Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Green Product Review: Organoil

When Sparky and I were looking at products to finish our house, we tended to look for products that were safe for our family, with less impact on the environment. I've already mentioned the interior paint we chose, but I thought I'd review the floor finish we ended up using, as when I was researching online I could find very little info on it.

We have cypress pine floor throughout the house and decided to get the old floors (which were finished with some kind of estapol or polyurethane finish) sanded back and treated at the same time as the new floor in the extension. After talking to a few people and doing some reading online we opted for an oil finish on the floors and decided to go with Organoil.

  • The smell was not only bearable but actually pretty pleasant. Citrusy/bergamoty kind of thing.
  • It's non-toxic - great for Isy and myself (I was pregnant at the time)
  • A matte finish on the floor - good for a family home where spills are frequent and varied!
  • Scratches are apparently easy to fix, with just a quick reapplication of oil required.
  • The installer recommended only mopping once a month (score!) as the matte finish means scuff marks don't show up readily.
  • The matte finish feels really nice underfoot, as you're essentially just walking on the polished raw timber.

  • It's expensive to install (it's more time-consuming apparently) but it was more than double what a poly-finished floor would cost.
  • We're found it to be not very durable. Things that wouldn't have scratched our old poly floors have left noticeable marks and scratches in the finish (these aren't gouges, just surface scratches from things like the high-chair or the kids' pram)
  • Things like chalk or crayon, which would wipe off a poly floor easily can leave a mark.
  • Very very very susceptible to water damage in the early days and weeks. Obviously water and oil aren't great friends, which means we had to walk on cloths for the first few days, to avoid getting any water from our shoes onto the floor. Even socks wouldn't do as any sweat on your socks will affect the finish. We had a million people in and out of the house at this stage and as a result, have tradies' footprints, what I think is an Esky mark and water rings in the finish already.

Scratches in the surface from the high chair.

The beautiful, silky matte finish on the floor. Feels nice underfoot!

The water damage (whitish marks) from a tradies' Esky and drink bottle.


Despite all the cons, and the fact that we're both a little disappointed in the durability of the finish, Sparky and I would still choose Organoil if we had our time again. The smell factor is huge for me, and I do like the more rustic, matte finish of the floor. It's a little more on the Scandinavian side, which is what we're after in our house overall.

Basically there's a reason that some products have both a green option and a traditional, commercial option - often there's characteristics of the commercial option that people don't want to compromise on (durability/hardness, shine, etc). In this case we're happy to compromise as the pay-off is a much greener, friendlier product in our home.


  1. We have Organ Oil on our floors too B! Careful re-applying the oil.. too frequently will make it sticky (as the floor gets too oily)! There is actually a re-seal product that is apparently better... There is a local floor guy, Hugo (I have his number number somewhere if you need it)who is accredited with Organ oil who may have some helpful ideas if you need too. BTW: Mop as often as you like.. makes no difference at all. The finish looks better as it gets older too.. The smell is just lovely! Al

  2. Hey Al! It was you who initially put us onto Organoil actually! And Hugo did our floors - very nice guy. He's going to come back later this month or next, when the paintings done and give the floor a service for us, so I'll be sure to ask him about the resealer then.

    The smell is awesome and I'm still glad we went with it. I'll email you over the weekend. xx


Merci! Ta! Xie xie!