Drying time for BLO

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Forum topic by bluekingfisher posted 01-31-2012 11:35 AM 3082 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1250 posts in 2980 days

01-31-2012 11:35 AM

I posted earlier on a project I’m working on with reclaimed antique oak with regards to staining/finishing etc etc.

I have decided to use an oil straight onto the raw timber. I was thinking of using BLO? what is the drying time for BLO compared to say an off the shelf “Danish oil”? would BLO be a good choice or would a hardwax oil be better?

Would one coat of oil suffice prior to finishing with a couple of top coats of varnish or shellac. Any thoughts on the suitability of shellac. The project is a chimney cupboard for the dining room, which will see little in the way of use or heavy traffic.

Thanks folks.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

10 replies so far

View wisno's profile


88 posts in 3011 days

#1 posted 01-31-2012 04:26 PM

The BLO is boiled linseed oil. It is the type of oil finish. The properties is about the same with other oil finish such as: Danish oil,teak oil, tung oil or other oil finish.

I prefer to finish with shellac or varnish.


Good luck


View bluekingfisher's profile


1250 posts in 2980 days

#2 posted 01-31-2012 04:54 PM

Thanks wisno – I have used danish oil on a lot of projects but never BLO so was just wondering if it took a lot longer to dry.

Once the oil is dry I was going to finish with varnish, just not sure what type yet.

Thanks for responding

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2693 days

#3 posted 01-31-2012 05:12 PM

I’m no finishing expert…in fact, I hate it (with the exception of that first grain popping wetcoat). I’m a big fan of Danish Oil, especially the walnut tinted versions. I use it totally inappropriately on projects I shouldn’t. In my experience, BLO dries much more slowly that Danish or Tung oils. I’ve been corrected several times about how they all differ/how they’re all the same (?). If you heat the piece in the sun for a bit, it’ll really wick up the BLO and it’s a glorious thing, too. My BLO is much thicker than other oils. I’ve never cut it, which is why mine might take so long to dry. So in sum, I don’t know! Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4931 posts in 3960 days

#4 posted 01-31-2012 05:16 PM

Try this.
Old Masters tung oil wiping varnish. Put it on after the shellac. Scuff lightly between coats with wool or synthetic. About 4 coats rubbed out and waxed will give ya a great finish. Wait about a week for the wool/wax rub out. THat’ll give the varnish a little more time to cure.


View bluekingfisher's profile


1250 posts in 2980 days

#5 posted 01-31-2012 05:40 PM

Bertha/Bill – thanks for responding, every little bit helps.

Bill – I don’t know of Old Masters wiping varnish, I don’t hink we have it here in the UK at least not under that trade or brand name…..........which is half the problem I think, too much choice and branding of products that claim to be the same but are not and those which claim to be different and are not.

However, do you apply the shellac to the rawtimber then the wiping varnish on top of that once dry.

I can see why finishing is ones of those tasks you either love or fear! I’m in the second boat on that one

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4127 days

#6 posted 02-01-2012 02:18 AM

Note: Many brands of so called “Danish Oil” are NOT oils – they merely contain oil. Sometimes they contain as little as 10% oil. Although one brand of Danish Oil is 100% Polymerized Linseed Oil. The oils used in various brands of Danish Oil finishes varies from linseed oil, tung oil, modified soya oil and others. Some formulations contains more than one type of oil.

Chicken soup isn’t a chicken. It contains chicken. :)

Wiping varnishes are a good way to go on oak.

Bro. Tenzin

-- 温故知新

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2361 days

#7 posted 02-01-2012 03:23 AM

See my blog on the subject of finish selection.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2969 days

#8 posted 02-01-2012 03:54 AM

I ran into all sorts of trouble with an oak table I oil finished a couple of months ago. It went three shades darker than I wanted, wouldn’t dry, and I ended up sanding it all off and starting again. I have never seen ‘wiping varnish’ in the UK, but you can make your own by adding white spirit to Polyurethane varnish. I found a 50:50 mix was quick to dry and seal for the first coat, then 30:70 for the following coats.
It will give a good finish and dry much more quickly than oil. Drying time is a problem for me so anything that isn’t hanging around for days is good in my opinion.
You can de-nib and buff it to a nice lustre with 0000 wire wool. Wax it then if you want a shine.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2690 days

#9 posted 02-01-2012 04:11 AM

I usually mix 2 parts BLO with 1 part mineral spirits. I don’t flood the piece but rather apply a healthy squirt from a squeeze bottle and rub it over the project until it appears dry. Repeat this a couple of times the first day, then rub withdry rag every couple of hours to get any oil that weeps back. This method allows good penetration yet avoids waiting for days for it to dry. My area is very humid and this process has worked well for me. Hope this helps. My wife and I did the entire floor of my office on a Saturday and by Monday it was open for business with no stickiness.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View bluekingfisher's profile


1250 posts in 2980 days

#10 posted 02-01-2012 10:43 AM

Thanks a lot fellahs for responding, some good tips and info gleaned there.

I have given a test piece of the oak a wipe with the Danish oil (Rustins) and would appear to be the colour I am looking for.

I also tried a white spirit (mineral spirit I think) poly varnish mix then wiped that onto the bare wood. It produced a kind of dirty dark brown colour rather than the golden colour produced by the oil.

I think I’ll go with oil onto the wood, wait for it to dry then apply the poly/spirit wiping varnish mix to see how that goes.

Thank all.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

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