Stainton Hall Floor Restoration

Which Wooden Floor Finish Can You Choose DIY?

Part 1 of these articles dealt with the idea, can you sand wooden floors like a pro. This second part will deal with the available finishes. Specifically, the finishes that I come across that homeowners have used themselves. Then finishes that I use in a professional capacity.  There is a massive difference between the two in terms of durability, choice, method of application and price.

Oak Floor Finished With Magic Oil 2K
This floor in Barrow In Furness was sanded and then finished with Magic Oil 2K

Wood Floor Sanding and The Finishes Available

In part 1 you have learnt how important the sanding process is in achieving a great finish to your wood floor.  Even the best products in the world cannot be a substitute for great floor sanding.  This great sanding is best combined with equally great floor finishes.  If you are still thinking of going down the DIY sanding route then this is an important article in the series.  

The most common finish you will find in your local DIY stores such as B&Q or Screwfix is varnish.  Ronseal Diamond is a very common varnish for floors.  It can be applied by brush and the application causes no issues from the feedback I have received from clients.  That seems to be where the fun ends.  

Ronseal Diamond Varnish

The limitation of these products can become apparent after only a couple of years.  These products can yellow over time.  In fact on the Ronseal technical sheet, it says minimal yellowing.  I find that statement vague and quite unhelpful to potential users.  Once the varnish is on you don’t really want to be taking it back off anytime soon.  Yellowing most certainly does happen and these products can quickly hide the beautiful grain of the wood.  Many DIY clients will apply 4 coats of the varnish.  The photo below shows the condition of a floor that I worked on last year.  This oak floor had a few coats of Ronseal varnish on it and it was not doing the floor any favours. 

Old Ronseal varnish Vs new finish
Old Yellow finish against the new Magic Oil 2K finish.

Wooden Floor Oil

The next product I came across in our local B&Q was Ronseal floor oil. The description of this product is as expected. They need you to apply 3 coats with each coat taking around 30 mins to dry. Looking at the technical sheet. Sorry, there doesn’t appear to be one available online. I find this an issue with many retail products. Is there something they don’t want me to know, or is there important information missing. In a previous encounter with Ronseal, they insisted the worktop oil they sell is cured within hours. In the end, I had to point out that the product is a mineral oil so it won’t ever cure. If a company is going to sell products I at least expect them to understand what they are selling. Right back to the floor oil.

The website for Ronseal does state that it has a very high VOC content. VOC standing for Volatile Organic Compounds.  You want in your home a product that is either low VOC or zero.  While the product is curing it will off-gas chemicals which you will breathe in.  I only use products that are VOC free or have very low VOC contents.   The floor oil is also a 1K product so I wouldn’t expect it to be that durable.  Perhaps in a bedroom but not anywhere with proper foot traffic.

Ronseal Floor Oil
Ronseal Floor Oil - Beware What You Breathe In

Professional Wooden Floor Oils

I never use the sort of product above.  Instead I mainly use two different oil products.  Magic Oil 2K or Rubio Monocoat.  These are what we call 2K oils.  This means a second bottle is added to the product that cures the oils quickly.  These products can be used in commercial locations too.  Magic is cured in just 12 hours! It also makes the finish extremely durable and resistant to water and household chemicals.  Even better with these products is they are available in colours.  Effectively you can stain and protect in one product.   

Magic Oil 2K
Magic Oil 2K - Solvent Free - Professional Product

More Wooden Floor Finishes?

You will likely be thinking, is that it?  Well no.  There are a large number of retail products available.  I’ve focused on a couple that is available locally to Barrow In Furness and Cumbria.  Online you will find pages of search results for wooden floor finishes. If you are going to finish the wooden flooring then OSMO is a good brand to look for.  The products can be applied fairly easily, but I would still be cautious.  Read the technical sheets and importantly watch the official videos on how the products should be applied. 

In the professional world, there is also a large number of products available.  These are tried and tested.  They will be durable for the situation they are used in.  They will make your wooden flooring look beautiful.  This is a combination of the product and the quality of the sanding that takes place.  

You are almost there so head over to Part 3 to read about the DIY sanding attempts that I have come across.  Plus a small FAQ section. 

If you have questions regarding anything in this article or flooring in general.  Please get in touch with me on the contact page.  Remember.  Wooden flooring is an investment in your home.  It doesn’t make sense to not make the best of it.


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Part 2 of this DIY series dealt with some of the finishes that are available on the DIY market. This final part will discuss and show some results that I have come across. The results are not a result of effort on the user. Instead, the results are based on the limitations of the DIY equipment and finish available combined with lack of experience. Results are still produced through DIY sanding but the expectations should be lower than compared to a professional finish.