Merbau Finish?

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Hi all, i'm about to sand a herringbone floor that is probably Merbau. Can anybody recommend a good finish for this wood? I was going to use Osmo Polyx but it is not recommended for dark hardwoods. I'd preferably like the wood to stay as light as possible but realize that the "wetting effect" will darken the wood.

Any thoughts?

Cheers.

Nick.
 
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I would have said Osmo Polyx, it works fine for me on dark woods, it's light woods like beech, maple that it doesn't work on.

Where did you get this info from ?
 
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HardWaxOil do not really work as well on Tropical species as it does on Oak because tropical species are oily from themselves. Therefore the chance of getting a patchy finish is high (the oily wood interferes with the normal absorbing of the oil in the HWO so the wax in the HWO creates the patchy look).

Better is to use Euku Oil 1 - a clear oil that penetrates the wood for long term protection and then follow with a wax-polish for the wear and tear layer.
Difference between HardWaxOil and Oil and Wax
 
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mac391, I got the info from the back of the Osmo can.

WoodYouLike, Is there any reason why i can't just use the top coat? This would probably keep the wood a little lighter, wouldn't it?

Thanks for your replies.
 
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No for two reasons:
1 - any clear finish will darken the bare wood immediately (little trick of the trade: wet a piece of wood with a little bit of water, or wet finger, and it'll show you how it will look with a clear finish.

2 - your wood floor needs a wear and tear layer to protect it against dirt, drips and spillages. The wax-polish will not darken the floor further though.
 
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Merbau is a tricky one, because it is such a dense and oily timber.

I've known a number of flooring contractors to use single pack waterbased coating Aquacoat SP from Smith & Rodger, the only problem with this is that it sits on the surface far more than an oil, in saying that it reduces the maintenance massively and gives a very pale appearance.

In my opinion the best option would be Polyurethane Varnish Matt but this will alter the colour significantly.

Not easy and always worth testing any products first . Apply 3 coats of either of the above , leave for a couple of days and then rub a coin over the surface to make sure there is compatability.

Hope this helps.
 
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in saying that it reduces the maintenance massively
Would you mind if I don't agree with this? Oiled floor and lacquered floors need maintenance every 5 - 6 months, nothing more nothing less.

The high advantage of an oil floor is, every bit of maintenance you bestow on it (the above mentioned half yearly application) the more beautiful it becomes. You cannot say the same of lacquered floors. Plus, small damaged are ore easier repaired with an oiled floor than with a lacquered floor.
 
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I don't mind at all that you disagree and I can see you point regarding the fact that "small repairs" are far easier to carry out on an oiled surface. My issue is that these "small repairs" need to be carried far more frequently on an oiled surface.

In my opinion a floor which has had a surface coating applied to it will be far more durable than any oil and offers far greater levels of protection. Based on a range of basic chemical tests that we carried out here (wine, 40% alcohol, bleach, ketchup, acetone, boiling water) the hardwax oil we tested performed very badly, marking significantly on the bleach and wine test. The board coated with single pack waterbased finish Aquacoat was intact with no marks.

This is why I am so anti- oils for floors. It must be said though, they do look great!
 
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Can I ask how long after the application of the HWO did you carry out these tests?
 
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It does take 10 days - on average - for HardWaxOil to cure fully (as every manufacturer will state on their tins), but that depends on various circumstances of course.

In our and our clients experience the look of an oiled floor is much more natural than a lacquered floor, the amount of maintenance is not more than with lacquered floors and I haven't ever heard that with an oiled floor "small repairs" have to be carried out frequently.

Taking care of your floor - no matter what finish, be it oiled or lacquer - is paramount to the long lasting durability a wooden floor gives you. In the end it is down to personal taste - but many nowadays don't like the shiny look of lacquered floors, hence the "invention" of oiled/lacquers - but simple maintenance (once every half year, very easy with liquid polishes nowadays for both type of finishes) is quickly done without having to remove all furniture from the room.

It is also an often remarked on misconception that oiled floors need to be re-oiled every year. That is only ever needed if you have to sand the floor bare, or if you haven't applied maintenance for a long while.
 
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WYL what about the household chemical tests we carried out, surely that proves that hardwax Oils are inferior products with regards to durability and suitabilty?

Also we're now manufacturing Matt lacquers which are very subtle in appearance.

I have no ulterior motives in criticising oils as we're distributors of the Osmo range of oils but I just can't get away from the tests. The results were staggering and the Osmo representative had nothing to say when I showed them to him.

On top of that, in all the years I've been working in wood finishes we've never had one complaint about our floor lacquers but unfortunately I can't say the same about the Hardwax Oils for floors.
 
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To be honest, we're not in favour of Osmo either - too thick and too long to dry. We prefer and use Blanchon, which in our opinion - once fully cured - protects the floor against many common spillages.

The most stubborn stain we do encounter is dried up spillage from goat milk, strangely enough. Normal milk - no effect and cleaned off with hardly any abrasive effort; goat milk - keeps returning as a white circle after normal treatment, only stays away with more abrasive effort (abrasive effort without damaging the wood I must stress and always done before the maintenance product is applied, which restores the wear and tear layer immediately)

Any experience with Blanchon HWO or goat milk spillages?
 
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Unfortunately I've had no experience with Blanchon HWO, there's my project for next week, source some and do the tests.

I'll report back, in the meantime perhaps we should agree to disagree on the merits (or not) of Hardwax Oil and Lacquers

Have a good Easter.

Ian
 
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