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Swedish floor finish

joenorm | Posted in General Questions on

I am being talked into using a “Swedish” floor finish on my new Fir floors for a number of reasons, mainly longterm durabilty. These are also known as acid cured conversion varnishes.

The other option I was considering was OSMO Hardwax Oil. 

The two are pretty much on the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as “greenness” is concerned.

OSMO being plant based and low VOC. Swedish is high VOC and I have no idea what it’s formula is. Probably pretty nasty.

But the Swedish comes highly recommended as a long lasting and durable finish, and its the same cost as the OSMO.  

I have had floors with OSMO treatment, they are beautiful but like all oiled floors require quite a bit of upkeep. The idea of something a little more maintenance free sounds nice.

Any thoughts?

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  1. walta100 | | #1

    The wax finish sounds like something that could be touched up where the varnish would likely require a recoating. I would think the 2 choices are very different in terms of gloss with a wax finish being flat and the varnish could be glossy.

    Since you chose a softer wood that is more likely to be damaged the wax sounds like a better fit but understand this finish sounds like an annual maintenance item.

    Just a guess by this woodworker.


  2. joenorm | | #2

    They say the the conversion varnish is a 30+ year finish and is a perfect candidate for softer wood because it will not shell over and peel off like a poly will. The wood will dent and ding but the finish will dent and ding with it.

    Oil is similar, and yes, might be easier to touch up. But since the floors run through my kitchen the varnish might be the way to go.

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #6

      If you can get a Swedish finish for a reasonable price I'd definitely go for it. The only downside I can see if the difficulty of re-coating damage. That's the big advantage of wax/oil, and water-based poly.

  3. Stockwell | | #3
  4. user-2310254 | | #4


    I had a wax oil finish on the hickory floors in my last house. After four years, they looked fine. But we didn't wear our shoes in the home and didn't have to content with kids or pets.

    In our case, low VOC was more important than durability. If durability is your biggest concern (and you can tolerate breathing in chemicals), then the Swedish finish might be a better option.

  5. walta100 | | #5

    The way I see it the salesmen will say whatever words are necessary to make a sale.

    Flexible film falls in the show me category. Get a pine sample and beat it with a ball peen hammer.


  6. joenorm | | #7

    He was not really selling the product. They do natural Oils as well for the same price. He just said after 30 years in the business that the Swedish will hold up the best.

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