may be slower in absorption time. Consider using the Original Finish in that case, it has more solvent and should penetrate quicker.
  • Wipe down any areas with finish pooled on the surface to avoid stickiness later!
  • If desired, top coat with a very thin coat of Liquid Wax End Sealer after a day or more after applying the first couple of oil coats.
  • Let wax sit for 1 day up to 1 week and buff out by hand, with a power small car buffer or large rented buffing machine with buffing pad. Multiple buffings lend greater results. The oils in the floor won't cure for 4-6 weeks, so be patient. It will be hard after the cure time.
  • For any smudging during cure period, just rub out with a cotton rag or buff.
  • For long term cleaning, use any oil-soaps like 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 Land Ark and buff dry.
  • For fixing the worn and dry areas over the years, just buff in more Land Ark as needed, there is no need to sand off the old finish. It will blend.
  • 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're not touching and walking on.
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.
Photo credit: Photo submitted by Alex Greene of Red Beard Lumber Co. Used with permission.