Staining oak floorboards

Oh kiss & make up you two, next you'll be throwing tins of wax at each other :D
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If you want to keep having a go at me or our advice, be my guest. We could also change tactics and advice all who come here for advice the best advice based on the products, experience, training etc we both have had and still receive. Before you retired you've worked with other products apparently than we. And we are always learning - that's one of the main objectives of our business: keeping up to date with all innovations, new products etc.

Nobody is gaining or winning here, specially not the DIY-ers who regard this forum as one of the best. Let's work on that.

Agreed, and something I was attempting to achieve in my post on 31 Aug @ 16:25

I don't want to ."..keep having a go at you" but I was not prepared to leave your statement "... there are no petroleum derivatives in it" unchallenged.

the Blanchon .pdf you provided a link to, the very first line reads "...HARD WAXOIL is based on vegetable oils and natural waxes. It treats and gives a natural finish to wood floors at the same time."

No mention of petrochemicals then, naughty, in my opinion.

Blanchons website has a vague tab with the label s.d.s under which it keeps the safety data sheets, you need to input company name (obviously not expecting a DIYER )

It clearly states

"Other substances representing a hazard:"

Wax is wax and oil is oil, both can be made from totally natural products, but when mixed with another unnatural substance they lose that integrity.

Hardwaxoil is the industry's answer to demand from the commercial sector for a less time consuming way of applying a wax. By developing a way of making the wax temporarily into a liquid by suspending it in an evaporative carrier, i.e. a petroleum derivative.

It is applied as a liquid and, as the petroleum evaporates, the wax dries and hardens.

Find me a hardwaxoil that has found an evaporative that is not a petrochemical derivative and I WILL endorse it.

Whilst a product may be safe for children's toys after application a growing majority of the general public want 'greener' and 'natural' products in their homes that have a lesser environmental impact, paper or Hessian bags are preferred over plastic carrier bags due to the publics dislike for the use of petrochemicals in the production of carrier bags not how safe that chemical is once dried.

I believe that attempts to pass products off as 'green' and natural with statements such as 'Natural finish' and 'based on natural products' need to be challenged and the use of words such as ' natural' in advertising should be regulated.

My advice NOT to use hardwaxoil is aimed at the person posting the original question regarding the use of Hardwaxoil in a domestic situation by a DIYER.

A DIYER may not fully consider or understand the individual products safety handling (skin protection, ventilation/inhalation) during application and could be working with children present.

These products are generally classified by the suppliers as for professional use to cover themselves as they are aware of the products risks and that a DIYER may not read or fully comprehend safety data sheets, adequately ventilate or wear the correct protective clothing.

Blanchons safety sheet for hardwaxoil continues:

"May produce an allergic reaction:"

Smoking, eating and drinking are prohibited in premises where the preparation is used

Statutory Information

Full text of risk phrases appearing in section 2:
R 10 Flammable.
R 21 Harmful in contact with skin.
R 22 Harmful if swallowed.
R 38 Irritating to skin.
R 40.C3 Limited evidence of a carcinogenic effect.
R 41 Risk of serious damage to eyes.
R 43 May cause sensitization by skin contact.
R 65 Harmful. may cause lung damage if swallowed.
R 66 Repeated exposure may cause skin dryness or cracking."
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Oh well.

Can you find me the safety date sheet of the ronseal you suggested, plus the whole list of ingredients then? Can't seem to find that one.

All products contain chemicals, hence always the recommendation to read and follow the instructions on the tin. We, many manufacturers and many of our clients (DIY, contractors etc) have very good experiences with hardwaxoil: easy to apply - hardwearing and easy to maintain.
In our and their eyes it has many more benefits than varnish or lacquer. Hence my suggestion to Andy2306 to apply a coloured hardwaxoil if he had a hard-time finding a coloured varnish he likes and could apply easily himself.

I'm sure you can agree with me that applying a varnish/lacquer finish on a new or old wooden floor is not something easy to do and best left to the professional who has many years of experiences.

Hope we're getting somewhere in the middle of the truth now ;) Of experience and preferences.
Oh well.

Can you find me the safety date sheet of the ronseal you suggested, plus the whole list of ingredients then? Can't seem to find that one.

The Safety Data Sheet is right there on the orange banner and states "Not regarded as a health or environmental hazard under current legislation"

All products contain chemicals, hence always the recommendation to read and follow the instructions on the tin.

My issue is with the use of petrochemicals NOT chemicals

Chemical or Petrochemical? the Oxford English Dictionary definition is:

Chemical = noun ~ a distinct compound or substance, especially one which has been artificially prepared or purified

Petrochemical = noun ~ a chemical obtained from petroleum and natural gas

QuickCure contains the chemical N-METHYL-2-PYRROLIDONE

N-METHYL-2-PYRROLIDONE is a chemical produced through the processing of Levulinic acid obtained from cellulose feedstocks (and NOT a petrochemical)

As you can see, I am very precise about detail and contents of products, I learnt many years ago not to take the 'word' of suppliers and their sales representatives when they introduce the latest 'best' or 'natural' product

I'm sure you can agree with me that applying a varnish/lacquer finish on a new or old wooden floor is not something easy to do and best left to the professional who has many years of experiences.

Totally agreed, especially on classic (old) floors, but lets not forget that this forum is for those that want to DIY and are asking for our collective advice, if we don't think they should be doing it we simply don't need to offer any.

Hope we're getting somewhere in the middle of the truth now ;) Of experience and preferences.

Happy to agree, as stated previously, nothing personally directed at your company in any of my comments, just as I have seen you correcting comments on others posts, I merely wanted to correct any misunderstanding on the use of petrochemicals in hardwaxoil.
Is it possible for a definative answer, hopefully from both of you. The floorboards are the original 1900's oak floorboards sanded down. I want as good a finish as possible, however the floorboards are in the hallway and dining room, so a 3 or 4 week process is really going to cause trouble with the missus!!

Its already been 2 weeks + since i sanded, however i have protected the whole area with polythene sheets whilst i paint and so as not to "dirty" the boards. I dont mind maintaining the boards I have done it with my wood worksurfaces, however i only plan to stay 10 years at the most so something that will look good for this period without the need to ever resand is essential.


I would opt for hardwaxoil any time: is easy to apply, gives the best result and brings out the character of the wood best.
Always apply the second coat within 36 - 48 hours of the first one otherwise you have to sand lightly again.

Specially in hallways (wet shoe prints) your wife will thank you for using hardwaxoil: the wet marks will not show as easily as on a lacquered finish (shows immediately!)
1 last question,

when i have finished hard wax oiling the floor, ive read i need a maintainance product, is this just more hard was oil coats or something different, if its different what is it?

Don't use HardWaxOil as maintenance product. There are various maintenance products around that'll do the trick - like lecol/leha. Make sure you buy one that's suitable for oiled floors.
Perhaps you need to state what you are looking for as your post started with you considering Yacht Varnish

there are many factors to consider...

what rooms is it for, high traffic areas, children, pets, wet wellies, heavy boots etc

is your home furnished in a contemporary or traditional style

what type of oak plank is it, heavily knotted dark grained wide planks, narrower lighter coloured planks with few knots and light grain

all this influences the appearance you want -
Satin oiled

or high gloss hard varnished

or matt finish natural looking wood etc

do you want the natural colour of the wood to remain or for the product to darken it (the majority will yellow or darken the wood)

are you looking for a 'green' product, smaller carbon footprint - low transport miles i.e. manufactured in the UK, do you want to support British industry or if imported does it need to be fairtrade etc etc etc

do you want to have a maintenance free floor, the 'harder' the product (varnish) you put on will result in less wear and maintenance.

whilst a varnish is considerably harder than an oil or wax and so requires less periodic maintenance it looks less 'natural' than an oil or wax

floors will scuff, scratch and wear more with an oil or wax finish resulting in a more rustic/weathered appearance

what speed of application do you want, don't forget drying time between coats, sanding between coats

to summarise

Oil or Wax - each has its benefits, if you have the time to apply and are happy to maintain

Linseed oil and beeswax are the oldest most traditional methods
such as

Varnish - slower drying, requires more sanding between coats - practically none or very little maintenance

water borne polyurethane - faster drying - available in high gloss or natural finishes, little or no maintenance

I have already already recommended ronseal due to the fact that it doesn't darken the wood and in the matt it leaves the most 'natural' finish I have ever seen in a polyurethane

once you have decided on what product you want, research the manufacturers web sites and try to visit a flooring showroom and a timber yard to see samples of treated wood
Hi, couldn't ignore it any longer.
Do not use exterior stains, they are waterproof and the lacquer/varnish you put on top will probably be water based and will peel off and scratch very easily.
Do not use a coloured lacquer/varnish, because the colour is in the lacquer and it will give a plastic look to the floor. if you put it on thick. Its more work to stain the floor first but you will get a more natural appearance. Oil or spirit based stains are best but you have to put it on quite heavy and take the excess off quick so you don't get overlap marks
BonaKemi are a multi million pound company but they offer free advise over the phone from their technical dept in Milton Keynes to anyone wanting to lay a new wooden floor or refurbish an existing one
Personally i would use a seperate wood stain and put it on with a brush an wipe off with a cloth. Then use several coats of polyurethene clear varnish. This is infinitly harder than yaght varnish which is used outside and stays supple to move around with the wood but is still rubbish.
There is nothing wrong with using an exterior wood stain such as Sikkens THB which is a finished product in itself and oil based. I agree with the coments about waxing as mentioned before.
When I was selecting finishes for timber floors in our home I was very conscious of health and safety aspects of solvents etc and so definetaly wanted to use water-based products. I did some investigating regarding NMP (N-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidone), which was mentioned in an earlier comment. This has been an incredient in water-based lacquers for some time. A few years ago the EU experts reclassified NMP as toxic, in response to test results revealing an effect on foetal development.
This is one of the reasons that I take issue with the comments directed at large companies, particularly Bonakemi, which have been proactive in replacing this solvent with an unclassified one.
I would always recommend the use of Bonakemi's lacquers, as they are 'clean' and very easy to use.
The comments regarding roller application being for cowboys is nonsense! The success of this method of application depends on the specific product to be applied. I have had great success with my floors using Mega , applied by roller. Where people may struggle is if they are trying to apply varnish in the same way they would roller emulsion onto a wall i.e. very thinly. Providing you have a product with good defoaming properties, apply the product generously and it will flow out nicely, leaving a surface like glass!
I have used both hardwax oil and varnish in my home and I find that the varnish is more durable and requires less maintenace. However the hardwax oil does give a lovely colour to redish coloured woods. Finally both treatments change over time. Varnishes do not shield the timber from the effects of light which impacts on the colour. One sees a maturing process with both treatments.

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