I have 4-yr.-old Brazil cherry factory-treated hardwood floors. Can I use Osmo Polyx Oil on them? I want shiny but not slippery.

Queensbury, NY

The floors are slightly scratched from lots of traffic.


Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Answered by Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Bainbridge Island, WA

A Kitchen That Works LLC

September 16, 2010

Dear Joan,

When you describe your floors as factory-treated, I am led to believe that they are a pre-finished engineered floor product (three to ten layers [plies] of real wood glued in a cross-ply construction with the top layer being a decorative veneer).

Further, when you ask the question “Can I use Osmo Polyx Oil on them?” I am assuming you mean can you refinish the floor, in its entirety, with the product -- not just do spot treatments.  (You cannot spot-repair your existing finished floor with the Polyx Oil.)

Based on these two assumptions, here are two caveats as you consider refinishing a pre-finished hardwood floor:

  1. Although the overall board thickness may be 1/4” to 3/4”, the decorative veneer has a dimensional thickness of 1/16”-3/8”, depending on quality – thicker being higher quality. Therefore, significant care must be taken when sanding off the existing finish so as not to expose the non-decorative plies.
  2. The edges of the individual boards are beveled (not so with solid pre-finished floors) which requires time and patience to sand off the existing finish.

Osmo Polyx Oil is a wonderful nontoxic finish product in many ways, including durability, low-VOC, ease in application and the ability to perform spot repairs.  

Several notes about wood floor refinishing with this product:

  • Osmo Polyx Oil only comes in one finish -- satin. A satin finish has many advantages over a shiny finish -- it will not highlight scratches or traffic marks nor show dust particles and hair as much as a shiny finish will.
  • Properly maintained, a refinished floor should not be slippery.
  • It is very important to thoroughly vacuum the floor after sanding to ensure dust particles will not get trapped in the Osmo Polyx Oil finish, which can give the finish a dull appearance.
  • OSMO NA, the importer of the product, recommends that Brazilian Cherry (also known as Jatoba) be “degreased” after sanding and before refinishing with Osmo Thinner.


For more information:

Read Victoria Schomer's tips article "Make Floor Refinishing Greener and Safer."

Tagged In: natural wood finish, floor refinishing, wood flooring

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