What is Waterlox?
Waterlox is a resin and tung oil formula that locks water out from penetrating wood surfaces.
For the past 90 years, Waterlox products have been made with pride in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1910, the R.L. Hawkins family purchased the Empire Varnish Company. In the 1930s, the Hawkins team registered the name Waterlox and applied it to the new and improved formulas they were creating. Their secret ingredient was tung oil. Waterlox quickly became the company’s star brand.
In the 1960s, due to the growing national reputation of Waterlox, Empire Varnish Company became Waterlox Chemical and Coatings Company. In the 1990s, the company expanded the Waterlox product line and renamed the organization as Waterlox Coatings Corporation.
Despite the rapid growth in their product line and facilities, the Hawkins family still retains ownership of their formulas. Per tradition, most Waterlox products are handcrafted in small batches. Sounds like Bourbon distilling, doesn’t it?
Why Tung Oil?
You may be thinking, “how could tung oil change the course of an American company so dramatically?”
Tung oil, extracted from tung tree nuts, is a natural drying oil. When applied to unfinished wood, tung oil enhances the color, seals out water, is eco-friendly, and offers excellent protection.
As explained by This Old House, “tung oil surpasses shellac and linseed oil in hardness, durability, and water resistance.” Unlike polyurethane, tung oil products form a protective finish that won’t chip, peel, crack, or wrinkle. Once cured, tung oil provides a finish that is food-safe and resists alcohol, hot liquids, stain, and household chemicals.
Penetrating tung oil finishes come in three varieties: pure tung oil, oil/varnish blends, and wiping varnish.
Pure tung oil is recommended for use by master wood workers only. The product does not self-level and requires sanding to remove ripples created as the product pools over an extremely long drying time.
For most projects, an oil/varnish blend is appropriate. A varnish is made by cooking resins (organic powders) in a hot oil until the resins and oil “bond” into a new substance that does not separate as it cools.
An oil/varnish blend dries to a soft luster rather than an oily sheen and dries faster (thanks to the resin component) than pure oils. Oil/Varnish blends require users to wait a certain length of time after application and then buff (or wipe off) any excess product.
For ease of application and extended durability, a wiping varnish – like Waterlox ORIGINAL Formula – dries smooth and hard on its own and doesn’t require post-application buffing.
Protect Interior Projects with Waterlox ORIGINAL Formula
Waterlox ORIGINAL Formula is great for use on wood floors, countertops, cabinets, tables, and other types of fine wood furniture. It dries to a warm amber color often associated with Danish Modern furniture (often made of teak wood finished with tung oil).
Waterlox ORIGINAL Formula is also recommended for use on porous interior surfaces including slate, brick, tile, or cement.
Waterlox ORIGINAL Formula is available in gloss, semi-gloss, and satin sheens. The product is non-toxic when dry and fully cured. The manufacturer recommends a minimum drying time of 24 hours between coats. Poor ventilation, high humidity, or unusually cool temperatures may increase drying times.
Product application videos can be found on the Waterlox site. Andriots staff can also assist you in finding the right product and application supplies (lambs wool applicator, China bristle brush, roller, etc.) for your project.
Protect Exterior Projects with Waterlox MARINE Formula
Waterlox MARINE Formula provides a protective and elastic finish against the sun’s UV rays, salt or fresh water, and harsh weather. Waterlox MARINE Formula is perfect for boats, exterior doors, porches, decks, docks, and outdoor furniture. Waterlox MARINE Formula is available in a satin or high-glass sheen.
According to the manufacturer, begin protecting any outdoor wood surface with two coats of Waterlox MARINE Sealer as a primer. Then apply 1-2 coats of MARINE Finish.
The Waterlox MARINE Sealer penetrates the wood and chemically bonds with the MARINE Finish to create a single film layer that anchors deep inside the wood and seals the surface.
Maintaining your project in the future should not require reapplication of the MARINE Sealer. Simply clean and repair the MARINE Finish layer which protects the underlying MARINE Sealer.
Visit Andriots | See the products in-person
Come see us! We invite you to visit our showroom at 1857 Midland Trail in Shelbyville. Have a cup of coffee. Look around. See and touch the products in-person. Our knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions.
Note: Due to VOC restrictions, certain Waterlox formulas cannot be shipped to some states. Information on restricted states can be found here.
Schedule your Free Design Consultation
Book your free design consultation today on our site. Or give us a call at (502) 633-1944.
Schedule a convenient time for one of our experts to visit your home or office. During the consultation, we’ll listen to your ideas, take measurements, and suggest solutions within your budget.
After the consultation, you receive a full list of your chosen products. For easy ordering, your list is divided by room and by surface.
We coordinate our installers for your project, follow the work through to completion, and keep you posted every step of the way.
After your project is complete, Andriots books a quick final visit with you.
Your satisfaction matters! We want to be certain that our process – and the associated products, communication, and installation – meets your expectations.