Reply To: Finishing with linseed oil – the details?

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Joseph Sellers

Hi Jesper,

I have only finished a few projects with Linseed oil so I hope others with more experience can help out as well.

I have only used the boiled linseed and I used a rag to apply. Please be aware of the dangers associated with Linseed oil and read this before you start to use it.

The projects I have used it on were workbenches and I found that it gave a good deep-soaking finish but did not really fill the grain. This was ideal for the workbenches and probably for your sawhorse. I applied three coats (24+ hours apart) the first quite liberal (it soaks in a lot) and the second and third as just a film. On the last coat I applied it and then wiped off the excess pretty much  straight away.

As far as drying time and sanding:

I found it took quite a while to dry (even just dry to touch). It makes a huge difference what temperature/weather conditions you apply it in. I don’t believe that there was any time that I could have sanded it easily between coats but perhaps you could if you left it a couple of days between coats. The way I was using it it would have been too sticky. It gave a fairly good final finish and I think this was down to the final wipe down after the last coat.


I certainly wouldn’t use this on household furniture but this may be because I am not applying it right.
I hope this helps and if you have any questions ask.