Linseed oil can be applied to wood without the need for complex surface prep. It’s an ecological and natural alternative to varnish on both indoor and outdoor surfaces owing to its protective properties. In fact, in terms of quality and cost, it is probably the most attractive alternative wood oil product on the market.
Linseed oil is useful for protecting wood surfaces, but it is not a paint. It has waterproofing capacity, but it does not protect from dirt or intense sunlight (though some manufacturers add UV protection to their formulations). Linseed oil works well on wood with a natural or rustic finish and on exotic woods, and it holds up on poorly maintained wood and wood that is exposed to high levels of friction.
WHAT IS LINSEED OR LINSEED OIL?
Linseed oil has numerous well-documented qualities and is extracted from the seeds of the flaxseed plant. It is used in food preparation and as a dietary supplement due to its many health benefits. One of its most enduring uses, however, is as a protective finish for wood surfaces.
Linseed oil is used as a base in some ecological and craft paints because of its characteristics. Applying the oil prior to varnishing a surface is not recommended as it might prevent the varnish from adhering smoothly. Wood oils today are all-in-one products that seal and stain both indoor and outdoor wood surfaces all at once, leaving a quality finish and long-lasting protection. There is no need for stains, varnish, lacquers, or any other product—linseed oil does it all!
LINSEED OIL PROPERTIES
- Seals the wood grain, protecting it against the harmful effects of humidity and dirt while allowing the wood to breathe
- Water repellent
- Enhances the natural grain and patina of wood
- Hydrates and nourishes wood
- Insect repellent
- Protects against UV rays
WHEN TO APPLY LINSEED OIL
Linseed oil is the best option to protect natural wood that is neither varnished nor previously stripped of other coatings. This oil is used to coat wood and protect it from the effects of deteriorating agents. It’s extremely easy to use and dries rapidly.
The oil must be applied on virgin wood, but the process can be repeated over time to maintain adequate protection. Exterior wood surfaces exposed to weathering conditions generally need maintenance every two years. Maintenance is quite easy and inexpensive—only a small amount of oil is necessary to treat dull or damaged areas. Completely sanding your wood surface is not necessary, which saves you time and money.
Linseed oil must be applied to unvarnished wood, otherwise the oil will fail to deeply penetrate the wood surface. Because linseed oil is a wood-penetrating solution, it nourishes your wood surfaces while sealing, staining, and finishing them at the same time. If you choose to varnish after applying linseed oil, the varnish may not stick properly to the surface.
Use a paintbrush, roller, or cotton cloth or rag to apply the oil, depending on the size of the surface area to cover. The product does not leave splotches or lap marks, making the application process simple and quick. Wipe up excess oil, and within approximately 10 minutes the oil will completely saturate the wood grain.