Wednesday, 27 November 2013

How to apply Livos - Tips and Tricks

You found the perfect piece of wood and now it's time to apply a finish!

There are hundreds of finishes to select from, and trust me... we have tried many! We can't seem to find anything we like better than Livos so that's why we carry it.

Kunos by Livos is an oil based, environmentally friendly, wipe-on, low-odor German product. It is pretty much fantastic all around. Here is a link to the Livos website if you are interested in more related information.

Here are some "tips and tricks" that we have discovered finishing dozens of different wood species. Every wood can take finish differently so a test piece is always recommended. Now remember, we are not finishing experts by any means. These are just a compilation of tips that have worked from our experience as well as helpful tricks passed on from our customers.

Recommended Materials:
- sand paper in grits up to 400
- lint free cloths (an old lint free t-shirt will do the trick also)

- coffee maker
- lamp

Step 1:
Make a coffee

Step 2:
Grab those leftover coffee grounds and put them in a dish to dry them out. (only applicable for woods with voids such as natural edge lumber, spalted woods etc. For that type of project, read this post before continuing.

Step 3:
Sand, sand, sand. Proper lighting is key. Imperfections will not be visible until the finish is applied so take the time to sand properly. Generally speaking, sand no higher than 400.

A helpful way to view sanding marks is to move your lamp to create a cross light.

Step 4:
Make sure you did a good job on step 3.

Step 5:
Mix contents properly with a stick. Wipe on a generous first coat of Livos using your lint free cloth. After 15 minutes, use a new cloth and wipe/buff off all the excess oil. Wipe until the cloth
is dry and no shiny spots remain on the wood. You may have to use more than one cloth. Let sit to dry for 24hrs.

Some people prefer using a brush, particularly for natural edge woods or woods that have density variations.

Step 6: 
Apply a coat of Livos. After 15 minutes, grab a clean cloth and buff the finish into the wood. Ensure all excess oil has been wiped off.

Repeat steps 5 & 6 a minimum of one more time... the more coats, the glossier the effect.

For tabletops and projects that need extra durability, we recommend 4 coats.

Important: Livos recommend the following: KUNOS 243 and 244 oils take approximately 30 days to dry thoroughly. Maximum endurance is reached after 4 weeks. Please take the necessary precautions during this time.

As with any oil product, make sure to use caution with your rags. 


  1. is Livos food friendly?

    1. According to their website, Livos is "approved for food contact according to German standards".

  2. Can you ship to the U.S. Specifically Arizona.

  3. I am making a solid wood slab dining table, and thinking of finishing it with oil. Since it's a dining table, which will be encounter food spills, water spills, and wine spills. How resistant is the oil finish to stains such as water and wine? Also, can it sustain hot/cold drinking glasses? Thank you

  4. A year later after using two coats of Livos, we had a "glass of water ring stain" on our table end :-(
    Which... luckily because it's oil, could be "easily" fix but it didn't protect the wood initially.

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  6. I bought the slate grey stain... will my maple table get "darker grey" with the 2nd and 3rd coat of stain?? I want a protective layer, shine finish, but not too dark.

    1. The more coats you put on, the darker it will get. We always recommend doing a test first. If you prefer it to not get too dark, you could put 1 or 2 coats of the stain on, and then put a few more coats of the clear countertop on to give it more protection.

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  8. I applied Livos Countertop oil to my new maple counters and followed the procedure per your site. Was easy to apply and the results looked great; however, after installing and using for a week (ie: normal kitchen counter use - wiping counters with damp cloth where they got dirty etc), the polished surface where I wiped them faded, water didn't bead anymore and the surface texture became rough. I reviewed the user guide on the Livos Canada website for the product and found a small, but critically important, note:

    "KUNOS 243 and 244 oils take approximately 30 days to dry thoroughly. Maximum endurance is reached after 4 weeks. Please take the necessary precautions during this time."

    That wasn't mentioned in your instructions and that certainly wasn't what I expected when I purchased the product. A month is a long time to "take the necessary precautions", which I presume means, don't get wet, don't wipe down etc.

    1. Hi Marie,
      Thanks for posting your experience with Livos. I have used it a couple of times on very small woodworking projects and loved the look of it so far. I was planning to use it on bigger projects and what you posted will help me prepare better.


  9. My piece has some bark on it (which i would like to keep). Do i just apply the countertop oil to it as i would to the rest of the wood?

  10. If there is a lot of bark and it's somewhat loose, you might want to consider using Epoxy instead. If the bark is on very strong, you could use several coats of Livos.

  11. Can you apply polyurethane over a coat of Kunos 244 to add protection?

    1. Not sure.... best to contact Livos directly as we don't put anything on top of it.

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