Waterlox H2OLOX Application Guide

Project Planning

What you’ll need:

  1. For Safety:
    1. Chemical resistant gloves and eye protection (e.g.: safety glasses and/or goggles)
    2. NIOSH/MSHA approved dust mask (during sanding)
    3. NIOSH/MSHA approved respirator (during application)
    4. Read and follow label instructions, guidelines and cautions.
  2. For General:
    1. Vacuum, broom, dust pan and clean lint-free rags for clean up after sanding
    2. Paint thinner or mineral spirits
    3. Box fan(s) and paint strainers (optional but highly recommended)
  3. For Universal Tung Oil Sealer (UTOS) – TB 1000
    Required first coat of the system. VOC compliant, Tung oil-based universal sealer that minimizes grain raise, seals in the tannins of the wood. It also beautifies, richens and shows off the depth of the wood.
    1. Coverage:1
      1. One gallon = 2400-3200 sq. ft.
      2. One quart = 600-800 sq. ft.
      3. One pint = 300-400 sq. ft.
      4. 2 oz. bottle = 10-20 sq. ft.
    2. Application tools:
      1. For large projects:
        1. Low speed buffing machine (120-150 RPM)
        2. 3M® 4100 white maintenance pads (recommend at least one pad/500 sq. ft.)
        3. Additional white pad or clean towels/rags for removal of excess material
      2. For small projects:
        1. Lint-free rags or hand buffing pads
        2. Extra, clean rags or pads for buffing off excess UTOS.
    3. Dry time: 24 hours between coats. Poor ventilation, high humidity or cool temperatures may increase dry times.

    1Coverage will vary depending on the substrate. More finish may be required for very soft or dried out woods.

  4. For H2OLox – TB 2000 Gloss, TB 2001 Satin, TB 2002 Matte
    Use as 2nd and 3rd coats of the system. VOC compliant, water-reducible resin-modified Tung oil finish(es) that form a hard, waterproof film to protect wood surfaces.
    1. Coverage:
      1. One gallon = 500 sq. ft. per coat
      2. One quart = 125 sq. ft. per coat
    2. Application tools: (Not recommended for use with a roller)
      1. Large projects:
        1. An unweighted t-bar and low nap t-bar covers.
        2. Foam brush, paint pad or brush recommended for use with water-based finishes for cutting in edges.
      2. Small projects:
        1. Foam brush, paint pad or brush recommended for use with water-based finishes.
    3. Abrasive pads for sanding and smoothing between coats:
      1. Maroon pads (Surface preparation pad, a.k.a. SPP pads) are recommended.
      2. Can also use 320 grit paper, 0000 steel wool2 or other equivalent abrasive.

      2If using steel wool, the H2OLox is water based and will produce rust with any and all metal dust left behind.

    4. Dry time: 24 hours between coats. Poor ventilation, high humidity or cool temperatures may increase dry times.

Product Options

Waterlox Universal Tung Oil Sealer (UTOS)(TB 1000)
Required as the first coat of the system. This innovative VOC compliant, Tung oil-based universal sealer seals the wood which minimizes grain raise and tannin/water interactions.3 It also beautifies, richens and shows off the depth of the wood.

H2OLox Gloss Finish (TB 2000)
Use for 2nd and 3rd coat of the system. Results in a 70-80 degree gloss finish.

H2OLox Satin Finish (TB 2001)
Use for 2nd and 3rd coat of the system. Results in a 20-30 degree gloss finish.

H2OLox Matte Finish (TB 2002)
Use for 2nd and 3rd coat of the system. Results in a 5-10 degree gloss finish.

3Tannic acid is a natural chemical in some wood species. The acid is activated when in contact with water and it attacks metals. Metallic driers are used in H2OLox, so the tannins can make them inactive causing retarded drying. The Waterlox Universal Tung Oil Sealer (UTOS) seals in the tannic acid and allows the H2OLox to cure properly.

Surface Preparation

For use on new, bare wood. Final sanding should be between 100-150 grit. Follow proper sanding procedures and do not skip grits in the grit sequence to avoid swirls and other sanding marks. Sweep/vacuum any dust and dispose of properly. Once sanding is complete, tack / wipe down all surfaces with a rag/mop dampened with mineral spirits to pick up any stubborn dust and prevent grain raise.

Universal Tung Oil Sealer

Application Steps

Using a low speed buffer (100-150 RPM) with a thick white maintenance pad (e.g. 3M® 4100 pad) buff in the UTOS. For small projects or in areas where a buffer is too large, hand rub and buff the sealer with a soft cloth or pad. Buff to get an even color and continue until the entire surface is saturated and covered. Flip/change pads if buffing becomes difficult or if it starts to grab at the surface (typically every 500 sq. ft.).

Once the entire surface is covered, equip a clean, dry pad or towel and buff the entire surface again to remove any excess. Excess oil will show up as a shiny spot; all shiny areas should be removed.  Allow to dry for 24 hours with good air movement.

Because there is no film on the surface yet, concerns over dust/debris getting stuck in the finish will be very minimal.  It is crucial to get a lot of air moving over the surface.  Box fans blowing gently and directly over the surface will improve drying and curing.

Cleanup

Clean application tools and/or unintended surfaces immediately with regular mineral spirits or turpentine. Do not put oily rags and/or pads directly into a trash receptacle.  Properly dispose of rags, applicators and waste. Read carefully other cautions on the product label.

Storage and Disposal

Keep container closed when not in use. Partially filled containers may gel. Displace oxygen with clean marbles or stones or Bloxygen. Read carefully other cautions on the product label.

H2OLox Finishes

Application Steps

For large projects (floors). Recommended application tools are an unweighted T-bar, foam pad, or brush recommended for water-based finishes for edges. Not recommended for use with a roller.

For small projects. Recommended application tools are a foam pad and/or brush recommended for water-based finishes. Not recommended for use with a roller.

After the Universal Tung Oil Sealer has dried for 24 hours, apply two (2) coats of H2OLox Finish at the gloss level of your choosing with 24 hours and a light buff between coats.

  1. Waterlox H2OLox should be shaken prior to use. Gently shake/rotate the container to lightly mix product.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the bubbles to dissipate.
  2. Pour out the amount of product that you’ll need for your first coat.
    1. It is recommended to strain through a medium to fine mesh paint strainer to remove any bits of dried finish.  This is especially important if working from a previously opened container.
    2. If there are an excessive amount of bubbles, gently stir the product to help release the bigger bubbles.
  3. Apply the first coat of H2OLOX Finish at the recommended spread rate.
  4. Allow to dry for 24 hours.
  5. Sanding between coats is required. Lightly sand the surface with a synthetic abrasive pad to remove roughness and prepare the surface for the next coat. Wipe down with damp microfiber rag (water or mineral spirits)
    1. A medium coarse pad is recommended (usually maroon).
  6. Apply the second coat of finish.
  7. For very soft woods (e.g.: Douglas fir, white pine, yellow pine, cedar, etc.) Repeat steps 4 and 5 and apply a third coat of finish if the surface appears starved.

Application Procedure

Large projects (flooring)

  1. Pre-wet the applicator with clean water before starting. The applicator should be slightly damp, not dripping wet.
  2. Pour a 2”-4” line of H2OLox near the starting wall.
  3. Following the grain, pull the applicator toward the opposite wall. Hold the applicator at a slight angle to maintain a wet edge.
  4. When cutting in edges do not work more than 5-10 feet from the field-applied finish.

Small projects

  1. Pre-wet the applicator with clean water before starting.  The applicator should be slightly damp, not dripping wet.
  2. If possible, pour a small puddle of product on your surface and spread evenly.
  3. Lightly drag the applicator from one end of the project to the other to remove applicator marks
  4. Wipe off any drips if necessary with a clean rag.

Cleanup

Clean application tools immediately with soapy water. Do not pour extra product down the drain!  Allow rags that are wet with product to dry in a well ventilated area before disposal. Properly dispose of rags applicators and waste. Read carefully other cautions on the product label.

Storage and Disposal

Keep from freezing. Keep container closed when not in use. Partially filled containers may gel. Displace oxygen with clean marbles or stones or Bloxygen. Read carefully other cautions on the product label.

Drying, Curing and Ventilation

H2OLox Finishes are innovative VOC compliant, water-reducible resin-modified Tung oil finishes.  After the coating is applied, it will go through a few different stages in the drying cycle: drying and curing.

Drying

H2OLox will be “dry” in 2-4 hours. This is when the water evaporates from the film. The coating will be sticky/tacky during this time so it is best to keep air movement minimal to avoid kicking up a lot of dust.  An exhaust fan, or gentle air movement will help to remove the humid air (from the evaporating water), and help speed up the drying process.

Curing

Once the water has evaporated, you’ll be left with solids portion of the formula, the tung oil and resin. Now that the water is gone, the molecules are close enough together to start cross-linking to form the water proof film. This is the curing stage of the process. The crucial component to this chemical reaction is exposure to oxygen molecules.  After about 2 hours, the film will be dry to the touch (although still soft so do not walk on or damage the surface) so it will no longer trap dust in the finish.  This is an ideal time to increase your air movement. You can turn on ceiling fans (medium – high) or place box fans (low setting) blowing over the finished surface to allow for a constant supply of fresh oxygen molecules for the remainder of the 24 hour drying time.

Because you are moving a lot of air around, it is a good idea to wipe the surface down with a damp rag before your next coat to remove any dust that may have been blown around.

Full Cure after the Final Coat

The rate at which the film cures will slow down as time progresses. It is best to keep gentle air movement over the surface as much as possible in the first 7 days. After 7 days, you should have a fully livable surface and be above 95% cured. The remaining 5% will cure over the next few weeks, but should not affect the performance. You’ll want to take care during the first 7 days as this is going to be the most sensitive time for the coating.

  1. Stay completely off the surface for the first 24 hours.
  2. Very gentle foot traffic after 24 hours with socked feet (no bare feet or shoes).
  3. After 48 hours, you can use red rosin paper, or other construction paper to protect the surface if you need to walk on it with care!  Sliding the paper on the fresh surface can leave minor scratching.
    1. Anything that covers the floor should be pulled up whenever possible.  As mentioned above, the curing requires oxygen.  The airflow is severely inhibited when the surface is covered.
  4. After 72 hours, you can replace smaller items.  Use felt pads on the bottom of furniture.
  5. After 7 days, you can replace furniture and area rugs.  The surface should be fully waterproof and is ready for regular living/cleaning.

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