Oils


Post Kent County Show Blues

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Our time at the Kent County Show

We have never attended a trade show before, so we thought as our success begins to grow, we should spread our wings! We reserved our place at the Kent County Show back in February, which seemed so long away at the time. But time flew by and before we knew it we were in sunny June!

Welcome Home

We decided to break from the norm and instead of just laying out our wares in the traditional market stall style, we decided to create an installation mimicking a house, each section representing a room or an element of the house. All of our team put 110% of their hard work into the creation and organisation of our stand. From painting to building and everything in-between.

We painted miniature terracotta pots in 50 different colours, showcasing our exterior paint ranges. We finished miniature beehives with vibrant and of course bee friendly wood oils, created three different flooring sections, comprising of exterior decking, interior pine floorboards and a simple OSB (the successor to traditional plywood) floor. We oiled, stained, waxed or varnished every single piece, with products from our ranges of floor and decking finishes.

Through the course of the show we gave away hundreds of goody bags which included samples from suppliers and heaps of information about the products we sell.

We even made a giant Jenga for everyone to play with, and treated it with Barrettine Wood Protective Treatment, which went down a storm with youngsters and adults alike. We even had an interactive demo station for everyone to try out our products to see which they liked best.

We were so lucky to have an amazing three days with great weather, surrounded by wonderful stalls and visited by fantastic customers!

Everything in our stand was hand painted and crafted, which we have now re-purposed in our shop in Folkestone.

So, if you have a wood related DIY project in mind, interior or exterior, and need free expert advice, come and see us in our shop and put one of our “wood wizards” to the test! Or you can just come down for a nose and see our labour of love in person.

Wood Finishes Direct would also like to say a big thank you to donations from Austin Sloan signs and Wild for Flowers who made our stand a little more appealing.

For a little insight into how we made the stand watch this video.

Thank you to everyone who visited, helped or was involved!

The Wood Finishes Direct Team

Size Matters! Limited Offer – 3L for 2.5L on Osmo Polyx Oil Satin

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Everyone likes a bargain, especially at this time of year when finances are being stretched because of the Christmas period. That’s why it’s great when a special deal comes up on one of our best selling products…

osmo-3032-special-offer-price

Special Offer – 3 Litres of Osmo 3032 for the price of 2.5 Litres.

Following the success of last year’s promo, Osmo have re-launched their highly successful 3 litre tin offer, where you get 3 ltrs of Osmo Polyx Oil 3032, for the same price as the standard 2.5 litre tin. A 3L tin could do 12 interior doors, two rooms of wooden furniture or over 36m2 of flooring.

This hugely versatile product is great for a whole range of interior wood care and renovation projects, including floors, doors, skirting boards, furniture and more. Its blend of natural oils and waxes enhance the natural grain and colour of the timber while protecting the wood against liquid spillages and the day to day wear and tear of a busy household. Here are just some of the Osmo Polyx Oil reviews received in the last month…

“I never use anything else now. Finished two kitchens, a bedroom, a whole house and furniture with it. Dead easy to get a perfect finish. Two coats is all you need. Putting it on with a cloth I’ve found gives the best results.”
“Beautiful finish on my old oak table.”
“This is a high quality product that is easy to apply, responds to very light sanding between coats and which dries to an excellent and durable finish. Sanded an oak topped kitchen table back to bare wood, applied a number of thin coats and have ended up with an “as new” table which has an enhanced grain and looks great.”
“A 750 ml tin goes a long long way if applied as per instructions. Good coverage. Slapping it on is a waste of time and money. Used to re-oil part of my kitchen wooden worktops around the sink and drainer area, it shows excellent water repellent capability.”
“Lovely satin finish. Used on a new oak banister to protect the wood and enhance the finish.”

 

So whether you’re looking to do a little pre-Christmas renovation before friends and family arrive, or perhaps already thinking about those post New Year projects, now is the time to stock up while this time limited offer is available and stocks last. Once its gone its gone.

Read more about the Osmo 25th anniversary promo from 2015 here.

Need help with your wood finishing projects?

Still unsure about which wood finishing products you need for your DIY projects? Call our friendly team of resident experts – They’re always on hand to provide free advice and guidance on the right products for your project. Lines open 7 days a week.*

Introducing – holzöl wood oils

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Here at Wood Finishes Direct, we always get excited when a new product range is selected to adorn our shelves. And, we’re doubly proud to have been selected as the exclusive UK supplier of holzöl wood oils.

Holzol-Blog-Image


Introducing the holzöl wood oil collection at Wood Finishes Direct

So what makes holzöl wood oils & stains so special? In essence, it’s a combination of factors that come together, including ease of use, premium quality eco friendly ingredients and the professional grade finish, all of which comes at a highly competitive price.

Trade Quality Finish – A trade quality product that doesn’t require any special trade skills to apply. In fact, holzöl wood stains and oils are very forgiving and easy to apply, even for a DIY novice. The advanced hybrid blend of oils, micronised waxes and resins penetrate into the timber to protect and enhance a wide range of interior and exterior wooden surfaces, including wooden doors, floors, furniture, decking and more for a professional grade finish.

Low impact – With the growing demand for timber and other materials from renewable sources, highly efficient natural coatings that protect and compliment wooden furniture, floors and joinery are becoming increasingly popular. For centuries wood has been oiled to protect and preserve both the structure and appearance of wood. holzöl wood oils provide the perfect mix of sustainability with advanced wood care properties.

Eco friendly performance – The holzöl advanced range of oils blends plant based ingredients with hybrid natural resins to achieve truly outstanding performance. holzöl wood oils feed and nourish the internal structure of timber thereby providing an unsurpassed level of protection. And because it seeps deep into the pores of the wood, it always gives a pleasing ‘just-below-the-surface’ silky-smooth finish.

Technically advanced formula – The holzöl range of advanced natural wood oils have been specially formulated for Improved touch and hard-dry times. Their impressive durability provides excellent resistance to abrasion, wet-heat, chemical attack and impact.

The real beauty of holzöl wood oils however is their universal appeal…’anyone can use them, everyone gets a great finish!’ holzöl is so easy-to-use.

With the introduction of 10 new holzöl wood oils, we have everything you’ll need to renovate, rejuvenate and restore all manner of interior and exterior wood.

Need Help?

Not sure what you need or how to tackle a particular wood finishing project? Our team of friendly resident experts are always on hand to help you with any questions or requirements you may have. You can quickly and easily contact us on our UK freephone number 0800 7818 123*, by email, Facebook and Twitter.

*UK freephone number available from UK landlines. Overseas calls and some network providers may charge for calls to this number.

Decking Oil or Stain, Which is Best?

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Here at Wood Finishes Direct we’re often asked which is the better out of two or more products. A common example of this is the question “decking oil or stain, which is best?” This is a tricky one because in general, decking stains and oils tend to be very different products, that work in different ways. It’s almost like trying to compare a washing machine with a tumble dryer.

decking-oil-or-stain-which-is-best

Decking Oil or Stain – Which is Best?

So what are these differences, we hear you ask…

Although both decking stains and oils come in a wide range of natural wood tones and colours, it’s only decking oils that offer a clear or non-pigmented version. In most cases, (but we must add not all), decking stains tend to coat the wood while oils penetrate into the wood.

Decking Stains

Decking stains tend to be varnish like products that coat the surface of the deck. Often available in a wide range of attractive wood shades, decking stains effectively seal the timber from the elements.

Decking Stain

Decking Stain Benefits

  • Decking stains generally build a plastic-like layer over the surface of the deck that seals and protects the decking timbers from weathering and foot traffic.
  • The colour / pigment in the stain helps to reduce UV exposure to the wood therefore helping to protect the timber from the greying effects of sun and rain.
  • Works well and looks good on decking hand rails and spindles.
  • Good coverage and colour strength.
  • Many decking stains are quick drying and are shower proof and ready to walk on in just a couple of hours.
  • Provide mould and algae resistance

Potential Decking Stain Issues

  • Can reduce the visibility of the wood grain slightly due to the pigmented film between the timber of the decking boards and the eye.
  • Can start to crack, peel and flake once the seal has become compromised and moisture can get between the decking boards and the decking stain.
  • Must be fully removed if recoating with a different stain or if the decking stain has started to break down and degrade.
  • Can be difficult to fully remove from grooved decking.
  • Cannot easily be applied to a decking that has been previously oiled. Any oil that remains in the decking may repel or prevent adhesion of the decking stain.
  • Can be problematic on new, naturally oily, dark exotic hardwood decking such as Iroko, Balau, Massaranduba, Teak and Cumaru. These timbers should be allowed to weather naturally for around 3 to 6 months to allow the surface grain to open and for some of the natural oils to dissipate.

Please Note: Not all decking stains are compatible with each other. Always check with the manufacturer before applying any decking treatment over another.

Decking Oils

Decking Oils are available in both coloured and clear formulations. Designed to penetrate in to the surface grain of the timber, decking oils protect wooden decking from within.

Decking Oil

Decking Oil Benefits

  • Excellent coverage usually in the range of 8 to 10 square meters per ltr.
  • Rainproof and ready to use for light foot traffic in around 4 to 8 hours depending on the decking oil used.
  • Many contain UV filters to slow down the effects of UV and water damage to the timber.
  • Helps to replace the lost natural oils of the timber.
  • Works from within to keep the wood supple therefore helping to prevent cracking, splitting and warping of the decking board timbers.
  • Easy to clean, maintain and repair. No need to strip back to bare wood before applying a replenishing top coat.
  • Easy to carry out patch repairs in high traffic areas.
  • Decking oils will not crack, peel or flake from the surface of the wood.
  • Help to protect the wood from mould and algae.
  • Unless it’s a specific anti slip decking stain, decking oils tend to be less slippery than stains as they don’t cover the wood with a plastic-like film, meaning that the naturally uneven texture of the timber has better grip potential.

Potential Decking Oil Issues

  • Not all decking oils may be suitable for exotic hardwood decking because of their oily character and dense grain. Highly refined or extra thin decking oils may be required.
  • Cannot be over-coated with a decking stain or decking paint unless the decking has been allowed to weather for several years.
  • The final colour of a decking oil can be more heavily influenced by the colour of the decking timber than a stain.

It is worth mentioning here that water-based decking oils and solvent-based decking oils cannot be used together. The way to check which is which is to read the brush cleaning instructions on the tin. If it says to use water to clean your brush, it’s a water-based decking oil. If it says to use white spirit, it’s solvent-based.

Top Tips for applying decking oils and stains

  • Always, stir the contents of the tin thoroughly, at least for a couple of minutes before applying. This ensures that colour pigments and other important compounds of the formulation are well distributed and not concentrated at the bottom of the tin.
  • Always do a test patch and allow the decking oil or stain to fully dry before starting the main project. This provides an opportunity for you to see how the product will look when dry. Does it meet your expectations?
  • Only apply in double figure temperatures and when the weather is set to be dry for at least the minimum drying time displayed on the tin. Single figure temperatures, damp or wet conditions could adversely affect the application and final finish of the product.
  • Look out for end of season offers. Decking oils and decking stains can be had at a discount towards the end of the summer season, meaning that you can stock up for the next year and make a saving in the process.

Recommended Products

Decking Oils

ronseal-ultimate-protection-decking-oil

Ronseal Ultimate Protection Decking Oil – penetrates deep into the wood, providing a long lasting finish that is up to twice as resistant to foot traffic and weather damage than the Standard Decking oil.

ronseal-decking-oil

Ronseal Decking Oil – a durable, waterproof treatment that protects against weathering, warping, swelling, drying and splitting. Rainproof in 2 hours, leave 6 hours between coats. Resists mould and algae growth. Replaces the decking’s natural oils that are lost over time. Shields against the greying effects of UV rays. Suitable for most hardwood and softwood decking.

barrettine-decking-oil

Barrettine Decking Oil – offers superior protection from UV weathering. High-quality, water-repellent ingredients prevent splitting, peeling and flaking. Enhances natural beauty and colour of decking. Keeps algae and mould in check. Safe for humans, animals and plants once dry.

Manns Premier UV Decking Oil – a multi-purpose exterior oil treatment. Excellent water-beading properties and weather protection. Reduces the risk of timber cracking, splitting and warping. Suitable for both softwood and hardwood decking, and sheds, fences, pergolas. Unique UV formula keeps wood looking good for longer and resists the greying effects of the sun. Can be used on all pre-treated, pressure treated and preservative impregnated timber.

osmo-decking-oil

Osmo Decking Oil – Osmo Decking Oils protect, maintain and beautify the wood surface, producing a smooth satin finish which is extremely water resistant and dirt repellent. The microporous finishes are based on natural vegetable oils and allow the wood to breathe and helps regulate the moisture content reducing swelling and shrinkage, the finish will not crack, flake, peel or blister.

holzol-deck-oil

Holzol Decking Oil – a trade-quality oil for use on all wooden decking. Addition of urethane resin ensures good durability. Enriched with UV filters to reduce greying. Semi-transparent colours make deck appear alive and vibrant in tone. Based on a blend of natural oils modified with urethane resin. V.O.C level approved

 

Decking Stain

ronseal-ultimate-protection-decking-stain

Ronseal Ultimate Protection Decking Stain – uses advanced technology to penetrate deeper into the wood for increased adhesion and hardness to provide up to double the foot traffic protection and weather resistance versus the standard Ronseal Decking Stain formulation (based on Ronseal’s weathering data).

 

ronseal-decking-stain

Ronseal Decking Stain – a pigmented / coloured deck stain. Suitable for a wide range of soft and hardwood decking. Hard-wearing and weather resistant. Available in a range of attractive natural colours. Quick and easy to apply. Suitable for high foot traffic areas. Dries to a semi-translucent, matt finish. Contains UV filters to reduce greying.

cuprinol-anti-slip-decking-stain

Cuprinol Anti-Slip Decking Stain – a durable finish with invisible anti-slip microbeads to make decking tread safer. Suitable for both domestic and commercial decking. Use as a top-coat over non-wax preserver or existing compatible porous finish. Contains algicide to protect against green algae and mould growth. Easily repaired with a simple top-up coating as required. Dries to a semi-transparent colour.

Need help with your decking finish?

Still unsure about which products to use on your decking? Give our friendly team of resident experts a call on 0800 7818 123. They’re always on hand to provide free advice and guidance on the right products for your project. Lines open 7 days a week, free landline service.

The Hardwood Worktop Issue – Holzol Worktop Oil vs Manns Top Oil – Part 2

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Worktop Oil Video

This Vlog is the second in a series in which Ben O’Reilly from Wood Finishes Direct compares Holzol Worktop Oil and Manns Top Oil. If you have not seen the first one Click Here to watch it.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuFKXUSjDS4[/youtube]

Click Here to watch the video in youtube, and Click Here to Subscribe.

Worktop Oil Video Transcript

Hi I’m Ben O’Reilly from Wood Finishes Direct, and this is the second video in a two part series in which I’ve been comparing the Holzol Worktop Oil and Manns Top Oil. If you haven’t already caught the first video in this series click the box in the corner there, it’ll take you to it make sure you give it a watch. In the first video I compared them in two different categories, Firstly ease of application. Because they are both so easy to apply I had to give it that one as a draw. The second category was Dry Time and as you can see the Manns Top Oil does dry faster.

As promised I applied another coat of the oils, and the next test I had to do is Aesthetic. I asked 13 members of staff from Wood Finishes Direct and 6 members of the General Public to very kindly vote on what one they preferred the look of, without knowing which is which. The result of that vote is in this envelope here, and the winner is… Holzol, Holzol came in with 10 votes and the Manns received 9. Truth be told they both look great,they have done a good job of bringing out the natural beauty of the wood. The only true difference between the two is sheen level. The Holzol dries to a Satin Sheen, and the Manns dries to a Matt. Aesthetic is a difficult one to judge however it is all down to taste. So it’s about choosing which one will works for you.

The next test is Stain resistance, I’m going to use 3 common household objects that can cause issues and staining to wood. Firstly Cola, representing sticky sugary stains, secondly coffee representing hot drink spills. And thirdly the worst stain of them all… Red wine. I will be using syringes to pour out 5 ml of each of the stains and then let them sit for around 60 seconds after that I will wipe them off and see if they have done any damage at all. Let’s see how they do.

Staining

Wiping up Red Wine

Holzol Worktop Oil Easily Resists Damage from Red Wine.


So cola, coffee and wine did not leave so much as a smudge, very impressive! And even more impressively, because they are oils, if they did damage all you would have to do is. For minor stains, clean them with a suitable cleaner for example the Manns wood surface cleaner apply another thin coat and it will be as new. For more serious stains and damage all you have to do is just knock the area back with some fine sandpaper apply another thin coat and it will be as good as new. I am going to have to give stain resistance as a draw! That leaves them tied 3-3 at the final whistle, with the only real difference being dry time and sheen level, if you are looking for a worktop oil kitchen worktops and table tops, then i will happily recommend either of them. just click the boxes at the bottom of the screen, either one, it will take you to their pages, where you can read more about them and look to see which one is going to be right for you.

A full list of all the products featured and used is available in the description on YouTube, if you have any questions or would just like any further advice please phoning the phone number or email the email address that is appearing on screen now, if you liked this video and want to see some more unique content simply subscribe to the YouTube channel, like and comment on any of the video’s you like, and of course, Always do a test area.

How to Repair Damaged areas

Please note these are the repair guidelines for Manns Top Oil, however it will also work with other brands, i.e. Holzol, Fiddes, Osmo Etc.

For Minor Stains

  1. Evenly apply a suitable cleaner, remove excess and allow to dry.
  2. If required top up the finish by applying another thin coat of the oil to the affected area.
  3. Wipe off any excess and allow to dry.
  4. Sit back and enjoy your handiwork!

For Highly Stained areas

  1. Knock the area back until the Stain/Damage is no longer visible.
  2. Remove all sanding dust.
  3. Apply a thin coat of the oil to the area and remove all excess.
  4. Sit back and enjoy your handiwork!

The greatest thing about using oils as a finish on your wooden areas is just how easy they are to repair and maintain. It is always best to react to stains and damage early before it gets out of hand, as they say “a stitch in time, saves nine.”

If you need any further help or advice please ring 0800 7818 123 or send us an Email.

Other Content You Will Love!

Blog: Product Spotlight – Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Finish

Blog: Which is the Best Oil For Wooden Worktops?

Blog: Knackered Kitchen Worktops and Cupboards? Here’s How to Maintain Them

Blog: The Big Brush Issue – Synthetic Vs Natural Paint Brushes – What Brush To Use.

Blog: Secrets Of The Experts – Denibbing Explained – How to Finish Like a Pro.

Video: Hardwood Oil – Osmo Wood Wax Extra Thin 1101 Product Test

Video: Treating Kitchen Worktops and Table Tops – Mann’s Top Oil Product Test

    Disclaimer

  • Always try a test area before beginning any project!
  • Always use suitable protective equipment, and take due care while applying any of the products featured in these video’s.
  • All prices are accurate at time of the video going live.

The Hardwood Worktop Issue – Holzol Worktop Oil vs Manns Top Oil – Part 1

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Worktop Oil Video

One of the more common questions we get asked at Wood Finishes Direct is what Worktop Oil to use on Hardwood or Solid Wood Kitchen Worktops. As a result of this, we decided to test out a new product to the wood finishing industry the Holzol Worktop Oil and see how it compared to an industry favourite the Manns Worktop Oil.

Click here to view the Video on YouTube and Dont Forget to Subscribe to our YouTube Channel too!

Video Transcript

Hi I’m Ben O’Reilly From Wood Finishes Direct, and welcome to the product test and how to video guide. This video is the first in a two part series in which I’m going to be comparing these two Worktop Oils. The first Worktop Oil comes from relatively new kids on the block Holzol, it comes in a one litre tin, and for more information just click the box at the bottom of the screen and it will take you to a page where you can read more about it. The second oil I will be comparing is the Manns Top Oil, this one comes in a 500ml tin and again for any further reading click the box at the bottom of the screen.

I am going to be testing them across 4 different categories, ranging from Ease of Application, Dry time, Aesthetic and Stain Resistance. Needless to say I’ll have to do Ease of Application first. I am going to be applying them to this piece of Beech block worktop, I have used this Beech block worktop in two different video’s previously, one on Mann’s Top Oil, and one on Osmo Wood Wax Finish Extra Thin 1101. Prior to application I sanded it through the grits, just to remove any contaminates or any previous finish. It is always a good idea to do that prior to applying any finish.

I’ll be applying both oils using a Mako Natural Bristle Wood-care Brush, then ragging off any excess with a Manns Microfiber Cloth. Prior to application it’s always best to thoroughly stir an oil, I have already done that and I have decanted them into some paint trays. Now lets see how they perform through application.

Holzol Worktop Oil Vs Manns Worktop Oil Application

Application

So! The time difference for application between the Holzol Worktop Oil and the Manns Top Oil was just a few seconds in favour for Holzol. Both are applied in a fairly similar fashion, just brush on a nice thin coat then wipe off any excess using a Manns Microfiber Cloth. I was really struggling to come up with reasons to give it to either Holzol or Manns. There was one thing that I did notice, the Holzol smells amazing, it has a really pleasant aroma. But that however is not enough to swing it in its way, so I’m going to how to give Ease of Application to Both of them, it has to be a draw.

The next category is dry time, for the Manns Top Oil it’s 4 hours and for the Holzol Worktop Oil its re-coat time is 6-8 hours. However, for it to be fully dried and cured and ready for use it does take 12 to 24 hours, as a result of this I’m gonna have to give dry time to the Manns Top Oil, just for overall job length being shorter. What I’m going to do now is give these two another coat of their respective oils and then I’m going to in the next video do the aesthetic and stain resistance test. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and tune in next time to see how they fair.

If you have any questions or just like some further advice please phone the phone number or email the email address on screen now, if you liked this video and want to see some more unique content simply Subscribe to our YouTube channel, like and comment on any of the video’s you like, and of course, Always do a test area.

Other Content You Will Love!

Blog: Which is the Best Oil For Wooden Worktops?

Blog: Knackered Kitchen Worktops and Cupboards? Here’s How to Maintain Them

Blog: The Big Brush Issue – Synthetic Vs Natural Paint Brushes – What Brush To Use.

Blog: Secrets Of The Experts – Denibbing Explained – How to Finish Like a Pro.

Video: Hardwood Oil – Osmo Wood Wax Extra Thin 1101 Product Test

Video: Treating Kitchen Worktops and Table Tops – Mann’s Top Oil Product Test

Disclaimer

  • Always try a test area before beginning any project!
  • Always use suitable protective equipment, and take due care while applying any of the products featured in these video’s.
  • All prices are accurate at time of the video going live.

Manns UV Decking Oil, The Mann For the Job. The Secret Of Beautiful Decking Exposed.

Friday, March 18th, 2016

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKPNNkr9mbo[/youtube]

Are you looking for an exterior decking oil that will not just protect your deck from Water, Mould and General Wear and Tear but also from harmful U.V. Rays? Then This helpful video is perfect for you!

Manns UV Decking Oil Video Transcript.

Hi, I’m Ben O’Reilly From Wood-Finishes-Direct and welcome to the product test and how to video guide, in this video I’m going to be discussing The Mann’s UV Decking Oil.

It’s an all in one protective treatment that’s not just suitable for decking, it can be used on all exterior timber, for example Pergolas, Cladding, Exterior Furniture and so much more. It is suitable for use on both hardwoods and softwoods, and not only does it protect from Water, Mould and General Wear and Tear. It also protects from harmful U.V. Rays which will turn your exterior timber a greyish silvery colour over time. And because it soaks into the wood, it won’t peel, it won’t crack and it won’t flake. And as well it nourishes the wood meaning it will limit the damages from bowing and cracking as well.

I’ll be applying the Manns U.V. Decking Oil in Dark Oak and I’ll be putting it onto this square of deck that I’ve mocked up here. If you’re putting it on an older deck that has or hasn’t been treated in the past you do need to make sure it’s free of any debris, it has been prepped, cleaned and preserved. If you need any help with this, watch this other video I’ve made on decking treatments it will point you in the right direction. Its also worth noting it can be applied over Tanalised or Pressure Treated Wood, but it cannot be applied to a painted deck.

The Applicator I’m going for today is The Mann’s Decking Applicator. It’s a nifty Application tool that can either be used by hand or with a suitable extension pole or broom handle. It features a disposable sponge that is great for getting into the grooves on decking. Prior to application do make sure you stir your oil, and then throughout application as well keep stirring it every now and then. To apply firstly pour it into your paint tray, and then sparingly and evenly apply the oil, in long even strokes, work in manageable areas and to the full length of the boards.

So now I have finished applying you need to wipe off any excess, I will be doing this with a Mann’s Microfibre Cloth. What you’re looking to do it half work it in half wipe it off, it’s quite important to remember at this stage to get into the grooves as well.

So after two coats mine’s turned out like this, it’s a really lovely deep colour the Manns U.V. Decking Oil went on really nice as well, Dry time is around 24 hours per coat, but if it is a little bit colder that obviously will take a little bit longer. The Manns U.V. Decking Oil is an ideal alternative to more expensive decking oils and decking stains on the market.

A Full list of all the products used in the video is available in the description on YouTube. And as well if you have any questions or would just like some advice please don’t hesitate to get in touch by phoning the phone number or emailing the email address on screen now.

If you liked this video and want to see more unique content simply subscribe to our YouTube channel, like and comment on the videos you like and of course, always do a test area.

Other Posts You Will Love

Product Spotlight – Manns Decking Oil.

7 Common Decking Problems and Solutions.

How to Make Decking Non Slip.

Garden Decking Stains, Treatments & Oils : Part 1 – Getting Started

Wooden Decking Stains, Treatments & Oils : Part 2 – Problems & Cures

Decking Oils, Stains and Treatments: Part 3 – Application & Protection

Which is the Best Oil For Wooden Worktops?

Friday, February 19th, 2016

Kitchen worktops come in a massive range of materials and styles, from manmade laminate and composite materials to natural materials such as stone, granite, quartz and wood. All of which give a very specific look and feel and while some worktops can be relatively cheap, others can run into the many thousands.

One of the more popular kitchen worktop materials, both traditionally and today, is wood. In terms of durability, wood is up there with the best but unlike, stone, slate and granite worktops, it’s less likely to get chipped, lose a corner or suffer from a jagged or damaged edge. Even if it does, repair is usually much quicker, easier and cheaper.

When it comes to wooden kitchen worktops, there’s a wide range of woods to choose from with the more common being Oak and Beech, other woods such as Walnut, Iroko and Bamboo are also available as are other more exotic and rare wood types but these usually come at a higher cost.

Wooden Kitchen Worktop Care

Although wood is a great material for kitchen worktops, it does require some care to keep it looking great and functioning well. Wood oils have been used for centuries to protect and preserve wood and although the same is true today, new types and blends of oils are more commonly used.

The pros and cons of wooden kitchen worktops?

By its nature, wood is porous meaning that if left untreated, liquids, juices and bacteria from meats and other sources can seep into the surface grain, discolouring and staining the wood. More importantly, the unsealed wood can create the perfect environment for germs and bacteria to collect and breed.

A common issue with poorly maintained kitchen worktops is black mould around taps and sinks. This is usually caused by water damage and mould spores growing in the surface of the timber, encouraged by warm, damp conditions. Although this sounds serious, as long as the work top hasn’t been varnished, it can usually be remedied by scrubbing the black areas with a mould and mildew cleaner. This will remove the black staining and kill off the bacteria and spores responsible. In severe cases, a second treatment may be required. Once the wood has been successfully treated and cleaned it’s ready for oiling.

The great news is that wooden worktops can look fabulous and even if they’ve been neglected and abused, left with stains, marks, discolourations and stains, it’s usually a fairly easy process to get them looking amazing again with little more than a light sanding, some white spirit and the all important worktop oil.

Why Does Oiling Wooden Worktops Work?

Simply speaking, oiling wooden worktops works by filling the surface grain of the timber with natural oils and waxes, that dry and harden in the surface fibres of the timber. This acts as an effective wood preserver and sealer, helping to prevent moisture and bacteria from entering the wood grain.

Wooden Worktop Oil – Old v New

A question that we’re often asked is “Which is the best oil for wooden worktops?” Wood oils such as Tung, Linseed and Danish Oil have always been used to protect and preserve work surfaces and other types of timber, and are still commonly used today. So why use a modern worktop oil? Which is best? We hear you ask. The difference between traditional wood oils and the newer ranges of wooden worktop oil products comes down to several key differences.

Ease of use – Application and drying times

The number of coats can depend on the type and condition of the wood, many of the traditional oils may require anything from 3 to 7 coats to be effective and with drying times of around 24 hours between coats, oiling a wooden work top could take as long as a week. In comparison, most modern top oils require just 2 thin coats and are dry in 4 to 8 hours, depending on the oil brand and environmental conditions.

Worktop durability

In terms of durability, traditional wood oils tend to require maintenance on a more regular basis as they dissipate in the wood and evaporate from the surface of the worktop more quickly than their modern equivalents. Modern purpose made worktop oils are made from specially formulated blends of waxes and oils, that harden in the surface of the wood, to form a durable, protective barrier.

Oil penetration in the worktop surface

Modern kitchen worktop oils are highly refined and are blended with solvents to thin and aid penetration into the surface of the wooden work top. In many cases, especially on denser woods, traditional wood oils will not penetrate in to the wood as well unless they are first thinned with turps.

It’s true to say however that even with modern top oils some are better suited to specific wood types than others depending on how dense the wood is and how thin the worktop oil is. Some products such as Manns Top Oil and Osmo Extra Thin 1101 are especially great for denser timbers such as Beech, Bamboo and Walnut worktops. While Holzol Worktop Oil is a great all rounder.

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The great thing with an oiled wooden worktop is that they look great, are easy to maintain and repair even if they do become stained, scratched or worn looking. For more on the subject, we’ve created a great video that shows how easy it is to apply a solid wood worktop oil.
 

 

An additional bonus of top oil products is that because they are completely food and child safe when dry, they’re perfect for rejuvenating and restoring wooden chopping boards and other wooden kitchen utensils.

Top Tip

Applying a top oil to a kitchen worktop will enhance the natural colour, grain and character of the timber. If you’re installing a new or renovating an old worktop by sanding, wipe over a small section with a slightly damp (not wet) cloth or sponge to get a good indication of how the worktop will look when oiled.

If you have or are thinking about getting or restoring a solid wood worktop, and need help or advice on how to repair, restore, maintain or clean it, give are team of resident experts a call. They’re always on hand to answer any questions you may have. We also have a handy Worktop Finishes project page which lists all the various worktop finishes, cleaners and fillers we stock.

Celebrating 25 Years of Osmo UK

Friday, November 20th, 2015
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Osmo Celebration Tin – 25 Years of Osmo UK

In 2015, Osmo celebrated 25 years in the UK by releasing a special anniversary edition, 3 litre tin of Osmo Polyx Oil 3032, Clear Satin, for the same price as the standard 2.5 litre size. As you can imagine, these flew off our shelves like Christmas Cake at an Elf convention. Because of the amazing response to last year’s offer, Osmo are doing it again. For a limited time, and while stocks last, you can once again bag 3 litres for the price of 2.5. That’s 20% extra, enough to do up to 12 square meters for free.

Osmo is a brand that we here at Wood Finishes Direct have been dealing with for many years and for good reason, it’s simply one of the best producers of wood finishing products in the world! Now you don’t get a reputation like this from thin air so why are Osmo oils held with such high regard? It’s a question that can’t be simply answered as different customers praise different aspects of the Osmo brand and its products. Here are just some of the many thousands of customer reviews we’ve received over the years.

“Love this product,it gave just the effect i was looking for.”
“Good quality and the smallest amount goes a long way.”
“First rate stuff – wouldn’t buy anything else.”
“Easy to use and a very tough finish.”
“Excellent product. Easy to apply and performs extremely well.”

 

Osmo pride themselves in not only producing outstanding wood finishing products for both interior and exterior projects, but they do so with legendary German efficiency and without ever losing site of their ecological ethos of producing exceptional products that are as user and environmentally friendly as possible.

Celebrating 25 Years of Osmo UK

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Osmo – Celebrating 25 Years in the UK.

For 25 years now, Osmo have been protecting everything from wooden floors to interior doors, garden benches to garden fences. And to celebrate, Osmo have released a celebration tin of Osmo Polyx Oil 3032 with an additional 20% free, that’s three litres for the price of two and a half. Now this may not sound like much to those not familiar with the product, but in terms of coverage, that’s equivalent to an additional 12 square meters, or put another way the floor of a small room or a couple of interior doors based on 2 coats.

Why Use Osmo Hard Wax Oil

One of the questions we get asked on a regular basis is what does Polyx Oil or as it’s also known ‘hard wax oil’, offer that varnishes don’t. The main appeal with Osmo wood oils, other than their user and environmental credentials are that they are incredibly easy to apply and maintain. Although perhaps not quite as durable as a good quality varnish, a key benefit is that unlike a varnish, when the finish starts to show signs of wear and tear, it doesn’t have to be sanded back to bare wood again. It’s simply a case of ensuring that the wooden surface is clean, free from surface dirt and debris then re-applying a thin maintenance coat – Hey Presto! As good as new.

How Long Does an Oiled Finish Last?

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The maintenance duration of Osmo Oils is dependant on many factors.

Knowing how long an oiled surface will last before requiring maintenance is a little like the age old question of how long is a piece of string? It all depends on the wear and tear that the surface is subjected to. For external wood oils, this is largely down to how much wind, rain and sun the wood gets. As an example, An oiled wooden surface on an exposed coastal location will require more maintenance than a sheltered town or city one. An oiled wooden floor in a restaurant will require more maintenance than a domestic property. In general, the vast majority of a floor will be fine for many years with just the high traffic areas that take the brunt of wear and tear perhaps needing a little attention more often. But, as a very rough general guide, most surfaces treated with an Osmo Oil will be good for at least a couple of years. Low contact areas such as interior wooden doors, skirting boards, wooden bookshelves etc will require much less care, potentially lasting many, many years before requiring a spruce up.

How Do Osmo Wood Oils Work?

Osmo wood oils are formulated from a blend of natural waxes and oils that penetrate and harden in the surface of the wood once dry. The natural oils help to prevent the timber from drying out which in turn helps to prevent cracking and warping of the wood. And because the oil sits in the surface of the wood rather than producing a plastic like film on top of the wood like a paint or varnish, there is nothing to crack, peel or flake off.

A key feature of Osmo oils is that they protect the surface of the timber from within by providing a highly durable, scratch and liquid resistant finish. making them perfect for a wide range of interior and exterior wood care projects. In terms of the Polyx Oil range, it’s classified as child and food safe so can be used to protect and seal hand crafted wooden children’s toys, kitchen worktops, tabletops, chopping boards, wooden kitchen utensils, serving bowls and a whole host of wooden food preparation and storage surfaces.

Applying and Maintaining Osmo Polyx Oil

When applying Osmo Polyx Oil, you’ll be surprised at how far it goes. The standard 2.5 ltr tin covers an area of around 60 square meters based on one coat, that’s around 34 square meters based on 2 coats, this is because less is absorbed by the wood on the second coat. With the Osmo 25th anniversary promotional 3 litre tins of 3032 clear satin, that jumps to around 72 square meters based on 1 coat and around 40 square meters based on 2 coats.

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Osmo Polyx Oil Applied With An Osmo Floor Brush

Applying Osmo Polyx Oil Correctly

The correct way to apply Osmo Polyx Oil is to simply follow the very straight forward instructions on the tin. Here are our top tips on how to achieve a professional looking wood finish every time.

  • Wooden floors and other wooden surfaces must be bare wood, it simply won’t work on surfaces that have been painted, varnished or waxed as the oil cannot penetrate in to the surface of the wood.
  • Wooden floors and other surfaces shouldn’t be sanded too finely. Maximum sanding grit should be 120 to 150. Anything finer will close the surface pours of the wood, preventing the oil from penetrating into the fibres of the timber.
  • Once sanded, wooden surfaces should be cleaned to remove all traces of sanding dust, dirt and grit. wooden floors should be vacuumed thoroughly so that surface dust and dirt doesn’t contaminate the oil finish.
  • Always do a test area to make sure that you’re happy with the finish the oil produces. Applying a clear wood oil will always enhance the natural grain and colour of the timber. Many types of Pine for example can look fairly pale and colourless when freshly sanded but when wood oil is added, it can draw out the natural golden warmth of the pine.
  • It’s essential that Osmo oils are applied thinly to achieve the optimum coverage and the best possible finish. Osmo wood oils can be applied with a paint brush, lint free cloth, rag, microfibre cloth, paint pad or other floor finish applicator. The key is to spread the wood oil out as far as it will go, not overload brushes and applicators with oil and to wipe up any excess oil from the surface immediately with a clean lint free cloth.
  • Allow the first coat to dry fully before applying the second coat. The second coat requires less oil than the first so again, thin application is key.

Cleaning and Maintaining Oiled Wood

Cleaning and maintaining an oiled wooden floor or for that matter, any oiled surface, is reasonably stress free and easy to do.

The best way to protect an oiled finish on a floor is to vacuum or dry sweep with a broom on a regular basis, especially if the floor in question is near an entrance point such as a front or back door, more likely than not a hallway or kitchen. The main reason for this is that fine grit brought in on the bottom of shoes could cause minor scratches or tiny dents in the surface of the wood. Keeping the floor clean of surface debris will help to prevent this sort of damage.

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Cleaning an oiled floor with the Osmo Spray Mop

For more thorough cleaning, oiled flooring can be mopped with a slightly damp mop or with a dedicated wood surface cleaner such as Osmo Wash and Care. These tend to be PH balanced and formulated specifically for the purpose of cleaning wooden floor finishes and are ideal for cleaning stubborn marks and shoes scuff marks, perfect for a weekly or bi-weekly clean.

Despite the many TV and magazine ads, wooden floors and other wooden surfaces should never be cleaned with a steam cleaner. These cleaners inject high pressure steam into the floor finish and the wood below degrading the integrity of the floor finish and potentially damaging the flooring itself due to absorbsion of steam which can cause the wood to swell, twist and split.

When it’s time for a maintenance coat the process is almost the same as when first applying the oil. Use a vacuum or dry mop to ensure that the wooden surface is dust and dirt free. Areas that have been scuffed, marked, scratched or worn can be lightly sanded with a scotch pad or fine grit sandpaper to remove the damage, taking care to vacuum or sweep up any new dust that this creates. Then it’s just a matter of applying one thin maintenance coat and allowing to fully dry.

What To Do If Too Much Oil Has Been Applied

A common issue we get calls from customers about is when their floors or other wooden surfaces are still tacky or sticky a day or 2 after application or has brush marks in the finish. In terms of the coloured variations of Polyx Oil, another common issue is uneven colour with swirl marks and darker patches. These situations are virtually always down to over application of the oil. These issues are usually, do we dare say, a male thing where the tin says 2 thin coats, but the thinking is that 4 thick coats must be better. Right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Wood is like a sponge but will only absorb a small amount of oil. When it reaches its limit, surplus oil builds on the surface to form a film or skin on the wood. This causes 2 issues, firstly by extending the drying time by many hours or even days. And secondly, a poor finish that among other things, is soft and easy to mark, peel and damage because of the surplus oil that has dried on the surface of the wood.

Thankfully, over application of Polyx Oil and other oils from the Osmo range is a rarity and is normally caused by shall we say, over enthusiastic DIYers, or when people employ painters and decorators to apply wood finishing products. Although painters and decorators are undoubtedly great at painting, they sometimes apply the same principles to applying wood oils which isn’t always the best approach.

If you do find yourself in situation where the oil has been over applied, the good news is that it can often be fairly easily rectified. Wax and oil based products, including hard wax oils like Osmo Polyx Oil can be dissolved with white spirit. In most cases, simply wiping the surface with lint free cloths dampened with white spirit will dissolve the surplus oil on the surface, allowing to be ragged off to leave a good finish.

If the oil has been heavily over applied, it may be easier to remove the bulk of the surplus with a plastic scraper before using white spirit to finish the job. Avoid using a metal scrapper as this could dig in to the floor or door, damaging or splintering the wood. In the worst cases, sanding back to bare wood may be the only option but be prepared to use lots of sanding belts or disks as the wax quickly clogs them up requiring frequent changes.

Top Tip For Applying Osmo Polyx Oil On Wooden Floors

When applying Polyx Oil in a large room which may need to be done in 2 or 3 stages, always work along the full length of the boards stopping on a board edge rather than across the floor boards. This will prevent joint, tide or overlapping marks when coming back to finish the job. So if the room is 20 floor boards wide, oil the full length of the room across 10 board widths, taking care not to get any on the next set of boards, then come back and finish the next 10 board widths later.

What Next

So there you have it, follow these simple processes and you should be able to transform a neglected wooden floor into something very special. And don’t forget, it’s not just wooden floors that can be transformed. Polyx oil can be used on most types or real wood including wooden staircases, furniture, wood crafts and more. If you’ve been pondering and procrastinating over a wood care project in your home, now’s the time to do something about it. Join in with the Osmo 25th anniversary celebrations and get an extra half a litre for free.

If you have any questions about Osmo Polyx Oil or any of the products from the Osmo Oil range, feel free to call or email our team of resident experts who are always on hand to answer any questions you have. And don’t forget we love to hear about and see your projects here at Wood Finishes Direct so if you’re thinking about renovating a wooden floor, staircase, kitchen worktop or other project, and happy to share your experience with us and our community of followers, please take some before and after pictures and send them in.

Using Wooden Railway Sleepers in Your Garden

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Railway sleepers are an enormously popular garden building material. They look absolutely beautiful, they’re rugged, they last more or less forever when properly maintained and they play a part in all sorts of creations from garden steps to raised beds to basic garden furniture. Simply pile a load of them up and you’ve got some wonderfully simple seating. Or use two sets of two topped with a piece of wood, glass or even sheet metal to make an outdoor coffee table.

They’re versatile, good looking and as solid as a rock – so what are wooden railway sleepers for, where can you buy them, what do they cost, how can they be used and how do you preserve them to keep them in great condition over the years?

About railway sleepers

What are railway sleepers used for? They’re laid horizontally under the metal railway tracks to hold them in place at the right gauge. As such they’re the backbone of rail travel and millions of them are used every year to build new lines and maintain existing ones. While other materials have been tried and tested wood seems to work the best, perhaps because unlike concrete it’s slightly flexible.

We love this little piece of research carried out by a clever chap on the railway-sleepers website. Curious about how many sleepers there are in Britain, he decided to find out. Here’s what he discovered:

“My first source was a colleague, a man who has been working on the railway for many years. He had no idea when I asked him, but helpfully said that in one chain there were roughly 22-23 timber railway sleepers. So, with there being 80 chains to one mile, all I did was multiply 22.5 by 80, with the result of 1,800 sleepers per mile.

My second source was the Office of Rail Regulation. They publish a Current National Rail Trends yearbook (downloadable). During the period 2010-2011, it claimed that there was 15,777km of track open to both passenger and freight traffic, this equates to roughly 9,803 miles of track.

Armed with these figures, I multiplied 9,803 miles by 1,800 sleepers per mile to give me an approximation of 17,645,400 railway sleepers on open railway in the UK. This is only an approximation, as it doesn’t cover sidings, depots, etc. It also assumes that all terrain is the same, and that all the railway sleepers are made of the same material, and that they have all been installed 100% accurately.”

Great fun! In fact the entire Railway Sleepers website is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the fine detail. Sleepers might seem simple enough but there’s a lot more to their history than meets the eye.

Where to buy railway sleepers

You can buy new or used sleepers. These days the new ones come in a variety of guises:

  • New shaped and profiled sleepers, some with fancy edges
  • New pine sleepers
  • New oak sleepers

Used and reclaimed sleepers tend to have a lot more personality, each unique and ready-weathered. They come in anything from untreated hardwood to treated softwood, and a variety of timber types including pine, oak, jarrah, azobe and karri.

All you need to do is Google it and you’ll find numerous places to buy railway sleepers, including reclamation yards and garden centres, fencing suppliers, builders merchants and auction websites. It’s obviously a booming product, and prices vary enormously – you can pay as little as £10 for a perfect, new untreated sleeper or more than £20 each for beautiful used ones.

Creative uses for railway sleepers

With a multitude of uses, sleepers are a gardener’s best friend. But you can also use them indoors – there’s no reason why you can’t create indoor furniture and features using them, for example, as a gorgeous, chunky mantelpiece, a rock-solid settee or bed base and even a dining table.

They make brilliant pedestals to sit beautiful pottery, sculpture and other precious objects on. If your walls are strong enough – and they’d have to be pretty strong – you could get a chippie to attach them skilfully and create big, bold, beautiful floating shelves. And you can lay them either horizontally or vertically.

Here are 18 cool ideas for using railway sleepers in the garden

  1. Raised beds filled with soil and plants
  2. A raised garden pond, building a wooden container to take a pond liner
  3. An entire garden paved with them instead of flagstones, gravel or paving
  4. Lawn edging
  5. To make walls to divide your garden into different ‘rooms’
  6. As a pillar to stand a bird feeder or bird bath on, or to stand an outdoor sculpture on
  7. Wood carving – if you’re ambitious and skilled you could carve a totem pole
  8. Garden benches, demarked seating areas, seats and tables
  9. Pile them up to create a giant wooden jenga-like garden sculpture, or your own miniature Stonehenge, a maze
  10. Line a pit with them to make a semi-subterranean seating area
  11. A composting area
  12. A children’s sandpit
  13. Steps
  14. To mask ugly stuff like compost heaps and garden tools
  15. As super-strong fencing, or as an alternative to a low brick front garden wall
  16. As bollards to protect your verge
  17. To build terraces, making a steep garden useable
  18. The used ones are so attractive, especially when really worn, that you could dig a hole, stick one in and set it into the ground with sand and cement for an instant garden sculpture, all on its own. Stand a beautiful rock on top and it’ll look even better. Create a random collection or straight line of three or five sleepers with different rocks on top for an extra special effect

How to preserve wooden railway sleepers

Like all wood, sleepers will eventually rot and fade when exposed to the weather. To prevent them falling to bits before their time, you need to use a good wood preserver. But first you need to know what wood your sleepers are made of: are they hardwood or softwood, and have they already been preserved or are they untreated? Once you know that, you can get busy protecting them from wear.

Hard or softwood sleepers?

We’ve already written in detail about the difference between hard and soft woods. Here’s a link to our post to help you decide which is best for your garden and the purpose for which you want to use sleepers.

No to creosote… but yes to Creocote

Sleepers were traditionally preserved and protected with creosote, but it’s nasty stuff and not recommended these days. Barrettine Creocote delivers the same effect in an oil-based creosote substitute perfect for exterior wood. It’s safer and more environmentally friendly than the old fashioned stuff and it comes in light or dark shades, ideal for creating different finish effects. But the best thing of all is this: it’s actually been designed to work beautifully on rough wood, which means if you want to maintain that lovely worn texture you get with used sleepers, you can.

Aside from that, we have an entire department dedicated to railway sleeper maintenance. They’re products we’ve chosen specially because they are perfect for protecting new and old wooden railway sleepers from rot, mould and fungi, and from the worst ravages of water and sunshine.

Any questions?

As always we’re delighted to answer your questions and help you choose the exact right product for the job in hand. Just give us a call – we’ll give you a warm welcome. Or, if you’re in Kent, or better still the Folkestone area, feel free to come and see us at our shop.

Looking for more information and ideas for using wooden sleepers in the garden? Take a look at our other blog post on railway sleepers.