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How To: Finishing Oily and Hard Timbers with Osmo

How To: Finishing Oily and Hard Timbers with Osmo

Woodworking is a craft that has been passed down through generations, and there's something truly magical about transforming a rough piece of timber into a beautiful work of art. But if you've ever worked with oily or hard timbers, you know that achieving a flawless finish can be a real challenge. That's where Osmo products come in.

Oily/Dense/Hard Timbers (Such as Spotted Gum, Kwila, Rosewood, Teak, Blackbutt, Jarrah etc):

  1. Sanding:
    Precision is key – avoid over-sanding. Opt for a grit range of 100-120 to finish, steering clear of any finer options that may compromise the timber's grain and impede oil penetration, leading to potential drying issues.
  2. Degreasing:
    Prior to oil application, use a solvent like turps or Osmo’s Brush Cleaner and Thinner to degrease the surface. This not only raises the grain slightly but also facilitates better oil penetration. Allow the surface to dry thoroughly.
  3. Product Application:
    Option 1 Primer Coat
    + Polyx: For high use areas such as dining tables, bench tops flooring etc. we recommend applying a very thin coat of Osmo Woodwax Clear Extra Thin 1101 as a "Primer" to help drive away oil/resin from the timber's surface, enabling optimal penetration of the following 2 coats of your chosen Osmo Polyx Oil (we recommend Satin or Gloss). Make sure to wipe off any excess Woodwax Clear Extra Thin after 30 minutes. Avoid applying the subsequent coats until the first one has completely dried.
    Option 2 Woodwax: For lesser worn surfaces such as shelving, bookcases etc. we recommend applying 2 very thin coats of Osmo Woodwax Clear Extra Thin 1101. Make sure to wipe off any excess Woodwax Clear Extra Thin after 30 minutes. Avoid applying the subsequent coats until the first one has completely dried.
  4. Between Coats: Do not sand between coats. If de-nibbing is desired, wait until the finish is completely dry (12-24hrs). Use a slow-speed buffing machine with a white pad for a light pass over the surface. Avoid heavy, fast machines, as they can pull the oil out before it cures.
  5. Application Tips: Less is best with Woodwax Clear Extra Thin, apply no more than two coats, ensuring a thin application. Use a microfibre roller, mohair brush, non-woven pads, or lint free cloth such as Osmo Easy Pads for the best results, preventing over-application.
  6. Drying Process: Osmo products dry by oxidation or air movement. On normal timbers, the surface should be touch dry after approximately 12 hours. However, for the mentioned hardwoods, such as Spotted Gum or Jarrah, it may take 3-4 days or longer due to the oil and resin content. Well-ventilated spaces speed up drying; consider using a small fan for air circulation.
  7. Full Cure: It takes 30 days for the finish to fully cure. Treat the surface with care during this period. Show it the respect it deserves, and your timber will reward you with enduring beauty.
  8. Post-Cure Maintenance: Once fully cured, apply a uniform coat of Osmo Liquid Wax Cleaner, buffing it dry with a Micro Fibre Pad or Cloth. This step ensures the wax layer is kept healthy, repellent to liquids and can even blend small scratches.

Key Takeaways:

-  The Osmo Woodwax Clear Extra Thin contains less wax compared to Osmo’s Polyx Oil, offering an oilier (thinner) finish with limited product build-up while maintaining a desirable look and necessary protection.

-  Allow 1-3 days for the surface to dry completely prior to handling. Exercise caution during this time, and refrain from placing items that may cover the surface such as place mats, cloths, moving blankets etc. on the finished surface.

- The coverage rate for Woodwax Extra Thin should hover around 20 square meters per litre. Applying less may lead to over-application, causing drying issues and surface scratching.

- Use a brush, scraper, or roller for application. If opting for a roller, choose a low nap (4mm) microfibre roller, avoiding foam, mohair, or wool rollers as they can hold too much product. Ideal application involves brushing the oil as far as it can go before using a dry microfibre roller to even out the surface if needed.

- If the surface remains tacky after several days, a light buffing with a slow-speed buffing machine and a white pad can assist the drying process.

- Full curing time is around 30 days. If watermarking and scratching persist, it indicates incomplete curing, too fine sanding, over-application, or a combination. Adjustments may be needed.

And there you have it! Ready to tackle your next woodworking project armed with some timber finishing know-how. Whether it's dealing with oily or hard timbers, Osmo will help take your creations to the next level.

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