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EARTH FINISH
Yes, that's right, Heritage Natural Finishes aren't just for wood any more! It turns out that our finishes produce a beautiful and rugged surface on earth work! First, build up coats with our Natural Earth Finish, then top coat with our Liquid Wax End Sealer. We've had several leading natural builders use and test our finishes on their cob, plasters and earthen floors and with great results. One such green builder, Sukita Crimmel from Portland, Oregon has produced gorgeous floors with our stuff. Our finishes work hand in hand with Sukita's new earthen floor pre-mixed system called Claylin. You can order our Earth Finish and Liquid Wax from her as well. Here's what she says about working with earth floors:

"Earthen floors are laid as a wet mix of clay rich soil, sand and fiber. After drying, these raw floors are sealed with many layers of linseed oils mixed with thinner and then finished with a wax or resin. The Natural Earth Finish from Heritage Finishes works great for me. It already has citrus thinner in it, which I absolutely prefer. I apply many layers, until the floor is full and then let it dry for about a week. I then use Liquid Wax End Sealer, applying with a buffer...beautiful! I have also been playing around with the pigmented oils; they color the basic brown floor nicely.” -Sukita Crimmel, From These Hands, LLC

TO ORDER EARTH FINISH or for questions regarding earthen floors, go here: Claylin.com or contact Sukita Crimmel at info@claylin.com or here online.


Earthen Floor Finishing Methods
Earthen floors have been gaining in popularity over the last two decades, in conjunction with the
growing interest in straw bale, cob, and natural home construction methods. Although still a
niche floor construction method, the technology is far from new and variations on the technique
exist all over the world. However, most earthen floors are comprised of the same basic
materials: sand, clay soil, and fiber.


Traditionally-built earthen floors in the southwestern United States were commonly finished with
ox blood for durability. Understandably, most individuals these days cannot or would not opt for
such a finish. Luckily, access to oil finishes means that a high quality, exceptionally durable, and
long lasting earthen floor is within reach for people interested in a beautiful flooring alternative to
wood, concrete, or tile. An oil finish makes the difference between what is simply dried earth,
and an earthen floor that can resist damage from foot traffic and moisture equally well.

If you’re interested in more earthen floor construction, we recommend picking up Earthen Floors
by Sukita Reay Crimmel and James Thomson, who do an excellent job describing the process
and materials in detail. The following tips assume you want more information on the actual
finishing process, and how to create a water-repellent, long-lasting floor using our natural oil
finishes.

Why Use Linseed and Tung Oil?
There are several basic steps to a successful earthen floor finish. First and foremost is that you
must be certain the earthen floor is 100% dry before applying any oil. If you are unsure, do
yourself a favor and wait a little longer. Any moisture still present in the floor can be trapped
under the oil finish, resulting in problems down the road.


For all earthen floor finishing jobs, we recommend our Earth Finish, a blend of high quality
linseed and tung oils, citrus oil, beeswax, and pine rosin. We only use the best possible
ingredients we can find, and that makes all the difference for finishing an earthen floor. Also
critical is that linseed and tung are hardening oils -- you cannot use non-polymerizing oils and
expect a successful floor finish, since those will remain sticky and potentially go rancid over
time. Once linseed and tung oils fully polymerize (dry and harden), the resulting floor finish is
very resistant to water and daily wear. Water will bead up on the surface, and the floor can be
mopped clean without issue.

How to Finish an Earthen Floor with Earth Finish
Most commonly, four coats of oil are applied to a dry earthen floor installation. Starting at the
corner furthest from the entrance, the edges can be brushed in first. Do 3-4 coats around the
entire perimeter, and then move onto the main field. When applying oil to the main field, a
lambswool applicator pad or roller works well for pushing oil around the surface. You can also
use a sprayer.

The first coat can be heavily applied and should absorb readily. For a large room, you can
return immediately to your starting point and apply a second coat. If it is a small room, simply
wait until most of the oil has absorbed before applying again. Repeat until you have applied 4
coats, or to the point where the floor cannot accept any more oil. You’ll know you have reached
full saturation of the floor once significant puddling begins to occur. Using a dry, clean rag, wipe
up excess oil. The mottled oil pattern will dissipate once the floor has additional time to absorb
the oil, and the color will even out.

After the final coat of oil has been applied, it is best not to walk across the floor for one week.
After one week, test the hardness of the finish by trying to indent the floor with the edge of a
trowel or putty knife. If there is movement under the edge, give the oil more time to cure. If the
floor appears hard and dry, you can consider it ready for use.

This concludes a basic earthen floor finishing method. It’s also possible to sand or buff the
earthen floor once the initial finish has hardened. Additionally, you can use our Liquid Wax as a
top coat to create a higher surface sheen. We will share more details on these techniques in a
future post. Until then, here are a few other helpful hints using our Earth Finish.

How Much Earth Finish Do I Need?
● For 4 coats of Earth Finish: Multiply 0.023 by the total square feet of earthen floor you
want to cover, this will give you how many gallons you need.
● For 6 coats of Earth Finish: Multiply 0.029 by the total square feet of earthen floor you
want to cover, this will give you how many gallons you need.

Additional Finishing Tips
● For spills, over spray, or to clean up brushes, use our Pure Citrus Solvent or other
solvent (Turpentine, Mineral Spirits, etc.).
● When applying oil, it is best to go barefoot or wear an old pair of socks you won’t mind
throwing out afterwards -- do not wear shoes during this process.
● Mask adjacent surfaces you want to protect during the finishing process with painters
plastic and tape
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Earth Finish - 1 quart
Earth Finish - 1 quart
Price: $42.00

Packaged in a one quart, clear glass round jar with wide-mouth metal screw-top lid. This is the same product as our Concentrated Finishing Oil just a different label with earth finishing specific labeling. more info
Earth Finish - 1 Gallon
Earth Finish - 1 Gallon
Price: $90.00

The finish comes in a one-gallon epoxy lined metal paint-style can. This is the same product as our Concentrated Finishing Oil just a different label with earth finishing specific labeling.
more info
Earth Finish - 3 Gallon
Earth Finish - 3 Gallon
Price: $263.00

Packaged in a 3 gallon steel pail with a pour spout top. ($87.67/gallon) This is the same product as our Concentrated Finishing Oil just a different label with earth finishing specific labeling. more info
Earth Finish - 5 Gallon
Earth Finish - 5 Gallon
Price: $420.00

Packaged in a heavy duty 5 gallon, epoxy phenolic lined steel pail with a pour spout top in the lid. This is the same product as our Concentrated Finishing Oil just a different label with earth finishing specific labeling. ($84/gal). more info
Heritage Earth Finish - 55 Gallon Drum
Heritage Earth Finish - 55 Gallon Drum
Price: $3,300.00

Product is packaged in a 55 gallon steel phenolic lined drum with two standard bung openings (works out to $60/gallon). We ships drum orders with a Freight carrier and will have to get back to you with an accurate rate quote. The rate quote shown on this site will give you a very high rate with FedEx Ground. Just click it anyway and we will adjust the price down once we get the correct shipping rate for you and contact you with the real cost. We need a lead time of 2-3 weeks to fulfill drums orders. This is the same product as our Concentrated Finishing Oil just a different label with earth finishing specific labeling. more info
   
 
Photo credit: Floor and photo by Sukita Crimmel, From These Hands, LLC. Portland, OR. Used with permission.