Guide to Hardwax Oil - Restorate

Guide to Hardwax Oil

Hard Wax Oils are a blend of natural oils and waxes that provide a hard wearing finish to internal woodwork and will not peel or flake. Their ease of application and durability makes them a popular choice for flooring as the finish is robust enough to withstand foot traffic in a domestic setting. They are also compliant with the EN71 safety standard for use on children’s toys and are resistant to the typical spillages that might occur around the house.

Hard Wax Oils don’t need priming before use and can be applied (thinly!) with a brush or cloth. Once dry, they will leave a lightly waxed appearance in a variety of sheens from gloss to dead matt.We sell three brands:  

Fiddes Hard Wax Oil

Osmo Polyx Oil

Liberon Hard Wax Oil

Let’s find out more…

Osmo’s Polyx Oil..

is made from natural plant oils and waxes in a solvent base.  It is designed to be applied thinly, so in use it will go a long way. The standard clear version of the oil is available from us in gloss, satin or matt. If you wish to add some colour, there are a range of tinted oils which will still allow the wood grain to show through, including a couple of exotic options that contain real silver and gold.  The tinted oils are in a satin sheen, so if gloss or matt is required as a final finish, just apply a coat of tinted oil and then a top coat of clear oil in the relevant sheen.The clear oil is also available in two fast drying options - Rapid and Express. There is an optional hardener for Express to speed up it’s already short drying time. If doing a large area, we would recommend that these versions should only be used by the reasonably experienced!

Fiddes Hard Wax Oil..

is very similar in concept to Osmo and blended from natural oils and waxes, also in a solvent base.  It is cheaper but doesn’t go quite as far. They also do a choice of clear oils in satin, matt and dead matt plus a range of tinted oils in a satin sheen.  Fiddes would be a good option if you prefer a more traditional wood shade.  The range of colours goes from a light American Oak to Rustic and Dark Oak plus Onyx Black. Again if a different sheen is needed, simply apply a clear top coat in the sheen you want.As both of these oils are solvent-based, the clear versions will enhance the wood’s natural colour. If you wish to keep a light coloured wood looking as close as possible to it’s original colour then Osmo offer 3044 Raw and Fiddes have Natural (previously known as Oak Lightening). These are clear oils with a small amount of white pigment which will knock back the darkening effect of the solvent oil.  The Osmo version is a matt finish while the Fiddes is satin.Both Fiddes and Osmo offer 5ml sample sachets of their tinted oils, which can be used to do test patches to ascertain the final finish, as this can vary according to the porosity and original colour of the wood. Older wood can be very absorbent, so with coloured oils more of the pigment will soak in to give a deeper colour.  A less profound colour might be expected on a tightly grained wood.  Bearing all this in mind it’s worth using the sample sachets first to be sure of the final colour you will get before tackling the job in earnest.

Liberon Hard Wax Oil...

is based on Tung Oil and Carnauba Wax and is available in clear satin or matt finishes but is water-based, so it will not alter the original colour of the wood. This makes it ideal if you want retain a more ‘unfinished’ appearance. Being water-based it is particularly suitable for use in humid areas such as kitchens or bathrooms where the solvent-based oils would benefit from a water resistant undercoat. Unlike the other brands, it is necessary to sand between coats using a 240 grit abrasive.


In summary, Hard Wax Oils are an easy application, low maintenance option for floors and general wood finishing. They give a natural feel whilst looking fantastic, and also make it easy to transform the wood finish with relatively little effort.

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