Another BLO Question

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Forum topic by CaptainSkully posted 06-28-2009 07:02 PM 1049 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1407 posts in 2980 days

06-28-2009 07:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: boiled linseed oil blo finish

I have to admit, it took me a second to figure out what BLO stood for. Anyway, I bought some since everybody talks about it. I’m trying a series of new finishes for my own furniture and for the custom framing samples. I applied some to quarter-sawn white oak the other day. It seems to have polymerized nicely, but it didn’t really do a whole lot for the oak. My sample piece has some nice ray fleck, but the finish just gave it a slightly richer, oiled look. It’s certainly nothing to write home about. Will this look better after I put hand-rubbed poly on it, or do you guys do something else with BLO that I’m missing? It does smell pretty good though – kind of a nutty/caramel…



-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

7 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2998 days

#1 posted 06-28-2009 07:45 PM

I do nothing else with it .I feel it’s a very inferior finish. I know there are many who use it because that’s what they have always done. But I feel there are so much more durable and wood enhancing products since this linseed oil came out in the 1600 hundreds give or take a couple hundred years. I like old cars but I wouldn’t drive a 1906 curved dash oldsmobile to work on the freeway. finishing is like cars, clothes,food every one has there favorites . The way you find out about them is do what your doing and try each type for your self.

-- Custom furniture

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 2947 days

#2 posted 06-28-2009 07:54 PM

BLO is just one step of the finishing process. Some people like to dye the wood yellow first, then sand it off and apply a darker stain. This will make the flecks pop and mimic the look of fumed oak. I personally prefer BLO then a few coats of amber or garnet shellac on qs white oak followed by beeswax.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3006 days

#3 posted 06-28-2009 08:11 PM

Boiled linseed oil , I too was wondering. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3225 days

#4 posted 06-28-2009 08:48 PM

I start out with BLO and then apply finish over that. Try some poly on your sample piece and see what you think.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View davidroberts's profile


1025 posts in 2907 days

#5 posted 06-28-2009 09:37 PM

like most have said, you probably won’t be happy with just sathering on a few coats of BLO and calling it done. you can add color to BLO using a liquid dye. you can topcoat it or glaze over it. there are a hundred different finishes and just using BLO is not in my top 10.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3189 days

#6 posted 06-28-2009 10:25 PM

not a fan of blo here. at all. i think you would be much better off with a good wipe on poly like seal a cell or arm r seal by general finishes. thats what i use. if youre looking to use a natural oil i generally go with a thinner oil like danish oil and then after a coat or two apply several coats of poly, shellac or even lacquer.

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 2947 days

#7 posted 06-28-2009 11:32 PM

Danish oil is just linseed oil and varnish or poly depending on brand. Most poly’s have linseed oil as their base, so I don’t see the need to use it if you are just going to use poly over it. That’s why I use blo and shellac.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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