Choosing the right product(s) for the job:
We have made it easy to start your project off right. All of our tung oil-based products are easy to use making application a breeze by hand using a cotton cloth, brush, or roller. All of our products were designed to work together for superior protection and unsurpassed beauty. Let’s take a closer look.
L.Co’s HardWax Oil & Polish can be used on all wood surfaces, cutting boards, wooden bowls and utensils, antiques, dining tables and countertops to restore used finishes while blending out minor scratches and abrasions that occur over time. HardWax Oil & Polish contains a durable and protective synthetic hard wax used in cosmetics and food products that polishes all surfaces to a soft luster. Formulated with pure tung oil and refined linseed oil which help to condition and absorb into the surface enhancing the natural beauty and depth of grain in finished and unfinished wood.
L.Co’s Tung Oil Finish is a durable and easy to apply wood finish for interior use and gives your project a natural open pore look. Uniquely formulated with pure tung oil, refined linseed oil, isoparaffin, modified waxes, modified alkyd resin, and safe drying agents.
L.Co Exterior Oil has been formulated for use on outdoor surfaces such as fencing, railings, patio furniture, siding, doors, boats and marine surfaces to withstand water and harsh weather conditions. Uniquely formulated with pure tung oil, refined linseed oil, isoparaffin, modified waxes, modified alkyd resin, safe drying agents, UV absorbers and light inhibitors.
L.Co Color Oil contains raw tung oil and organic earth pigments which allow the color to penetrate deep into the wood grain for a more clear and natural look. Color Oil can be used for either interior and exterior. It is easy to apply, mix and match shades of color and is ideal for coloring unfinished wood furniture, hardwood floors, cabinets and trim. Uniquely formulated with pure tung oil, refined linseed oil, isoparaffin, organic pigment, modified waxes, modified alkyd resin, safe drying agents, UV absorbers and light inhibitors.
More products coming soon.
We are working hard to develop new products to give you even more options.
Hybrid water-oil based finishes.
L.Co is developing a line of water based, no VOC, finishing options. Using high quality ingredients that are safe, better for the environment and providing a perfect balance of beauty and protection is our priority in every product that we develop. Our hybrid water-oil based system is easy to apply in one step, extremely fast drying, and incredibly durable. Coming soon in 2020.
New wood preparation:
Preparing the surface is the first and most important step in finishing. The better your piece is prepped the better the finish will be as a result. Check the surface and joints for any excess glue, wood fillers, nail holes and other imperfections which will have to be removed or filled in. Proper sanding is the key to a perfect finish. L.Co recommends sanding with up to #400 grit sandpaper which will allow for the varnish to penetrate deep into the wood pores to seal and protect from the inside out.
Here are some useful sanding tools to make things go smoother:
An orbital sander comes in handy which can make preparation work move a lot faster. We always find that a lighter, hand sanded approach works best for sanding between coats.
Block sanders are great for tabletops and larger areas that require a smooths and flat surface. Sand with long strokes to even out any inconsistencies that show up with machine or hand planning.
Sanding sponges make easy work of rounded and sculpted legs and detailed areas. Keep an eye on the grit you are using as some sponges will only specify the grade such as medium, fine, superfine. Do not use a grade that is too fine for initial prep work.
Good old hand sanding is always needed in any project to get to those hard to reach areas. Be mindful of hand sanding so that your finger do not push too hard onto the surface of the wood or you will be left with finger marks. You can try folding the sandpaper in half or quarters to make those hard to reach areas easier on your fingers.
Fixing holes and gouges in the surface:
A wood patch is a small piece of wood that is patched into a large hole or gouge in a surface. This is usually seen in large empty holes where screws have been inserted and are filled with matching wood in the same shape as the hole to disguise and cover up the problem area.
A wood patch can also be used to fill in splits or gaps in the wood of poorly fitted joints. Generally the grain of a patch is aligned with the surrounding wood so that it will shrink and expand and stay in place. Wood fillers such as putty are not flexible and are seldom used as permanent fixes to larger gouges, splits, or gaps since they will tend to crack and dislodge.
The method of patching a gouge or large hole is the same for plugging a screw hole. The patch will be less visible it it is elongated following the grain of the wood rather than round or square shaped. Select a piece of wood that has a similar color and grain pattern to the wood that you are replacing, trace the pattern of the patch onto the surface being repaired and cut out the necessary wood with a chisel.
Patching gaps and splits in woods are much easier and usually thin slivers of the same type of wood, or pre-cut veneer can be used in the opening. This type of patch is easy to disguise and is almost as permanent as the surrounding wood.
Wood putty is a substance used to fill small imperfections, such as nail holes, in wood prior to finishing. It is often composed of wood dust combined with a binder such as finish, glue or gypsum (plaster of paris) and sometimes pigment. that dries and a diluent (thinner), and, sometimes, pigment. The binder cures and holds the solids particles together to make the patch. Most commercially available wood putty is basically the same as the finishes you use, only with some added wood flower to provide bulk.
You can make your own wood putty at home from glue or finish and sawdust. Use the same sawdust as the wood you are going to patch and mix it with any time of glue or a small amount of the finish you will be using. Use the minimum amount of glue or finish with the maximum amount of sawdust to minimize a darker patch than the surrounding wood.
All wood putties are generally applied the same way, using a putty knife, place a small amount of putty on the surface of the wood and push the putty down into the hole or gouge. You want the putty to form a small mound so that when it shrinks as it dries it will not leave a hollow indentation on the surface. One the putty is thoroughly dried, sand it level with the surrounding wood and you are ready for finishing.
Matching the surrounding area can be done by coloring wood putty while it is still in paste form or after the patch has cured. To color the putty itself you can add color to match the color of the wood to its post stained and finished state. It may take some experimentation to arrive at that color and you can see how the colors will look by dampening the surrounding wood and patch with a little water after they are dry.
If you find that the patch is a different color than the surrounding wood, you can color the patch after it is dry and sanded smooth. You can apply your stain to the entire surface or you can spot color just the patch to match the surrounding wood. For more elaborate patches, you may want to apply more than one color and imitate the wood grain by scratching into the surface of the patch lightly with the point of a knife.
Preparation pro tips:
Sometimes smaller imperfections are difficult to see so L.Co recommends wiping the entire surface down with mineral spirits or turpentine. This helps with two important factors.
1. Cleans the surface free from dirt and oils.
2. Allows you to get a sense for how the piece will look when finished. With the wood being “wet” you will be able to see things that you normally wouldn’t be able to see such as nail holes, scratches, stains or glue marks and you will also be able to fix any mistakes before you begin finishing.
Here we go. Now that you have chosen your LCo product(s), prepped the piece you are going to be finishing using our handy guide and have all the tools and items necessary there is only one way forward and that is forward. We will go through each application method in detail below. Don’t worry, L.Co tung oil based products were developed for (almost) foolproof application.
We might as well start with the oldest tool in the toolbox, the hand. Hand varnishing has been done for centuries and there is no one right way as you may have found out yourself. Everyone has their own methods and tips and tricks and so we wanted to share our experience with you in hopes that we can learn together. And don’t forget to wear your gloves which makes for a fast and easy cleanup after you are done.
When applying varnish by hand, it is imperative that you use a lint free cotton cloth. We like to fold ours as neatly and smooth as possible trying our best to get rid of any bumps or creases in the fabric which could make unwanted streaks in the finish when applying. Pre-wetting the applicator pad with some mineral spirits is a good idea to make sure that the applicator is evenly wet, again to avoid streaks. Going with the direction of the grain, use long and quick strokes making sure that your overlaps are kept wet so that they form into one seamless area.
We recommend sanding with #400 grit sandpaper between coats to get rid of any dust that may have settled on the surface when drying. Sanding between coats also makes the end result smooth.
Hand application pro tips:
Hand application gets easier the more that you do it. Here are some tips we have learned along the way.
1. Make yourself a pro applicator. If you are seeing streaks or uneven areas, it is most likely your applicator. We have found that wrapping a nylon stocking around your cotton cloth will make the streaking less and overlaps seamless.
2. Work moderate-to-fast and never look back. This is hard to do, but once the finish is setting up and getting tacky resist the temptation of going back over a problem area again which might even make things worse. It is much better to cut your losses and let the problem coat dry fully, lightly sand the problem areas away and do another coat to even out any mistakes.
Because we have pre-thinned L.Co tung oil-based varnishes they are ready to use straight out of the can and are easy to be brushed on. Before going with just any old brush, choosing the right brush for the job is important if you want good results. High quality brushes hold more finishing material and spread the material more smoothly minimizing brush marks and other defects. There are three basic types of brushes: sponges, synthetic bristles and natural bristles.
Foam brushes are popular because they are inexpensive and limit surface imperfections like brush marks and air bubbles from getting in the way. They are disposable and make cleanup fast and easy.
Natural and synthetic brushes depend on one factor that determines whether it is a good brush to use or a bad brush to use and that is the quality of its bristles. A high quality brush will usually split the tip of each of its bristles into several strands, so take a close look at the bristles. What this does is double or triple the number of bristle fibers that are in direct contact with the surface and as a result the brush will hold more material and apply the material smoother than bristles that are not split. The overall shape of the brush also is a sign of how it will perform and there are two basic shapes you should look out for. Tapered bristles and a chiseled edge. Tapered brushes, ones that that have thinner bristles at the tip than the base, outperform non-tapered bristles because more bristles will contact the surface and spread the finish evenly as a result. With chisel shaped brushes you will notice that the center bristles are a bit longer than the sides which do a much better job of applying a smooth finish than a square cut brush.
The difference between synthetic bristles and natural bristles is the choice between a harder plastic like bristle made from polyester or nylon or a softer natural hair bristle made from animal hair. Both types perform well so the cost difference between the two could be an important factor of which brush you choose although most finishers do prefer the results they get from a natural bristle brush over synthetic.
Different size brushes work for different areas. Choose a smaller brush for hard to reach detailed areas of a piece and a larger brush to handle flat surfaces. If your brush is new, hit the bristles against a hard surface like the edge of a table to shake free any loose bristles which may find their way into your finish. In an empty container, pour only enough finish as the job requires and never dump any unused finish back into the can which could contaminate any unused material. You never want to dip the entire brush into your finish, you only need to allow half of the brush to be submerged and after you dip the brush make sure to level off the brush onto the side of the container to remove any excess finish so that the brush wont drip.
Going with the direction of the grain, use long and smooth strokes making sure that your overlaps are kept wet so that they form into one seamless area. On large flat areas begin brushing about 5cm (2inches) away from the edge of the surface to prevent material from running off the edge. When you reload the brush, begin by overlapping your previous stroke by a couple of inches.
Again, we recommend sanding with #400 grit sandpaper between coats to get rid of any dust that may have settled on the surface when drying. Sanding between coats also makes the end result smooth.
Brush application pro tips:
How you clean your brush is as important as the type of brush you use.
1. After cleaning your brush in mineral spirits or turpentine, remove the excess solvents by spinning the brush between the palms of both hands inside an empty can.
2. Store your brush in a paper bag or wrapped paper towels and hold the paper in place with tape or a rubber band. When you use the brush again, the bristles will be straight, clean and just like new.
A high quality microfiber roller will help you deliver a fast and professional finish and is perfect for large ares to give a smooth and even finish. A good roller will be sturdy and will last for multiple applications when you wash and dry them properly.
Care should be taken to apply L.Co thinly and evenly and avoid over applying the oil or allow build of of oil at the ends of the roller. Use a short nap roller, 5mm recommended, for thin and even coats. You will also need a clean tray, roller frame and an extension pole for easy floor application. Here is a step by step process of using a roller with L.Co products:
1. Fit the roller onto the roller frame.
2. Sparingly, pour L.Co Tung Oil Finish, Exterior Oil, or Color Oil into the paint tray reservoir.
3. Dip the roller lightly into the oil covering less than half of the roller. Roll it backwards and forwards on the ramp of the tray to distribute the oil on the roller cover evenly.
4. Roll the paint onto the surface and level the finish by laying-off with long, parallel strokes. Laying-off needs to be done before the oil has started drying, so it is best to work in small sections at a time.
5. Never leave a used roller exposed to the air for any length of time. Wrap it in plastic wrap or a plastic bag when not in use and clean it completely after use.
6. Clean up with mineral spirts or turpentine to thoroughly remove the oil then wash the roller with warm soap and water.
Roller pro tips:
Cleanliness is next to godliness.
1. De-fuzz new roller sleeves prior to use by using tape to remove excess lint.
Applying L.Co Color Oil:
There are two ways to color and stain wood, you can either apply the color to bare wood so that it soaks into the wood substrate or you can apply the color to sealed or partially sealed wood so that the color remains on top of the wood. By letting the color soak into the wood substrate you emphasize the natural beauty of the wood grain and by applying color over partially sealed wood will add color without highlighting the wood grain. You can apply color over a sealed wood when you would like change the overall tone of the wood or if you only want to highlight pores without changing the color of the wood itself.
Applying Color to Bare Wood:
It is very easy to apply a color stain to bare wood. You can wipe on with a cotton cloth, brush or spray the color onto the wood, wait until the desired color is reached and wipe off the excess before it dries or leave it to dry as is. If you want a darker color, do not wipe off the excess but leave it to dry as is. Building up thicker layers of color will give different effects but will generally obscure the wood slightly.
Applying Color to Sealed or Partially Sealed Wood:
Controlling the color’s penetration into the wood gives you more ways to reduce or eliminate contrast in the density of the wood such as side grain or end grain, blend heartwood and sapwood, mute the visual impact of the woods color, figure and grain, highlight the pores of the wood without changing the color of the wood itself, make two different woods resemble each other or to mask splotches caused by uneven color penetration.
Partially sealing the wood before applying a colorant is called washcoating and completely sealing the wood before applying a colorant is galled glazing. Shading or toning is when you add the color directly into the coats of finish. Let’s look at each in more detail:
You may washcoat when you want to reduce the color’s penetration into the wood or you want to reduce splotching. The result will be a light coat of color on the top of the wood. There is a simple method for washcoating wood. You can use a slow-evaporating solvent like mineral spirits that remain in the pores while you are applying color. Allow the solvent to soak into the wood, wipe off the excess and apply the color before the solvent evaporates out of the wood. It is recommended before applying a color to a washcoat that you sand the surface of the wood lightly with 280-grit sandpaper which will remove the washcoat from the surface of more dense areas of the wood and will allow the color to penetrate better. One difficulty in washcoating is getting consistent color penetration as the amount of solvent to use is hard to gauge.
Glazing is when a thin coat of color is applied between coats of finish by brushing the color evenly and wiping off on the high spots. Color can be applied by hand, cloth or brush and by spray gun. L.Co Color Oils contain a binder that adhere the pigment to the previous finish coat and offers many possibilities such as blending heartwood and sapwood or blending different colored woods to match. Glazing can add a richness and depth to the wood, highlight pores and can imitate a worn or antique appearance.
Shading and toning:
Unlike with glazing and washcoats, shading and toning colors are always applied by spraying and are not wiped off. The color is built slowly with many thin layers. To darken a color you just add another coat and once you are satisfied we recommend applying 2 coats of L.Co Tung Oil Finish or Exterior Oil to protect it.
Staining pro tips:
1. Pine is one of the hardest woods to color. Pine varies in density and you often will see dark splotches appear when you apply color. To solve this try sealing the wood with a coat of finish and let it dry completely. Lightly sand and spray a coat of color over the wood which will help spread the color more uniformly.
2. Woods like maple which have very small pores are difficult to color as well. As with pine, it might be best to seal the wood first with a coat of finish and letting it dry completely. Try toning the wood by spraying on your color in very thin coats, alternating between finish and color. The result will have depth and dimension while reducing splotchiness.
Drying and curing:
L.Co tung oil plant based finishes dry upon exposure to oxygen which is known as an oxidative cure. A lack of air exchange provides less free oxygen which slows the drying process. Therefore, the better the ventilation during and after all coats, the quicker that your project will be ready to use.
Is it dry or cured?
There is in fact a difference between the two. Dry-to-the-touch time is the recommended length of time between coats of varnish. This is specified on the can for each product but can vary depending on temperature and humidity as well as room ventilation. Therefore we recommend finishing and curing in a room that is 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) and 70% humidity. Cooler temperatures and high humidity levels can prolong drying and curing time. Opening a window and setting a fan at low speed can improve airflow and oxygen exchange and in turn can help with the drying and curing of your finished piece.
You may have noticed that the drying time on a raw wood surface seems shorter than with an existing finish or the final coat of varnish. This is because on a raw wood surface there are no film layers yet so the wood soaks up a lot of the oils and the surface seems to dry much faster. Keep in mind that in the wood substrate with an oil finish, the oil is still drying even though you can’t see it. So if there is any doubt on whether the first coat is dry enough, give it some extra time which will speed up the process for the subsequent coats. As you add more coats keep in mind that the more layers you add, the longer the drying and curing time will be.
A typical solvent (polyurethane/lacquer) or oil finish will have an average cure time of about 30 days based on ideal temperature and humidity. It is fine to use a piece lightly after about a week of drying but be aware that the finish will still be curing for another few weeks.
Are L.Co tung oil based products considered food safe?
When fully cured all of our products are considered non-toxic and food safe. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in the US does not provide certification for food safety testing. However they do provide a list of all of the ingredients in coatings that are considered food safe. As such, all of the solid portions of our products (the parts which stay on the surface of the wood after curing) are approved food safe as determined by the FDA:
Some of our products contain isoparaffin, a safe, odorless, mineral oil-type solvent which is manufactured for cosmetic use and a very small amount of safe drying agents. These solvents wiull evaporate from the surface after the wood is fully cured. Always ensure adequate ventilation and care when finishing in small spaces. Always dispose of used rags carefully and responsibly to avoid fires. L.Co uses tung oil in all of our products which could be sensitive to those with nut allergies.
L.Co provides our laboratory test technical reports to all of our customers:
Canada total lead content in surface coating, FDA Resinous And Polymeric Coatings, EN71-3:2013 Heavy metals +A1:2014
CPSIA Total lead content in surface coating, CPSIA Phthalates Content, EC No.1907/2006 173 SVHC
ASTM G 154, UV Exposure
Letter of Guaranty
USA Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Requirements CFR 21CFR Sec. 175.300 – Resinous and polymeric coatings
Material safety data sheets:
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document that contains information on the potential hazards (health, fire, reactivity and environmental) and how to work safely with our products. The MSDS also contains information on the use, storage, handling and emergency procedures all related to the hazards of the material as well as what to expect if the recommendations are not followed, what to do if accidents occur, how to recognize symptoms of overexposure, and what to do if such incidents occur.
HardWax Oil & Polish Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Tung Oil Finish Natural Sheen Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Exterior Oil Natural Sheen Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Color Oil Jet Black Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Color Oil Espresso Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Color Oil Russet Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Color Oil Bright Gold Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Color Oil Biscuit Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Color Oil Pebble Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Color Oil Driftwood Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Color Oil Whitewash Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Care and maintenance:
L.Co tung oil plant based finishes are the easiest finishes to care for and maintain. With only simple cleaning products you can care for your beautiful finish for years to come. Maintenance on an oil-based finish is extremely easy and effortless. Let’s take a look at some cleaning options and maintenance tips.
Clean with soap, vinegar, and water.
The best cleaners are as simple as that. A gentle soap diluted in warm water will remove dirt and buildup and keep your finish like new. Alternatively, you could use a mixture of 1 ounce of white vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water. Both cleaning options are safe for your L.Co tung oil plant based finishes.
Stay away from wax.
Most furniture waxes and polishes attract dirt and create a buildup or residue over time that makes maintenance very difficult if not impossible. For this reason, L.Co recommends staying away from over the counter furniture polishes and waxes.
Use L.Co HardWax Oil & Polish.
L.Co developed our HardWax Oil & Polish as an easy to use maintenance and standalone finishing product. Uniquely formulated with synthetic food grade wax and solvents developed specifically for cosmetic use, our wax and polish is like nothing on the market. The wax will not buildup or residue over time and our plant based tung and linseed oils will dry to a protective film. Your furniture won’t only look great, it will be protected against wear and tear.
Don’t use heavy household cleaners.
Most household cleaners contain harsh chemicals that could damage the sheen and protection of your L.Co finish. Ammonia-based glass and floor cleaners are an example of products that contain ingredients that have an adverse effect on the protection of your finish. Oil soaps are also not recommended for cleaning as they have a tendency to create a film on the surface of the wood that are difficult to remove similar to waxes and polishes.
Strong light, oxidation, physical abuse and contact with heat, water, solvents and chemicals are the worst enemy for your finish. For interior use, be mindful of the strongest light source and place furniture away from direct sunlight. Heat accelerates oxidation, so avoid areas that get extremely hot like attics or sunrooms. If you want to increase the protection of your interior furniture it is recommended to use L.Co’s Exterior Oil to prevent long term damage.
For interior projects that are cared for with the above recommendations, you will find that little to no maintenance will be required. On occasion, you might consider re-applying L.Co tung oil plant based finishes to renew and rejuvenate a worn finish, especially on floors. It is very simple to renew your L.Co finish. Clean the surface with mineral spirits or turpentine. Lightly scuff the surface with a scotch-brite pad or lightly sand with 400 grit sandpaper and re-coat according to the instructions on the can. Any light scratches will be covered and your finish will look like new.
For exterior projects that are exposed to severe elements, we recommend a yearly renewal schedule which is similar to the above instructions. Clean, scuff or sand, and recoat. You may find in some cases when regular maintenance is not performed, that some areas of the wood maybe have become dry, damaged and are gray in color. This requires a little bit more work to get your finish looking like new again. Clean the surface as described above and take extra care to sand the gray/ dry areas well with 180 grit sandpaper to remove as much of the oxidation and damage as possible. Apply L.Co Exterior Oil directly to the dry areas and let the oils soak into the wood. Re-apply if necessary until the color of the dry areas match the surrounding finish.
L.Co limited warranty:
We stand behind the quality of each product that we make. Should there be any issues with an L.Co product, please reach out to us at any time and we can help.
Main Office: Packsimex Building, Floor 1, 52 Dong Du Street
Ward Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
L.Co products must be tested to your complete satisfaction before using, including compatibility with other manufacturers products. L.Co will be responsible only for the cost of our products and will not be responsible for any costs such as labor, damage, replacement costs or consequential damages. If L.Co products are proved to be defective within one year of purchase we will replace the product or refund the purchase price. This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state, from country to country.
Storage of L.Co products.
Keep containers of L.Co products closed when not in use and keep in a cool, dry place. If stored properly, an unopened can of L.Co product will have an almost indefinite shelf life. Opened and partially filled containers may gel since L.Co tung oil plant based finishes dry through oxidation. When a container is opened, it is exposed to oxygen and the remaining unused portion may begin to oxidize. This leads to skinning and eventually gelling of the product.
For best results, pour the L.Co product you need to complete your job into another container and promptly reseal the original container replacing both the seal and screw top on the cans. Do not return any unused portion to the original can.
For proper storage, oxygen inside the L.Co container must be displaced by one or more of the following methods:
• Pour the product into a smaller airtight glass or metal container.
• With rectangular cans, squeeze the sides to push the liquid up and seal before the air returns into the can.
• “Float” the product with an inert gas such as carbon dioxide or argon that is heavier than air.