Waterlox H2OLOX® Application Guide

Our H2OLOX® formula is the same Tung Oil and resin composition as our ORIGINAL formula but is emulsion-based to eliminate solvents - making it low VOC and low odor - while still providing the same distinctive look and superior protection to wood surfaces.

Getting Started

What You’ll Need

Safety

  • Chemical resistant gloves and eye protection (e.g.: safety glasses and/or goggles).
  • NIOSH/MSHA approved dust mask (during sanding).
  • NIOSH/MSHA approved respirator during application (for organic vapor).
  • Read and carefully follow label instructions, guidelines, warnings and cautions.

General

  • Vacuum, broom, dust pan and clean lint-free rags for clean up after sanding.
  • Paint thinner or mineral spirits.2
  • Painter's tape.
  • Box fan(s) and paint strainers (optional but highly recommended).


Product Options

Waterlox Sealer Product Options

ONE of the WATERLOX Sealers as listed below is REQUIRED to seal the wood fibers prior to the application of H2OLOX® as the first coat of the system.

  • UNIVERSAL Tung Oil Sealer (UTOS) – TB 1000
    Required first coat of the system. This innovative high-solids, VOC compliant, Tung oil-based universal sealer seals the wood which minimizes grain raise and tannin/water interactions.1 It also beautifies, richens and shows off the depth of the wood. Must be driven into the wood and excess removed.

  • TRUETONE® Color-Infused Tung Oil – TB 70XX
    Required first coat of the system. This innovative high-solids, VOC compliant, Color-Infused and Tung oil-based sealer and stain seals the wood which minimizes grain raise and tannin/water interactions.1 It also beautifies, richens and shows off the depth of the wood. Must be driven into the wood and excess removed.

  • ORIGINAL Sealer/Finish – TB 5284
    Required first coat of the system. This Tung oil-based universal sealer seals the wood which minimizes grain raise and tannin/water interactions.1 It also beautifies, richens and shows off the depth of the wood. Two coats are required for adequate film build.

Waterlox H2OLOX® Finish Product Options

Use 2 coats of the H2OLOX® finish. It is a VOC compliant, low odor, and water-reducible resin-modified Tung oil finish that forms a water-resistant film to protect wood surfaces.

  • H2OLOX® Gloss Finish – TB 2000
    Results in a 70-80 degree gloss finish.

  • H2OLOX® Semi-Gloss Finish – TB 2003
    Results in a 55-60 degree gloss finish.

  • H2OLOX® Satin Finish – TB 2001
    Results in a 20-30 degree gloss finish.

  • H2OLOX® Matte Finish – TB 2002
    Results in a 5-10 degree gloss finish.

Coverage

  • One gallon = 500 sq. ft. per coat
  • One quart = 125 sq. ft. per coat
  • One 2 oz bottle = 7 sq. ft. per coat

Tools

(Not recommended for use with a roller)

For Large Projects:

  • An unweighted t-bar and low nap t-bar covers
  • Foam brush or paint pad recommended for use with water-based finishes for cutting in edges
  • Abrasive pads for sanding and smoothing between coats:
    • Maroon pads, or surface preparation pads (SPP pads) are recommended.
    • Also 320-grit sandpaper, 0000 steel wool or other equivalent abrasive. If using steel wool, the H2OLOX® is water-based and will produce rust with any and all metal dust left behind.

For Small Projects:

  • Foam brush or paint pad recommended for use with water-based finishes
    • Use 320-grit sandpaper, 0000 steel wool or other equivalent abrasive. If using steel wool, the H2OLOX® is water-based and will produce rust with any and all metal dust left behind.

Dry Time

  • 24 hours between coats. Poor ventilation, high humidity or cool temperatures may increase dry times.
Surface Preparation

For use on new, bare wood. 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 spirits2 to pick up any stubborn dust and prevent grain raise.

Sealing

H2OLOX® is not a stand-alone product and will not provide a waterproof surface when used on its own. It is recommended to apply one or two coats of a Waterlox sealer before applying H2OLOX® to fully seal the surface. Available sealers include UNIVERSAL Tung Oil Sealer, TRUETONE® Color-Infused Tung Oil stains or ORIGINAL Sealer/Finish. You can also use the Find Your Finishing System tool under “How-To” to select sealers.

Application and Product Handling

H2OLOX® Finishes

Product Handling

Shake/rotate well prior to use. Shake/rotate the container to mix product well. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the bubbles to dissipate. If an excessive amount of bubbles exits, gently stir before use. Stir contents occasionaly during use.

Application Process

Apply UTOS, ORIGINAL Sealer/Finish or TRUETONE® Color-Infused Tung oil following proper application and drying directions. Apply two (2) coats of H2OLOX® Finish at the chosen gloss level with 24 hours and a light buff between coats.

  1. H2OLOX® will alter the appearance of the wood. Conduct a test area by applying all intended coats on a scrap piece or an inconspicuous area before beginning the entire project.
  2. Pour out the amount of product needed for the first coat.
    • Straining through a medium to fine mesh paint strainer to remove any bits of dried finish is recommended. Important if working from a previously opened container.
    • If an excessive amount of bubbles exist, gently stir the product to help release the bigger bubbles.
  3. Apply first coat of H2OLOX® with the grain and 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 (medium/maroon recommended) to remove roughness and prepare the surface for the next coat.
  6. Lightly dampen a mop, lint-free rag or micro-fiber mop with water or regular mineral spirits2 (paint thinner) to remove dust. Allow to evaporate 30-45 minutes (until dry appearance) before applying H2OLOX®.
  7. Apply the second coat of H2OLOX®.
  8. For very soft woods (e.g.: Douglas fir, white pine, yellow pine, cedar, etc.) Repeat steps 3 and 7 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.

Clean Up

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. DANGER! Rags, steel wool or waste soaked with Waterlox may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately after use, place rags, steel wool or waste in a sealed water-filled metal container. Read carefully other cautions on the product label.

Storage and Disposal

Visit waterlox.com/storage. Keep from freezing. Keep container closed when not in use. 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 - 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, the solids portion of the formula, the tung oil and resin will remain. Now that the water is gone, the molecules are close enough together to start cross-linking to form the waterproof 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 air movement. 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 of increased air movement, it’s 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, a fully livable surface is achieved with 95% cure. The remaining 5% will cure over the next few weeks, but should not affect the performance. Be sure to take care during the first 7 days which is the most sensitive time for the coating.

  • Stay off the finished surface completely for the first 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, very gentle foot traffic with socked feet (no bare feet or shoes) is okay.
  • After 48 hours, 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 scratches.
    • Any floor covering(s) should be pulled up whenever possible. As mentioned above, curing requires oxygen. Airflow is severely inhibited when the surface is covered.
  • After 72 hours replace smaller items. Use felt pads on the bottom of furniture.
  • After 7 days replace furniture and area rugs. The surface should be fully waterproof and ready for regular living/cleaning.
Warnings

DANGER! COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID AND VAPOR CONTAINS MINERAL SPIRITS. VAPOR HARMFUL. MAY AFFECT THE BRAIN OR NERVOUS SYSTEM CAUSING DIZZINESS, HEADACHE OR NAUSEA. CAUSES EYE, SKIN, NOSE AND THROAT IRRITATION. NOTICE: Reports have associated repeated and prolonged occupational overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage. Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents may be harmful or fatal. Keep away from heat and flame. Prevent build-up of vapors by opening all windows and doors to achieve cross-ventilation. Use only with adequate ventilation. Do not breathe vapors or spray mist. Ensure fresh air entry during application and drying. If you experience eye watering, headache or dizziness or if air monitoring demonstrates vapor/mist levels are above applicable limits, wear an appropriate, properly fitted respirator (NIOSH/MSHA approved) during and after application. Follow respirator manufacturer’s directions for respirator use. Close container after each use. Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing. Wash thoroughly after handling. FIRST AID: In case of eye contact, flush immediately with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes and get medical attention; for skin, wash thoroughly with soap and water. If you experience difficulty in breathing, leave the area to obtain fresh air. If continued difficulty is experienced, get medical assistance immediately. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Call physician immediately. If spilled, contain spilled material and remove with inert absorbent. Dispose of contaminated absorbent, container and unused contents in accordance with local, state and federal regulations.

WARNING! Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov

WARNING: If you scrape, sand or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. Lead is toxic. Exposure to lead dust can cause serious illness, such as brain damage, especially in children. Pregnant women should also avoid exposure. Wear a NIOSH-approved respirator to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log onto www.epa.gov/lead.


1 Tannic 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.

2 If regular mineral spirits or paint thinner is not available in your area, there are alternatives. Visit waterlox.com/mineralspirits.