Finishing Oils: Protection for Reclaimed Wood

Whole Log Reclaimed recommends natural oil finishes in order to maintain reclaimed wood quality in a way that is both healthy and natural.

We are happy to advise on the appropriate wood finish for your project. We are a distributor of Woodcare of America (WOCA) products, and we recommend their VOC-free oils with penetrating and hardening properties that strengthen and protect wood from the inside out. We do not recommend finishes that create a topcoat film that wears away over time or contains toxic chemicals.

We also offer prefinishing for Mantels and Beams that uses the same WOCA products we recommend for Floors.

Staining reclaimed wood with finishing oil.

Wood Color and Natural Oil Finishes

Natural color oils react differently depending on the wood type/ species they’re applied to. Even the same color on the same wood type will present differently depending on whether it's a rustic character or classic smooth surface. Here are a few examples:

WOCA Master Color Oils are vegetable based and have no volatile organic compounds (V.O.C.s). Available in 10 colors that can be freely mixed for a custom wood tone or simply used alone, these color oils replace the need for applying a stain first.

  • Light Brown
  • Brazil Brown
  • Rhode Island Brown
  • Walnut
  • Black

As a distributor for WOCA, a salesperson will help you choose the color(s) to best complement your wood selections. If you desire, we can provide you with custom samples for a reasonable fee, which can later be applied to your order. When necessary, we’ll provide instructions and guidance until your installation and finishing is completed. Oil and Wood are sold separately.

Benefits of Finishing Oils

VOC-free (non-combustible) and environmentally friendly. These vegetable based wood oils are good for wood and safe for you.

A natural smell and touch. No out-gassing with WOCA! Plus easy clean up with soap and water!

Touch-ups are easy when needed. WOCA penetrating natural oils resist permanent damage by heavy wear, nicks and cuts. Even scratches made by your dogs nails can easily be blended into the floor texture with a simple spot reapplication.

Easy to use – Easy to maintain. WOCA Oil Finishes can easily be refreshed from time to time without a hassle, and if properly maintained you should never need to sand or refinish your floor again.

No chipping or peeling. This is not a film finish that rests on the top of wood to create a protective barrier. One of the best features of a natural oil finish is its ability to absorb and enhance the natural beauty of wood at a molecular level, and produce a patina that ages with the wood and never acquires the dull look that can occur with surface finishes.

Extra protection when needed. In heavy traffic areas or when a little extra protection is desired, WOCA Diamond Oil, with a higher solid compound content, delivers a harder surface finish than the Master Color Oils.

Maintenance is simple. Floors can be damp mopped, which won’t harm the finish, but you’ll want to take advantage of WOCA’s maintenance soap and refresher oils which will provide superior results when needed.

After deciding on Carolina Character Heart Pine, they walked us through every step of the installation and finishing. They do provide some instructions/best-practices on their website which serve as great guide… but if you need a bit more hand-holding (as we did,) they’re more than happy to oblige. … It’s been almost a year, and we are absolutely thrilled with our floor. Aside from the awesome aesthetics, the maintenance is a piece of cake — Example: our 2yr-old decided to drag a crate of toys across the floor. There were sharp objects sticking out of the crate which resulted in some scary scratches. We simply took out the Master Wood Oil we had used for burnishing and applied to the scratches… a little buffing and viola, it’s beautiful again!

Tom B., Candler, NC

Top Hardwood Floor Finishing Choices

This chart is meant as a guide only and is not intended to be a complete listing. Your own research may be warranted.

Penetrating Hardening OilWax or Oil FinishWater-Based UrethaneOil Modified UrethanesMoisture-Cured UrethanePolymerized Tung Oil
Brand Names:Bio-Shield (VOC)
Benjamin Moore
Bio-Shield (VOC)
Linseed Oil
Tung Oil
Benjamin Moore
Bona Kemi
Buckeye Areva
Dura Seal
Safe Coat
Sherwin Williams
Buckeye Areva
Crystal Cote
Minwax (Water based)
SIKA Floor
Water Lox (not Tung Oil)
SyntekoOld Master
Water Lox
Durability:ExcellentGoodVery GoodVery GoodExcellentGood
Odor:MildMild to StrongMildModerateVery StrongStrong
Color:Slight Amber,
Some Have Tints
Slight AmberClear to AmberAmberClear to AmberClear to Amber
Dry Time:24 HoursVariesFastSlowSlow to FastModerate
Combustible:NO – CARE must be maintained when disposing of any application materials.YES – CARE must be maintained when disposing of ANY application materials.NO – CARE must be maintained when disposing of any application materials.YES – CARE must be maintained when disposing of ANY application materials. Solvent evaporates as it cures.YESYES
Finish Look:Wax LusterWax LusterSatin to GlossSatin to GlossSatin to GlossWax Luster
Water Spots:RemovableWater SpotsWater SpotsWater SpotsWater SpotsWater Spots
Notes:May or may not be penetratingMay dry thicker, scuffsProfessional Application Required

Additional Information