How to Finish Exotic Woods with Osmo

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Osmo offers two different hardwax-oil finishes that are specifically designed and formulated for finishing exotic woods. Let’s take a look at each finish, it’s features, and the best way to apply the finish to receive optimal results.


What are some examples of exotic woods?

Exotic woods refers to any wood that is not naturally found in North America. Exotic species can include Bamboo, Brazilian Cherry, Cypress, Merbau, Mahogany and others. One of the most commonly used exotic woods is Rosewood (a favourite wood type for crafting guitars).


Why do exotic woods need to treated differently than other types of wood?

Exotic woods grow in hot tropical regions, which means that typically these trees are very hard, and need the ability to retain any water they can. This results in the tree and wood being very naturally oily. Thus, typical oil-based wood finishes cannot properly saturate exotic woods because of the wood’s naturally oily state.

If you try to use a traditional oil-based finish such as Danish oil, Linseed oil, Flaxseed oil, etc. it will not work properly and the finish will never properly dry on the exotic wood. Oiled surfaces need to be degreased with spirits and treated immediately in order to even be workable within a short time-frame. This is also applicable to exotic wood veneered surfaces.

In order to effectively finish exotic woods, Osmo has created two products that are compatible with the genetic makeup of exotic woods, and are still easy to use and eco-friendly. Both our Polyx-Oil 2K and our Wood Wax Finish Extra Thin are suitable for finishing exotic woods.


How to finish exotic woods with Wood-Wax Finish Extra Thin

Our Wood-Wax Finish (Extra Thin) is ideal for all interior wood like panelings on walls or ceilings, wooden floors, and furniture. It is particularly well suited for exotic woods and dark hardwoods such as Meranti, Wenge, Merbau, etc.

To apply this the wood surface must be clean, dry and frost-free (maximum 18% wood moisture). Osmo Wood Wax Finish Clear Extra Thin is ready to use, do not thin. Stir well before use. Clean or slightly sand old microporous finishes and remove old varnish (with Osmo Paint Remover or sanding). Make sure to always wear a dust mask when sanding. Small cracks, larger dents, and small holes can be filled in with Osmo Woodfiller. Sand carefully before application, starting with course paper and finishing with P120 – P150 for flooring and P180 – P240 for furniture. Remove dust etc. thoroughly from the surface with a brush or vaccuum cleaner before application. We always suggest a sample trial before finishing your entire surface.

To apply the finish you can brush, wipe, dip or spray (in closed chambers). Apply evenly along the wood grain with a brush or cloth.

1st coat: Apply thinly. Leave to dry for approximately 30 minutes. Remove all surplus. Re-coat areas that are not sufficiently treated.

2nd coat: Apply thinly. Leave to dry for approximately 30 minutes. Remove all surplus.

If you are finishing cupboards, wardrobes and drawers only one thin coat is necessary and should be applied with a cloth. To clean your tools you can use Osmo Brush Cleaner.

There is a 12 hour drying time under normal climatic conditions for Osmo Wood Wax Finish Clear Extra Thin.


How to finish exotic woods with Polyx-Oil 2K

Our Polyx-Oil 2K is ideal for professional use and is a 2 component product with no VOC or water (just 100% solids). To apply Polyx-Oil 2K on exotic woods follow these simple steps:

  1. Pour component B (Hardener) into the tin. Stir thoroughly.
  2. Apply thinly with a double blade scraper.
  3. Allow to work in for approximately 30 – 60.
  4. Massage into the grain using a single disc machine and green pad.
  5. Repeat the above steps for a second coat.

Click here for more detailed application instructions on finishing exotic woods with Polyx-Oil 2K

Where to buy Osmo Exotic Wood Finishes

For more information on where to buy Osmo Exotic Wood Finishes visit our find a Osmo supplier/retailer page.

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    Was thinking about using OSMO Top Oil on some Purple Heart wood, is that the right choice or should I use Wood-Wax Extra Thin. It will be the of a wine rack.

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