Interesting facts about the natural ingredients used in our products

The protective properties of linseed oil were discovered in the late 1800s, since then people have been using it as a protective oiling coatings for timber floors and furniture.

Before the invention of polyurethanes or plastic surface seals, oils were the traditional finish of choice for timber flooring.

Beeswax was often applied afterwards to enhance the finish and further increase its durability, but due to its relative softness this gave little protection and did not last.

By incorporating both beeswax and linseed oil together, making high solid oils. The benefits of both these treatments were combined into one. Allowing the oils to deeply penetrate into the timber, while the wax, now more durable stays on the surface forming a protective layer.

Over time companies like PNZ and Treatex have mastered the composition of Hardwax Oils and other types of coating products. Only high-quality, certified and supervised raw materials are used for the production of our products. Here are some interesting facts about a few of the main ingredients used in our coatings.

Linseed Oil 

Solvent extraction of flaxseed oil creates linseed oil.

The pure Linseed oil does not dry so it is necessary to use boiled linseed oil. Although it is referred to as Boiled linseed oil, it is not actually boiled, but processed. Heating the oil causes it to polymerize and oxidize, making it thicker and shortening its drying time. This quality makes it useful for finishing wood furniture and hardwood floors.

Boiled linseed oil is easier to apply when mixed with mineral spirits or turpentine; mixing also decreases darkening of the wood that comes with application.
It has been a long-standing European, and even early American, tradition to use oils and wax to impregnate natural wood flooring surfaces. Its open cell structure allows the floor to breathe which has a regulatory effect on moisture ensuring a healthy room climate.

Beeswax

Beeswax has been used to treat and protect wood as long as there have been wood products.

For thousands of years beeswax has had a wide variety of applications, Beeswax was among the first plastics to be used, alongside other natural polymers such as gutta-percha, horn, tortoiseshell and shellac.

Beeswax never goes bad and can be heated and reused. The oldest survived beeswax candles north of the Alps, from the Alamannic graveyard of Oberflacht, Germany dating to 6th/7th century A.D. It has been found in the tombs of Egypt, in wrecked Viking ships and in Roman ruins.

Beeswax is among the most ancient additives to paint. In addition to its use for encaustic painting, beeswax can be combined with turpentine to create a varnish for a finished painting. Or, when combined with oil paints, beeswax can alter their natural shine and create a softer satin finish.

The wax has no drying time and lends itself to creating a variety of rich textures on the canvas. Whether as a varnish, a binder or a paint stabilizer, beeswax has long been combined with paint to alter its light-reflecting qualities or to help retain pigment colors over time.

Beeswax protects just about anything from wood to cloth from the destructive effects of moisture. Alone it provides a strong, water-resistant coating for any wood product, especially those used in kitchens.

Beeswax is a natural, food-safe material. It can be combined with other edible or inedible oils to provide other treatment qualities. Beeswax is the major ingredient for a soft, very attractive wood finish that is used on furniture, guitars and wooden kitchen implements such as salad bowls and butcher blocks. It's frequently used in making pool tables, seating musical instrument reeds and even forming the mouthpieces for Aborigine didgeridoos.

Many wooden kitchen utensils are treated with a combination of beeswax and food-safe oils. Two of the most common oils food safe oils to be mixed with beeswax are walnut oil and mineral oil.

Beeswax can combine with inedible oils. Combinations of beeswax with other inedible oils are used to treat wood with a beeswax topcoat while the oil soaks into the wood. This mixture is used on furniture or other objects that will not be used with food.

Beeswax makes a good filler material when constructing items from wood. The wax can be pressed into holes, cracks or any excess spacing.

Materials commonly used with beeswax to treat wood are turpentine and linseed oil. It melts at 145 to 150 degrees F in water, turpentine, mineral spirits or oil, then solidifies as it cools.

Beeswax does not change color over time, and it is resistant to dirt and other impurities in the air. It is sensitive to temperature changes, however, softening in hot weather and becoming brittle in cold weather.

Beeswax also has a pleasant scent, and is an excellent wax to mix with carnauba wax because it is extremely soft.

Carnauba

Carnauba (a.k.a. "natural wax") wax is hard and needs to be mixed with another wax because it is quite brittle. Using carnauba wax alone however, is very difficult because the wax is extremely hard. It must first be blended with other softer waxes to create a wax emulsion.

Carnauba wax is used in literally thousands of different applications including floor polish, woodworking finishes on cabinets and fine furniture, car wax, and leather polish, cosmetics, food products (in particular chewing gum and confections),. The pharmaceutical industry also applies carnauba wax as a pill coating.

This versatile wax has a long history of making metal, wood and paint shine. Many wood-workers use carnauba wax as a preservative sealant to help protect furniture as the wax is very durable, non-greasy and provides a superior shine.

Melting at 180 degrees Fahrenheit, carnauba wax has the highest melting point of all the natural waxes.

Some high-end carnauba waxes are mixed with sun-blockers to protect automobile paint from fade-inducing UV radiation. Carnauba wax is the preferred polish of car care enthusiasts, providing a high shine and excellent weather protection.

Tropical carnauba trees (Copernicia prunifera) benefit the environment and humans in a multiple of ways. Known as the "tree of life," carnauba trees are native to the northeastern Brazilian savannas in the states of Ceara, Piaui and Rio Grande do Norte.

Carnauba trees part of the palm family Arecaceae slowly grow along rivers, waterways and marshes up to 25 to 30 feet tall at maturity.
To protect itself from the extensive droughts that occur frequently in Brazil, the tree develops a thick waxy coating that covers the sprouts and feathery fronds.

September through February workers harvest, bundle and dry the fronds to make Carnauba wax, also known as ceara, palm or Brazil wax.

A maximum of 20 leaves are cut from each tree yearly, which provides approximately 2 lbs. of wax. When the wax flakes off in a powdery form, it is melted, strained, purified and shaped into blocks for commercial use.

Shellac

Liquid shellac, which is often used in woodworking as a stain, sealant or varnish, is actually made from the natural resin secreted by the lac insect which lives in trees, mainly in India. After processing, it is sold as dry flakes that can be combined with alcohol to make liquid shellac.

Shellac has been used for centuries to finish wood by dissolving it in denatured alcohol and then painting on like other finishes.

Shellac is an older, more natural finish than polyurethane, (natural and non-toxic and doesn't produce a lot of unpleasant fumes) and it is still commonly applied to wood floors. It imparts a softer, less glass-like surface than polyurethane when applied to a wood floor, giving it a natural look while still providing some shine and moisture protection.

One advantage of shellac is that if the floor starts looking dull again the next year, you can simply add a few more layers without stripping off the previous finish.

Tung Oil

"Tung oil". This oil, which is pressed from the nuts of a Tung tree, was introduced to the West from China about 1900.

Although now the principal source of raw Tung oil is China and South America. It is useful for making superior, water-resistant varnishes, especially for outdoor use.

Walnut Oil

Walnut Oil was one of the most important oils used by Renaissance painters. Its short drying time and lack of yellow tint make it a good oil paint base thinner and brush cleaner. However, some practitioners consider walnut oil paint film to be inferior to linseed oil paint film.

Most walnut oil is produced in France, [citation needed] though there are also producers in Australia, New Zealand and California, and is used as antioxidant and anti-aging.

Sunflower Seed Oil

Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil compressed from sunflower seeds, is commonly used in food, it has a mild and pleasant flavor as a frying oil, and in cosmetics for its soothing properties. It can also be used to run diesel engines when mixed with diesel in the tank.

Indians in Arizona and New Mexico cultivated the first seeds and resulting flowers in 3000 B.C. Native Americans used red, black, white, and black-and-white seeds to create the first single-headed blooming sunflower, according to the National Sunflower Association.

Seed Use Patent Spanish explorers took the sunflowers to Europe in the 1500s. By 1716, a patent was granted for the process of squeezing sunflower oil from the seeds. The expressed oil is of light amber colour, while a refined sunflower seed oil is pale yellow.

Russian immigrants brought giant sunflower seeds to America. Sunflower oil was first industrially produced around 1835. Today the world's largest sunflower oil producers to this day are Russia and Ukraine.

Rapeseed or Colza Oil

In North America, the term "canola", originally a syncopated form of the abbreviation "Can.O. L-A." (Canadian Oilseed, Low-Acid) Rapeseed, also known as rape oilseed.

Colza is a bright yellow flowering annual related to the mustard family that is cultivated for seeds that are used in a wide variety of applications.
Rape seed is the valuable component of the crop, typically grown and harvested in vast commercial quantities. About 40 percent to 45 percent of the weight of the rapeseed is oil. Due to the high rate of oil in the seeds, extracting the oil is common with the traditional expeller machine that crushes and squeezes out the oil.

Rapeseed is grown for the production of animal feed for its high protein content, vegetable oil and greens for human consumption. Rapeseed growers contract with beekeepers, because it produces great quantities of nectar, and honeybees produce a light-colored but peppery honey from it.

It can also be used as a biodiesel, "Total loss" chain and bar oil for chainsaws have been developed which are typically 70% or more canola/rapeseed oil. They are claimed to be less harmful to the environment and less hazardous to users than traditional mineral oil products. Some countries, such as Austria, have banned the use of petroleum-based chainsaw oil.

The name derives from the Latin for turnip, rāpa or rāpum, and is first recorded in English at the end of the 14th century. Rapeseed oil was produced in the 19th century as a source of a lubricant for steam engines.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, rapeseed was the third leading source of vegetable oil in the world in 2000, after soybean and oil palm. The leading producers include the European Union, Canada, the United States, Australia, China and India. In India, it is grown on 13% of cropped land.

The crop is also grown as a winter-cover crop. It provides good coverage of the soil in winter, and limits nitrogen run-off. The plant is ploughed back in the soil or used as bedding. On some organic operations, livestock such as sheep or cattle are allowed to graze on the plants.

Rapeseed has also been researched as means of containing radionuclides that contaminated the soil after the disaster. It was discovered by researchers that rapeseed has a rate of uptake up to three times more efficient than other grains, and only about 3 to 6% of the radionuclides goes into the parts of the plant that could potentially enter the food chain.

Rapeseed "oil cake" is also used as a fertilizer in China, and may be used for ornamentals, such as bonsai, as well.