Natural Finishes and Colours
There are many reasons to use natural finishes and colours that are environmentally friendly:
- Natural ingredients
- Ingredients fully listed
- Better quality of life by creating a healthy indoor environment
- Better eco-balance
There are plenty arguments that speak for consistently clear ecological natural colors: Natural resources – fully declared, our products are quality of life by creating a healthy indoor environment and in the life cycle assessment cheaper than many conventional paints.
Wax as a Natural Finish
Treating wood naturally with wax
Beeswax is the most important component in waxes for wood treatment. To obtain good results, pure beeswax must be heated to 80 ° C. Manufacturers of natural colours therefore produce so-called wax balms. A wax balm is a mixture of different waxes, boiled linseed oil, natural solvents and, where required, fragrances and pigments. A relatively new type of wood wax is water-emulsifying and free of volatile solvents. Solvent-free hard wax can be applied with so-called hot wax guns, or on large areas (floors) with hot wax machines.
Range of applications for wood wax
Wood waxes are used exclusively indoors. Wood finished with wax has a yellowish tinge, a pleasant smell and a light sheen that can be brought to a mirror finish by polishing. The wood remains porous and does not lose its ability to regulate moisture. Static charges do not occur.
Wood wax is primarily used to finish furniture, flooring, and indoor wood paneling. Wood surfaces that are exposed to extensive use (e.g. floors) should be finished with hard wax that contains a small amount of solvents. A wax finished wood surface becomes more durable when it is first finished with an oil primer containing natural resins. Ready-to-use wax balms are more commonly used for finishing, or for wood surfaces that are not heavily used.
Finishing Wood with Natural Oils
The most important ingredient of many natural wood finishes is linseed oil. It is derived from the seeds of the fibrous flax plant (Linum) and dries by absorbing oxygen. Using boiled linseed oil speeds up the drying process. To produce boiled linseed oil linseed oil is boiled with drying agents (desiccants).
To help the oil to penetrate deeper into the wood, it is mixed with solvents (e.g. balsam-turpentine-oil, citrus peel oil) to produce a durable half-oil mixture. Manufacturers of natural paints offer this as a primer, often mixed with others types of oils, herbal extracts and natural resins. With natural resins these oils can be used for heavily used wood surfaces (e.g. floors).
Oil finishes are used exclusively indoors. Wood surfaces treated with oil bring out the natural grain of the wood. Oil-finished wood surfaces look slightly darker and thus appear warmer than the natural wood. In general all oil finished wood surfaces can be waxed.
Clay plaster is becoming increasingly popular. Due to its positive building physics and environmentally friendly characteristics clay plaster provides natural living comfort and a healthy indoor environment. Clay plaster is vapor permeable and thus helps regulate heat and moisture. Clay plaster also has a special heat storage capacity, keeping rooms cool in summer and warm in winter.
Composition of Clay Plaster
Clay plasters consist of coloured clays and cellulose fibers. Clay plasters usually come in natural colours that result from the types of clay used. Some manufacturers offer pigmented clay plasters, allowing a much wider range of colours.