Colour Sampling with Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C

Colour sampling…

Colour sampling especially when working on a clients project is very important, if the colour sample is not representative of the final colour it can lead to frustration and ultimately unnecessary work.

When making colour samples, it doesn’t matter if you are dealing with a wooden floor or a wooden table; the approach will be similar.


The wood selected for colour sampling needs to represent the wood that is going to be used in your project. The best way to do this is to use wood from the same batch(es) you will be using for the final project, but if this is not possible, use wood that closely matches your project.

Wood is a naturally growing material, and variations in colour within one specifies are typical and to be expected. Variation in wood colour will determine how the final colour will look when you have applied Oil Plus 2C.

For example, if there is no or minimal sapwood present in a wood floor and the color sample is performed on a primarily sapwood board, you will more than likely not get the project to match with the approved colour sample satisfactorily.

Check out the below image where a light color White Oak and a darker White Oak board are sampled with Oil Plus 2C colors Smoke 5% and Smoke.


Oil Plus 2C "Smoke" & "Smoke 5%" shown on different White Oak boards

Wood species used in a project may exhibit up to 3 colour variations within that species.

Unless the project is completed with selected wood close in colour, try to have at least 2-3 colour variations in the wood chosen for the colour sample board.



When preparing wood for colour samples, it is essential to mimic the sanding process that will be performed on the actual project, regardless if it is a wood floor or a wood table.

Sanding affects how open the grain of the wood is, and as a result, differences in sanding will allow for more or less product penetration. If using a pigmented colour, more product penetration results in more pigment, which in turn affects the final colour.

The recommended final sanding grit for Oil Plus 2C is 120.

Typically, sanding a wood floor is done with a big aggressive belt sander (using 2-3 different abrasive grits, starting coarse and using progressively finer grits) followed by a finish sanding procedure whereas a tabletop may get sanded with only random orbit sanders.

Again, when making colour samples, it is critical to mimic the exact sanding process that will be done when sanding the finish surface.

Sample preservation

Many hardwood flooring contractors sand the floor and do their colour samples directly on the floor. While this is a very good option, the approved colour sample will get sanded away. Now that proof is gone forever, and it cannot be used as a reference against the final finish colour.

Applying the sample colour

When applying a Rubio Monocoat oil like Oil Plus 2C on a colour sample board, it is essential to mimic the actual oil application process. This is more important when dealing with wood flooring vs. dealing with furniture.


Oil Plus 2C comes in a 20ml and 100ml sample size which only contain Part A only as Part B is an accelerant and hardener which does not affect colour.


In the case of hardwood floors, it is typical to use equipment like a heavy electric floor buffer to work the oil into the wood surface and follow with that same tool to towel-buff off the excess oil from the surface. This mechanical application process is not easily replicated by just applying the oil by hand wiping. So, mimic the actual floor application process with a simulated process when creating colour samples. The use of an electric sander or small automotive buffer outfitted with red/white pads and rags may be more effective than just wiping the oil by hand when creating a colour sample panel.


Compared to finishing by hand, heavy electric floor buffers typically leave the oiled wood surface feeling slightly smoother and with a slightly lighter colour.


With wood furniture, you often don't use such heavy and powerful floor finishing equipment. Instead, oiling and buffing is completed mostly by hand. In that situation, hand finishing is just fine for creating a colour sample.



 Thanks to our friends at Rubio Monocoat USA for providing some content of this post.