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best finish for pine floor?  RSS feed

 
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We are close to finishing the tongue and groove pine floor in our living room and are starting to think about finishes. The oldest bit (five years old) at one end has turned a more golden color just naturally and looks a bit shinier than the rest... and we like the way that looks. it gets walked on a lot but not the muddy traffic that the kitchen gets. I grow plants in the living room over the winter so am always dripping a little water or dirt....and that is where our wood heat is so the room is pretty dry.
We feel like we should have something on it to protect a little just from occasional spills and the moisture difference from winter to summer.

suggestions?
 
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How about linseed oil with a little beeswax dissolved in it?
 
Judith Browning
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Burra Maluca wrote:How about linseed oil with a little beeswax dissolved in it?





that is actually what my husband wants to use...we only use the linseed oil without additives so it is really slow to dry and I don't want the smell to linger...maybe the beeswax will help it dry quicker? thanks
It seems like I remember Jay talking about linseed oil needing to 'polymerize' in order to dry correctly and that that took sunshine or heat. I may be misremembering and I can't find the text...

edit to correct spelling
 
Burra Maluca
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Jay will know better, but I think linseed oil will polymerise without any help.

You're right about it taking a while though, and it does make the place smell funny for a week or so. I wonder if you could use olive oil and beeswax? They do use it as a floor polish but it's probably not so durable as linseed. You could scent it with a few drops of lavender oil and I bet it would be lovely.
 
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Linseed oil polymerizes through a radical chain reaction, and it can always use a kick to get it started.

The three ways are: (1) ozone, if you live in Los Angeles or Beijing, congratulations, all you need is a really nasty day and just blow air over it; (2) chemical peroxides which generate the singlet oxygen that is required when they decompose . Acne medicine that contains 10% benzoyl peroxide qualifies, so after the linseed oil has soaked into the wood, go over it with a light application of acne cream and that should get it initiated. Once initiated, the reaction can usually sustain itself and complete the polymerization; and (3) good old direct sunshine with lots of UV. Glass absorbs in the part of the UV that we can't see, so you want direct sunlight, or sunlight bounced off mirrors, but sunlight going through a pane of glass is going to be less effective.

Beeswax is a saturated organic compound, so it is not going to participate in the polymerization reaction that 'dries' the linseed oil.
 
Burra Maluca
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I just dug out my copy of Jackie French's Natural Solutions and she recommends 'Queen Victoria's favourite polish' for pine. Apparently her majesty insisted that all wood in Balmoral Castle was treated only with this.


To make it, use one cup of beeswax, ten cups of fresh lavender flowers (or a teaspoon of lavender oil) and four cups of olive oil. Heat wax and flowers in a double boiler, or a bowl over a pan of water. When melted, add oil and stir for three minutes. Remove from heat and scoop out flowers. If you're using essential oil, add it now. Pour into a jar before it sets. Rub into oil with a soft cloth, leave it for an hour, then polish off with a clean cloth.
 
Judith Browning
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Burra Maluca wrote:I just dug out my copy of Jackie French's Natural Solutions and she recommends 'Queen Victoria's favourite polish' for pine. Apparently her majesty insisted that all wood in Balmoral Castle was treated only with this.


To make it, use one cup of beeswax, ten cups of fresh lavender flowers (or a teaspoon of lavender oil) and four cups of olive oil. Heat wax and flowers in a double boiler, or a bowl over a pan of water. When melted, add oil and stir for three minutes. Remove from heat and scoop out flowers. If you're using essential oil, add it now. Pour into a jar before it sets. Rub into oil with a soft cloth, leave it for an hour, then polish off with a clean cloth.



THAT sounds like something I would love. I actually have all of the ingredients and use much the same....without the lavender, on all of my kitchen wooden ware and tables. I might do a small batch and test on a scrap of wood. Thank you very much.



...and John, thank you for explaining polymerization so thoroughly....that explains why raw linseed oil dries nicely on my tool handles and never really did on a newly made wooden box .
 
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thanks for that formula, i had always used turpentine boiled linseed oil and beeswax, but never liked the linseed oil that much, just used it so bugs wouldn't attack, but the lavender should keep the bugs out and give a nice odor besides
 
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Sorry everyone that I am sooooo late to the party

I was very busy designing a house and (silly me) didn't turn on my "watch this forum" dawhhhhh..


Nice formula bura and agree with all of it except the olive oil! Olive oil is a "none drying oil" and can lead to some really "gummy" issues. Black soap is made of olive oil, and has some merit in the alchemy (cue John Elliott our resident chemist.)

The natural ozone in a room will get most flax oils to dry...more slowly in some areas than others. I have a source for a traditional mix called Land Ark that I have used for over 20 years. The owner of the company is a dear friend and would love just talking to you Judith. All natural and made of beeswax, tung oil, flax oil, pine rosin, and citrus oil. Come in several different blends or you can mix your own for the raw materials itself...I get it mixed now and save myself the headache. I have a thick beeswax heavy version drying behind be on the butcher block counter as I write this.

Some of the tonal qualities you are noting in your existing floor is from "light reaction" the other is from sebaceous lipids (oils) coming off your skin. Sebaceous oils are a wonderful (very expensive) additive to many arts.

Let me know if you have any other questions?

Regards,
j
 
bob day
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sebaceous oils-- so that's what they've been talking about all these years when they say something needs elbow grease
 
Judith Browning
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Thank you very much, Jay I am checking into Land Ark's products....they sound wonderful. Would the recipe Burra posted work if linseed oil was substituted for the olive oil? Or part linseed and part Tung oil? No rush to answer...the floor is still not quite done, we need to wait until we are done using the wood stove for the year and then shuffle everything around to finish.
 
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