We’ve paid a lot of attention lately to Rubio Monocoat Oil, and for good reasons. It’s a favored wood finish on our projects because:
- It is easy to apply
- It requires a single coat
- With an accelerator added, it dries and cures in a week
- It’s durable and makes furniture and floors beautiful
- It requires little maintenance
It is the latter feature we want to discuss today, but before we do, we want to introduce you to Rubio Monocoat if you aren’t familiar. You’ll find those earlier Rubio Monocoat articles here and here.
Oil Wood Finishes
Finishing oil is a terrific choice to complete a woodworking project. It can be used to nourish and enhance the color of woods and works beautifully on all furniture projects, as well as such other materials as cork, stone, and terra cotta.
Applied liberally until your wood has absorbed its limit wiping with the grain; you rub the oil in with the heels of your hands to impress it fully into the wood, and then wipe away the excess with a cotton cloth.
Oils used to finish your woodworking project provide durability and enhance the wood’s appearance. It will protect wood from cracking, scratching, and staining. It sets the color of the wood and holds it true over time.
Wood oils will penetrate the wood and replace and replenish a wood’s natural oils to add protection. Wood oils are used to revive old wood that has been exposed to the elements and help it return to its natural color.
Rubio Monocoat Oil
Rubio Monocoat Oil is a hard-wax oil and linseed oil that works its magic in a single coat. It penetrates wood deeply and bonds at the molecular level to form a strong and durable seal that will protect the wood from heat, water, and in the case of hardwood flooring, daily foot traffic.
It’s 100% VOC-free, too. Volatile organic compounds are chemicals in products used to build homes and that are ultimately released into the air, we breathe.
Rubio Monocoat is produced in Belgium and is expensive compared to other wood oils. But, with needing only a single application and no topcoat, the cost becomes a bit more efficient, especially when the durability and low maintenance of a Rubio Monocoat finish is considered.
It is also food safe and satisfies food compliance standards, and can be used in kitchen applications, including wood countertops and work surfaces. With the accelerator that comes with the oil, it will cure in a week. While this is fine for furniture, as you can simply not use it until that week has passed, when used on hardwood flooring, it will require protection on footpaths (carpenter’s paper common to construction sites, for instance) while the application cures.
Rubio Monocoat is applied easily but requires extra care in surface preparation. Cleaning thoroughly after sanding is important. Since the hard-wax oil bonds at the molecular level, it will bond with sanding dust and gum up the wood’s surface.
After applying the oil, buffing with a white pad on a sander will remove the excess that the wood has not absorbed, spread it evenly over the surface, and help drive it deeper into the wood. After curing, only occasional maintenance will be needed to keep the wood looking beautiful and help maintain its sheen.
Rubio Monocoat Maintenance Oil
That maintenance on a finished surface includes the use of Rubio Monocoat Maintenance Oil. Its use is not limited to surfaces that have been treated with Rubio Monocoat Oil, as it is a universal maintenance oil (UMO).
This product is used to protect and refresh the color of oiled wooden surfaces. Its use will restore and intensify the color and durability of the original finish. There is no regular schedule for maintenance, and your eye will tell you when it has become necessary – when it begins to show signs of fading.
It will add a soft satin luster to the surface of hardwood floors and furniture that have been treated with Rubio Monocoat Oil. It is an effective maintenance product on oiled floors and brings them to life when they have begun to fade.
Applying Rubio Monocoat Maintenance Oil
Its application is as you would expect and requires no particular woodworking talent or experience. Clean, work with deliberation and be patient enough for full drying.
- Clean thoroughly. Remove all dirt and dust from the surface being treated. Rubio recommends the use of its RM Natural Soap with water. After washing, rinse the surface well to wash away any soap residue with a wet cloth and allow it to dry fully before applying the UMO.
- Work slowly. Apply to areas that can be wiped and polished dry in 5 minutes – don’t get too far ahead of yourself.
- Application. You can apply by hand with a cloth, sponge or brush; or by machine with a buffer and white pad. Work in small areas at a time and use only enough UMO to lightly cover the area so the area will not become too sticky.
- Wait. Allow 5 minutes to cover and react to the underlying coat, and then dry with a paper towel or a cotton cloth.
- Air. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated room to allow adequate airflow for drying. That should take 6-8 hours.
After following these steps, allow a week to cure fully. If it is a piece of furniture, set it aside and don’t use it; if it is hardwood flooring, wait for that week before replacing area rugs and furniture. During that time, you can clean the workpiece with a damp cloth – no soap. After the week has passed, you can clean with Natural Soap.
These steps with Rubio Monocoat are basic ongoing woodworking maintenance for oiled surfaces and require no special expertise.
Here’s a helpful video that demonstrates these steps.
As we said, we like Rubio Monocoat Oil. If you have a new floor to finish, you should check out this video:
For a good lesson in prep, sanding, cleaning, oil application, and buffing. You’ll learn that with a good power tool rental for a day, it’s even something you can do yourself. The results will be beautiful, and when a few years later it’s time to renew and restore, you now know the steps to take with the Rubio UMO.
Be sure to bookmark this article for when that day comes.