Plastic floor finishes such as polyurethane have become so standard in the United States that many people are surprised to learn they have an option: a repairable floor finish, also known as a penetrating oil or wax finish. Instead of coating the floor with a film, as polyurethane does, these finishes penetrate into wood fibers and protect from within. When the finish wears-as all floor finishes eventually do-spot-repair is so easy that homeowners can keep the finish in good shape indefinitely.
The only problem with most oil and wax finishes is that they need frequent maintenance. Our OSMO Polyx-Oil is far more durable. Tests in Germany, where it is manufactured, showed it to be just as tough as polyurethane. Yet it is very definitely a repairable floor finish-with the added benefits of being natural, low-toxic and pleasant to use.
Why are plastics hard to touch up?
Spot repairs on polyurethane are difficult for three reasons:
- These finishes don’t bond chemically to previous layers, so touch-ups grip only where the surface has been thoroughly scuffed. But if you attempt to scuff up a spot with sandpaper and then paint fresh finish over the area, you discover the problem: Inevitably, the dried repair shows.
- Particularly with oil-based polyurethane, which gives wood a rich amber tint, color-matching can be difficult.
- The sheen of a patch will differ from that of the surrounding floor, unless the repair is done while the surrounding finish is still relatively new. The problem is that polyurethane looses gloss with heavy wear, and no amount of buffing will restore the sheen to the same level that will show on the patch.
OSMO Polyx-Oil, on the other hand, can be buffed repeatedly to its original luster. Wear spots treated with our Liquid Wax Cleaner buff well too. And when a fresh coat of finish does need to be applied, it's a simple process.
. . . Osmo Polyx-Oil FAQ
[ - ] Q: Can OSMO Polyx-Oil be applied over existing water-based paints, stains and sealers?
A: No. As a penetrating sealer, OSMO Polyx-Oil should only be applied to bare wood, or other OSMO penetrating finishes. Existing water-based paints, sealers and finishes may fill the pores of the wood, making it impossible for the Polyx-Oil to penetrate properly. We also offer OSMO's Wood Wax Finish; a stain that can be used as a base coat, to add color to the wood. Keep in mind, though, that staining the wood compromises your ability to spot-treat scratches and stains.
[ - ] Q: Can OSMO Polyx-Oil be used in conjunction with other oil-based stains and finishes?
A: The OSMO Polyx-Oil has been tested to be compatible with other OSMO products like Wood Wax Finish. Other than that, you will have to perform your own tests for compatibility with other stains. Test in a small inconspicuous area, and check for proper penetration and color before using the finish over the entire application. For your convenience, we offer $5.00 testing samples of OSMO Polyx-Oil.
[ - ] Q: Is OSMO Polyx-Oil applied like other finishes?
A: OSMO Polyx-Oil is applied differently than most finishes you'll find. This finish cannot be simply painted on, or applied and left to soak in. Instead, the Polyx-Oil must be rubbed into the wood using an abrasive applicator and a fair amount of elbow grease. Essentially, there must be enough heat and friction to break-down the wax content of the finish, so it will penetrate into the pores of the wood. The Polyx-Oil is a fairly simple finish to apply, but can be difficult to fix if applied improperly. Simply READ AND FOLLOW OUR APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS, and you'll end up with an incredibly durable and beautiful floor!
[ - ] Q: I have applied OSMO Polyx-Oil as directed, but am experiencing uneven patches of color and sheen. What should I do?
A: Because wood is unevenly absorbent, it is common to see uneven color and sheen after the first coat. An uneven blotchiness after the second coat indicates that OSMO Polyx-Oil has been over-applied in some areas, or under-applied in some areas. The solution would be to either sand-off the excess Polyx-Oil once dry, or to apply a very thin third coat in dry areas, making sure to remove any excess material left on top of the wood.
[ - ] Q: Can I use OSMO Polyx-Oil for other projects besides the floor?
A: Absolutely. OSMO Polyx-Oil is an excellent finish for practically all interior wood applications. It provides excellent protection for unfinished wood paneling, trim, windows, stairs, railings and furniture. Once fully cured, Polyx-Oil will not emit any harmful odors or chemicals, and is non-soluble in water. Therefore, Polyx-Oil can also be used on food preparation surfaces, such as tables, cutting boards and butcher-block countertops. Polyx-Oil has also proven itself to be an excellent finish for unglazed terra cotta tile.
[ - ] Q: How long does it take for OSMO Polyx-Oil to dry?
A: Ideal conditions for drying finishes include a constant supply of fresh air, temperatures around 70° F, and relatively low humidity. Given adequate conditions, a floor finished with Polyx-Oil is safe to re-coat 24 hours after the first coat, and is safe to open to regular traffic 24 to 48 hours after the second coat. The full curing time for this finish, however, is 2 to 3 weeks. During this time period the floor can be exposed to regular traffic, but all areas of the floor must have constant access to fresh air. We recommend leaving-up all rugs or low-lying furniture that may impede airflow across the surface of the floor.
[ - ] Q: How do I tell if I've over-applied OSMO Polyx-Oil?
A: Over-application of OSMO Polyx-Oil is one of the more difficult problems to remedy, so it's very important to apply thinly, rub adequately, and READ AND FOLLOW APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS. While the floor is still wet, check for excessively shiny areas, and use the OSMO Floor Brush or a white or red pad to move the excess to other areas of the floor. Brush marks in the finish are a good indicator of over-application. Once the floor is dry, try to scratch the floor with your fingernail. If you're able to pull-up a powdery white line of wax, you will need to sand or screen the excess finish off, and apply another coat VERY THINLY.
[ - ] Q: What do I do with my leftover OSMO Polyx-Oil?
A: Unopened, OSMO Polyx-Oil has a shelf life of approximately 4-5 years. Once the can has been opened, there is a much higher chance that the finish may become contaminated or dried-out. To prevent contamination, we recommend pouring the amount of Polyx-Oil needed into a separate container, rather than dipping your brush or pad into the can. When storing, the less air in the can, the less likely skimming or contamination is to occur. Leftover Polyx-Oil should be transferred to a smaller can or jar, and an oxygen displacer like Bloxygen should be used to remove extra oxygen from the container. If you open the Polyx-Oil at a later date and find that the finish has skimmed-over, remove as much of the “skin” as possible, and stir the finish thoroughly. If you notice a significant discoloration or strong rancid odor, discard the material properly.
[ - ] Q: What kind of safety precautions should I take when working with OSMO Polyx-Oil?
A: The most toxic component of OSMO Polyx-Oil is its solvent. The solvent used is dis-aromatized mineral spirits, from which the benzene has been extracted, making it a very low-toxic version of ordinary mineral spirits. Most people are able to use the Polyx-Oil without any problems with its toxicity, but we always recommend self-testing for chemical sensitivity. For maximum protection, use nitrile gloves and a respirator with a NIOSH-approved organic vapor cartridge.
[ - ] Q: What is the coverage rate of OSMO Polyx-Oil?
A: For most wood flooring, OSMO Polyx-Oil covers approximately 200-250 square feet per liter, per coat. That said, the coverage rate will depend largely on the porosity of the surface it's applied to. Coverage may be as low as 150 square feet per liter for cork floors, or as high as 350 square feet per liter for exotic hardwoods.
[ - ] Q: How should the floor be sanded and prepared for application of OSMO Polyx-Oil?
A: Proper preparation of the floor is one of the most important factors in a successful OSMO Polyx-Oil application. The final sanding should use no finer than 120-grit sandpaper. Be extra-careful that no marks or gouges are left in the surface of the wood, as the penetrating finish will accentuate these marks. Pay particular attention to the transitions from the drum sander to the edger. Use a vacuum and a dry cloth, alternately, to remove any sawdust or sandpaper grit. Leftover dust or debris will get caught in the finish, leaving you with a rougher texture.
[ - ] Q: What should I do if I find dust or debris in my first coat of OSMO Polyx-Oil?
A: First, determine whether the finish was over-applied. If debris is embedded in a layer of Polyx-Oil on top of the wood, you will need to sand-off the existing layer, and re-apply, making sure to backwipe any excess material from the floor. If the finish was not over-applied, use a red or tan buffing pad to buff-out debris stuck in the finish, preferably within 24 hours of application