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Hard wax oil choice for oak doors

And…I’ve got to varnish/wax/lacquer some internal oak doors - any suggestions on a good product? Saw an ad for Liberon hard wax oil the other day - any good?

Take a look at this article from @martindunn

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Thank for that Andy. That Mylands stuff sounds like the stuff I’m after. However, I spoke to my client today and Howdens, where the doors are from are saying not to use waxes, polishes or oils as these products may cause delamination!

Never heard of that one. What are they recommending then?

Not sure Martin, I’m going to call them tomorrow. I quite like the sound of the Mylands earth oil but doesn’t look like that’s a go-er.

This from the Howdens website:

Finishing Information
Our hardwood doors are ready for finishing with lacquer or stain. Waxes, polishes, and oils should not be used on our hardwood doors as they do not seal the door properly and may cause veneer delamination.

Solid Oak Ledged and Solid Rustic Oak doors can be finished with lacquer, stain or oil.

I’ve had this problem with Howdens doors before. I went in and spoke with my local branch. They told me to use a water based varnish on the doors. It worked a treat and 11 months on, they still look good.

Sounds like we’re getting somewhere. Which one did you use?

I used Sikkens Cetol BL Unitop. It’s quick drying, low odour. It’s tough, durable and a satin finish! Lovely product to use. You don’t need to thin it down either.

Ooh that sounds good! Thanks Claytondecorating.

Yes, it’s my first choice for water based varnish. Sikkens has never let me down.
I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. (My name is Neil). Glad to be a help.

Thanks Neil. I’m going to need loads. Help that is, not Sikkens Cetol BL Unitop!

This is very useful information. I’ve got a load of engineered oak doors to coat in the spring, and was going to use hardwax oil. I’ll get the customer to find out what the supplier recommends. Great thread!

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funny how different manufacturers of doors will say different things.

I was always taught NEVER use water based on oak so have used mainly hard wax on internal doors with fantastic results, whether it be mylands or osmo, or good old fashioned matt/ eggshell alkyd varnish.

Then just this week we have some new howdens oak doors and architraves to do and they wanted water based varnish.
So we followed there instructions and they was ok but the waterbased furs up too much for my liking. Ok you flat down between coats but I still think the look and feel isn’t up to wax oil or even an oil matt/eggshell varnish.

We have done exactly the same doors supplied by tippers and they state NO WATERBASED product to be used.

As for delamination of the veneer when using oil based, how many hundreds of flush sapele doors have we applied gloss oil based varnish to with out problems?

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So you’re saying that you’d still go for hardwax oil on engineered doors? Not something like Dulux Diamond Glaze?

Was just looking to post some thing else and stumbled across this one.

I’ve done three engineered doors with Osmo Raw and they are rock solid. And they are on the divide of a walk in shower / bathroom…zero problems.

Sounds like an over cautious supplier stance. If their customer/tech support section is anything like the company I work for then they have a very fixed set of ‘response parameters’ and only answer within that. Is a bit like asking an Audi dealer if you can fit Euro Car Parts brake pads…they will shudder, purse lips and shake heads but of course it’s possible and most likely as good.

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Hello Neil,
Thought I would let you know that I used the Sikkens Cetol BL Unitop on those doors and was a pleasure to use and the doors looked great. Thanks for the tip!

Great news Lee! It’s so easy to use and as you say, it is a pleasure! It’s my favourite water bourne varnish!
Did you manage to get any pictures? I’d like to see your good work!

Yes I took photos on that job and my last job - loads of before and after shots and opened up iphoto to post some pictures the other day and every single one had gone!

Hi there. This is my first post so bear with me! I wanted to share some info and ask a couple of questions.

Martin, I too have had completely opposing views (some only water-based, some never water-based) from various companies in relation to oak veneered doors. Since none of them actually make the doors and one of them even told me that they get them from different manufacturers depending on lead times none of it seems to make sense. So now I have finally settled on XL doors and they very carefully say to check with the manufacturer of the paint/varnish. How’s that for passing the buck!

I like the greyish white oak matt look of the untreated doors but at the moment I am going to paint them as I’m worried about them yellowing over time as they have at various homes I’ve been to. Not sure if this is the veneer that yellows or the product that was used on them. Neil, you mentioned that you had varnished some oak veneer doors over a year ago now. Do you happen to know if they have darkened/yellowed?

On the paint front, I called Holman and they were helpful as ever. They had no problem recommending Feelings Furniture primer/paint (for those of us bonkers enough to paint them). I wondered if anyone has any tips on how best to approach painting engineered oak veneer doors.

Many thanks in advance