Worst Smelling Finish? Best? Least Toxic? Most Toxic?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by econsigny posted 932 days ago 1092 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View econsigny's profile


9 posts in 963 days

932 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: tung oil linseed to blo finish ventilation smell

I recently asked how bad BLO smells because I thought I may be finishing a piece with it in a not so well ventilated basement.

I got a lot of responses, which varied, and I would be interested to see what everyone’s opinion is across a variety of finishes and not just BLO, seeing that I haven’t had much experience with any.

So, Tung Oil? BLO? Water based finished? Oil based?
What smells, what doesn’t?
What cannot you ABSOLUTELY NOT finish indoors?
What’s most sensitive (to temperature? light? ventilation? other stuff?) and least sensitive?
And anything else you can think of- I’m just looking for some insight into all these different options.

Furthermore, consider it being applied to walnut.

EDIT: What is most resilient? Think of it being applied to a coffee table that will be used by adults.

7 replies so far

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1567 days

#1 posted 932 days ago

Rustin’s Danish Oil. It’s the worst smelling product I have ever come across, and the smell lingers for days. Nice finish though.

View willie's profile


456 posts in 1053 days

#2 posted 932 days ago

I’ve used some catalized lacquers that were extremely nasty smelling!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1386 posts in 959 days

#3 posted 931 days ago

The odor of a finish that hasn’t dried/cured shouldn’t even be a consideration in its choice.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View chrisstef's profile


10399 posts in 1605 days

#4 posted 931 days ago

Spar Varnish was the worst in terms on stench that i have used. Never had any probalems with BLO in my basement shop.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2175 days

#5 posted 931 days ago

Consider water base finishes the have a lot less odor. Many of the older finishes like Blo and tung oil can take a lot longer to dry than more modern finishes ,keeping the smell around for a long time.

-- Custom furniture

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2079 days

#6 posted 931 days ago

I hate the oder from Liberon Black Bison paste wax. It lingers for days too. Guess I was expecting a smell like shoe polish, but it has a very putrid smell to it.

I would like to know how to get the lingering order from finishes out of cabinets, chests, and trunks after they are finished. Some seem to last for months and sealing them doesnt seem to help.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View NiteWalker's profile


2704 posts in 1175 days

#7 posted 931 days ago

I really only use a few finishes; zinsser sealcoat (dewaxed shellac) and crystalac I spray indoors with a boxfan and filter in the window sucking out the exhaust. Can’t even smell the finish during use.

I use krylon and rustoleum spray paints too, but not indoors.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase