Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions related to our Tried & True products.

  1. Where can I find a retailer for Tried & True near me?
  2. How much finish is a “thin coat”?
  3. Do I need to worry about ventilation when using Tried & True?
  4. Can your products be diluted with a solvent or citrus solvent?
  5. How often do I need to reapply, if necessary?
  6. Does room temperature or humidity affect how a Tried & True finish dries?
  7. I’ve used too much product and it won’t cure… What can I do?
  8. Is it necessary to burnish with steel wool between coats?
  9. Can I use Tried & True wood finishes over-top of paints?
  10. Can I use Tried & True to finish anything besides wood?
  11. Can I use Tried & True Wood Finishes in combination with each other?
  12. Should I heat up the finish before trying to apply it?
  13. Can I apply Tried & True with a brush?
  14. Can I use your products on outdoor furniture or as a deck stain?
  15. Can I use your finish for making my own pigmented stains?
  16. Is there a shelf life to your products?
  17. I’ve heard that using linseed oil makes the cure time much longer, sometimes weeks to cure just one coat. Is that true with your products?
  18. I’ve heard that linseed oils are not safe for food contact. Is that the case with your products?
  19. Can you use Tried & True wood finishes to finish hardwood floors?
  20. What is the coverage rate of Tried & True finishes?
  21. Do I need to wear gloves when using Tried & True?
  22. How do I clean surfaces finished with Tried & True?
  23. How do I dispose of the oil covered rags after I am done?
  24. Are your finishes “waterproof”?
  25. Are your finishes “heat-proof”?
  26. Can I use Tried & True over shellac/polyurethane/wood fillers/wax-based finishes
  27. Can I use Tried & True on oil paintings and earthen floors
  28. Is Tried & True Non-Allergenic?
  29. Are there any cases where I can use T&T outdoors?

1. Where can I find a retailer for Tried & True near me?

Click here to go to our “find a retailer” page. Don’t see any stores close to you? Let us know where you like to shop for your woodworking supplies and we will bring Tried & True to your area.

2. How much finish is a “thin coat”?

We recommend using as thin of coats as possible. Start by taking a small dab in the corner of a lint free cloth and work from the center of the wood out towards the corner. Our founder Joe Robson always said, “If you’ve used any, you’ve used enough.”

3. Do I need to worry about ventilation when using Tried & True?

No, Tried & True does not contain any solvents or VOC’s so you do not need to worry about toxic fumes.

4. Can your products be diluted with a solvent or citrus solvent?

We do not recommend diluting our products at all. This will compromise the integrity of the product and will also cause the finish to no longer be food safe or environmentally friendly.

5. How often do I need to reapply, if necessary?

If you have applied the finish properly, you may never have to reapply it again. We have projects that are over 30 years old that have never had to be refinished. Our formulas are meant to become more protective and durable over time. However, we understand that there are some items like cutting boards or wood floors that may get more wear and tear than something like a rocking chair. If you have a wood surface finished with a T&T product that looks like it needs some love, simply sand the rough spots with a high grit sandpaper (220 or 320 will do), burnish with steel wool and apply the same T&T product directly over top – no stripping required!

6. Does room temperature or humidity affect how a Tried & True finish dries?

Yes, both temperature and humidity will affect cure times. Generally speaking, the colder the temperature and higher the humidity, the longer the cure time. Our estimated cure times are based on applications at room temperature with normal humidity levels.

7. I’ve used too much product and it won’t cure… What can I do?

Take a deep breath, you haven’t ruined your wood piece. Some wood types are just more porous than others, which means that T&T oils will saturate them more so than usual. Take a lint free rag and wipe off all the excess finish on the surface. Sometimes, this can take some extra effort or vigorous rubbing if the wood piece has been oversaturated with Tried & True oil. Repeat the wiping and vigorous rubbing process until the surface is dry to the touch and the lint free rag no longer picks up oil residue. After the finish has cured, burnish with 0000 grade steel wool to help bring out the sheen of the wood. Remember to use very thin coats!

8. Is it necessary to burnish with steel wool between coats?

We highly recommend this step. Burnishing with 0000 steel wool will help bring out more of the sheen to the wood and help to highlight the grain while polishing the wood finish to a smooth texture.

9. Can I use Tried & True wood finishes over-top of paints?

Tried & True finishes will work over any oil-based paint, milk paint, or chalk paints to help protect and beautify the project. Milk paints help to create the same colonial look prevalent during the 18th century and are a great compliment to Tried & True’s rustic feel. You cannot apply Tried & True over acrylic paints!

10. Can I use Tried & True to finish anything besides wood?

Generally speaking, we recommend that Tried & True wood finishes are used on wood only. However, we have had a few of our more creative customers use T&T on metal treatments, earthen floors and some leathers.

11. Can I use Tried & True Wood Finishes in combination with each other?

Yes, there are many added benefits to layering our products. You can use the darkening effects of the Danish Oil, the scratch resistance of the Varnish Oil and the liquid protection of the Original Wood Finish all on the same project. However, it is imperative to know that once the Original Wood Finish is applied, the only other finish that will bond to it is another wax based finish. If you try to apply a non-wax based finish on top of the Original Wood Finish, it will result in the top layer gumming up and never developing a good bond. It is wise to apply the Original Wood Finish coats last. Also, our Tried & True Stains + Finish is compatible with our entire product line. We recommend putting the stain down first and top coating with our other finishes for extra protection.

12. Should I heat up the finish before trying to apply it?

Our finishes are formulated to flow the best at room temperature. It is not recommended to heat the product up. In fact, a heated T&T oil may easily oversaturate the wood type you are working with, which will significantly impact dry time.

13. Can I apply Tried & True with a brush?

No, all of our finishes are hand applied with a lint-free cloth. This ensures that you do not overuse the product and will allow you to extend the coverage rate to 3x our competition. Our product is 100% solids. While the coats are thin, it will cure to a tough and durable finish that will protect and last for years if applied properly.

14. Can I use your products on outdoor furniture or as a deck stain?

No, our Danish Oil, Varnish Oil, and Original Wood Finish are intended for interior use only.

15. Can I use your finish for making my own pigmented stains?

Yes, you can. Our Danish Oil can be used in combination with oil-based paints or pastes to create your own stains.

Let us do the hard work for you! Check out our full line of stains that are specially formulated to help protect the wood as well.

16. Is there a shelf life to your products?

There is no known shelf life to any of our products. As long as the container is sealed up, the product inside will be good. Sometimes a thin skin-like layer can develop on the surface of the oil because of oxygen exposure. The skin-like layer can be scooped off, and the remaining oil is safe to use.

17. I’ve heard that using linseed oil makes the cure time much longer, sometimes weeks to cure just one coat. Is that true with your products?

This is not true. There is a misconception in our industry that the more finish you use, the better it will look. Our products are meant to be applied at VERY THIN applications, and the number one reason for a long cure time is oversaturation of oil in to the wood. See the products page for detailed application instructions. If after 24 hours you still notice some finish or tackiness remaining on the surface, refer to FAQ #7.

18. I’ve heard that linseed oils are not safe for food contact. Is that the case with your products?

Tried & True linseed oils are safe for food contact. There are a variety of ways to process linseed oil from the dried seeds of the flax plant, and one should not confuse “boiled” linseed oil with “polymerized” linseed oil. Most producers of boiled linseed are not boiling the oil at all. They are simply adding metallic driers to their blends to artificially speed up the dry time of the oil. Metallic driers such as cobalt and manganese are known carcinogens. We use “polymerized” linseed oil in our blends which do not contain metallic driers, solvents, or VOC’s. For more information, visit our environmental standards page.

19. Can you use Tried & True wood finishes to finish hardwood floors?

Yes you can finish hardwood floors with Tried & True. For the easiest application, follow these floor finishing instructions.

20. What is the coverage rate of Tried & True finishes?

The coverage rate for all our finishes is up to 1000 square feet per gallon, however, results may vary depending upon the type of wood. Remember to USE THIN COATS! A little bit goes a long way.

21. Do I need to wear gloves when using Tried & True?

No, our finishes are completely 100% safe for skin and food contact. You do not need the added protection of gloves to apply our finishes. Linseed oils can cause mild skin dryness so if you are sensitive to drying, wearing latex gloves is always an option.

22. How do I clean surfaces finished with Tried & True?

We recommend using Murphy’s Oil Soap or other wood-specific cleaners for surfaces that are finished with Tried & True.

23. How do I dispose of the oil covered rags after I am done?

Place all oily rags in a jar or bucket of water. Then store in a plastic bag/bucket, seal and dispose of them in the garbage. DO NOT LEAVE OILY SOAKED RAGS OUT WITHOUT DISPOSING OF THEM PROPERLY. If you leave a rag soaked with linseed oil out, the rag will begin to oxidize and heat up, leading to a risk of spontaneous combustion if left for a long time with an adequate heat source. Avoid this by having a water-filled jar or bucket ready with you while you are working for disposal.

24. Are your finishes “waterproof”?

Our finishes are considered water-resistant, but not waterproof. We recommend the surfaces are kept dry at most times. The surface can get wet as long as it is dried off in a reasonable time.

25. Are your finishes “heat-proof”?

Our finishes have a higher flash point than wood, which means that the wood will get damaged before the finish will when exposed to high heat. We recommend using coasters or trivets when setting hot items on surface such as coffee mugs, casserole dishes, or pots to ensure maximum wood protection.

26. Can I use Tried & True over shellac/polyurethane/wood fillers/wax-based finishes

Shellacs – all Tried & True products are compatible with shellac. Do not mix them together, generally Shellac is used as a base coat and Tried & True over top for the finishing coat.

Polyurethanes – all Tried & True products are compatible with oil-based polyurethanes only. T&T Danish Oil can be mixed with polyurethane, typically 50:50. Otherwise, always use polyurethane last. An oil-based finish will gum up on the surface of a polyurethane.

Wood Filler – all Tried & True products are compatible with wood fillers. We recommend using an oil-based wood filler for optimal performance.

Wax-Based Finishes – only the T&T Original Wood Finish is compatible with other wax based finishes, because of its beeswax content. We recommend using only Original Wood Finish if you would like to use a wax-based finish.

27. Can I use Tried & True on oil paintings and earthen floors

Yes you can use Tried & True to over oil paintings and earthen floors. For the best protection, we recommend using our Varnish Oil.

28. Is Tried & True Non-Allergenic?

We use all natural ingredients with no additives, but consult with a medical professional if you have extreme allergies to oils.

29. Are there any cases where I can use T&T outdoors?

Yes – you can use Tried & True on covered patios that will not get rain or snow. In some cases when using highly resistant wood, you can use linseed oils to finish (i.e. cedar siding or cedar made beehives.)