Sustainable Wood Finishes

Using the right finish, on the right wood texture/species, in the right location of your project is key to the longevity of your Pioneer Millworks wood flooring, paneling, or siding. We're constantly innovating to find the most healthy, sustainable, and long-lasting finishes on the market; working with finish manufacturers to obtain certifications like UL Greenguard or Declare to be transparent about their finishes make-up and sourcing.


Our recommended finishes for pre-finished are listed on each product page so you know which will work best. All of our products are also available unfinished for site-applied finishes. We're always happy to answer questions about finishes, application, wear, and maintenance, just start up a chat to learn more about any below.


We offer all of our wood flooring, paneling, and siding unfinished. This gives you the flexibility to finish as you'd like, including those that are better applied on-site like soap & lye, paint, Danish oils, etc. A few of our wood products work well left unfinished. Some come with a good deal of pre-weathering from decades of sun exposure, like our American Prairie collection of barnwood. Some have the option to weather naturally over time, like Accoya.

Hard-wax Oil & UV Cured Hard-wax Oil 

Hard wax oil gives soft, matte finish to the wood that takes well on most of our flooring and paneling products. It applies evenly, conforming well to the irregularities in texture and patina of reclaimed wood and can be easily touched up after installation. It is low-VOC, plant based, and is offered as a pre-finishing option in a set of standard colors.
UV Cured Hard-Wax Oil is the same familiar base as regular hard-wax oil but is applied to each board using a semi-automated machine process in our mills. At the end of the application line each board is passed under a specialized ultraviolet light which instantly cures the oil finish, after that the boards are ready to ship and install. Our UV Cured Hard-wax Oil finish is no-VOC, BPA-free, and UL Greengaurd Gold® certified.

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Water-based Poly

Water-based poly is a great option for flooring and paneling that requires protection, but preserves the tone of the wood's unfinished color. This clear coat is applied in 3 layers and is available in various sheens. Though prized for it’s clear color neutrality, we offer our products pre-finished in poly "naked" or a standard set of colors. It is low-VOC, plant based, and made in the USA.

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Exterior Grade Sealer

Our current exterior grade sealer is a water-based poly. It gives years of protection, limiting moisture ingress and reducing fungal and microbial attack. It is non-toxic—does not contain mercury, heavy metals, or silica. Once dried, it does not leach or become hydrolytically unstable. It is available in a variety of colors, and may be painted over once dry.

A few of our Shou Sugi Ban finishes are an exterior grade oil. We've also offered a few exterior grade sealers throughout our history as we continue to work towards a balance of sustainability and performance. Chat with your local sales rep to learn more about the finish that's has been used on your specific project if you would like details.

Pre-Primed Ready for Paint

For our siding & shiplap collection, we offer pre-primed ready for paint. This primer will block bleed that naturally occurs with wood and help prevent soaking which can result in a patchy look.  You can apply any interior or exterior grade paint from your favorite brand. Having us pre-prime your shiplap or siding saves you a step and lets you get right to personalizing once the wood is installed.

Charred Finish

A take on the traditional Japanese Yakisugi, known in the US as Shou Sugi Ban, charring wood siding and paneling before adding an additional finish gives the wood grain varying textures. Our charred finish is encapsulated with a second finish to protect the wood, add additional color, and help the char last longer in its original form. All charring with eventually fade over time as is the natural progression of this organic finish.

Pioneer Millworks offers over 50 products of Shou Sugi Ban charred siding & paneling; click to see the line here.

Commercial-grade Nano Composite Aluminum Oxide

This commercial grade finish comes with a 20 year residential/5 year commercial non-transferrable warranty and can be tinted nearly any color. Consisting of 7 UV-cured coats of nano finish, this high performance no-VOC, BPA-free finish is unequaled in wear resilience and durability.

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Fire Retardants

When requested, many of our finishes can have a Class-A fire retardant added for additional peace of mind and to meet today’s more stringent code requirements. Depending on the application, these treatments can be applied to the surface of the wood or added into the finish during the finishing process. Our sales team is here to help guide you in selecting the right system based on your application. Fire retardants comply with the manufacturers application guides and specifications and third party testing is available for specialized applications.

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Antimicrobial Finishes

We believe that there is more research to be done on antimicrobials as a finish/coating option and its effects on human health and planet sustainability over time. Because of this, we are not offering antimicrobial finishes for our wood flooring, paneling, or siding products at this time. Below is an excerpt from Joint Statement on Antibicrobials in Building Products, of which we are a signatory:

What we know about antimicrobials

  • Lack of Proven Positive Human Health Impact: There is little evidence that using building products with added antimicrobials results in reduced infections and disease. Demonstrating this would require epidemiological studies (including randomized controlled trials) showing that building products containing particular antimicrobials reduce the number of people infected with specific pathogens. These studies have generally not been conducted.

  • Known Adverse Health Impacts: Antimicrobials are designed to kill or inhibit the growth of microbes. The same features that make these chemicals effective against microbes can harm human health and the environment. More research is needed to understand the extent to which they may do so.

  • Antimicrobial Resistance: Studies have shown that microbes are becoming resistant to commonly used antimicrobials, and that exposure to these commonly used antimicrobials can also produce resistance to the antibiotics we depend on to fight disease. 

What we don't know

  • The Full Extent of Adverse Health Impacts: There are few publicly available hazard assessments of the chemicals most commonly used as antimicrobials.

  • Product Content: Disclosure of additives is becoming more prevalent, but antimicrobials often fall below reporting thresholds for transparency documents. Sometimes chemical ingredient information is withheld as proprietary, or trade names covering numerous chemical mixtures are reported, in lieu of reporting the exact chemical ingredient(s). 

-- Joint statement on antimicrobials letter, March 2021.

To read more about antimicrobials, please visit Mindful Materials led "JOINT STATEMENT ON ANTIMICROBIALS IN BUILDING PRODUCTS" letter signed by Pioneer Millworks and other building material manufactures, architects, builders, and designers.