Boiled Linseed Oil as a Finish??

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bwise.157

Burning Hunk
Oct 24, 2013
128
heath, ohio
A question for all the woodworkers out there: What is the best finish to use on top of Boiled Linseed Oil?

I am making a couple bench seats from an old oak plank that is 12" wide and 2" thick for my wife (making two 48" benches from a 16' long plank). This will be for inside the house. We want a rustic look, so I don't want a dark, glossy finish that will hide the character of the wood. I have put one coat of BLO on the plank so far, and love the way it looks. I was planning on several more coats.

What is the best finish on top of the BLO? Clear satin polyurethane? Or, just leave the BLO finish as the only thing?

This is what it looks like so far.
15fadf56e4a325f146280e28723cbdb6.jpg

I am a rookie at this, so any advice is appreciated!
 
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DUMF

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2016
297
Vermont
A question for all the woodworkers out there: What is the best finish to use on top of Boiled Linseed Oil?

I am making a couple bench seats from an old oak plank that is 12" wide and 2" thick for my wife (making two 48" benches from a 16' long plank). This will be for inside the house. We want a rustic look, so I don't want a dark, glossy finish that will hide the character of the wood. I have put one coat of BLO on the plank so far, and love the way it looks. I was planning on several more coats.

What is the best finish on top of the BLO? Clear satin polyurethane? Or, just leave the BLO finish as the only thing?

This is what it looks like so far.
View attachment 189032

I am a rookie at this, so any advice is appreciated!
NO ! Not much will cover over boiled linseed oil. Either get rid of this finish with solvents or stay with more coats of linseed oil.
Nice look but attracts dirt, but easy to recoat.
Next time look at the Minwax finishes for durability and variety.
 
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mustash29

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2012
675
SE CT
You may want to do some more sanding. Maybe with a belt sander. The pic looks like it has residual shadows or marks from a huge circular saw blade that run from north west to south east.

I like the current look. I am a huge fan of the "This end up" or "crate" furniture that is made from southern yellow pine with a hand oiled finish. I have their office desk and continually look for dressers & book shelves on CL. I also have a cheap (Walmart) but classy looking end table and coffee table that has an oiled finish. We dust & clean them regularly with a damp cloth. Once or twice a year they get wiped down with "Old English lemon oil" and they look fantastic. It takes a day or two for the lemon oil to soak in but once it does they are dry to the touch, not sticky, not tacky & next weeks dust wipes right off with a damp cloth. If you get a nick or scratch just massage a bit of the lemon oil into it and it basically disappears. You can't do that with stain & a polyurethane top coat.
 

bwise.157

Burning Hunk
Oct 24, 2013
128
heath, ohio
You may want to do some more sanding. Maybe with a belt sander. The pic looks like it has residual shadows or marks from a huge circular saw blade that run from north west to south east.

I like the current look. I am a huge fan of the "This end up" or "crate" furniture that is made from southern yellow pine with a hand oiled finish. I have their office desk and continually look for dressers & book shelves on CL. I also have a cheap (Walmart) but classy looking end table and coffee table that has an oiled finish. We dust & clean them regularly with a damp cloth. Once or twice a year they get wiped down with "Old English lemon oil" and they look fantastic. It takes a day or two for the lemon oil to soak in but once it does they are dry to the touch, not sticky, not tacky & next weeks dust wipes right off with a damp cloth. If you get a nick or scratch just massage a bit of the lemon oil into it and it basically disappears. You can't do that with stain & a polyurethane top coat.
I thought about sanding some more, but we actually like the raw look of the plank. The plank is very old, and was pulled out of a barn that was in my family for 150+ years. We were trying to keep a piece of the family history alive without altering it too much. I don't exactly know how old the plank is, but it has some age to it.

That picture was taken about 30 minutes after my first coat of BLO, so it hasn't had a chance to absorb much yet. I will give it a few days to dry, then apply another coat.

I have no problem reapplying an oil to the plank once a year or so, if needed. More than likely the bench will be for decoration and not actually used much for sitting.
 

Longstreet

Feeling the Heat
Mar 14, 2014
310
Atlanta
I don't have time for a detailed response right now, but I will get to it this afternoon.

Keep doing what you are doing. You can put both oil and water based varnishes over boiled linseed oil. This afternoon, I will let you know why I think water based may fit your project.
 
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Montanalocal

Feeling the Heat
Dec 22, 2014
377
Helena MT
This site has a lot of info about linseed oil and linseed oil paint. I have been using it to refinish my deck and log home. Their raw linseed oil is a fantastic product. I would never be without it.

http://www.solventfreepaint.com
 

sportbikerider78

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2014
2,493
Saratoga, NY
Can't you get the same look with a normal stain? What is the benefit?

All poly finishes for me inside the house. The less work the better.
 

tigeroak

Feeling the Heat
Nov 4, 2012
355
kansas illinois
I have never used BLO as a finish and I have refinished more than most people will ever see. I would use a wax like bri wax and put on 2-3 coats and buff it out with a soft cloth. I use a vinyl sanding sealer 1 coat then sand between coats of a high end lacquer up to 4 coats . I use this for years on antique furniture. I would not put a poly on a dog house. It will not hold up. Put a refinished poly item in the rain and one I done and see which one changes to white. I have read on the back of their poly cans after a few years in traffic areas it will need to be replaced.
 

mike van

Feeling the Heat
Apr 24, 2013
361
Kent Ct
You can get the same look from one of the Danish oil finishes, then follow it with oil base poly. We used Watco oil on on the chestnut kitchen I made almost 30 years ago, and followed it with 3 coats of poly [oil base] except for a few wear spots, it still look good. All our [oak] floors, poly too. I like it. No, outside in the rain it will not hold up, but what does? The walnut on this desk was done 15 years ago, poly over Watco oil.
desk2x.jpg
 

BenTN

Feeling the Heat
Aug 30, 2015
345
East TN
I just finished a barnwood credenza with a poly/oil mix. 1 part mineral spirits, 1 part BLO, 1 part minwax wipe on gloss polyurethane. I will try and post pics in a bit. I love this finish, it keeps a rustic, feel good to touch finish. the trick I have found is hand wiping/rubbing the last coat, the gloss stays more of a satin.
 
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bwise.157

Burning Hunk
Oct 24, 2013
128
heath, ohio
Here is a pic of the top. 3 coats of the poly/oil.
That is about the look I am going for. I have been doing some reading, and found lots of good information about doing the mineral spirits, BLO and oil based clear finish combination.

Do you sand down the finish at all between coats?
 

BenTN

Feeling the Heat
Aug 30, 2015
345
East TN
000 steelwool between coats. you made need more than 3 coat depending on how thirsty the wood is. that pic doesn't do the finish justice imo. try it on a scrap piece and see what you think.
 
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BenTN

Feeling the Heat
Aug 30, 2015
345
East TN
Was going to mention. if you would like to keep the sawmill/ ruff sawn look, try sanding with fine grit 120+ which leaves alot of the saw marks but smooth to touch.
 

Lake Girl

Moderator
Nov 12, 2011
6,940
NW Ontario
Old weathered wood is usually thirsty wood! Just refinished my Muskoka (Adirondack) chairs and they could still use another coat or two...

PS Thanks for the additional info. Have some rough cut pine from a tree in our yard and was hoping to keep the rustic feel but not the slivers!
 

bwise.157

Burning Hunk
Oct 24, 2013
128
heath, ohio
This just needs a couple coats of an oil based varnish/mineral spirits mixture yet. Two coats of BLO applied that really brought the life back to a weathered plank of oak.
2e3f4de1162bbb0ed240f2e0bdada691.jpg
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,328
Schenectady, NY
BLO and furniture wax is a fine finish to use indoors.
 
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