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Woodworking has many aspects and some that can be detrimental to a woodworker’s health. Selecting the finish you’ll use on your timber to preserve its life and highlight the grains can raise both health and environmental dilemmas.

A product I was introduced to by a floor sander years ago, when looking for a natural finish for internal floor boards, has followed me into furniture making.

Livos  is a 100% plant-based oil produced in Germany. Their natural paints and finishes are derived from plant oils, natural resins, waxes, earth and mineral colours rather than from petroleum and industrial by-products. These products contain no synthetic fungicides or other synthetic poisons. When you look at the list of ingredients they use in the products it sounds good enough to eat! Citrus, walnut, jojoba, juniper berry, clove and linseed oils are just a few of the 100 ingredients grown organically for their products.

They have a range of products to suit furniture including a counter-top oil that I have found effective at repelling water and cup stains on the top of coffee tables. I more commonly use the Kunos Natural Oil Sealer on the body of furniture. After sanding the furniture down to a 320 grit finish, I apply four coats, rubbing each application down in between layers. If the timber becomes furry after a coat I will rub the timber back with 0000 steel wool before applying the next coat.  Although this product is expensive compared to polyurethane alternatives, one tin goes a long way.

My favourite thing about this oil is that the application is easy and non-toxic. It is always exciting on a job when you get to the stage of applying the finish. Being able to rub the oil on with a cloth knowing it’s safe for me to touch is a real benefit for my health and the environment. It makes watching how the timber comes to life with a coat of oil even more satisfying.

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About the Author
Tash Morton has an insatiable passion for woodworking. Her hand-crafted furniture epitomises beauty and exceptional technique. Based on the Northern Rivers New South Wales, she designs and creates custom furniture inspired by her natural surrounds and local timbers. If not found covered in dust and wood shavings, Tash can often be seen riding a wave or bushwalking.

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