I am looking to oil the floors in a house I rent. I believe it is pine wood, unvarnished and simply in bad need of oil.

Asked by Stephen Cahill
Portland, OR

Linseed oil seems highly processed, is there another, more natural, option available? The house is 100 years old and in Portland Oregon. Thank you.


Elizabeth DiSalvo

Answered by Elizabeth DiSalvo

Ridgefield , CT

Trillium Architects

December 22, 2010

Yes, there are other clear wood finishes, though linseed oil would seem like the natural choice.  But it is:

  • combined with other not so natural things (processed as you say)
  • subject to extremely long drying times, and
  • difficulty to use, etc.

So what to do? In our firm we usually specify Bona products for wood floor refinishing.

  • These are waterborne polyurethane finishes not oils but some of their products will provide the raw wood or oiled look and feel.
  • They are truly beautiful and extremely 'green'. They are very low VOC and Greenguard certified. 

We have used the Bona Naturale product to achieve a complete natural wood matte finish that looks just like an oiled floor. 

Best of luck!


For more information:

Read Steve Rush's Q&A "We're expecting twins soon. How can we refinish our floors now with the least harm to air quality?"

Tagged In: floor refinishing

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