Preparation is the most important step to finishing a floor. After vacuuming the surface with and against the grain, we recommend tacking it. This can be accomplished by using a mop or lint-free rag or micro-fiber mop dampened with mineral spirits (paint thinner)1 which will attract any remaining dust and dirt.
Mineral spirits (paint thinner) is recommended because the Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes are based in this solvent and are therefore compatible with it if any residual is left on the surface. Mineral spirits (paint thinner)1 also evaporates slower than other more intense solvents such as lacquer thinner.
We do NOT recommend the use of commercially-marketed “tack rags”. Some customers report that these type of marketed “tack rags” leave a gummy residue on surfaces that is not coatable.
1 Do NOT thin, mix, clean brushes or applicator tools or wipe wood surfaces with products labeled as: “Low-VOC Mineral Spirits”, “Green Mineral Spirits”, “Low-VOC Multi-Purpose Solvents” or “Low-Odor Mineral Spirits”. These types of solvents are not compatible with Waterlox Original products.
Many of these solvents/cleaners contain up to 50% water and surfactants and/or they are blends of VOC-compliant solvents and acetone. Acetone is not a suitable solvent with our products and any products with water will raise the grain of bare wood.
Look for product labels that read “100% aliphatic hydrocarbon solvent” or “100% petroleum distillates”.