Rubio Monocoat Pre-Color Easy


This month I thought I’d introduce you to a newish Rubio Monocoat product that we haven’t had a chance to write about yet. It’s called RMC Pre-Color Easy and it is a very cool addition to the Rubio Monocoat line.

Rubio Color Wheel

Basically it’s like a stain or dye that you apply to the wood before applying the Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C. But, unlike normal stain, because its specially developed to be used with the Oil Plus 2C, the molecular bonding of the oil to the wood (as we talked about in this blog post ) is still guaranteed.

By using both the Pre-Color Easy and the Oil Plus 2C together it allows you to come up with virtually endless possibilities of amazing and unique color combinations.

So let’s have a look at some of the colors that are possible.

To start with, here are the 14 stock Pre-Color Easy shades available straight out of the can…

Rubio Pre-Color Easy

There are some very nice colors there. But you’re not just limited to what comes in the can.

You can mix any one of those 14 colors together to come up with whatever custom shade and color blend you like.

On top of that you can also use the colored Oil Plus 2C over the top of the pre-color treatment to give it an even deeper, richer custom look. In the chart below you get an idea of some of the cool colors that can be made with different variations of the colored Oil Plus 2C…

Pre-Color Samples

This chart shows what is possible with just 5 colors of Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C. There are 40 colors in total, so you can imagine the unlimited creative possibilities that are available!

And if you want to stretch your creativity even further – all colours with­in the RMC Pre-Color Easy series can also be diluted with water to allow for even more lighter colored shades.

Can you see why we love this hardwax oil product so much?

RMC Pre-Color Easy Training Day

Last month we went to a Rubio Monocoat training day in Chicago to get caught up with the latest techniques in using RMC Pre-Color Easy. It was held by an extremely experienced hardwood floor coatings expert – Johannes Boonstra.

I have a lot of respect for Johannes so I’m very happy that he has joined the Rubio Monocoat team and I can call on him for expert advice when I have questions about their products.


Below you can see him applying Pre-Color Easy Intense Black to an oak sample board…

Pre-Color Easy Black

As you can see it definitely is a very intense black color. If you want a really dark floor then this could be what you’ve been looking for.

Then below you can see the Oil Plus 2C being applied over the top of the Pre-Color Easy treatment…

Pre-Color Easy Black White

The color oil used was 5% White.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the finished sample board – I was having too much fun. But not too long after this class, we got to do a Mystic Brown + White Rubio Monocoat floor in Naperville. Not quite as dark as the Intense Black, but it will give you an idea of the effect…

Rubio Monocoat Black with White Oil

The other 2 colors on the board are the Fume treatment and the Smoke treatment which are different to the Pre-Color Easy treatment.

If you’ve read some of my other articles on this blog, you know I’m a big fan of Rubio Monocoat. Now, with this new pre-treatment and the creative possibilities it represents, I’m an even bigger fan. I love this product.

So, if you would like to have completely unique custom hardwood floors in your home, then give us a call and we’ll have some fun with color combinations from this line of Rubio Monocoat products together.

The hardest part will be deciding on a final color.

Updated June 2020

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I have some old maple wood floors that I am in the process of sanding and refinishing. I was looking for a stain for maple wood flooring on the internet and came across your website. I would like to learn more about your Rubio Monocoat floor finishes and would like to know if this is a product that I could use on my maple floors.


Hi Adriane,

Yes it definitely can be used on maple floors. You can read more about this product on another blog post I wrote here:


I wonder which Precolour Easy will darken the Natural Oil Finish PINE best into a rich reddish brown: Cashmere Brown or Vintage Brown or even Smoked Brown? I have to match new window frames to existing old frames…
Also, how can I remove fat stains from a floor treated/finished with Rubio Natural Oil Pure?

I live in River Forest, IL.
Thank you,
Mrs. Almut Roberts

Hi Mrs Roberts,

I would test a few colors out to ensure a good match. My first choice though would be Smoked Brown + Pure from your description.

For the stains in your floor, you will need to lightly sand the area until it is removed and then re-apply the oil. It is very important to know the sanding and application sequence the contractor used so the repair color matches the rest of the floor.

Since you are close by, feel free to give me a call if you need some help.



Have you done any Red Oak floors with the Rubio Precolor Easy yet? Anything to watch out for?

The Rubio rep suggested Precolor “Intense Grey” then “White” or “White 5%” oil to get the Fumed look (he did not recommend fuming red oak as it might turn many boards mildew green). The fumed look is too dark for me though. I am trying to get to that light brown/gray reclaimed wood color so I’m thinking the ‘Mint White’ Precolor might cancel the pink then apply the Biscuit or Havanna Monocoat Oil on top?

There are SO MANY of us out there with 2 1/4″ RED Oak floors that are trying to create the white oak weathered wood look and so little information on how to do this with Rubio (everything is on White Oak). I’m wondering if you’ve done any that have come out successfully?


Hi Angela,

I have done a lot of fuming on red oak and it works fine. Here’s the latest one:

It’s standard 2 1/4″ red oak, fumed and finished with Rubio Monocoat Super White 2c.

Red oak does react with fumed,but much less than white oak.

I just actually applied fumed on red oak a few hours ago. Tomorrow we will be applying the super white.


I have wasted money on a number of precolor easy stains in the hopes of darkening the wood in the desired color tone before applying the oil plus 2c (which alone is not dark enough). If this company were smarter, they would replicate the stain colors that they have in the oils so customers could darken to their desired shade. Instead, Rubio monocoat provides a whole new set of colors, none of which work with the color tones of the oil 2c colors that I’m using. It’s bad enough that poor quality color swatches on the website look almost nothing like the real life color you get after application.

I also doubt that there is anything proprietary to the precolor stains and it just seems a business ploy to capture their customers’ spending on related products while then overcharging them for small quantities of what they can get elsewhere (locally) for reasonable prices. I would be willing to bet that any alcohol based dye stain would not affect the bonding adherence of the oil plus 2c to the wood base and early experiments seem to be bearing this out.

‘Proprietary’ verbiage rationalizes overcharging for precolor stains at $20+ dollars for 3.4 fl oz (100ml) or $80 for 1 liter. I can’t stand companies that pull this crap.

Hi J,

Sorry you’re having trouble getting the right color match. That is very frustrating and we’ve been there many times.

The point of these pre-colors though is to completely change the look of the floor color though, not to provide the same shade but darker. Did you water pop the floor before applying the oil? This is the best way to get a darker shade. It also makes the finish much stronger too. We water pop all our Rubio Monocoat floors.

Not sure about the proprietary of the pre-colors either but as most of our floors are in the multiple thousands of dollars range, spending a few extra dollars to ensure compatibility and adhesion is well worth it for us. Finish companies spend big bucks and a LOT of time to get their products right. Yes, we don’t like paying the prices we have to for high-end finishes either, but its better than the alternative of experimenting on 1,000+ squre feet and something going wrong. Then you’re in for a lot more time, money and stress.

For us it’s just part of business and we’re willing to pay for a sure thing for our clients vs some alternative that may or may not work.

Hope your floors turn out well for you.


Hey Tadas,

Any recommendations for staining the interior of a timber framed home, made out of red pine? We are hoping to use Rubio Monocoat stain, our first trial run ended up a little blotchy.
Please help ( :


Hi Shannon,

Sorry for the delay. Pine is notorious for being blotchy. Try water popping it first and see how that goes.


I have 200-year-old wide board PINE floors in my house that I am refinishing. I have been experimenting with Oil Plus 2C. As close to natural/untreated, leaning toward white is the desired finish.

So far I have tried:
1. Pure/Clear: As expected, produces a yellow/amber finish.
2. White: Brings out the red streaks and imperfections in the wood.
3. Natural: This is closest to desired finish, but the tone is somewhat flesh colored.

Now, my thought is to apply one of the white stains (Nordic,Alpaca,Mint) first and then coat with Pure Oil.

Another reason that I am considering this method is that I have varied gaps between the boards and when I used the White or Natural Oil, the pigment would spill into the gaps. With the Precolor dye, I could apply with more care using a brush.

What are your thoughts on that?

Hi Roman,

Sounds like a good plan.


I have made several slab tables and used Rubio monocoat and love this product , this time I have a walnut slab that my wife wants me to try adding or creating grey and black in it rather than the natural browns ? Does anyone have any input on this of what to use ??

Hi Mike,

Maybe start with the Intense Black + White and see how that looks.


Please help! I love the Rubio product but am having a hard time getting a medium toned brown/gray. I have white oak flooring. I like the light to medium reclaimed look. I’ve tried mizing different oils. And tried some precolor. Don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Thank you!

Hi Julie,

Have you tried pre-color black with Monsoon Grey? Hope you can get the shade you like.


Hi Tadas would love some advice from your expertise. I have already applied PCE and RMC oil on top without the 2C. Unfortunately I was told by the shop I bought the product from that I could apply PCE like a paint, very heavy with multiple coats to match by prefinished hardwood. Now that 30 days have gone by the finish is still susceptible to water and can smudge it if I rub it a bit with my thumb. I believe this is due to the excessive PCE. I am thinking that I will need to use a oil based topcoat (water based would remove the PCE) to seal in the application and make it durable. (I quite like the finish I achieved so I don’t want to redo) Any suggestions on product and application? Obviously based on using RMC I am looking for something very low VOC. Thanks for any help!

Hi Farooq,

The missing step was not using the accerator (2C). The PCE with multiple coats is fine. Best to maroon pad to open up the grain and put another coat on with the 2C this time.

Hope you can get it sorted.


You say you water pop all of your rubio monocoat floors and that it makes the finish “stronger”. In what ways does it make the finish stronger? Have you tested samples next to each other with the only difference being the water popping?


Hi Zach,

Water popping opens up the grain and allows the oil to penetrate deeper = a stronger, longer lasting finish.

Yes we have tested it.


Hi Tadas

I am looking to treat ash wood with 5% mist…we have tried many variations of the Monocoat produsts. 1) Smoke seemed to have little impact on the ash but did raise the grain – one dealer told me that the smoke is really for white oak, 2)PCE products did not seem the color evenly as the ash has spots that do no absorb the color and the colors never matched the picture (got tried of buying samples).

So we think the water popping with the 5% mist will give us a nice finish…do we need to water pop and use the red buffering pad (does the red pad not open up the grain?) How long should we wait after water popping to apply oil?

Thanks for your help…

Hi Philip,

Yes I would water pop for sure. Allow it to thoroughly dry before applying it. Should only take an hour or so depending on the weather and humidity levels.


Hello! Love you site and all the great info! I am having hardwood floors put in the bedrooms of my home and I want to use the Rubio Monocoat but i need it to match or flow with the existing floors throughout the home that are traditionally stained dark walnut oil. Any advice on what Rubio color combo will match or at least transition/flow from the existing floors? Thanks!!

Hi Janelle,

That’s a tough one for me to say without seeing the floor in person. I would say find a reputable flooring business and get them to make some samples for you. There is such a huge range of possible color combinations you should be able to get pretty close. Once you have a close match, get them to prep the new floors and apply the color next to the existing flooring, just to be sure.


Hi Tadas,

Love your blog!

We have 4″ wide, flat sawn red oak floors. They are currently coated with RMC Vanilla, which we’ve gotten tired of. There’s kind of an orange undertone to the Vanilla that we should have anticipated but didn’t.

We’d like to accomplish three things with our next RMC floor: (1) quiet the grain of the red oak as much as possible and have an even color and tone across the floor; (2) eliminate as much of the pink undertones in the red oak as we can; (3) keep the floors very light but also natural, i.e., I don’t want them to look like they have white highlights. If I were building our house from scratch, I’d install rift sawn white oak floors, but alas, that’s not an option.

I’m getting ready to order a bunch of samples to try out but interested in your thoughts. I was thinking about trying one of the lighter precolors (Alpaca White, Nordic White or Mint White) followed by a lighter 2C color (Natural, Mist 5%, Corn Silk, DC Smoke or Smoke). What do you think? Would using the Smoke effect after the precolor and before the 2C help?

Thanks in advance!


Hi there, Tadas & Michael!
We are trying to achieve very similar goals with our red oak. Namely, quieting the grain and the pink undertones. That said, we might like ours just a bit whiter – more of a bleached scandi look. Just wondering if either of you have any suggestions, recipes, and/or outcome photos after using Alpaca White, Nordic White or Mint White.

Thanks so much for your assistance and advice.

Hi Michael,

You’re definitely on the right track, except I wouldn’t recommend using Smoke reactivate because it tends to fade and will loose the effect completely in some time.

Try out the colors above and see which is your favorite.

Hope it goes well!



We have some exposed, unfinished Douglas Fir beams in our house. These are just rough lumber needed for structural reasons. Everything else in our house is a light natural Color. These beams stand out due to the natural orangish red of the wood. What’s the best way to get the Red/Orange? We want them as light as possible almost like they’ve been bleached. I’ve tried the white, smoke and mist stains, but they still looked red, just with a white or grey film on them. What would you suggest? Should I precolor?

Hi Josiah,

Try Mint White or Nordic White and see how that looks. There’s also another product we’ll be testing out soon called Loba PreTone White:

Looks promising for applications like yours.


Hi- I have a maple wood slab that I am turning into a table. Do you have any recommendations?

Hi JB,

Make sure you water pop it first. After that the color choice is yours. Maybe do a few test with the sample kit to see what you like.


I’m looking for some input on getting red oak stained a very dark brown/grey that doesn’t pull red hues. In your experience, is there a reasonable way to achieve this on red oak using the Monocoat system? Is using white oak going to be the better choice for achieving a color like this?

Hi Jared,

White oak will definitely be better.

If you have existing red oak, try pre-color easy Nordic White + Charcoal. Or a Charcoal/Chocolate mix.


Hi! Have quite a problem on my hands. Ordered red oak parquet to match existing red oak parquet. Vendor sent white oak, and I didn’t notice until it was already installed and we started sanding it all. Now I need to try to get them to match as much as possible, while staying with as light a color as I can (ideally they’d match the white/red oak stairs we did in 5% Mist). Any suggestions? The red oak is quite pink:(

Hi Mandy,

This is a very common mistake we come across.

The best fix is to replace the wood with matching product. But this isn’t always an option. There is a new product available from Ciranova that can help somewhat with this…

We haven’t tested it yet ourselves but it looks promising.

We have another option we’ve been testing but it’s complicated and not DIY friendly.

Hope you can get them sorted.


Hi, really hoping you can help us — we thought we’d done some pretty thorough research on our latest Rubio project (we went with Bourbon for about 1500 sq ft of flooring). It turns out our existing flooring was white oak when we thought it was red. The new flooring we used to replace really damaged boards and for the kitchen — which is now open to the dining room — are red oak. We’ve finished the floors with one coat of Bourbon Oil Plus 2C last night. Results were what you would probably expect – not ok.

Rubio suggested re-sanding the red oak and applying Pre-color Easy in one of the browns, then reapplying the Bourbon, but it was very informally via chat. We’ve got plenty of Bourbon left.

I’m also considering just selecting a color that looks similar to Bourbon on White Oak and applying that to the red oak, but wanted to ask an expert who understands how the colors work and how to neutralize the red oak characteristics. On my computer, it looks like Olive, Savanna or Havana may be the best. Please let us know your thoughts. I’m surprised I couldn’t find an example of this scenario online, but maybe nobody makes this kind of mistake but us? Thank you so much in advance!!


Hi Rebekah,

Sounds like you have the same issue as Mandy in the comment above.

Again, I would recommend trying the new Ciranova Pink Blocker product if you can get your hands on some.

Take a few spare pieces of wood and do some tests. Use a few different colors, or mixes of colors/dilutions to get one that matches well. Make sure you are accurate in measuring the mix so you can replicate it again in a larger amount.

When you’re ready to do the floor, tape of the boards really well and let the Pink Blocker react and dry overnight. It should help neutralize the red oak. Then re-apply the custom mix of Rubio you used on your sample.

Hope you can get it looking good Rabekah.


What pre color and oil +2c combo do you think would give German beech wood a dark chocolate finish?

Hi Bob,

Not too sure on Beech as we haven’t experimented with that, but I’d start with Antique Beige (or one of the Grey’s) and Black.


I am sorry, I am very much a novice. My father and I are building a dining room table. We haven’t purchased the wood yet but I think we are going to use a white oak. I really like the way the grain is highlighted on the floors above in a light tone. Can that be done with one pre-color and one 2c?

I like the color of charcoal 2c but I’d like a little more grey to it. I may just stick to that since we are beginners. Still I thought I would ask.

Okay so if I want the look of that gorgeous video you posted for Angela above for red oak what I need to do is use just the Fumed first. Then just the super white over that after? Those are the only products I need to buy? Thanks so much.

Hi Layla,

Sorry for the delay. Yes all you need is Rubio Monocoat Fumed and the Super White oil.

Hope it goes well.


Hi Tadas!

I’ve just come across your video. I am looking to achieve a black kitchen with rift wood veneer. The black on the oak looks too dark like a chalk board . My kitchen maker said I can have black or brown. Looking at your post it seems like I can have an off black? Or black brown? How would you achieve an off black and also a black brown for a contemporay rift wood veneer please then I can do the samples myself and show him :)) thanks Donna

Hi Donna,

Have a look at Project #21 here:

That is an black-brown looking floor. It’s Pre-Color Brown + 5% White. You could also try the opposite. Something like Nordic White pre-color and then Black.


Hi! We just bought anew house with Brazilian cherry aka Jatoba. We are currently in the process of trying to figure out which stains we’d like to use.
We’d like to somewhat kill the red, so we’re willing to go very dark, however, my partner has made it very clear that they are not looking to making the floor black.

While they have not worked with Rubio Monocoat on Brazilian cherry, they did mention that the wood is very dense and that water popping Brazilian cherry is not ideal because it’s supposedly an oily wood. Can I ask what your thoughts are on that?

To kill the red a bit, should we just use a percentage of Intense Black? Does that mean diluting it with water? Or should we do a mix of a brown stain with Intense Black? Any suggestions on mixes or colour?

We’re not entirely sure about which colour for the Finishing Oil. What are your thoughts on which colour?

Hi Cathy,

You need to use Rubio Raw Wood Cleaner to prep the Brazilian Cherry first. As for color, you can use a mix of Pre-Color Easy (not stain) and Rubio Oil Plus 2C or just the Rubio oil. You will definitely want to do a few test samples first as the color goes on differently with BC vs oak flooring. Intense Black may look ok for what you are trying to do. That will turn out a dark brown. Charcoal would be a darker black shade. Don’t mix it with water, mix it with a lighter colored oil.


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