WOOD FINISHES / CARE & MAINTENANCE //
WOOD FINISH OPTIONS //
We have two different finish options to choose from, and as such each option has different durability properties and maintenance requirements:
A: Hardwax-Oil Finish (New) | We recently started using a new finish on our wood that is durable and environmentally friendly. It's a hardwax-oil finish that’s made up of natural ingredients, vegetable oils and waxes. Additionally it is a method very commonly used by top-woodworkers and furniture makers, and a very traditional technique. This finish maintains the natural look and feel of the wood, all while offering durability and protection. One major advantage to this finish is that it is easily repairable and maintained if minor scratches are caused to the wood from use over time, as you can fix even isolated scratches/damage without showing overlap marks. No sanding of the entire surface to fix a small scratch. The oil-based finish is a brand new finish option for us, but is a more time honored traditional method than the conversion varnish we have been using. We are in a transitional period in which we are trying to reduce the amount of toxins in the products we use, and in doing our research we found that most of the woodworkers who inspire our methods use the oil-based finishes on their products. Not only are we committed to reducing the amount of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) we emit for environmentally conscious reasons, but we are also trying to reduce the amount of toxins that our crew are exposed to for health reasons. Eventually, we plan to phase out the conversion varnish entirely and only use the oil-based finish, but for now we will offer both finish options.
B: Conversion Varnish Finish | Over the past five years we have been using a spray-on, low-VOC conversion varnish. This finish offers a nice satin sheen with an exceptional durable ‘film’ finish comprised of multiple coats. In our earlier stages after trying out a dozen different finishes, we decided upon the conversion varnish due to the desired "sheen" of the finish in conjunction with it's superior durability as opposed to the previous products we tested. It is one of the most durable finishes available, yet it's chemical makeup allows for elasticity with seasonal wood movement. However, the finish is very difficult to repair in the event that any damages occur, and because the application process requires a professional and a spray booth, the wood would require being transported to a professional to refinish the entire piece to restore it to brand new condition, even if the damage is minor. For example, if there are any significant scratches/dents/blemishes caused to the wood over time, the entire surface would need to be refinished by a professional to return the wood to it’s original state (the whole surface must be sanded to bare wood and re-applied, an intensive and costly process). Additionally, although the finish is considered low-VOC, it is not as eco-friendly as the new hardwax-oil finish we are offering as an alternative.
HARDWAX-OIL VS. CONVERSION VARNISH PROS & CONS //
Hardwax-Oil Finish | Osmo Polyx Oil Pure
- High durability
- Made from plant oils and waxes
- Will never crack or flake
- Superior in terms of maintenance and application
- Can be spot repaired
- Durable, with "natural" look/feel
- Water resistant as well as juice, tea, cola, wine, beer, coffee
- High build, strong film finish
- Low-VOC (275 VOC)
- Exceptional durability, yet difficult to maintain/repair
- Cannot be spot repaired)
- UV protective, water resistant
PRECAUTIONS, CARE AND MAINTENANCE //
Though we find each finish to be durable as well as acquiring the "look" we desire for our products, no finish is indestructible by any means and requires care and consideration to maintain it’s lifespan. You are responsible for the upkeep of your table which will last generations if properly cared for.
There are a few natural enemies for your table’s finish, the first being the sun. During certain times of the year, direct exposure to sunlight can cause color fading, cracking of the finish, as well as unwanted splits and/or twisting/cupping of the wood (with special regard to slab products). If near windows where exposed to direct light it is recommended that you either draw shades, or cover the piece during these hours of the day.
The wood has been both air dried and kiln dried to a suitable moisture content before being milled, surfaced, sanded, then sealed and final coated. When exposed to extreme high or low temperatures the wood may swell or shrink accordingly where moisture can be reintroduced or taken away. Due to the nature of materials, they may change in appearance slightly over time. Materials are prone to wood movement, expansion and contraction with temperature and seasonal changes, and can develop small cracks/inclusions or change in color slightly (with special regard to slab products). These are all common occurrences and can not be completely prevented during production, but with proper care will happen at a minimum. Regulated temperatures in the home are recommended, and we also suggest keeping our pieces out of direct sunlight. Slight wood movement will happen naturally with the changing of seasons to every piece of wooden furniture you own, and with most products this occurrence will be unnoticeable. To assist in minimizing these occurrences from happening, we recommend the following:
- Recommended temperatures are 60-75F and 30-60% humidity.
We also always recommend using protective precautions when using your table for the longevity of the finish. Using coasters under glasses will prevent water/liquid "rings" from disturbing the finish. Though setting a glass atop the wood will not cause water rings to form instantly, leaving glasses for several hours or overnight can cause water stains or rings to form from precipitation on any wood finish. Placemats and hot pads will also prevent heat from compromising the finish as well.
Also please DO NOT use plastic/polycarbonate covers as this has proven to mar the finished surfaces.
CLEANING WOOD SURFACES AND UPKEEP //
To clean your wood surfaces, please avoid harmful bleaches and chemicals. First try using warm, soapy water on any spills/problem areas, and if that doesn’t work you may try a diluted solution of a non-toxic cleaner such as simple green.
If your table was finished with the hardwax-oil finish, Osmo has recommendations for how to upkeep the finish, as well as specific products and cleaners you can purchase. Please follow suggested links below: