Pretreatment Products

Pretreatments are products that we apply to wood floors prior to applying a protective finish product. These are products that alter the color of the wood.  Most of our pretreatments are reactives that color the wood through a reaction between the product & the tannins that are naturally present in the wood. However, some of our other pretreatments are waterbased dyes.

Pretreatments are not protective coatings or finishes, but rather a method for altering the color prior to applying the protective coatings. The colors that the wood takes on can then act as the primary color, or they can act as an undertone.

Undertones can effect the final color of your floors significantly. For example; if you have a white oak floor and you were to apply a walnut colored hardwax oil onto your unfinished/unstained wood the color would appear different then if you first applied a fume, smoke or other pretreatment product to the wood first. The reason is; when you apply it directly to the light colored wood the undertone is the light natural color of the wood. Whereas, when you apply the same color of protective finish over wood that’s had it’s color altered, the result is different.

Pretreatments can also allow us to get unique textured looks, more color depth, ceruse looks and more. Below we have included some of the pretreatments we offer including; reactive stains, wood lyes, wood aging treatments, smoke treatment, fume treatment, wood bleach and more. Again, these are generally not the final color of the wood, but rather the base in which we apply another color.

We’re always happy to make samples to help show you the endless options we are able to offer.  The pretreatments we offer include some of our very own proprietary products as well as products by;  Rubio Monocoat®, Ciranova®, Woca®, Loba®, Blanchon® and more.


Rubio Monocoat®    [fume+smoke]

Rubio Monocoat® offers 2 solvent free waterbased reactive products both of which alter the color of woods through a tannic acid reaction; Fume & Smoke.  Fuming is a greying effect and Smoking is an aging effect that brings out the brownish tones in the wood. These products have the strongest effect on oak as it has a strong tannin content naturally present in the wood. This also works well on hickory, cherry & walnut. With our own tannic washes we are also able to add tannins to woods that have a lower concentration of them, allowing us to get these effects on other wood species as well.  Both of these pretreatments can act as the primary color of a wood floor or they can act as an undertone. Fume & Smoke can have an oil or waterbased stain applied over them, a clear or colored hardwax, or be finished with an oil or waterbased finish.






Fume Pretreatment with Various color samples

Fume Pretreatment with Various Color Samples



Smoke Pretreatment with various color samples

Smoke Pretreatment with Various Color Samples


Ciranova®    [reactive stains+vintage]

Ciranova® reactive stains are pretreatments that alter the color of wood floors through a natural reaction between the woods tannic acid. Ciranova Reactives can be finished with any of the hardwax oil finishes we offer including; Ciranova Magic Oil®, Rubio Monocoat Oil®, Blanchon®, Loba® + others, as well as oil + waterbased finishes. Reactive stains can act as the primary color of your floors or have a colored hardwax for a textured look.

Ciranova Reactive Stain Colors Chart - Swatch

Ciranova® Reactive Stain Colors  (Colors are shown with the reactive stain, 1 coat of hardwax magic oil white & 1 coat of natural oil)

Ciranova Reactive Stain Colors Chart - Swatch

Ciranova® Reactive Stain Colors – (Colors are shown with the reactive stain, 1 coat of hardwax magic oil white & 1 coat of natural oil)


Ciranova Vintage Reactive

Ciranova® Vintage Reactive Samples


WOCA®    [lye treatments]

WOCA® Lye treatments are reactives that add color to woods through a natural reaction between the tannic acid in the wood. Lye is a common product in our everyday lives, it’s used to make soap among other things. Woca® Lye is available in white + gray. They also make a driftwood lye also available in white + gray, as well as a softwood lye (for pine, douglas fir etc).

WOCA® Lyes can be used as a primary color or as an undertone. We’re able to finish over top of them with all types of floor finish including; waterbased, oil polyurethane, & hardwaxes.





Blanchon®    [wood aging agent]

Blanchon® wood ageing agent is another reactive product that colors and ages woods through a combination of pigments and a tannic acid reaction. Wood ageing agent works best on oak, pine & douglas fir. This product can be finished with all types of finish; oil + water based and hardwaxes.

Blanchon Wood Aging Agent


LOBA®    [active color]

Loba® Active Color is a solvent free waterbased reactive product that naturally colors wood through a tannic acid reaction. The color intensity varies based upon the wood type, as some woods contain more tannins then others.



Rhodes Hardwood  [our very own proprietary pretreatments]

In addition to offering many different reactive + pretreatment products manufactured by some of the best wood finish product companies in the world, we also make our very own reactives + pretreatments.

Wood Finishing is somewhat of an obsession of ours.  Anyone that’s ever seen our workshop could tell you that it looks more like a chemistry lab then a wood floor installers shop. You’ll find beakers, flasks, stir rods, funnels, droppers, test tubes etc. We’re constantly participating in online wood working forums learning + absorbing, exploring techniques of woodworking greats such as; Stickley + Krenov, exploring wood finishing techniques used by piano + violin makers and trying to find ways to apply many of these techniques to an entire wood floor.

Through our research and trial + error we’ve taught ourselves how to make many different reactive products similar to that of the many offered above. What’s nice about knowing how to make these we’re able to make a lighter or more intense version of any of them, we’re able to make other products that none of these companies make, we’ve made our very own tannin wash (for woods low in tannins), this allows us to add tannins to woods that otherwise would not have been effected by these reactive products and much much more.

To us wood floor finishing isn’t just a job, it’s a passion. To get full gratification from our craft, we’ll always being pushing the envelope to find new ways to color and finish wood.





Smoking products, Fuming products, Lyes, Ebonizing products, Reactive dyes, Wood Bleaches and more.  After years of studying the techniques of old wood workers such as Gustav Stickley and many others and testing various waterbased blends that we know to cause reactions to wood, we have figured out how to get nearly any tone of pretreatment possible.

Our shop looks like a laboratory with hundreds of bottles labeled with different variants of reactive products.  So if one of the manufacturers products won’t cut it, we can make more or less intense version of it as well as some other options not offered by any of them. We have even figured out how to add tannins to woods that are low in them which allows us to get many of the reactive pretreatments to work on woods that they normally wouldn’t work for. To our knowledge their is no company in the world that makes such a product.