Wooden table tops need to have a layer of protective coating (also known as finish), to one protect them against water and stains and two to bring out the beauty of the grains. The tabletops at Grey and Sanders are finished with Rubio Monocoat, a Belgian hard wax oil. Since we started operations four years ago, we have experimented with various ways to finish our tabletops, and after many experiments, and after many lessons learnt (some more painful than others), we conclude that it is the best product in the market for wood slab table tops. This article lists the reasons why we love this product.

#1 It Preserves the Natural Beauty of Wood

The main reason why we use Rubio Monocoat is that it preserves the natural beauty of wood by preserving its basic textures and grains. This feature is especially important for wood slab furniture, which is an organic artform that derives its aesthetic value more from nature than man. Rubio is able to achieve this by seeping into the wood and strengthening it, while maintaining a very thin layer of finish on the surface. In contrast, most wooden furniture in the market are finished with lacquer, which forms a protective layer over the wood. This layer is literally a thin sheet of plastic-like material on your tabletop, which gives many of the products in the market an artificial feel.

The Rubio finishing (right) gives a much darker tone and a subtle sheen to the American Black Walnut, compared to the clear Lacquer finish (left)


#2 It Protects Furniture Well

Besides looking awesome, Rubio Monocoat also protects furniture well against physical and chemical wear and tear. While there are other products besides Rubio Monocoat that could achieve a natural look (Oil-based finishes - Danish oil, Linseed oil, etc), they fall short in the durability department. They are typically much less resistant to physical and chemical wear and tear. These oil finishes do not harden the wood as much, making the furniture more susceptible to scratches, nicks and dents. The water resistance for oil-based finishes is also less robust, which is why many traditionally finished furniture tend to accumulate watermarks over time. Rubio Monocoat is a game-changer because it protects wood well while maintaining the natural look. A testament to its hardiness, Rubio Monocoat was first developed as a product for flooring!

The Rubio Monocoat oil is engineered in such a way that it protects both the surface and core of the wood, giving it good protection against water and making it highly scratch resistant!


#3 It is Environmentally-Friendly

Rubio Monocoat is environmentally-friendly - it is great for both the environment and the health of your loved ones. In fact, it is made purely from plant-based products and is 100% Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) free. In contrast, most modern finishes emit toxic VOCs into the environment, which is harmful for the surrounding human population, wildlife, and contributes to global warming. VOCs are also known carcinogens. Your body’s reaction to VOCs is probably the most intuitive litmus test to warn you of its harms - most people start tearing and coughing when they first get exposed to high concentrations of VOCs. In comparison, the all-natural Rubio Monocoat emits a pleasant scent reminiscent of the apple-cinnamon pie (in our humble opinion).

Rubio Monocoat all-natural oil wood finishes are plant-based, non-toxic, VOC-free finishes of extraordinary durability.


#4 Easy Maintenance and Repair

Lastly, Rubio Monocoat is ridiculously easy to maintain and repair. We find that this is important because sometimes the damage is inevitable (especially if you have kids/pets), and life’s too short to fret over avoiding scratches to your table. Indeed, we are the most direct beneficiary of the ease of repairs - With over 300 slabs in our inventory, and so much movement between locations, accidents happen sometimes. Thanks to Rubio Monocoat, we can repair our wood slabs easily and rapidly. Other lacquers, while slightly more durable, are impossible to spot-repair (Trust us - we have paid many a painful lesson.). What this means is that the whole table must be sanded down and refinished just to address a localised scratch. This advantage also translates to your own ease of maintenance at home! We sell maintenance kits which you could use to polish your table after it gets dull after a while, or if you accidentally scratch it. Some wine stains on your table? Fret not - there is a Rubio soap to get rid of the stains!


We have done nothing but sung praises about this product. Lest we be accused of bias-ness, here are the downsides:

One, Rubio Monocoat is more costly than other finishes. Two, It is also less forgiving on the craftsman - while lacquer finishes could cover up sanding that was not done to perfection, Rubio demands that the table be sanded evenly and smoothly. Nevertheless, we find that this is a small price to pay compared to the satisfaction of seeing and touching a perfectly-finished natural wood slab, and the ease of mind knowing that this product is environmentally-friendly, durable, and easy to maintain.

Curious to know what a Rubio Monocoat finished slab looks/feels/smells like? Call or WhatsApp us at (+65) 8371 8864 to book a free consultation and check out the tabletops in our showrooms!

Wide range of wood slabs in Grey & Sanders for you to choose from!
Pop in our showrooms and our helpful team is ready to assist you.
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