Nature gives us amazing materials. Wood (and specifically locally sourced timber that has been harvested responsibly from professionally managed forests) has not only a natural look and feel and is visually appealing, but is also versatile, recyclable, durable, renewable, and long lasting. It ticks all the boxes when used for toys, furniture, floors, decks and actually most structures. So I can assume it is also one of your choices of material. But how much do you know about wood care?
Let’s face the fact of real, natural life – natural things tend to become dry and crackly! Like your skin, your lips – your wood needs nourishment and protection!
Remember, with ProNature wood treatments the grain of your wood will always show – from invisible sealers or enhancing each beautiful fragment to blending in the natural different tones, the choice is yours.
Being a reader of the Green Family Guide, I happily assume that varnish, a synthetic material (polyurethane – a liquid plastic), is not on your Top-Ten-List! Although some might still see varnish as an essential, a belief persists that a Polyurethane is exceptionally low on maintenance and protects better and longer than an oil finish. Call me opinionated but I fiercely disagree!
Besides its seriously unwanted ingredients here are the downsides: It goes onto, as opposed to into, the wood. So the timber cannot “breathe” anymore. Biggest drawback: even if it lasts for a couple of years with less general maintenance than an oiled top – the varnish will eventually crack or peel. Water, dirt, and mould will damage the wood beneath. And it also marks and scratches. Repairs to a varnish in this instance automatically mean that the entire surface must be sanded down prior to re-coating.
Let us have a look at oil-based wood sealer and care oil – yes, I gladly begin with the (in my opinion) one and only downside: it does need some regular care. But trust me, it is easy, and I will share my experience on application and maintenance with you just now. First, I would like to highlight the advantages of using a penetrating oil, and to point out the “greenest” of the lot: locally manufactured ProNature products comprised of plant oils and mineral pigments, which assure sustainability and complete avoidance of petro-chemicals or any harmful substances.
Performance: suitable for all types of wood, UV protective, water repellent, breathable, VOC free and food safe, topped by a very economical spread rate.
The final superior advantage is that it can be reapplied without sanding and therefore any surface can be spot repaired!
I’m putting focus on the range for interior timber treatments (if you need something for exterior right now as it’s summer time, still carry on reading as most facts and hints apply also to the exterior finish, and then check out ProNature Outdoor).
So, what are the wood care options?
For simply nourishing your furniture and kitchen utensils whenever the wood starts to look dry ProNature Care Oil will revive your piece easily. It is known and loved for its wonderful orange scent, giving a smooth, soft finish and the feel of a baby’s bum.
A great advantage is that you can stain & seal in one with ProNature Indoor all interior surfaces: from floors, furniture and countertops to wooden toys and kitchen utensils like chopping boards, knife handles, wooden spoons and more.
Will sealing my furniture change the look of it?
That is your choice! If you are oiling light wood (like beech, pine, oak and many others) it will take on a golden tinge. It does not have to, and it is possible to maintain the raw, freshly sanded look!
Try ProNature Indoor Natural Light or Splash of White. Its white pigmentation counteracts the yellowing and provides an “invisible” seal.
If your wood has got a strong reddish tint, which you would like to soften, have a look at Smoke or Floating Cloud.
For any imaginable stains either to enhance the original look or change the colour, check the ProNature Chart. You’ll find the trending, classic and – for the more adventurous – the unique colours plus the ProNature Oil Colour Concentrates for creating your own colours, or for an undiluted application for a very colour-intense finish.
ProNature also offers customised colours if you need a finish to match an existing piece, or purely have got your own tint in mind.
How to seal – and if desire a stain?
I am not one of the fortunate spill-free chefs and am always covered as much as the item but hey – at least it is natural, and my skin does not mind.
The penetration time of about 10 minutes gives me a chance to clean my hands and whatever else of me got oiled. Then I take a clean mutton cloth and rub off any oil which did not penetrate into the wood and then – of course – whatever is left on me. Voila! There is a beautiful matte, touch-dry finish with a velvet-like feel. Best to leave it untouched for at least 6 hours. If a second application is desired, I repeat the same process. I will not bore you with more detailed (but still important!) “do’s and don’ts” – so here’s a great short video.
What about wax?
ProNature Wax Balm is a wood care treatment made from a blend of natural oils and waxes specially selected and formulated to treat all kinds of wood surfaces (actually also good for mineral substrates, e.g. slate, stone counter-tops, terra cotta tiles and many more but I won’t side-track now).
It has an amazing orange scent and -despite the fact that the manufacturer does not suggest it nor sells it for this purpose – I heard through the grapevine it gets used on dry, chafed skin!
How to apply the wax balm?
You can use the mutton cloth (or even your hands) and wipe the Wax Balm onto the wood surface, making sure to cover any dry areas and working in the direction of the grain.
Here is one important tip: less is more! Use it sparingly for a stunning result and the bees will thank you, too!
Wax balm as an additional final finish to ProNature Indoor?
If your wooden surface is highly exposed to water, this may be an advisable add-on. Otherwise a personal decision: if you would like a slight sheen instead of the pure matte natural timber appearance.
But please be aware: before re-oiling or re-sealing your surface, all wax must be buffed off! Let it reach its final hardness for at least 24 hours before polishing.
Easy peasy daily care!
So here we are! We have done it! Our wood got its spa treatment, and we can put our feet up!
There is another trick to prolong the beautiful appearance of our wood-care-mission: correct cleaning! I am not particularly good when it comes to cosmetics and care of my skin but one thing I do know: do not use peeling treatment every single day and just water does not clean & care either. The same goes for wood.
Again, I prefer an all-natural, food safe version of detergent like ProNature Wood Cleaner.
Fighting all the bad stuff like bacteria, fungi, grease and general dirt it still contains the so necessary essential oils to moisturise the wood and help prevent premature drying out and cracking (which comes for free with the hard-surface cleaners.)
In a nutshell . . .
- Leaving timber without any treatment causes an aging process like is inevitable on our skin.
- An oiled/sealed wood offers a highly durable surface which resists water, dirt and stains.
- Initial treatment of raw timber is seriously easy, avoids intensive reviving efforts later and ensures longevity.
- Suitable cleaning detergents extend maintenance periods immensely.
- Sh** happens – no sweat! It can be spot repaired!
Let us Paint a Greener Future and Happy Oiling for the Love of Your Wood!