Spotted at Holz-Handwerk: These crazily-colored planks.
Get closer and the effect is pretty impressive:
While a skilled, chemistry-minded professional craftsman like Benjamin Lai could pull that off using common materials, most of us don't have his training and wouldn't know what to mix nor how to apply it. But German wood finishes company Osmo has created a special finish, called Wood Wax Finish Intensive, that's so easy-to-use even a layperson could lay it on.
To accomplish this two-tone technique, the end user brushes the initial coat on--no primer needed nor any sanding between coats, making this a quick process--then wipes it back while wet. A good amount of the grain is thus left exposed. After the first coat has dried, the second color is brushed on and also wiped back; as it cannot stick to the waxy first color, it fills in the remaining wood grain.
We shot some close-ups of the boards above, to give you a sense of the possibilities:
Perhaps most impressive is the plant-based paint's qualities:
[The paint will] not crack, peel, flake or blister. Resistant to wine, beer, cola, tea, fruit juice, milk and water according to DIN 68861-1C – no water spots. When dry, finish is safe for humans, animals and plants (saliva-resistant and sweatproof according to DIN 53160 (German industrial norm), suitable for children's toys as per EN 71.3 (European norm)).
Based on natural plant oils and waxes (sunflower oil, soya oil, thistle oil, linseed oil, carnauba wax and candelilla wax), paraffin, iron oxide and organic pigments, titanium dioxide white pigment, siccatives (drying agents) and water-repelling additives. Dearomatized white spirit (benzene-free).
Osmo reckons the paint is perfect for furniture, walls, doors and even children's toys and floors. They're confident in the paint's green credentials and while it's technically translucent as used above, their policies offer complete transparency: As they write, a "detailed declaration of ingredients [is] available upon request."
You can learn more about the stuff here [PDF].
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