What Is The Best Heart Pine Floor Finish?

natural wood finish for timber frame home


Can you tell me the best heart pine floor finish? I am also interested in understanding the best application for this. Thank you!


We have many people who buff in BioPoly on heart pine floors and are very happy with it. Each customers situation must consider their specific needs for the project and the finished look they desire. This BioPoly page on earthpaint.net has many details and the Data Sheets on the bottom of the page have all the technical info. and application specifics. The back label, as well, will give product information and application.

BioPoly isn’t a film but it’s not just a linseed oil either. It’s tough! It needs maintenance but that maintenance is often much easier than repairing polyurethane type finishes. There are dance halls with hundreds of thousands of people dancing, spilling beer and such… The reason the BioPoly is selected instead of a gym floor finish like Easy Safe 1k or Mountain, is that it’s easier to maintain long term in many cases.
For ex., it never chips or peels if a glass breaks on it… or if a chair is gouged across it. BioPoly can simply be cleaned with Earth Clean and Buffed out with a freshen up coat. It’s always a buffed finish, not a poly type film, so it needs occasional buffing to maintain, but in a house, that is generally not very often, if at all in some cases. Polishing out a BioPoly Floor isn’t like refinishing a floor, it’s more like polishing furniture. The wood fiber cells are infused with minerals and tree resins that get harder and harder and age nicely.
One of our customers has a large log home, 4 levels, with giant timbers, heart pine and some softer type pine floors. Many years later she told us how enjoyable it is for her rustic home. She’s has 4 dogs and says she loves it. She cleans her floors normally and polishes it every once in a while with a BioPoly damp rag, usually before the holidays, for guests. Front door, kitchen sink, those areas with higher abrasive traffic might need polishing sooner.  

You can always coat BioPoly later with Nanotech if you want a film over it. Mountain is the cashew resin and fantastic for buffing into woods. It’s used by fine woodworkers, artisans, luthiers and many floor finishers but everyone has to experiment with it and get used to it’s unique properties.  This floor finish page has a general overview of the products being mentioned. https://www.earthpaint.net/non-toxic-wood-floor-finish-review.html

Method for BioPoly Buffed into Heart Pine:1. Sand to a rough grit like 80 at most 100 grit and use floor machine and tan pad to buff in the first coat, make sure to penetrate deeply. 2. Sand pores closed with a finer grit screen like 100-120-150-220 and buff in another coat. Repeat if the wood will take it but at this point it’s probably getting fully saturated. You’ll notice the wood will stop accepting finish and a small amount will polish a large area.  3. Polish up with tan or white pad as a final pass. 
Floor Machines (approx 175rpm) are what we use for this typically. Using pads and screens as appropriate. Some people do it by hand. The stairs can be done by hand and you can adjust the grit of the sandpaper to create less slip on the stairs if desired. 
NanoTech is applied over BioPoly on floors that require poly type film. This gives excellent wood grain illumination of BioPoly and the tough resilience of the NanoTech. 2-3 Coats of of NanoTech are mopped on with a Tbar after the BioPoly has dried well. 
Mountain is buffed in the same way as BioPoly. If it gets to sticky for the machine, we add a little bit of Pure Citrus Solvent, just enough to get the pad slip freely across the floor. Some floors have Mountain buffed in over top of BioPoly while it’s wet. This is tricky because the floor is slippery but some guys are very adept with the floor machine and this pushes finishes extremely deep into the wood and leaves a caramel like finish on the top of the wood.
Warming: The floor machine and pad create heat by friction which pushes the pine resin deeper into the wood, illuminating the wood grain nicely. Sometimes we warm the wood 80-90-100F. Keeping the can warm can also help but i’d avoid heating BioPoly past the label recommendations. Not because it blows up or anything, just because the way that we cook the pine resin into that product is very specific. If too much heat is applied (>105F) in the wrong manner, it can affect the pine resin. Regardless, warming the wood and finish can help if trying to gain maximum wood grain penetration and illumination. 
The SDS and TDS have much more info. about all of this for each product. These are found on each product page. Either at the bottom of page or under a “Technical Details” tab.
The BioPoly page has a Floor Finishing PDF that discusses the details of this as well. https://www.earthpaint.net/best-natural-wood-finish.html

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