Rubio Monocoat has been around for quite some time now and I remember receiving a sample over 10 years ago back when epoxy was an adhesive and before slabs were discovered (sarcasm). Because the product boasted incredible levels of protection from something that appeared to be a simple oil, I pretty much dismissed it. Understand that at the time, I was doing a lot of client work and I was heavy into the HVLP game. An oil, no matter how advanced, just wouldn’t provide the protection and longevity of the film-forming finishes I preferred at the time. Since then, my preferences and sensibilities have changed and now I’m continually searching for the safest and most effective finish strategies. After using Rubio on numerous projects including a floor and millwork in my own home, I have to say I’m a convert. And while Rubio is a great product, it’s certainly not the only game in town and I have a renewed respect for what the world of hardwax oils can offer. By the way, Osmo is another product I like a lot and maybe I’ll do a similar application video on that in the future. Please note that this is not a sponsored video but I have received a couple of cans of finish from Rubio in the past.
Applying Rubio is a simple 4-step process. The tools and techniques you use to accomplish these steps can vary.
To prep the surface, sand through the grits to 180. Rubio usually recommend not sanding past 150 because the oil binds more effectively at lower grits. I sand to 180 and haven’t found it to be a problem. After 180, water-pop the surface by spraying liberally with water. After it dries, sand lightly again with 180 to knock down the raised grain. Vacuum the surface with a vacuum and brush attachment then wipe the surface down with a cloth and some mineral spirits.
Mix 3 parts of the Oil Plus 2C A with 1 part of the Oil Plus 2C B. Be careful not to mix more than you need. A little bit goes a long way. I usually use Pure which is essentially clear. Rubio comes in various colors and don’t be confused by their Natural product, as it is NOT clear. By the way, you don’t have to use the accelerator. The finish will just take longer to cure: 3 weeks vs 7 days with the accelerator.
Drizzle the finish on the surface and use a plastic spreader or white scotch bright to spread the finish over the surface. Don’t do anything you can’t finish within 15 minutes. Any longer than that and the finish becomes hard to remove. Once coated, buff the finish in using a white pad on a sander or manually with a white scotch bright pad. This step not only helps spread the finish but also helps drive it deeper into the wood.
The final step is to remove all traces of finish from the surface. I use a small buffer with a terry cloth bonnet installed when possible. When not possible I just use clean shop rags. The way Rubio works, the wood takes what it wants and anything else left on the surface is just a liability as it tends to get sticky and gummy. So after the cleanup step I’ll take a clean cotton cloth and quickly go over the surface one last time. This isn’t always necessary but sometimes you’ll find a spot you missed so it’s a good safeguard.
Now let the piece sit for 24 hrs before handling and remember, it takes 7 days to fully cure.
While this single coat is all you need, I personally like to take it one step further by using their Universal Maintenance Oil, applied exactly the same way the next day. If you’re coming from the world of film finishes, this step will make you much happier with the appearance as it gives it just a bit more of a sheen.