Product Spotlight

Earthborn announce new colours for 2019

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

The wait is finally over… Earthborn have just announced 7 brand new colours for 2019!

With a focus on adding some fresh on trend shades, that are available throughout Earthborns entire product portfolio. The new colours perfectly harmonise with the existing palette while offering something slightly different.

They have created a mix of modern neutrals, punchy florals and beautiful natural tones that have been designed to inspire and promote boldness in colour choice. They are:

Earthborns 7 Great New Colours for 2019

As well as in the inclusion of these new fantastic colours, Earthborn have also renamed “White” in the Earthborn Claypaint and Earthborn Eco Chic to “White Clay” to reflect its softer creamier look. In line with this Earthborn Eggshell No.17 is too being made available in “White Clay” to match it. For those looking for a brighter more traditional White, the Earthborn Lifestyle Emulsion and Eggshell No.17 are both still available in standard White too.

Here to help

Need some help or advice on which products to use on your wood finishing projects? Contact our team of resident experts who are on hand to answer any questions you have about your project and which products to use.

We love to see before, during and after photos of any wood finishing project. If you would like to share them with us, you can either send us some photos or share on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram pages.

Get creative, be bold, reinvent furniture with Liberon

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

For most, ‘furniture renovation’, means the restoration of antiques or the re-purposing of other solid wood furniture. Another trend is to paint then distress wooden furniture to create the “Shabby Chic” look. But what about all of those modern flat pack pieces of furniture that are made of veneered particle board and Melamine Board?

These cheaper and often uninteresting pieces of furniture get the raw end of the deal with their functional yet bland appearance, often serving their time in bedrooms and lounges until they fall out of favour or fall apart. As with any other piece of furniture however, these modern pieces can be easily transformed to become a feature of any room.

Let the transformation begin

For this project we’ve taken a pretty standard 4 draw chest with a veneered top and sides and white Melamine drawers. To keep it simple, we’ve decided to go for a basic diagonal striped design that would fit in with any children’s bedroom, but the design possibilities are endless.

Flat-pack furniture ready for a Wood Finishes Direct makeover
A flat-pack chest of drawers ready for a Wood Finishes Direct makeover

What did we use

For prepping and finishing the furniture we used…

  • Masking tape – to mask off the areas that were not being painted
  • Sugar Soap – to clean the surface, ready for painting
  • Microfibre cloth – to wipe any sanding dust from the surface
  • Synthetic bristle brush – The best type of brush for water-based products
  • Varnish – Liberon Home ColourCare Decorative Furniture Varnish. Colours used, Samba Rose, Angora Grey and Aqua Blue

Phase 1 – Preparation

Firstly, the Melamine drawer fronts and veneered sides to be varnished were cleaned with Sugar Soap. This is to remove any dirt, grease or other impurities that may affect the adhesion of the varnish. Some may prefer to give the areas to be painted or varnished a light sanding with a fine grit sandpaper to aid adhesion.

We then masked off the striped area. We wanted to keep the middle stripe white, so left the original Melamine finish exposed, which is smoother and has a slightly higher sheen than the contrasting pink and grey areas either side.

Drawer fronts are cleaned with Sugar Soap then masked off ready for varnishing

Phase 2 – Varnishing or painting

Using synthetic bristle brushes which are better for water-based products, the drawer fronts and unit sides were varnished. For this we applied 3 coats allowing 4 hours drying time between coats.

Applying Liberon Home ColourCare Decorative Furniture Varnish with a synthetic brush

With the varnish being water-based, the brushes were thoroughly cleaned immediately after use with clean, warm water. This leaves them ready for the next project.

The finished article

For effect, we dressed the top of the chest with an vintage book, camera, candle and succulent plant.

Some objects added to compliment the style and character of the room
The finished article – a stylish piece of modern furniture

Excluding the drying time, this piece of furniture was completed in just a couple of hours using Liberon products. If you would like to know more about this project or have any questions about a project of your own, contact our team of resident experts who are on hand to help.

Get Inspired with Modern Paint Colours

Friday, October 5th, 2018

With any new decorating project comes a lot of excitement, but also a few challenges along the way. Endless searches through the multitude of colour schemes and the many different types of paint can be mind blowing. The hardest part can be knowing where to start.

Versatility is the key to success!

Take time to think about the durability of the paint needed – children playing and running around, bikes being scraped along passageways, dogs shaking muddy water after rainy walks? All of this will have an impact on any painted surface. We have found that Manns Classic Interior Paint is a robust and hard wearing paint that will withstand any busy home. It can be easily wiped which is perfect for those sticky fingerprints, scuff marks and mud splatters! It’s a very versatile paint too. Not only can you paint the walls with it, but you can also paint the ceiling, woodwork and any wooden furniture – no need to buy separate products for doors and skirting boards, a big thumbs up in our book!

Inspirational paint colours

Its extensive range of soft earthy tones and rich, intense colour can illuminate the smallest of spaces, making them spacious and bright whilst bringing a sense of warmth and elegance to any room. So, let us take a closer look at some of the paint colours:


White never goes out of style, being a refreshing and clean colour. It can make any room feel comfortable and welcoming, fitting in with any decorative style.


Manns Classic Interior Paint | Fresh Cotton White

If it’s the Scandinavian or minimalist look you want to achieve, then Fresh Cotton White can be painted on both the walls and the furniture – giving a very modern look against stunning wooden flooring. Giving wooden furniture a new lease of life with rich and deep colours, such as Riverbank Green, Summer Sea or even Black Ash, will create a striking contrast against the cool white. For a warmer glow, choose a slightly softer shade like Rabbit Beach White, with its subtle touch of yellow, adds warmer undertones and brightens any room, giving a positive and relaxing feeling.


74, By The Sea | Scandinavian Style Coastal Rental Home in Kent | Lounge-diner


Greys are another timeless colour. The elegance and sophistication they bring to any room, from light warm greys to contrasting darker tones.


Manns Classic Interior Paint | Dusky Dolphin

Try a soft, neutral grey on the walls like Storms End and add bolder colours within the fabrics and furnishings – mixed with white on the woodwork and the natural tones of the wood flooring, this will bring together some earthy undertones. For a bold look, add an accent wall with a deep, rich grey like Dusky Dolphin, adding a touch of drama to any room.

74, By The Sea | Scandinavian Style Coastal Rental Home in Kent | Master bedroom


If it’s a soothing, natural atmosphere that you want to create, then neutrals and creams are the way to go. Together they also give the illusion of a larger space. Try Bevelled Rock, Camel Tuft or Natural Canvas all warm, earthy undertones which will give any room that relaxing and warm feeling.

So, you’ve seen how Manns Classic Interior paint can bring rooms to life by creating modern, dramatic and sophisticated effects, but also evoking relaxing and soothing spaces – which ones will you choose?

Need help?

Want to know more about Manns Classic Interior Paint? Contact our friendly team of resident experts, who are always on hand to offer free advice on products and their suitability for a range of wood care projects.

Osmo UV Protection Oil (420) Clear Promotion

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

After the huge success of our Osmo Polyx Oil 3 litres for the price of 2.5 promotion, we thought it would be rather good to run another Osmo deal. This time, it’s the turn of Osmo UV Protection Oil (420) Clear. With the snows of winter melting and the sun’s rays starting to warm the air, all thoughts are now on getting those exterior wood care projects done.

So what do you get with these promotional tins? Well apart from the groovy, personalised Wood Finishes Direct tin, the extra half a litre, or 20%, gives up to an extra 10 square meters of coverage for free. This could make all the difference meaning a project could be finished with fewer tins.


Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra Satin 420 Offer | 3Ltrs for the price of 2.5Ltrs

Made from a blend of natural oils, waxes and resins, Osmo UV Protection Oil 420 Clear offers excellent durability, water resistance and protection against mould, algae, fungal attack and the bleaching effects of the Sun’s UV rays. It is easy to apply, maintain and patch repair, and is perfect for a range of exterior, smooth planed wood surfaces including sheds, summerhouses, log cabins, cladding, window sills, exterior doors, garden and driveway gates and more. In addition to protecting exterior wood, it beautifies it by enhancing the natural character and colour of the wood whilst drying to a pleasant, soft sheen satin finish.

Although we can go on and on about how good and versatile this product is, don’t take our word for it. Here are just some of our recent Osmo UV Protection Oil customer reviews from the thousands to date.

Osmo UV Protection Oil Customer Reviews

“The product works flawlessly and would highly recommend it. I used it on a pair of gates and when it rained later the rain ran off like a dream.”

“Have used Osmo in the past, delighted with it then, as I am now with the latest batch. The finish and protection is almost beyond belief. An amazingly good product – gives lasting protection and looks. Well worth the expense.”

“I was extremely happy with the product and the result achieved. I thought it was a great product. It was my dream to find a uv protection oil completely matt so you didn’t know any oil had been painted on. However, my cabin is now fully protected and after using the gel looks a treat. I had great customer support on the phone before and after purchase. All technical questions answered fully and advice provided. Staff understanding their product requirements all very knowledgeable. I also received tremendous customer care support post purchase. Service was astounding. I would recommend this company fully.”

“I was advised to buy this product by the gate company we had recently used and Wood Finishes Direct had exactly what we wanted. The oil went on very easily with a brush and left a stunning finish on our gates. The colour looks absolutely gorgeous and the protection is first class. Rain water simply forms droplets on the wood and doesn’t soak in. The product came very quickly and was well packaged. The company informed me at all stages about delivery. Top marks!!”

“For years I had coated external doors in ‘something’ from Homebase – the advise from these guys was superb. The Osma Oil Extra has made a beautiful job of my pine external door – easy to apply and looks really fantastic when finished + the added advantage of simply reapplying every now and again to maintain the finish…love it!”


So whether looking to nourish, protect and spruce up exterior wood before the summer sun heats up, or starting a new construction project that includes wood that will be exposed to the elements, now is the time to grab a promotional tin of Osmo UV Protection Oil (420) Clear whilst stocks last. Once they’re gone they’re gone! Simply select the 2.5Ltr Clear (420) option and it will be automatically upgraded to the promotional 3Ltr size tin at checkout.

Have an interior wood care project to do?

We are fast running out of the promotional 3 Litre tins of Osmo Polyx Oil (3062) matt. If you have an interior project such as interior doors, floors or kitchen worktops to treat, grab a promotional tin whilst stocks last. As with the Osmo UV Protection Oil (420) clear, Once they’re gone they’re gone.

Need help with your wood finishing projects?

Want to know more about Osmo UV Protection Oil or any of the other wood finishing products we offer? Contact our friendly team of resident experts. They’re always on hand to provide free advice and guidance on the right products for your project.

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

Which Wood Finish Applicator is Best?

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Here at Wood Finishes Direct, one of the most common issues we get is when customers hire a painter and decorator to apply a wood oil, stain, varnish or wax. Whilst these professionals are undoubtedly skilled and equipped to apply paint to walls, doors and other interior and exterior surfaces, the same can’t always be said for wood finishing products.

With the exception of varnishes, lacquers and paints, most wood finishes are designed to penetrate into the surface of the wood to nourish and feed the timber. The key to a professional finish is using the correct type of applicator and application method. To help you pick the right tools for the job, we’ve produced a handy infographic which explains which applicators are best for various finishing products and projects.


Recommended Natural Bristle Brushes

For areas big and small, these natural bristle brushes are perfect for use with a wide range of solvent-based and oil-based products.

Recommended Synthetic Bristle Brushes

Perfect for water-based and thicker products such as paints and varnishes.

Recommended Rollers

Ideal for applying a wide range of water, solvent and oil-based wood finishing products to larger areas including walls and floors.

Recommended Paint Pads

A modern alternative to paint brushes and rollers. Paint pads offer excellent control, coverage and are compatible with most wood finishing products.

Recommended T-Bar Floor Applicators

The applicator of choice for professional floor finishers. T-bar applicators are best suited to larger floor areas.

Recommended Disposable Applicators

Ideal for arts, crafts and small domestic projects. These cheap, disposable applicators are designed for single use so no need to clean.

Recommended Application Cloths

Wipe on, wipe off. These high quality cloths are colour and lint free meaning no fibres trapped in your oil finish. Ideal for applying a wide range of wood oils and wood stains.

Recommended Application Blades and Knifes

Predominantly used by professional floor finishers, application blades are used to apply oil stains and other oil-based products to large areas. Flexible filler knifes are a must for applying a wide range of wood fillers.

So there you have it. Whether applying a wood oil, wax or other type of finish, you can now be confident in picking the applicator that best suits your needs – Happy DIYing!

Need help choosing an applicator?

From decking to doors, picture frames to floors, we have an applicator that’s right for your choice of product and project. If you’re unsure about which applicator is right for you contact our team of in-house experts who are on hand to help you pick the right brush, roller or other applicator.

PeelAway 1 – Revealing the Beauty of 90 year old Windows

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

The Project

In the left corner, 90+ year old sash windows, heavily coated with decades of paint. And in the right corner, PeelAway 1 Paint and Varnish Remover.


The task at hand was the removal and restoration of some 90+ year old sash windows in need of some TLC. After trying conventional paint stripper with no such luck, there seemed only one product for the job. Upon trying test patches, drying times and thicknesses of the buttercream-esque consistency of PeelAway 1 were decided. With so many layers of paint to eat through and the required thickness of PeelAway required, it was going to take three days for it to fully dry and “peel away”.

A quick abrade to the surface and brushing away cobwebs and loose dirt was key as even the slightest contaminants can affect the performance. Applying the product was like icing a large wooden cake with a smelly, aggressive icing, which seems quite the opposite to conventional cake decorating. Then covering the windows with the blankets, tucking it into bed and saying goodnight to the old coatings as when you see them again they will look very different. The product underneath had already started to brown after several minutes on the surface. This was a sure sign of the chemical reactions needed to take place for maximum efficiency.

The Big Reveal



72 hours later it was time for the big reveal. Sure enough, as it’s name suggests, the product peels off from the surface of the wood taking most of the product with it and hardening into a plaster-like consistency, which made it super easy to remove the crunchy blend of product, old coatings and blanket. Wearing gloves and using the Peelaway Easy Grip Stripping Knife, removing from the surface was almost as satisfying as pulling an old scab or removing PVA glue from your hands as a child. Satisfying, but messy.

Once all of the old, hard product and blanket(s) had been removed and disposed of responsibly, the sanding and finishing touches can begin. Before sanding, one final stage is needed…neutralisation. A 50:50 mix of neutraliser and water must be applied to the surface and allowed to dry. It’s a good idea to then check the pH of the surface with some litmus paper otherwise you might run into trouble when applying a top coat.

Final Sanding


Starting with P80, through P120 and P240, the golden colour of these antique windows starts shining through once again. It’s hard to imagine that these windows are almost a century old when the wood looks this good. With good care and regular maintenance, these windows might just see another hundred years!

The Results


And here they are, as good as the day they were made, fully stripped and ready for re-finishing.

For paints and varnishes manufactured since the mid 1970’s we recommend PeelAway 7 Paint and Varnish Remover. This works better with the modern chemical formulations of today’s paints and varnishes.

Need Help with Which Paint Stripper to Use?

If you have a project and are unsure of which PeelAway product to use, we recommend trying the PeelAway 1 and 7 Sample Twin Pack. Some projects that have decades of paint layers may require both formulations. PeelAway 7 for the top layers and PeelAway 1 for the deeper layers.

Do you have a varnish or paint removal project in mind and unsure of which paint stripper to use? Our team of wood wizards are on hand to talk things over with free, expert advice. If you have a question about PeelAway or any of our wax, varnish or paint removers contact us here.

Introducing Liberon

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

Here at Wood Finishes Direct we seem to have a bit of a French theme running at the moment. It was just a couple of months that we introduced Blanchon to our portfolio of wood finishing suppliers and this month it’s the turn of Liberon.

Looking after interior and exterior wood since 1912, Liberon was formed when Georges Libéron took over a factory who’s clientele was mainly composed of professional gilders and cabinet makers.

Georges Libéron chose to diversify in the maintenance of furniture by launching a new range called the ‘blue line’. These water-repellent polish products were awarded at the universal exhibition of Paris in 1900 and patented in 1902. These products were designed to meet the strict antiseptic and parasitical requirements recommended by the hygienists of the time whilst giving a fine finish. Available in paste or in liquid wax, the polishes of the ‘blue line’ were used in the maintenance of floors and furniture.


Today, Liberon has grown to be a multinational supplier of wood care and wood finishing products. In addition to their original line up of wax and polish products, the range now includes wood oils, fillers varnishes, glues, wood dyes and cleaners.

Liberon Products

See more Liberon Products here.

Ask the Experts

Want to know more about Liberon products? Contact our team of resident wood care experts who are on hand to offer free advice on products and their suitability for a range of wood care projects.

Introducing Blanchon – Wood Care Innovation from the Continent

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Here at Wood Finishes Direct, we always get a little excited when we add a new name to our existing portfolio of top brands. This time, we welcome Blanchon to the fold.


Blanchon products used at Seoul Airport

Established in France in 1832 as a family run business, the company specialised in the research and development of high end wood care products. To this day, it continues in the research, development and production of new innovative formulations that meet strict eco standards.

With an inventory of wood care products that includes wood oils, paints, coatings and other protective and decorative wood treatments for professionals, the company’s products are now sold in over 40 countries around the world.

Blanchon Quality

The company’s dedication to quality relies on three key components:-

  • Rigorous quality control – using only the highest quality raw materials and strictly monitoring every stage of the manufacturing process to produce products that are more user and environmentally friendly.
  • Product ease of use – from research and development through to final roll out, products are designed and formulated to ensure maximum efficiency with ease of use.
  • Unmatched reliability – by using a multitude of human and technical resources to ensure consistent quality in their products. Products are manufactured and rigorously tested to ensure consistency in the reliability and look of the final finish.

Product Innovations

“So what innovations do Blanchon products offer?” we hear you ask. In addition to the quality of the raw materials used, their exceptional durability and their eco friendly credentials, Blanchon also provide a range of products that are labelled as ‘Air Protect™’.  Air Protect™ blocks 80% of formaldehyde emissions from the floor and absorbs up to 40% of formaldehyde emissions in the room, making for a cleaner and healthier living environment.

With an extensive range of interior and exterior wood care products, including wood oils, fillers, stains and cleaners, suitable for wooden floors, doors, furniture and more, there’s a product to meet the needs of any project from the the simplest to even the most demanding.


Blanchon Products used at la Piscine Museum in Lille

Blanchon Products

  • Blanchon HardWax Oil: A natural hard wax oil for interior wooden floors, furniture, worktops and panelling. Penetrates deep into the wood to provide excellent protection and durability.
  • Blanchon Original Wood Environment: A high performance wood oil for all parquets, wood floors and stairs. Retains the natural appearance of untreated wood.
  • Blanchon Oceanic Floor Varnish: A single component, water-based, pure polyurethane floor varnish, ideal for solid wood and parquet floors. Purifies indoor air.
  • Blanchon Opaque Oil Environment: A high performance wood oil for all types of wooden flooring. Odourless and eco friendly.

See more Blanchon products here.

Ask the Experts

Have a question about Blanchon products or their suitability for your project? Contact our in-house experts to find out more.

Osmo Polyx Oil Offer – Size Matters! 3L Matt for the price of 2.5L

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

This offer has now finished, however we will update this page as soon as we hear of any future deals or promotions.

We Brits love a bargain, something for nothing, more for less, deal of the day, 20% Free. Forget Brexit and impending interest rate rises, today sees the return of the Osmo Polyx Oil offer. That’s 3 litres of Osmo Polyx Oil matt (3062) for the price of 2.5 Litres – Bargain!

For those looking to do some interior DIY or wood restoration over the Autumn and Winter months, that’s enough hardwax oil for around 12 interior doors, 2 rooms of wooden furniture or over 36 square meters of wooden floor.


Osmo Polyx Oil Matt 3062 Offer | 3Ltrs for the price of 2.5Ltrs

Made from a blend of natural oils, waxes and resins, Osmo Polyx Oil Clear Matt 3062 offers excellent durability, liquid resistance and protection against knocks, scratches, scuffs and stains. It is easily cleaned, maintained and patch repaired, and is perfect for most interior wooden surfaces including wooden floors, doors, skirting boards, table tops, kitchen worktop surfaces and more. In addition to protecting interior wood, it beautifies it by enhancing the natural character and colour of the wood whilst retaining a natural matt finish.

Although we can go on and on about how good and versatile this product is, don’t take our word for it. Here are just some of our most recent Polyx Hardwax Oil customer reviews from the thousands to date.

“Osmo polyx oil is an absolutely amazing product goes on really easy, rubs in with a cloth, leave to dry then give it a quick de-nib then a second coat. I used a sanding sealer before oiling and got a flawless finish that is really hard wearing and waterproof too, FANTASTIC PRODUCT. Also a little goes a very long way as you have to apply it thinly, will definitely buy this again, it’s the best finish I have ever had on a table I made! Five stars.”

“I don’t usually write reviews but this time round I’ll do it because we’ve been very impressed by the quality of this product. It’s very easy to apply if you follow the instructions provided and the quality of finish has been outstanding. We’ve applied it in several rooms around the house. Also, the purchase and delivery experience has been excellent. So overall I’d strongly recommend this product.”

“This is the fourth time I have purchased this product. It produces a wonderful finish. Really brings out the beauty of the wood grain – used on several oak tables and on doors. Takes a while to dry, and preparation (sanding carefully, removing all old varnish or polish) is important.”

“I intend to buy some more for other rooms. I used it first in our hallway where we have block wood flooring and I didn’t start it until lunch time so it took quite a long time to dry. Next time I will start it first thing in the morning or last thing at night to give it time to dry. However the floor has come up fantastic and has brought all the different colours out in the wood.”

“Wow, this oil really bought out the grain in the wood. First coat I applied with a brush. I used the finishing pad to gently sand down. I then applied a second coat with a clean, lint free, cloth. The finish is just amazing. Used about 200ml of the oil on a set of 3 bi-fold American White Oak glazed doors, the frame, and a 2m by 30cm by 2cm piece of American White Oak to go on the floor. Will definitely use OSMO Wood oil products again.”


So whether 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 buy Osmo Polyx Oil 3062 promotional 3Ltr tins whilst stocks last. Once they’re gone they’re gone! Simply select the 2.5Ltr Matt 3062 Clear option and it will be automatically upgraded to the promotional 3Ltr size tin at checkout.

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

Need help with your wood finishing projects?

Want to know more about Osmo Polyx Oil or any of the other wood finishing products we offer? Contact our friendly team of resident experts. They’re always on hand to provide free advice and guidance on the right products for your project.

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…


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.

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.


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? Contact our friendly team of resident experts, who are always on hand to help you with any questions or requirements you may have.

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?

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 in all), decking stains tend to coat the wood whilst decking 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 Decking Oil and Stain Products

Unsure of which decking oil or decking stain to use? Here are some of our recommendations. All of these products deliver great results and will ensure that decked areas will stay protected and looking great for longer.

Decking Oils


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 – 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 – 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 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 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 – 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 – 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 – 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? Contact our friendly team of resident experts, who are always on hand to provide free advice and guidance on the right products for your project.

Top Autumn Garden Maintenance Tips

Friday, October 14th, 2016

Summer is behind us and the colder, darker months are fast approaching. Its time to put the garden furniture away, lock the patio doors and forget about garden maintenance for the next 6 months. Right?


Not necessarily. Early autumn provides a great window of opportunity to squeeze a few more weeks of enjoyment out of the garden. It’s also a great time to prepare and protect garden sheds, fences and decking.

There are several very good reasons why garden wood should be given a little TLC as Autumn sets in. Although early mornings and evenings can potentially bring falling temperatures and the first frosts of the year, on the whole, day and night temperatures tend to hover around the double figure mark, making October the perfect time for some last minute garden lovin.

Essential Autumn garden maintenance

After what has been a glorious spring and summer, sun baked garden wood can become, dry, warped and brittle. Replenishing the timbers lost natural oils is essential in helping to keep wood supple and healthy, preventing cracking and splitting.

On the flip side, if your shed, fence or decking is overshadowed with trees, bushes or buildings, chances are that it’s prone to mould, algae and wet rot which on decking, can be a serious slip hazard.

A little Autumn maintenance can go a long way to keeping garden wood healthy. It also means that when Spring comes around, it’s quicker and easier to get everything ship shape and looking great.

Things that go bump in the garden

Autumn brings two notable events, namely Bonfire night and Halloween . Although only a matter of days apart, both dates present a great opportunity to bring friends and family together for one last garden party before winter. And, with people shuffling around in the dark on potentially damp or wet decking, safety is paramount. After all, the only bangs and bumps in the night should be the sounds of fireworks and ghostly ghouls.


Our top tip for winter decking maintenance.

Simple as it may sound, giving your decking a good sweep with a stiff broom once a week over the winter can help to protect and preserve your decking finish for longer. Allowing organic debris from bushes and trees to settle and mulch down on the deck and in the grooves can accelerate the build up of mould and algae, potentially causing long term damage to the decking timber.

Here is a list of products you may need to clean, prepare, preserve, treat and maintain garden decking, to keep it looking good and lasting for longer.

  • Decking Strippers: To help remove old decking stains and the greying effects of rain and UV sun damage such as greying and silvering of the wood
  • Decking Preservers: To protect decking boards, posts, steps and more from mould, algae and insect attack
  • Decking Cleaners: To remove and kill off green and black mould and algae, a potential slip hazard, from garden decking
  • Decking Oils: Clear and coloured to seal and protect wooden decking from foot traffic and weathering. also nourishes the wood to protect from cracking, splitting and warping
  • Decking Stains: Decking treatments with colour. These treatments help to protect and preserve whilst adding colour to transform decked areas.

Not sure what you need?

Unsure of what to use on your decking this Autumn? Why not give one of our in-house resident experts a call. Whether you have softwood, hardwood, new, old, bare wood or previously treated decking, our team of experts can give you free guidance and advice on how best to preserve and maintain your garden deck.

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 Premier Top Oil. If you have not seen the first one Click Here to watch it.

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

Worktop oil help and advice

Need some help with your wooden kitchen worktop surfaces? See our worktop FAQ page that answers many of the most common questions and issues. Need specialist help and advice? Contact our resident experts who are on hand to provide free advice on how to clean, maintain and restore all manner of wooden worktops and worktop finishes.

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 Premier 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.


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, contact our friendly team of resident experts.

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


  • 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 Premier 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 Premier Top Oil.

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

Worktop oil help and advice

Need some help with your wooden kitchen worktop surfaces? See our worktop FAQ page that answers many of the most common questions and issues. Need specialist help and advice? Contact our resident experts who are on hand to provide free advice on how to clean, maintain and restore all manner of wooden worktops and worktop finishes.

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 Woodleys 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


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


  • 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.

How To Preserve a Fence Panel So it Will Last! – Ronseal Total Wood Preserver.

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Are you looking for a High Quality, Great Value Wood Preserver? Then The Total Wood Preservative from Ronseal is an ideal solution. A suitable Preservative for both rough and smooth timber. Coming in a clear version that is suitable to be used on interior and exterior projects and a coloured version that is suitable for exterior use only

Ronseal Total Wood Preserver 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 trying out The Total Wood Preservative from Ronseal. It’s a great preservative treatment that helps prevent, rot, decay, woodworm and fungus that can cause discoloration such as blue stain.

The coloured Ronseal Total Wood Preserver comes in black, green, light brown and dark brown. It is suitable for both rough sawn and smooth planed timber alike. However, it is only suitable for exterior use. It has a slight wax content which helps with water run off. However, if you want increased durability and weatherproofing, you will have to use a suitable clear exterior wood oil.

Today, however, I will be applying The Ronseal Total Wood Preserver in clear, this one is not just suitable for exterior work it’s actually suitable for interior jobs as well. It again can be used on rough sawn and smooth planed timber, this one however, does not contain any wax, so that means its not just suitable for wood oils, it can also be used with surface finishes as well, for example varnishes and paints.

Firstly i’m going to be applying to this rough sawn fence panel here, just make sure that any area to be treated is free of any other finishes and is clean and dry. I will be using The Ronseal Fence Life Brush, its large head and soft bristles are great for applying paints, oils and preservatives. When applying the Ronseal Total Wood Preserver, take special care, make sure you wear protective equipment, and do so in a well ventilated area. firstly, mix the preservative well, and pour into your paint tray. Then to apply brush it on in long even strokes and work a plank at a time.

After you have finished applying make sure you do clean your brush out immediately with white spirit.

I left it 24 hours before applying another coat, and it hasn’t changed the colour of the wood at all. You will need to do a minimum of two coats, 3 for best protection. The Ronseal Total Wood Preserver is a high quality low cost preservative, thats great for rough sawn and smooth planed timber alike. A full list of products featured and used in this video is available in the description on youtube, also if you have any questions or would like some advice feel free to get in touch by phoning the phone number or emailing the email address on screen now. Also if you liked this video and would like to see more unique content then simply subscribe, like and comment on any video you like and of course, always do a test area.

Other Posts You Will Love!

All About Fence Paint – And How to Create Something Special.
All About Wooden Garden Fence Maintenance.
How To Work Out Area of Sheds & Fences.

Which is the best exterior wood treatment?

Friday, May 6th, 2016

The sun is out and temperatures are on the rise. This is the time when we venture out to the garden to survey the surroundings, and draw up the list of maintenance tasks.

When talking about exterior wood finishes, there’s always an assumption that it’s about the decking, garden shed or fence. Although these are indeed the most common garden features that need maintenance after a winter of wind, rain and freezing temperatures, wooden window frames, doors and porches should also be checked and given attention if required.

It’s all about the knowledge

A question we get asked a lot here at Wood Finishes Direct is “What is the best exterior wood treatment?”. Unfortunately, there’s no single product that is better than another for every project and type of wood. In fact, deciding what product should be used can be a complex matter. That’s why we invest heavily in the training of our sales and service team, or as we call them, the SAS team. All of our support staff are rigorously trained so that they’re familiar with the products we stock, their properties and their suitability for any number of given scenarios. This means that we’re always able to give expert advice and guidance on which products and brands are best suited to your project .


Just some of the top brands available at Wood Finishes Direct

Exterior wood finishing types

Essentially, there are two types of exterior wood treatments, those that are absorbed into the surface of the wood such as oil based products and those that form a protective coating on the surface of the wood, both of which have their own unique characteristics and benefits.

Penetrative Wood Treatments

Penetrative wood treatments are the type of products that soak into the wood and protect from within such as decking oils, shed & fence treatments. These products are predominantly oil and wax based. They work by penetrating then drying in the surface grain of the timber to provide a tough, durable, weather resistant surface.

The key benefit of this type of product is that they are very easy to apply and maintain. When the finished surface starts to look tired and worn, it’s simply a case of re-applying a fresh coat. No need to sand, strip back or remove the old finish. Wood oils are very forgiving for patch repairs meaning that localised areas of wear are very easy to repair and blend in with the surrounding areas. Leading brands that specialise in these types of exterior wood finishing products include Osmo, Ronseal, BarrettineCuprinol and Holzol.

Exterior coating systems

What was once the realm of paints and exterior wood varnishes is now dominated by an array of ultra modern wood coating systems. Whereas old paints and varnishes had a reputation for cracking, flaking and peeling, modern coating systems have been scientifically developed to withstand the effects of weathering and the constant movement of the timber as a result of moisture and temperature changes.

Modern exterior wood coatings are flexible and durable meaning that they rarely need to be stripped back to bare wood if maintained correctly, a firm favourite for exterior joinery such as wooden window frames and doors. Brands such as Sadolin and Sikkens are designed in such a way that as the top coat wears over time, it starts to lose some of its colour and sheen. This is an indicator that the finish needs maintenance. Surfaces that require maintenance can be restored by following a few simple steps.

  • Wipe down with Methylated Spirit to degrease the old finish.
  • Lightly sand the surface to remove any ingrained surface dirt and debris. This also provides a key for the new top coat.
  • Wipe down a second time after sanding with Methylated Spirit to remove all traces of sanding dust and any residual grease from hands and finger tips.
  • Ones dry, a fresh top coat can be applied to restore the appearance and maximise protection of the timber.

Other brands that specialise in exterior coatings, translucent and opaque include Dulux Trade and Crown Paints. Also see Sadolin’s Superdec Opaque Wood Protection finish.

Any Questions?

If you have an exterior wood care project to tackle and are not sure which product to choose, give our resident wood experts a call. They’re able to provide free, expert wood finishing advice, so that you can make a well informed choice on which products are suitable for your project.

As well as giving advice, support and help, we also like to see the results of completed projects. If you have any before, during and after project pictures, and would like to share them with us and our community, please let us know.

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

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Deciding what brush to use can make all the difference in the quality of finish on your projects. Luckily this helpful video will point you in the right direction.

If you already know what Applicator You Require Click Here.

Brushes 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 solving the riddle of natural vs synthetic brushes, when to use them and why.

Natural Bristle Brushes.

The Mako Natural Bristle Woodcare Brush is a really unique designed high quality brush, thats made for use with wood oils and other low viscosity woodcare products such as Preservatives and Stains. They have microscopically hollow bristles that essentially suck the product up like a straw and disperse it at a really nice consistent rate. When using natural bristle brushes with water based finishes you will find that they suck the water in the finish which causes the bristles to clump. So when you apply it, it will leave you with brushstrokes and imperfections in the finish.

When using solvent based finishes make sure you clean the brush out thoroughly after use, otherwise it will shorten the lifespan of your brush.

Synthetic Bristle Brushes.

The Marshall 401X Pro Synthetic Brush is a specially designed brush, for use with thicker finishes for example varnishes and paints, its specially tapered bristle edge is designed to limit the amount of drips and limit over application while holding a lot of finish, which helps limit the amount of trips back and forth to your paint tray.

Ultimately if it’s water based or a thicker finish, go for the Marshall Pro 401X Pro Synthetic Brush and if it is Oil or a less viscous finish, for example a preservative or stain go for the Mako Natural Bristle Woodcare Brush. This is just one of the many questions you need to ask when deciding what applicator to use. For a full list of applicators visit this page here, and you will be able to have a good look and read through and it’ll help you decide what applicator is perfect for you. If you have any questions just phone the phone number or email the email address on screen now. Also if you liked this video and would like to see more unique content then simply subscribe, like and comment on any video you like and of course, always do a test area.

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

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Denibbing is a really important step in applying any finish, it helps either the adhesion or absorption of further coats and can make a real difference to your projects.

Denibbing 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 am going to be discussing Manns Flexible Sanding Pads, Manns Finishing Pads and the act of Denibbing. Denibbing is the removal of “nibs” and imperfections from your finish, and it should be performed between each coat of any finish applied.

Denibbing Varnishes, Paints and Surface Finishes

A few weeks ago I put Manns Extra Tough Floor Varnish on these boards, in this video here. When you do apply a surface finish, such as a varnish or a paint it’s only natural you are going to get imperfections such as brush strokes and bumps or areas that have slightly more finish than others

To remove these areas what you need to use is a Manns Flexible Sanding Pads, I’ll be using one in p180. Just work across your project working with the grain, applying just enough pressure to smooth it out the finish. Because you are roughing up the surface as well it’ll improve the adhesion of any further coats too. Also once you’ve finished denibbing, give the area a wipe over with a Manns Microfibre Cloth as well.

Denibbing Oil’s

I treated this piece of Beech with Manns Top Oil in this video here, and I’m going to use it to show you how to denib oils. Wood is a naturally porous material, and when you put oils on wood, they soak in, giving excellent liquid repellency and protection while still maintaining a natural look and feel. When you apply an oil on you want to remove all excess as soon as you can, and then you want to help open some of those pores again by denibbing, use a Manns Finishing Pads to do this. Denib just like I did with the varnish, follow the grain work across the
project, try not to apply too much pressure.

Denibbing is all about the feel. Your project should feel smooth. If it doesn’t that means that more denibbing is required, and after that if it still isnt smooth then it probably hasn’t been as sanded as well as it should of. I know of course if you’ve been watching my video’s that won’t be the case.

A full list of products featured and used in this video is available in the description on YouTube, also if you have any questions or would like some advice feel free to get in touch by phoning the phone number or emailing the email address on screen now. Also if you liked this video and would like to see more unique content then simply subscribe, like and comment on any video you like and of course, always do a test area.

What the Pro’s Use – Fiddes Hard Wax Oil. How to Apply Hard Wax Oils.

Friday, April 1st, 2016

This video will show you the best way apply A Hard Wax Oil Specifically – Fiddes HardWax Oil. However, this advice is also suitable for other Hard Wax Oils, such as Osmo Polyx Oil And Osmo Polyx Oil Tints.

Hard Wax Oils F.A.Q.

Q.Is the hard wax oil durable enough for a table top?

A. Absolutely, this product is perfect for any wooden items requiring good protection. Another big advantage of this product is that repairs are very easy to do should the need arise.

Q.Is hard wax oil any different to linseed oil or Danish oil?

A. It’s better because the wax content keeps the oil suspended in the surface of the wood for longer. This means that it’s a more durable oil and that that maintenance is required less frequently. Also 2-3 coats are recommended (2 for everywhere except table tops and high traffic areas) where as 3-5 coats are recommended for Linseed oil, Danish oil and Tung oil.

Q. I have an old oak floor that has been finely sanded, is the hard wax oil a good choice for it?

A. It is beneficial if the wood grain is open when applying this product because hard wax oil mainly sinks into the wood and becomes a part of the wood. For that reason it requires a fairly open grain to accept the oil and whilst being applied it is necessary to work the product into the wood. If you want to use any oil on your floor, but especially a wax oil it is recommended to sand the floor with a 150 grit sandpaper or coarser. Then this product will be ideal for you.

Q. Can I use a steam cleaner or steam mop to clean my oiled floor?

A. In short, ‘No’. Oiled and waxed finishes on floors are ‘Micro-porous’ which means that although the wood is protected, it can still breath as it is not completely sealed as it would be with a varnish.

Cleaning oiled or waxed floors with a steam cleaner or steam mop introduces high temperature and pressure water which can strip and penetrate the oiled or waxed finish and potentially damage the wooden floor.

Fiddes Hard Wax 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 Fiddes Hard Wax Oil ranges. They are a solvent based blend of natural oils and waxes that offer excellent durability, liquid repellency and a more natural look and feel to your interior wooden surfaces. They come in a range of clear and coloured oils.

The oil I am going to be using is, Fiddes Hard Wax Oil in Clear Satin. And I will be putting it onto my trusty spool table, over time of me filming video’s on it and it also being used as a demo table in our shop it had picked up a few stains and a little bit of damage, so I have knocked it back with some p120 paper just far enough to give me the opportunity to do a maintenance coat, whilst still maintaining its rustic look.

The applicator I’m going for today is the Mako Natural Bristle Wood-Care brush, it’s a really unique brush, they actually have hollow bristles so they suck the oil up like a straw and disperse it at really nice even rate. Once you’ve stirred your oil, and poured it into your paint tray you are ready to apply. To apply, just work in manageable areas, in long even strokes and with the grain, and of-course apply sparingly too.

So after applying I’m now going to remove any excess, with a Woodleys Microfibre Cloth, this may seem counter-intuitive however its very important you don’t let any excess dry on the surface. What you are actually doing is half helping it work into the wood, half wiping it off.

So I have let this dry for just over 4 hours, and its really brought it back to life. That’s the beauty of oils, for example say when you do eventually get some damage you need to either clean the area or give it a sand back depending on the severity of the damage and then re-apply another thin coat of oil and you are back as good as new.

If this was your first coat you would need to denib now, you would be denibbing with a Woodleys Finishing Pad. What you need to do is just work with the grain and work across the whole item. As this is technically a top coat, I won’t be doing it today.

A full list of products featured and used in this video is available in the description on YouTube. And if you need any help or advice, get in touch by phoning the phone number or emailing the email address on screen now, If you liked this video and would like to see 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 Posts You Will Love!

Product Spotlight – Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Finish.

Should You Use an Oil or Varnish to Finish Your Floor?

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

Friday, March 18th, 2016

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 Manns Premier 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 Woodleys 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 Woodleys 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 huge variety of materials and styles, from man made 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 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 Oils 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 Premier 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.

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. See our full range of wooden worktop oils here.

Worktop oil help and advice

Need some help with your wooden kitchen worktop surfaces? See our worktop FAQ page that answers many of the most common questions and issues. Need specialist help and advice? Contact our resident experts who are on hand to provide free advice on how to clean, maintain and restore all manner of wooden worktops and worktop finishes.

Celebrating 25 Years of Osmo UK

Friday, November 20th, 2015


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

3032-osmo-celebration-tin-25th-anniversary sml

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?


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.


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.


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.

Exterior Black Finishes – Rustic, Smart, On-Trend

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Black is beautiful! This week we’re diving into all things black and making two excellent recommendations to help you achieve absolutely glorious black exterior wood.

The beauty of black

Black is a magical colour. It’s always in fashion. Nothing clashes with it and every colour gleams against it, the contrast giving every shade extra depth and richness. It’s subtle too, sitting in the background and letting other colours shine.

Black masks ugly shapes and smooths sharp angles, so it’s kind to landscapes. Paint your wooden garden fence black and it makes your garden look much bigger than a paler colour would. Flowers glow against it and greens are lusciously, mouth-wateringly greener. What’s not to like?

The same goes indoors. Counter-intuitively, perhaps, black can be used to brilliant effect to make spaces look bigger as well as changing their shape and adding interior decor drama. Take one old wooden wardrobe, chest of drawers or dressing table. Transform and update it with a black wood stain or black paint then highlight the carving, door or draw edges and any other sticky-out parts with an antique gold wax. Voila, instant cool. And black floorboards look totally stunning whether matt or glossy.

It’s sophisticated and good-looking, but it’s also practical. Black is great for hiding a multitude of sins, looking handsome long after a pale wood finish has gone all grubby and tatty. So it’s perfect if the exterior wood you want to finish is next to a road, for example a front garden fence prone to car-sprayed mud.

Why is a black finish on barns and beams a tradition?

The elegant, ancient fish smoking sheds on Hastings beach in Sussex are tarred black to preserve the wood from the salty, sandy winds that roar in from the west. Trundle down many a country road in Britain and you’ll pass a lovely old brick barn with a wooden roof that’s as black as your hat, wonderfully saggy and mellow, perfectly complementing the landscape in which it sits. Visual poetry.

The black finish used to create the effect is all down to what people used to use to preserve wood, before today’s refined, modern and more colourful products came along. Depending on the age of an ancient wooden barn, the last people to paint it might have used black tar varnish or some kind of old-school bituminous paint, both of which are naturally black. It wasn’t an appearance thing, it was all practicality, simply about what you had to hand.

A huge choice of contemporary black exterior wood finishes

There’s a remarkable variety of exterior black finishes to choose from these days. The same goes for interior black finishes, a fact bearing testament to the colour’s long-lived popularity, a look you can achieve on barns and beams as well as an endlessly inspirational number of wood-based projects. Whatever you want to do with them, black wood finishes deliver a scrumptious finish that’s rich, deep and subtle.

We thought it’d be handy to take a look at the sheer variety of black wood finishes we have in stock and focus in on two of the finest black exterior finishes in town, a couple of our best-sellers.

What kind of wood finishes in black do we stock?

You name it, you can often get a black version. Here’s a short list of just some of the black wood finishes we sell, carefully chosen by our experts for their exceptional performance and great value for money.

8 exceptional black wood finishing products

  1. Ronseal 10 year exterior black gloss or satin water-based paint – This one colours and protects wood beautifully and, being water-based, it’s really easy to use
  2. Black Cuprinol exterior wood preservative – A brilliant water-based preserver perfect for rough and smooth timber
  3. Morrells two-part coloured wood filler in black – an amazingly strong two part filler
  4. Manns pine wood stain in black– Seriously good quality water-based wood stain
  5. Black Bona gap master – silicon-free, highly flexible mastic for filling gaps in skirting and floor boards
  6. Manns oak wood stain in black – Specially formulated to deliver a glorious black finish to hard woods like oak. Manns also do specialist black floor stains…
  7. Barrettine black decking stain – A top-notch black stain for decking and exterior wood
  8. Sikkens Rubbol XD Gloss – is an exceptionally durable, high build, solvent-borne, opaque coating providing a high gloss finish

Two top-rated black exterior wood finishes

Here are three excellent black exterior finishes. If you have an outdoor wood project coming up, they’re all highly recommended: Ronseal Total Wood Preserver in Black, Cuprinol Exterior Wood Preserver in Black and Barrettine Black Bitumen Paint.

About Barrettine Synthetic Black Timber Stain

  • Microporous, brilliant on rough, sawn exterior wood (not for smooth or planed wood)
  • Solvent-based
  • Ideal for wood barns, sheds, fence and trellis, boats
  • Safe for animals and humans when dry
  • A true matt black finish
  • Minimal preparation
  • Easy to apply with a brush
  • Dries in 12-24 hours
  • 1 coat for standard protection, two for best protection

About black Cuprinol Exterior Wood Preserver

  • Colours, preserves and waterproofs exterior wood
  • Keeps rot and decay at bay and protects against the elements
  • Perfect for rough, sawn and smooth timber
  • Water based
  • Can be brush or dip applied, especially the end grain
  • Treat with fungicidal wash first if necessary and remove any rotten wood
  • Remove any existing stain, varnish or paint
  • 1 coat for standard protection, two for best protection
  • Dry in around 4 to 6 hours
  • Use with care re. children, animals, foods, drinks and water sources

Any questions?

As ever, we’re always happy to talk about your project and recommend the best product for the job. Just give us a call or leave a comment below.

Move Over Chalk Paints – Claypaint is Here!

Friday, September 25th, 2015

We like to keep an eye on trends, and that includes eco-friendly paints. It’s been really interesting watching the trend for traditional and unusual paint finishes like chalk paints gain traction over the past few years, with their dead flat matt finishes and subtle traditional, heritage and ‘French’ colours.

In response we decided to research the best chalk paints available on our customers’ behalf, so we know for sure we are selling the best possible solution. And guess what we discovered?

Chalk paints are fabulous. Everyone loves them. But we actually prefer Clay Paints. And we’ve tracked down the best-in-breed, a splendid and highly practical range made by Earthborn Paints.

We thought you’d find it useful to know what clay paint is, how it differs from chalk paint and why we think it’s such a good choice…

About Earthborn Paints

Earthborn Paints is a British company. They make high breathable paints that don’t contain any environmentally-unfriendly oils, acrylics or volatile organic compounds, also called VOCs. This means their paints come with no damaging emissions.

Earthborn Paints

Earthborn Paints

They believe being environmentally responsible and concerned about your health doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or style. The carefully chosen ingredients in their products blend with technologically advanced manufacturing processes and formulations to provide perfect, high-performing paints with a greener, more friendly face.

Are all eco-paints this environmentally friendly?

As the decorating Advice website says, the whole eco-paint thing can be confusing and misleading.

“Many of the terms used for marketing paint can be confusing – organic paint, for instance, is simply paint which contains carbon compounds and many of the water based gloss paints being marketed as ‘environmentally friendly’ contain more chemicals than the oil based paints they replace. Low odour paints may be more pleasant to use but just because you can’t smell the fumes doesn’t mean that they are not still present.”

If you want to know for sure you’re using a certified eco-friendly paint, you can rely on Earthborn to provide exactly that. Although several companies manufacture clay paint, Earthborn have won awards for it, including the coveted EU Ecolabel. In fact they are the only British eco-paint company to meet the Eco-Label’s strict environmental standards. We like that.

So what is clay paint?

Clay paint is a water-based emulsion made using clays, safe and clean material humans have used since time immemorial. The paint might be made from traditional materials but it delivers state-of-the-art performance and goes on beautifully.

Earthborn clay paints come in a wide variety of colours, sixty in total, everything from muted, nuanced and subtle to loud, bright and clear. Because they’re made with natural ingredients – clays and pigments – they provide a lovely ambience. If you’re looking for a gorgeous, mellow look, it’s ideal. Think stucco, think adobe, think lime plaster, whitewash and distemper and you get the picture: stunning traditional finishes created with natural products, with cutting-edge results.

What is the difference between chalk paint and claypaint?

So what are the key differences between ordinary chalk paints and Earthborn’s clay-based paint? One big difference is the remarkably flat matt finish you get with clay paint, which is comparatively easy to achieve. The other is the fact that it isn’t dusty like chalk paint meaning that it’s much less likely to come off on your clothes. It also means that unlike chalk paint, it doesn’t need to be sealed in under a coat of wax or other top finish to protect the paint.

Because clay paints are mineral based they’re really good for covering newly plastered lime and old limed walls. They also cover old paintwork and because the paint is relatively thick, it covers all sorts of flaws and faults beautifully. Unlike other eco-emulsions, clay paints do a great job of absorbing damp and they even help even out any humidity.

Where can you use clay paints?

You can use claypaint to transform perfectly ordinary walls so they look like beautiful old plaster or time-worn stucco. You can use them on more or less any interior surface including gypsum board, plaster, wood, stone and even walls that have already been painted.

Because of its excellent breathability claypaint is ideal for external-facing walls in older homes, where there’s penetrating damp. The colours are particularly solid – the deep and earthy tone they provide is something you can’t achieve any other way. Because they absorb moisture they’re perfect for use in kitchens and bathrooms.

No smell, exceptional coverage, the ultimate matt finish

  • People love the fact that it has little or no smell and appreciate clay paint’s exceptional coverage
  • They like the fact that it’s 100% oil and acrylic-free
  • They appreciate that it’s breathable and enjoy the easy-to-use water-based formula
  • They love its versatility
  • They adore the stunning creamy consistency, a feature that makes it a joy to use
  • They love the results: completely, totally, beautifully flat – the ultimate matt finish which both softens and enhances the light in a room
  • The recipe is hard wearing, goes on like a dream and you might find you need fewer coats than with an ordinary emulsion
  • The drying time is reasonable at 6 – 12 hours
  • The average coverage is 5L per fifty square metres, 2.5 Litres per 25 square metres, depending on the surface and how you apply the paint
  • You can apply it with a brush or roller, just like an ordinary emulsion

Earthborn clay paints now in stock!

The Earthborn clay paint range is now available for purchase here at Wood Finishes Direct. If you have any queries about clay paint and its uses, contact our resident experts today. They’re always on hand to give friendly help and advice.

Product Focus: Barrettine Wood Preservatives

Monday, September 7th, 2015

It’s the truth: the better you look after your wood, whether it’s decorative or structural, the better it looks and the longer it lasts. Today we’re going to focus on Barretine’s Premier Wood Preservative and Universal Wood Preservative, both top class spirit-based finishes designed to keep wood looking really good.

Barrettine Premier Wood Preserver

Barrettine Premier Wood Preserver

We love Barrettine Wood Preservatives

Our customers rate Barrettine products highly, and so do we. So what’s the differences between Barrettine’s excellent Universal and Premier wood preservers?

  • Premier contains wax, Universal doesn’t
  • Universal comes with more insect and woodworm protection

Barrettine Universal Wood Preservative

Barrettine Universal Wood Preservative

Can you paint over the top?

Spirit-based wood preservers can be used on their own, but the effects last as much as five years longer when you add a protective coating. Exterior wood oils and decking oils perform best, but first you need to think about which kind of protection suits your project.

  • ‘No’ to a water-based final finish – Barrettine’s Premier wood preserving product can be used ‘standalone’, thanks to the water-repelling wax it contains. On the other hand you can’t over-coat the ‘Premier Preservative’ with water-based paints or stains, since the wax will repel the water content, stopping them from soaking in and bonding with the wood.
  • ‘Yes’ to a water-based final finish – The Universal version can be over-coated with water based products once it’s 100% dry, a process that takes around 4-5 days.

That all-important wood preserver and decking oil combo

Combine a good solvent-based wood preserver like Barrettine with a good quality decking oil for a finish that’ll look gorgeous and last for ages. It’s the ideal combination to protect garden decking, sheds, fences and more. You usually need two coats of each, which means you’ll need to set aside two or three weekends including those all-important drying times. But your patience and hard work will be rewarded by a fabulous end result.

How do solvent-based wood preserving products perform?

  • Solvent-based wood preservers like Barrettine Premier penetrate deeper into the timber for better protection against the elements
  • They’re touch dry in just a couple of hours and usually come in a wider range of colours than water-based alternatives – we stock Cedar Red, Holly Green, Golden Brown and more
  • Solvent-based products are a good way to colour sheds, fences and decking, either a clear preservative plus a coloured wood oil or a coloured preservative with a clear oil
  • It’s really important to make sure that the wood preservative has fully dried in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended drying times before applying the top finish. Applying a wax or oil too early, before the preserver has fully dried, means the solvent in the preservative and wood being treated can break down the wax or oil top coat. In short, you’ll end up with an ineffective mess

Protect bees, animals and children

Remember to keep wood preservatives away from beehives and other beekeeping equipment. By their nature, wood preservatives protect wood from insects and woodworm, so are harmful to bees and any other creature who likes eating wood, creating pulp nesting material with it or using it as home. Luckily, once the two Barrettine products we’re featuring are completely dry they’re harmless to people and other animals. All you need to do is keep your furry friends and small humans away from the area until then.

Take care around ponds and plants too, since solvents pose a danger to aquatic life. And never, ever pour solvents into the drain or into any other water course. Your local council website will provide advice about how to get rid of solvents safely.

About Barrettine themselves

Barrettine isn’t a household name. But they sell wood preservative to a wide range of shed and fence companies and have an excellent professional pedigree. You’d be surprised how often we hear about customers calling shed and fencing manufacturers direct to find out which product was originally used on the timber or pin down a particular colour. Once they know what they need, they come to us to buy it.

Our product pages come complete with detailed instructions, facts and information about application and performance:

Back next week…

More next week from the wonderful world of wood. In the meantime, we hope your wood is properly protected from all this rain!

Product Spotlight – Manns Premier UV Decking Oil

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

There’s nothing quite like a well-maintained, smooth, beautiful-looking garden decking for making your entire outdoor space look extra special. It forms an attractive, smart, natural backdrop for your planting, providing a practical space to relax, cook and party. And we think Manns Premier UV Decking Oil is a splendid product – in our experience it comes very highly recommended.

This week we’re featuring Manns Premier UV Decking Oil in a special product spotlight. Here’s everything you could possibly need to know about it…and probably a bit more!

First…about Manns themselves

Manns make a huge range of high quality wood finishes for both the commercial and trade markets. Their products range from wood oils to water-based wood stains, water-based varnishes to waxes.

Manns Premier UV Decking Oil

Manns Premier UV Decking Oil

Here’s a run-down of the questions we’re most often asked about the product, all in one place for your convenience.

Q) What is it?

A) This is a high quality decking oil that protects and nourishes decking just as well as any alternative from the big brand names.

Q) What does it do?

A) This excellent specialist wood oil helps to nourish decking and helps prevent the boards themselves from warping and splitting. The product also helps prevent algae and mould, both of which can make decking dangerously slippery as well as ugly. And the UV filters it contains protect the natural colour of the timber, delaying the greying effect caused by sun and rain damage.

Q) What kinds of wood can I use it on?

A) Manns Premier UV Decking Oil offers excellent weather protection, repels water beautifully and reduces the likelihood of cracking, splitting and warping. It’s perfect for both softwood and many hardwood decks.

Q) Does it change the colour of the wood?

A) No, the clear version simply enhances the wood’s natural grain and colour and gives the treated deck an almost damp-like appearance. But you can buy the product in three versions: clear, dark oak and light oak, so if you do fancy a colour change, Manns Premier UV Decking Oil is perfect.

Q) How Does It Work?

A) The special blend of high quality waxes, oils, solvents, and mould killers and algae inhibitors penetrate the surface of the timber to protect it against the ravages of the elements.

Q) What about UV protection?

A) Special UV filters in the oil delay the onset of the greying effect you always get eventually with exterior wood. The clear version includes UV filters but as a general rule, the darker the colour of the oil, the more UV protection it provides.

Q) What about preparing your garden decking for treatment?

A) We’ve already gone into the fine detail behind getting your deck ready for oiling. Here’s a link to our post about getting started before you add an oil, stain or treatment. And here’s our post about how to clean decking.

Q) How do I apply the product?

A) Manns 147 Natural Decking Brush is your best bet, as it’s made for the job. It is a high quality 220mm wide decking brush with 100% natural bristles, designed to be used with an extension pole for ease of use and application.

Q) Do I need to do a test area first?

A) Yes, it makes sense because any original or previous decking oil used on the wood can affect the final colour you get from adding the product, and the difference is most obvious when the oil is fully dry. Even the colour of the raw timber will have some sort of effect on the final colour. Manns Premier UV Decking Oil can only be used on bare wood or decking that has been previously preserved or oiled. It will not work on decks that have been painted or stained with a varnish-like product that seals the surface of the wood with a hard surface coating.

Q) Does Manns Premier UV Decking Oil have any other uses?

A) Just because it’s called decking oil, it doesn’t mean this excellent product can’t be used for anything else. It delivers top results and long lasting protection to any exterior wooden fixture or fitting including wooden handrails, sheds, fences, even wood carvings and wooden artwork.

Q) How does the price stack up compared to household name brands like Ronseal, Cuprinol and Barrettine?

A) Its usually cheaper, even on our website where more or less everything costs less than it does on the high street. And in our experience it’s just as good. The high street price of Ronseal Decking Oil, for instance, is £39.99 while right now the same amount of Manns Premier UV Decking Oil comes in at considerably cheaper at, £29.26.

Q) Do you provide full instructions for using Manns Premier UV Decking Oil?

A) Yes. There are clear instructions on the container itself and we also provide detailed guidance on the product page. If you get lost in space you can always give us a call and talk to an expert.

Q) How much of the product do I need for my garden deck?

A) Whatever you’re using Manns Premier UV Decking Oil for, you can use our clever little coverage calculator on the product page itself to pin down how much of it you need to buy.

Any more questions?

Feel free to contact us about any wood finish related subject you like. Our experienced staff know the products we sell inside out and are happy to help and advise you.

Brilliant Wood Garden Furniture Treatment Promo – 15% OFF!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Emerging, blinking, into the bright spring sunshine after a long winter’s hibernation, I’ve noticed our wooden garden furniture is in a bit of a state.

I love the subtle silvery colour it has weathered down to, but I’m also aware it means the wood is totally unprotected, at risk from sun damage, cracking, splitting, mould, mildew and all the rest. Which means it won’t last as long as it should.

Posh wooden garden furniture sets deserve love and care. Even cheap garden furniture can last for years and years as long as you look after it.

Luckily there’s a very special week-long money-off offer on the cards, covering all our garden furniture maintenance products. It kicks off on 3rd May and lasts until the 10th, perfect for the spring DIY season. If, like me, you’ll be out there on bright May weekends transforming ratty, weather-beaten solid wood garden furniture into something sleek, gleaming and as good as new, this one’s for you!

15% off garden furniture maintenance, preservation and decor products

Keep your wood garden table and chairs looking like new with our comprehensive range of wooden garden furniture treatments, wood revivers and wood preservers, garden furniture oil (ideal for our silvery grey table and chairs), plus some cool, easy to use ‘makeover’ garden furniture paint products, available in gorgeous wood tones and stylish pastel colours.

  • Use the promo code at the checkout and we’ll apply your 15% discount automatically (Offer has now EXPIRED)

What can you achieve with all these top class products? Wonderful things!

Painted garden furniture – Hiding a multitude of sins with COLOUR

If you’re bored stiff of your outdoor garden furniture and fancy ringing the creative changes, how about adding colour? Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain is an excellent translucent all-in-one stain formulated to protect, feed and enhance exterior wood. And Osmo Country Colour is a fabulous product, colourful, opaque and oil-based with a lovely satin-matt paint finish.

And there’s more! How about painting your wood gazebo to match or contrast with your outdoor furniture? Like painting furniture, it’s a fiddly job. But exercise patience and the end result will knock your socks off – a breath of fresh air to cheer up a tired outdoor space.

Using garden furniture treatment for conservatory furniture

If you have a wooden table and chairs or wood loungers in your conservatory, they can suffer much the same damage as if they were outdoors. Many conservatories suffer from condensation, which is just another word for ‘damp’. When the sun blasts through the glass, you can get warping and other kinds of heat damage. And the temperature differential means you go from hot to cold incredibly fast.

Which brings us to a top tip: To avoid rot, keep garden furniture away from damp and shaded areas. And be careful when moving wooden items indoors at the end of the summer, since sudden, dramatic differences between the temperature and moisture outdoors and indoors can make the wood split.

Rattan garden furniture maintenance

Rattan is similar to wood, made from incredibly strong, resilient palm tree stems. Rattan has a strong core, is very hard to break, and most rattan furniture is bound together using the stem’s tough outside skin. Rattan is a specific material, while wicker furniture can be made from any number of different materials including bamboo, straw and rattan.

How to keep rattan furniture in good condition?

  • Brush off dirt and dust with a stiff scrubbing brush.
  • Clean once a month with a solution of hot soapy water, making sure you get between the cracks and in the corners. The more muck you can remove, the better!
  • When the rattan looks all dry and cracked, it’s time for seroius action. Apply some Boiled Linseed Oil (not included in our 15% off sale). Regular linseed oil doesn’t dry and harden, so make sure you get the boiled stuff. Apply the oil until the rattan no longer absorbs it, when wipe it clean with a soft cloth and let it dry completely. Linseed Oil, natural or boiled should only be used on conservatory furniture as although its great for wood, it can attract insects who actually like to chomp on it and the wood its on.
  • Add rubber feet to the legs to help prevent rot.

Maintaining teak garden furniture sets

Most of the best quality wood patio furniture is made of Teak and it’s a really easy wood to care for, needing very little maintenance and lasting for decades. On the other hand if you use the wrong type of product, it can actually harm the wood.

While the silver-grey colour of weathered teak gives it a rustic appeal, many of us prefer to restore the furniture to its lovely honey colour. This can be done, but if your furniture is exposed to sunlight over the summer you’ll need to repeat the process every year.

For a durable finish and brilliant longer-term protection we recommend Barrettine Garden Furniture Oil, which is perfect for maintaining woods like Ipe, Ironwood, Iroko, Idigbo, Meranti and Cedar, all of which have a fine grain and contain plenty of rich, natural oils. While conventional oils find it harder to penetrate the grain, Teak Sealer is thinner and gets into the pores easily.

If you just need a quick ‘n’ simple facelift, try Teak Oil. As with any product, you can get hi end and low and in terms of quality, we sell 3 of the best Teak Oil brands around. And the good news is that they are all in our garden furniture sale.

The big garden bench maintenance challenge

Wooden garden benches come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and flavours, from cast iron to cheap softwood and beautiful, rugged hardwood benches made to last a lifetime. How you look after them depends on the type of wood your bench or garden chair is made of.

How can you tell? Here’s a link to our post about how to tell the difference between soft and hard woods.

Our 15% off event includes proven, popular wood treatments for every kind of exterior wood including benches and fences, chairs and tables, gazebos, sheds and decks. Just pick your product of choice and arm yourself with a good quality paint brush!

Watch the crazy British weather

You can bring your outdoor furniture indoors, of course, and give it the treat of its life in the garage or shed. Otherwise it makes sense to watch the weather. If May turns out soggy and damp, it’s probably  best to wait until your garden furniture is completely dry before kicking off your maintenance schedule. If it pees down all over your beautiful work before it dries properly, or you use the products on damp wood, the final effect will never be as good.

15% of all these brilliant products and more…

Here’s a quick run-down of just five of the excellent external wood finishing products we’re discounting:

  1. Barrettine Premier Wood Preservative – A solvent-based preservative giving microporous protection against rot, fungi, decay and mould, available in a clear version plus 7 cool colours
  2. Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra – The ultimate protection for sun-greyed wood including a powerful factor 12 UV filter
  3. Barrettine Danish Oil – Food, pet and child safe with a traditional formula designed to feed outdoor wood
  4. Sadolin Extra Durable Woodstain – A remarkably tough exterior varnish-based woodstain in 12 attractive shades
  5. Osmo Wood Reviver Gel – A fully biodegradable, odourless product to restore sun-bleached and weather damaged wood

Lost the garden furniture treatment plot?

Not to worry. If you’re bedazzled and bewildered, we’ll be more than happy to talk through the options. Just give our friendly team a call.

Revive Your Decking

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Down in the South East of England the snowdrops have been…and some of them have almost gone. Primroses are just about flowering in the woods and the bluebells, daffodils and crocuses are well on their way. The birds are twittering in anticipation. There’s absolutely no doubt that Spring is in the air. And it’s the perfect time to get your garden decking in shape for the warm weather.

Take a look outdoors. How’s your decking doing? If it’s all green and slimy, you’ll need to get rid of the algae. If it’s mossy it’s time to remove the moss (which you can put on top of a plant pot full of compost and grow as a mini-moss garden if you like – waste not, want not!) If your deck just needs a good brush to get rid of dead leaves and dust you’re lucky and in for a relatively easy time.

Garden Decking Maintenance Products

We sell a great choice of wooden decking treatments for both softwood and hardwood decks. There’s decking cleaner, the best way to keep your wood decking in excellent condition and suitable for use at any time of year.

Perhaps your decking is brand new, made from untreated wood. In which case a good quality decking preservative is just the ticket. The same goes if your deck has gently weathered to grey over a couple of summers and could do with a facelift.

Decking preservative is also an excellent way to combat fungi, mould and decay. And once the surface is properly protected and preserved, you’re free to add a gorgeous coloured decking stain or a high quality decking oil for an all-round beautiful, durable finish.

Recommended products to maintain garden decking

  • Barrettine Decking Oil – A brilliant all-in-one decking oil treatment specially formulated to provide superior protection against the weather while making your deck look absolutely gorgeous. It doesn’t peel. It never flakes. It doesn’t split and it protects the wood against algae and mould. And because it contains special UV stabilizers it even protects the wood’s natural colour for longer. First, apply Barrettine Premier Wood Preservative to colour and protect the surface.
  • Barrettine Premier Wood Preservative – This excellent  all-in-one spirit-based wood preserver is perfect for treating and protecting your garden decking against destructive nasties like dry rot, fungi and mould. It even protects against woodworm. And it works a treat whether you’re treating rough or smooth exterior timber so it’s also good for fences and sheds. You apply it with a brush or roller, easy as pie, and once it’s dry it’s safe for animals and plants. Add a top coat of Barrettine Log Cabin Treatment or a good decking oil and you add belt-and-braces protection.
  • Ronseal Decking Oil – An amazingly durable waterproof decking treatment that protects against weathering and warping, swelling, drying and splitting. It also resists mould and algae as well as UV rays, which can make the wood go grey. The Natural version looks clear and wet when it’s dry while the Cedar, Oak and Pine versions dry coloured and translucent. If your deck is untreated or shabby, giving the wood a base coat of decking preserver first delivers maximum protection.

ronseal decking oil

Ronseal Decking Oil

  • Ronseal Ultimate Protection Decking Oil – Available in six cool colours, this remarkable product penetrates extra-deep into the wood to give a long lasting finish that’s as much as twice as resistant to foot traffic and weather wear as standard decking oils. It does a great job of restoring lost oils, preventing the wood from going grey and splitting. It’s waterproof in an hour and a half, nice and fast, and it keeps algae and mould at bay.

ronseal ultimate decking oil

Ronseal Ultimate Protection Decking Oil

‘How to’ guides to using garden decking maintenance solutions

Scroll down every product page and you’ll find useful information, in plain language, about how to use each product, where and when.

Better still, if you get stuck you can always contact us. Our friendly team are always on hand to offer expert advice.

More practical help – Our blog posts

We’ve covered decking maintenance in some detail in our blog. Here are four posts that’ll help you get where you want to be:

  1. How to Clean Decking
  2. Garden Decking Stains, Treatments and Oils – Part 1 – Getting Started
  3. Wooden Decking Stains, Treatments and Oils – Part 2 – Problems and Cures
  4. Decking Oils, Stains and Treatment – Part 3 – Application and Protection


Picture this…here’s your inspiration!

Maintaining your decking isn’t always the most enjoyable job in the world. It can be messy, mucky and tiring. But there’s a wonderful incentive. Just imagine yourself sitting on your deck in the mild summer air with a tiny, warm breeze blowing. You’re in summer clothes and the sky is blue. Butterflies flutter by and the bright, colourful flowerbeds smell gorgeous. You’re surrounded by people you love and the chiminea or barbecue has just been fired up. Mmm, lovely. Keep that in your mind’s eye, wrap up warm and get the job done in time for spring!

About Abrasives for Sanding Wood

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

“What is the best way to sand and prepare wood?” is a query that we often get. We thought it’d help our customers to take an in-depth look at abrasives and which sanding products are best to use.

About abrasives – Know your sanding products

An abrasive is a material, often a mineral, that’s used to shape or finish a piece of wood through rubbing part of the surface away. It’s what you do before the finishing process, which usually involves polishing it to achieve a smooth, reflective surface or even roughening it to get a satin, matt or beaded finish.

Abrasives are extremely commonplace and are used in a wide variety of industrial, domestic and technological applications. This means there’s a wide variety of physical and chemical abrasives available, in all manner of compositions, shapes and sizes. They can be used for:

  • Grinding
  • Polishing
  • Buffing
  • Honing
  • Cutting
  • Drilling
  • Sharpening
  • Lapping
  • Sanding

For simplicity’s sake, we use the word ‘mineral’ to cover both actual minerals and mineral-like substances, man-made and natural.

What is a coated abrasive?

A coated abrasive is an abrasive grain bonded to a flexible base like paper, cloth, vulcanised fibre or plastic film. Sand paper is an excellent example. Such abrasives come in various grit sizes, ranging from a very coarse 2mm grain to ultra fine grains of less than a millimetre in diameter. As you can imagine some abrasives are better for certain jobs than others, some are designed for working by hand and others specifically for use with machines like an orbital sander, belt sander or drum sander.

Which abrasive to choose?

Obviously it’s important to choose the right abrasive for the job in hand, which means picking the right type of abrasive grain and the correct grit size. It helps enormously to know what’s in abrasives, because they’re all made differently.

There are four types of abrasive grains commonly used in the wood flooring industry:

  1. Aluminium Oxide or Ali oxide (alox)
  2. Silicon Carbide (Sic)
  3. Zircronium Dioxide or Zirconia (Zirc)
  4. Ceramic grain

About aluminium oxide sandpaper – This is a sharp, blocky mineral, the most common all-purpose woodworking abrasive for a very good reason. It is the only abrasive mineral that fragments under the heat and pressure generated by sanding wood. This characteristic is called friability and it’s highly desirable. As you sand, aluminum oxide renews its cutting edges constantly, staying sharp and cutting much longer than other minerals.

Aluminium oxide is also a relatively tough abrasive, which means its edges don’t dull much before they fragment. Its excellent friability and toughness make it the longest lasting and the most economical abrasive mineral.

Silicon Carbide sanding – With silicon carbide abrasives, the grain macro-fractures. This means it breaks into smaller pieces which act to re-sharpen it before it goes dull. Silicon carbide abrasives stay sharp until they die, but they die relatively quickly. This makes it the least expensive option for belt sanders.

There is only one kind of silicon carbide and it’s harder and sharper than most aluminium oxides, making it the best choice for cutting hard materials like wood finishes, paint, plastic and metal. It’s also a friable mineral, so hard that sanding soft wood won’t make it fragment and renew its cutting edges. Though it will sand faster at first, it will dull more quickly than aluminium oxide. It is also generally more expensive than aluminium oxide and is perfect for sanding ceramic finishes off wood floors.

Zircronium Dioxide sand paper products – Zirconia alumina is an alloy – a mixture – of zircon and aluminum oxide. Grey in colour, it has a very long life and a fast cut rate even under heavy grinding stress. As the grain breaks down under heat and pressure, it fractures into smaller jagged pieces. Zirc, as the experts call it, is good at dissipating heat, letting the grain stay sharp for longer than most other man made and naturally mined grains.

Its impressive durability makes it particularly effective on difficult to grind and exotic metals and it doesn’t fragment as much on wood as it does on metals, making it a fast solution with a long life, great for sanding wood, particularly the coarser grits.

Sanding with ceramic grain – With ceramic grain abrasives, the grain micro-fractures and breaks down into smaller razor-like pieces many more times before it dulls. Ceramics come in a wide variety of shapes, from blocks and heavy wedges to flake-like shards. They are invariably more costly and less common than other abrasive minerals as well as very tough and highly aggressive.

The cost of ceramic sanding belts is usually around 50% higher than most silicon carbide belts, it delivers two to four times the performance. The performance depends on the ratio of ceramic grain used, so be sure to ask your distributor or manufacturer to confirm exactly what each product contains. 100% and 15% ceramic grain abrasives are very different.

Which is the most cost-effective abrasive for the job?

When choosing the perfect abrasive, it’s important to separate the price and the cost. The price per belt will be higher for ceramic abrasives but the total cost of the job – the product plus the time/labour – will be significantly lower.

Choosing the right sandpaper grades

The final piece of the puzzle is grit selection. There’s a very common misconception to avoid when dealing with aluminium oxide sandpaper: you don’t need to start with the roughest grit you can find. Believe it or not, just because an abrasive feels more aggressive it doesn’t mean it really is.

When you’re trying to abrade very hard materials, it’s best to take the opposite approach. Think of it like a block of ice. Can you smash it with a mallet? More often than not, all you do is bounce the mallet off the ice, which remains undamaged. But if you chisel away at the ice with an ice pick, you penetrate it with ease.

When sanding with aluminium oxide, the same principle applies. Rather than start with the most aggressive grit, start with something less brutal and more fine, for example an 80 grit. You’ll find that the finer sanding belt will break up the finish much more effectively, after which you’ll be able to move on to a rougher grit to get the finish nice and flat.

Mystery solved! It’s one of those essential facts that mean you no longer have to sweat over re-sanding pre-finished wood, whether it’s beautiful wood flooring, a piece of furniture or something else altogether. Good luck!

Abrasives FAQ – Quick answers to popular wood sanding questions

Here are some rapid-fire answers to common floor sanding and other sanding questions. If you’re still lost in space and would really appreciate some expert advice, that’s no problem at all. Feel free to call us or send us an email.

Q: How to sand floorboards?

A: We’re often asked how to sand wood floors in general, and how to sand hardwood floors in particular. We’ve already published useful guides covering the question:

You might need to be fairly aggressive at first if the boards are in poor condition, then work your way down through the grits from coarse to medium to smooth, using a grit of 120 with a 150 maximum.

Q: How to sand wood?

A: Always sand with the grain of the wood rather than against it. Sand several times if the timber is rough, working through the grit grades to a smooth finish. A 120 or 150 grit final sand is usually perfect for most wood finishes.

Q: How to prepare wood for painting?

A: If the paint is water-based, which many are, the wood must be free of waxes or oils. You can get rid of them by either scrubbing the surface with white spirit or sanding it. Use a primer, which helps to give better protection as well as providing a good base coat for the paint to bond with.

Q: What is the best sandpaper for wood?

A: All the sandpaper types we’ve talked about will work well. The different types of sandpaper are more about durability and cutting ability, so it really depends on the wood type, its condition and whether or not you’re trying to remove an existing coating or wood finish. If you’re stuck, give us a call.

Q: How to finish wood?

A: It depends on the particular look you want to achieve and the purpose of the wood, whether it’s a floor or wall, internal or external wood, a piece of furniture, decking or a shed. There are literally hundreds of wood finishing products on the market, everything from traditional to contemporary finishes, including waxes, oils, polishes, sealers and varnishes. We’ve organised our sanding abrasives logically to make your choice easier.