Hardwax-oil vs. regular oil finishes vs. lacquers and water-based finishes – which is better?
Most regular oil finishes contain a high ratio of solvent to synthetic resins, and do not contain wax. This means that, although easier to apply, they protect the wood “from within” by filling in pores, and do not create a film on top, rendering them less durable than hardwax-oil finishes. On the other hand, lacquers and water-based finishes “protect from the outside” by forming a thick film on top of the wood. While more durable than oil finishes, over time these will crack, flake, peel, or blister, and must be completely sanded off for renovation.
Hardwax-oils combine the best of both worlds – the finish penetrates the wood and forms a protective film on top that won’t crack or flake, increasing its durability and resistance to scratches and fluids. Osmo works by having the naturally-based oils penetrate into the wood, providing elasticity, while the microporous surface allows it to breathe, letting moisture evaporate as needed.