Using Boiled Linseed Oil

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Forum topic by DocK posted 05-31-2009 06:19 AM 4300 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 2726 days

05-31-2009 06:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I sawed up a bunch of pine 4 X 4’s, air dried, and will be using them to build an arbor over my deck. I like the look of the boiled linseed oil and was wondering if anyone had any experience using the oil for a preservative. Not much moisture in this country but some.



-- DocK

6 replies so far

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3337 days

#1 posted 05-31-2009 01:31 PM

Oil on wood for outdoor projects is always good but you will need to reapply it every few years. BLO will act as a water repellent but won’t last forever. Also BLO alone has no UV inhibitors so don’t be surprised if it still goes gray after some time.

Your best bet really is a natural oil stain, which has oil in it, uv inhibitors and some pigment (which also aids with uv ) but which also enhances the natural color – that is, if you want to retain that natural wood color.

Good luck and post some pics when you are done!

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3167 days

#2 posted 05-31-2009 01:54 PM

You might also think about tung oil, if you just want an oil finish. I think it will hold up better to the weather, but like Steve said, you’ll have to reapply it every year or so.

View DocK's profile


19 posts in 2726 days

#3 posted 05-31-2009 06:22 PM

Thanks for the info!

-- DocK

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3551 days

#4 posted 05-31-2009 08:08 PM


Real Tung Oil, not “TUNG OIL FINISH” has been used for centuries in Asia for outdoor wood including boats.

Real Tung Oil:
1. Dries faster than BLO.
2. Doesn’t require heavy metal drying agents.
3. Doesn’t yellow and darken as much as BLO.
4. It lasts longer between recoatings.

Tung Oil is best applied “fat over lean.” Start by diluting Tung Oil 1:1 with mineral spirits. Use this as your initial treatment. Let it soak in then wipe off the excess after about 30 minutes. Allow it to dry for about 2 or 3 days, then rub on thin coats of full strength Tung Oil. Repeat for about 3 to 5 thin coats, allowing each coat to dry for about 2 days.

You might want to consider using a good spar (marine) varnish. Especially, one made with Tung Oil (e.g. WaterLox, Epifanes, etc.)
Note: Consumer brands of spar varnish, such as Minwax Helmsman aren’t real spar varnish. That one is actually a diluted form of so-called “spar urethane”, a long oil varnish made from inexpensive ingredients.

For UV protection, you might want to consider Sikkens Cetol.

Be willing to experiment.

-- 温故知新

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 3000 days

#5 posted 05-31-2009 08:37 PM

Hey Dock
It looks like DRgoodwood covered it’s use . Boiled linseed oil is not really boiled it’s just linseed oil with a chemical dryer. Many people use it but newer types of finish are much more durable and quicker drying.

-- Custom furniture

View DocK's profile


19 posts in 2726 days

#6 posted 06-01-2009 05:22 AM

Ask and thee will be answered. Good one from all of you. Many Thanks.

-- DocK

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