Successful WOCA Oil Finish Application

Successful WOCA Oil Finish Application

This reference is an overview of some need-to-know info for applying WOCA Oiled Floor Products. Before starting your job, read the full product application instructions that can be found in WOCA Application, Care & Maintenance Instructions and on specific WOCA Product Pages. 1877FloorGuy wants to make sure all of our customers get the most out of their wood floor care product investments, so this guide will help ensure that your application runs smoothly from start to finish. Whether you need to know the difference between WOCA Wood Cleaner and WOCA Wood Soap or need to know proper dilution ratios for WOCA, this excellent guide will give you the information you need. We can help you learn which sand paper to use for initial coat of WOCA oil, how to handle light scratches and much more.

General WOCA Oil Finish Application Tips

  1. Prevent rags from self-igniting by soaking all oil soaked rags in water after oil application and before discarding. Rags are safe to discard only after they are soaked in water then air dried.
  2. Keep unfinished surface of wood floor clean from adhesive or wood glue to prevent oil from penetrating and resulting in light spots. Light spots can be scrapes or sanded off then refinish spots with oil. In extreme cases it may be necessary to re-sand the entire floor before proceeding with oil finishing.
  3. Do not confuse WOCA Wood Cleaner with Wood Soap. These are two distinctly different products. Wood Cleaner is only used to prepare a wood floor before new oil or paste is applied (i.e.: initial application of Master Oil or a periodic reapplication of Maintenance Paste). Wood Soap is used for everyday maintenance and cleaning of the oiled wood floor.
  4. Proper dilution of Soap, Oil Refresher and Wood Cleaner is critical to final results. Too little water in these products will result in unwanted haze on the surface of the finished floor. In the event this happens, put a polishing cloth under a dust mop and polish away the "haze." For correct dilution ratios see the full version of Tips for a Successful Application or the specific product instructions.
  5. Dark wood floors, such as Merbau, Brazilian Cherry and Walnut, must be washed with Wood Cleaner twice to ensure that floating color pigments are neutralized as these may otherwise impede the ability of the oil to fully harden and may cause water spots to show. If such spots occur, due to inadequate cleaning, see remedy in the full version of Tips for a Successful Application. This will give you more details about when to clean WOCA floor oil after application and other information.
  6. Let the floor dry completely after mopping with Wood Cleaner and before any Master Oil or Maintenance Oil Paste is applied. Any trapped moisture under the oil may cause mildew to develop, which causes black or dark blotches in the floor. It may also greatly increase drying time of the oil.
  7. If the floor has sizeable gaps between the floor boards, a brush may be used to apply the oil generously down the middle of each floor board covering approximately 50 percent of the floor surface. After 20 to 30 minutes the oil is polished into the floor with a buffer using a red pad. This method reduces the consumption of oil, which otherwise would drip down into the gaps between boards.
  8. As it is usually difficult for a buffer to reach into corners and tightly along walls or base boards, it is advisable to hand rub oil along the edges and in corners of a room. This is easily done by using a piece of red or white pad and rubbing oil into the floor by hand to blend nicely with the machine buffed area. The 3M Doodlebug Pad with holder attaches to a standard broom handle and works well for these areas.
  9. When applying Master Oil to a large floor, which may require longer application times, it is recommended to treat an area to a natural break point, such as a doorway or the long edge of a floor board. For best result, tape a plastic cover along this line, ensuring that the plastic covers at least two feet of the unfinished part of the floor. Next day, reverse the procedure and cover the oiled side of the floor. This way, when oil application is resumed there will be no visible break in the floor and no uneven sheen levels between areas.
  10. Sometimes Master Oil bleeds back to the surface from gaps between floor boards as it cures. If the oil has not yet fully dried, it is possible to polish the floor again using a white pad. A small amount of Solvent may be added to the pad in order to better dissolve the bled-back oil. If the bleed-back oil has had time to harden it can be removed by scraping it off with a sharp wood floor scraper before Maintenance Oil Paste or Master Oil is applied. Small amounts of bleed-back oil usually blends well with Maintenance Oil Paste and does not need to be removed. It would be advisable to check the floor two to three hours after the Master Oil (base coat) has been buffed into the floor. If necessary, the floor is then buffed again with a white pad to remove bleed-back oil.
  11. If the floor needs to be covered to prevent wear and dirt penetration due to additional construction, allow proper cure time then use paper or cardboard. NEVER use plastic, which does not let the floor breathe. If the floor has been covered during construction it may be necessary to clean it and add a final coat of Maintenance Oil Paste or Master Oil before moving in.
  12. The newly oiled floor should not come into contact with water during the first 36 hours to allow the oil to fully cure. After 36 hours it is safe to use Wood Soap or Oil Refresher to clean the floor.
  13. Tough dirt, on a finished floor, should be removed by wet cleaning using a solution of 1 capful of Wood Cleaner diluted per quart of lukewarm water. Apply liberally to the dirty area, and then evenly scrub with a soft scouring pad or soft nylon brush. If there is dried on paint or grime, then remove carefully using a sharp wood floor scraper. Never overly scour a particular spot as this will leave a lighter mark. Wipe excess solution off the floor. When dry, re-oil the area by dampening the tip of a Polishing Cloth or lint free rag with Maintenance Oil Paste or Master Oil and manually rub it in (or by machine with white pad). NEVER pour oil directly onto the floor. Leave the oil to dry for 20 to 30 minutes before dry buffing it to match the rest of the floor.
  14. Light scratches are best repaired by hand rubbing Maintenance Oil Paste or Master Oil into the scratch using a cloth. If necessary, first clean the area to be repaired with Wood Cleaner solution, which then must fully dry before applying oil. This drying time can be substantially shortened by using a hair dryer on "cool" setting. Leave the oil to absorb for 20 to 30 minutes before thoroughly buffing and removing the oil from the surrounding area. The scratched wood will be protected and lost in the general pattern of the floor.
  15. Deeper scratches or gouges should be scraped and/or sanded until they are no longer visible. Do not use a sand paper that is too fine. An 80-100 grit sandpaper will usually suffice, depending on the wood species. Then clean the spot with Wood Cleaner solution, mixed with water in proper solution, and let dry completely. Do not use a hair dryer for this, as this may prevent the pores from opening all the way, preventing full saturation of the Master Oil. This is especially important when using Master Color Oil, which will need this to fully blend with the surrounding color. Then follow directions for light scratches. Abrasives of any grit grade or scouring nature will physically cut into the oiled or soaped surface. While the offending stain or mark will be removed, it is highly likely that a lighter wood tone will be exposed relative to that of the surrounding area, even after re-treatment of oil. A solution to darken the area immediately is to use a slightly darker Color Oil or by mixing a Color Oil with Master Oil to obtain a color that matches the surrounding floor area before applying it to the sanded area.
  16. Whenever an area of the floor has been cleaned or repaired with new oil, it is important to remove all new oil from the surrounding area to avoid different sheen levels. This is easily done using a Polishing Cloth or a cotton rag, which then allows both areas to blend by having approximately the same sheen level. If necessary, steel wool can also be used to eliminate the "halo" effect of a slightly higher gloss level in the area around the repair.


Be sure to buy your WOCA products from a reliable, proven seller like 1877FloorGuy who will provide customer service and product information. This will help to ensure you are getting all of the products you need to complete your project. 1877FloorGuy is a fantastic resource for buying WOCA with representatives who will take the time to answer your questions and make sure you've got the right supplies for the job. Have additional questions about WOCA products and application? Give us a call today at 1-877-FLOORGUY.