How to apply Rubio Monocoat

We find the translated Rubio instructions to be a bit stilted, so we’ve re-written them in our inimitable style.

If you prefer to read the original text straight from the Rubio Monocoat folks, just read their helpful ‘How to apply oil plus 2C to flooring’ instructions. Great resource with video and animated GIFS.

Products and equipment you will need:

100 grit round sanding screen

1. Sand it right!

Always begin with a wood floor that has been sanded to bare wood; all previous finishes must be completely removed. The texture of the sanded floor should be uniform and show no evidence of scratches from either drum sander or edger.

After sanding we recommend a final pass with a buffer and a 100-grit screen to give the wood an even porosity.

Vacuum on hardwood floor

2. Vacuum!

Vacuum the floor thoroughly with a canister vacuum with a soft bristle wand. Remove any remaining dust with a dry microfiber cloth or a cloth lightly dampened with Rubio Raw Wood Cleaner.

*If you are working with an exotic, oily, or resinous wood, clean the floor with Monocoat Raw Wood Cleaner and allow to dry. This will allow those natural oils to temporarily retreat from the surface and allow the Rubio oil to properly bond with the wood.

Mix your Rubio with a paint stick

3. Stir.

Open the oil Part A and use a paint stick to stir it thoroughly, scraping the pigment from the bottom of the can.

Plastic Squeeze Bottle

Mix the accelerator with the oil.

The ratio of oil to accelerator is 3:1. You will need to mix the oil with the accelerator in a separate container; the accelerator won’t fit into the full can of oil (pro tip: the accelerator can is difficult to open – a paint can opener works better than a screwdriver).

Be careful! Once the oil and accelerator are mixed, the mixture is only usable for 6 hours.

So, mix only as much as your project requires and be sure to stir it thoroughly.

You can mix the oil and accelerator directly in the squeeze bottle, or just decant the accelerated oil into the squeeze bottle. 

Low angle of wood floor

5. Map your route.

Rubio needs to be applied and the excess removed within a five minute window, so do not apply oil to your entire floor in one fell swoop!

Work in areas 50-80sqft, but choose your areas carefully.

Divide rooms into sections longitudinally so that your wet edge is always parallel to the grain.

It is helpful to draw a floor plan of your project and decide on how many sections into which to break it and in what order to coat them. Especially if you are working with a color, do not allow a wet edge that runs against the grain to dry – it can sometimes create a lap mark.

Wood floor with oil on outside edges

6. Buff on AND buff off, section by section.

Cut in the edges of your first designated section by hand using a piece of red buffer pad. Then use the buffer with the red pad to apply the oil to the field of your first section.

Learn more

You can apply a small amount of oil to the underside of your buffer pad and add oil directly to the floor in front of the buffer. Squirt oil onto the floor in lines that are parallel to the grain – do not write your name or draw pictures with it!

Move the buffer back and forth, both with and against the grain, adding small amounts of oil as necessary to make the color even. Do not flood the floor with the oil. Instead use enough to wet the surface and achieve thorough coverage.

Remember that Monocoat Oil does not have to penetrate deeply nor does it have to leave a film; it attaches to wood fibers. Immediately buff the entire completed area again with the wet red pad, without adding more oil, to ensure consistent coverage.

This whole process will take at least five minutes, but do not continue buffing the material on for more than ten minutes as it will begin to tighten and become difficult to spread.

As soon as your entire designated section has been evenly and thoroughly coated, switch to a white pad on the buffer and use it to remove all the excess oil. Any oil that remains on the wood after the initial five-minute bonding period must be removed.

Once you have removed the excess oil from the middle of your current working area it will be easier to walk across it to remove the excess from the edges by hand, using a cotton rag rather than a buffer pad for better absorption. Use the buffer to erase any footprints.

Rubio recommends a final buff with a lint-free cloth, driven by a white pad, over the entire floor, to remove every last drop of excess oil. Buff with this cloth until the floor surface feels dry to the touch. Excess oil on the surface of the wood will increase dry time.

* Should the oil become difficult to remove, you can sprinkle a small amount of oil over the sticky area to revive, thin, and remove it.

*Tools can be cleaned with Monocoat Raw Wood Cleaner


Oil saturated cloths, pads, and saw dust can spontaneously combust and must therefore be burnt, placed in water, or kept in a lid-sealed metal container.

IMPORTANT: Do not tape anything to the finish!

To create a satin appearance: Apply a coat of Rubio Monocoat Universal Maintenance Oil, 48 hours or later after the initial oil application.

Rubio Floor Maintenance

After treatment with Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus, the floor requires 3 weeks to cure, become water resistant, and harden completely (7 days for 2C Oil A & B). Though the floor is useable 36 hours after the oil application, care should be observed.

After 48 hours, if you must allow very heavy traffic (furniture movers especially!) the surface should be protected with cardboard, but only during the traffic period. When heavy traffic is over with, remove the cardboard. Once the cure period has passed, the oil will be resistant to water and most liquids.

Should the finish show signs of spotting during the cure period, dampen a cloth with Rubio Monocoat oil and rub the spot. This will remove the spot and rejuvenate the finish.

Caring for the floor.

During the first week it is advisable to only clean with a vacuum cleaner or a dust mop fitted with a dry cloth. Do NOT use a damp cloth! During the second and third week a thoroughly wrung out damp cloth can be used with due care.

After 3 weeks (1 week for 2C Oil A & B) the floor can be maintained using maintenance products from the Rubio Monocoat range.

To maintain the matte appearance: Use Monocoat Soap, diluted with water, for periodic cleaning after a waiting period of three weeks (7 days for 2C Oil A & B).

Pete’s Bonus Tips

Randy Lundi in workshop

Meet Randy Lundin, one of Pete’s owners and Fixer-of-all-Things.

Randy has been with Pete’s Hardwood Floors in MN for over a decade – think of how many sanders he has maintained, how many jammed nailers he has un-jammed, and how many edgers he has brought back to life. He takes great care to maintain Pete’s rental equipment.

Not to mention all the customers he has trained and calmed. When Randy’s in the house, we can fix anything.