In this guide, we’re going to break down LED hardwax oil finishes and talk about how to use them, the benefits and more.
What Is LED Hardwax Oil?
LED hardwax oil is a wood finish made be Vesting LED. The finish is a mixture of oils, waxes, resins and additives formulated to harden instantly when exposed to LED light. This makes it a favorable wood finish over others that take hours or even days to properly cure and harden.
Benefits Of This Finish
LED hardwax oil has numerous benefits over other finishes such as polyurethane or epoxy. After using the finish for months, some benefits we can note are:
- It cures instantly when exposed to the LED light. This leaves us with no downtime waiting for a finish to dry and allows us to deliver finished pieces the day they’re done.
- It’s highly water-resistant. We actually tested this by finishing a slab, pouring a puddle of water on it for about 4 hours, then removing the puddle. There was no swelling on the wood after this test.
- It’s highly resistant to dirt and chemicals. Although this isn’t necessary for most dining room tables, we thought it’s worth mentioning if you plan on using it for flooring.
- It can be used on any wood species. We use it on everything from black walnut to white oak and it works like a charm!
- Provides a deep color of the wood and gives a natural shine to any piece you’re working on.
- It can be used on stained wood or unfinished wood. This is great for customers wanting a custom finish on their piece.
- It’s relatively affordable. With the time you save using this finish, it pays for itself.
- It’s a green and environmentally friendly finish with no VOCs.
- It comes in numerous colors. We typically use the natural finish, but other colors are available. Below is a photo from the manufacturer’s website on the colors they have available.
How To Use LED Hardwax Oil
Finishing a black walnut slab:
Finishing an ambrosia maple slab:
Using the finish is simple. You will apply a small puddle of the oil on your piece, rub it around the surface, then use an orbital sander with a pad on it to rub the finish across the wood’s surface. Once the finish is applied evenly across the piece, I usually wipe it down with a soft rag to be sure it’s smooth and evenly applied.
After the finish is applied, you’ll use an LED light to cure it. Move the light quickly and steadily across the finish for a few seconds. The light we use is made by Smelt Machinery.
Next, we’ll just run our hand across the surface to ensure it’s smooth. If there are any rough areas, we’ll simply sand the piece and reapply the finish until smooth. It can be touched up locally so no need to sand the entire piece if this happens.
We typically apply a few coats of this, lightly sanding with a high grit (220+) sandpaper in between coats.
We tested this surfacing by pouring a puddle of water on it for around 4 hours. The surface was not damaged after the water was removed. The dealer notes this finish as extremely water-resistant, but not 100% waterproof. They do recommend using coasters, though no damage was done in our test.
Finishes are considered food safe once fully cured, so after it’s cured using the LED light it is. This finish was lab tested to determine it’s food safe once cured.
The finish, depending on which type you buy, costs around $95-$135 per liter. A liter last for multiple projects when we use it for tables. The LED Smelt light costs around $3500 for the handheld unit.
Typically applying this finish takes around 5 minutes per coat depending on the size of the piece you’re finishing. Since we apply multiple coats, we usually have around an hour in finishing a live edge slab on both sides.
As with any finish, it may need reapplied with time. However, since it’s rated for commercial use and used a lot with flooring, your table finished with this should be good to use for years to come!
We recommend using a warm damp cloth to wipe down tables with this finish. Microfiber, or something soft, is best to use.
We also recommend cleaning spills as quickly as possible and using a hot pad when placing hot pans or dishes on the tabletop.
You can also order a maintenance oil to refresh the tabletop as well as for minor scratch repairs.
Get A Live Edge Slab Finished With LED Hardwax Oil
Interested in having a slab finished in this product? We can help. We specialize in Live Edge Woodworking and have hundreds of slabs in stock. We can finish any slab in our inventory with this so you can enjoy it for years to come!
Nolan is the Marketing Manager for Lancaster Live Edge. When he isn’t working on our marketing initiatives, he’s in the shop building tables and furniture with the team. Prior to working with Lancaster Live Edge, he worked for a digital marketing agency for nearly 4 years. His family owns a custom building company and he’s helped build everything from custom furniture to home additions. Nolan has been woodworking for nearly 20 years.
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