February 6, 2012

Eco-friendly wood finish

We've tried wherever possible to use low VOC, non-solvent based paint and wood finishes, so in Rose Gum cottage we finished the floors and the timber kitchen and vanity tops with Cabots CFP water-based wood finish.

Unfortunately it has been a disaster. Within weeks there were splash marks on the benchtops, and rings where people had left cups, wet dishes or the dishwashing detergent. With the help of our humid climate, these had soon turned to black mould. When someone spilled red wine on the floor - and I have no doubt they hastened to wipe it up - it nevertheless left a red stain.

A phone call to Cabots technical section revealed that if we wanted to recoat the benches with something else, we would have to sand them back completely to remove all the water-based finish.

We've now taken out and sanded back both the kitchen bench and the vanity, and refinished them with two coats of matt Estapol followed by Scandinavian oil.

Kitchen - Rose Gum Cottage

It was frustrating to have to redo what had already been completed just recently. It's also disappointing to know that the environmentally friendly approach did not produce an acceptable finish.

There may well be eco-friendly products out there which are suitable for wet areas, and if so we'd love to hear about them, because there's still a lot of the house to go!

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