Linseed oil: how to use it to treat wood?


So that the wood retains its original beauty and withstands the ravages of time as well as the attacks of insects, it is essential to maintain and treat it. Linseed oil is the natural solution that is needed because in addition to being effective, it respects both wood and the environment. Let’s discover without delay the specificities of linseed oil, its benefits on wooden surfaces and what is the procedure to follow to the letter to use it properly.

Linseed oil: the different types of extraction

Taken from mature flax seeds, this oil is obtained either by cold pressing or by hot pressing. It can also be extracted using a solvent. In this case, linseed oil is unfit for consumption and can only be used in very specific areas, namely:

The different possible uses of linseed oil should be checked at the time of purchase. They must be clearly indicated on the packaging by the manufacturer.

Linseed oil: ideal for maintaining and treating wood

Flax seed oil 100% natural is of a golden yellow color which darkens very slightly the color of the lighter woods. It can be used to maintain all essences. It is therefore a product to have on hand to take care of its interior furniture, its parquet, its curl, its cladding or even its wooden garden furniture. It would be a shame to do without it, because linseed oil does not cost cheap and it is a product ecological.

A little aside that can be useful for many consumers: linseed oil is just as suitable for the maintenance of tiled floors and natural material tiles that it embellishes and protects for a long time.

Once applied uniformly to the surface to be treated, linseed oil dries and then forms a protective layer. Acting at different levels, it makes it possible to protect the wood against :

  • Humidity,
  • Bad weather (rain, hail, snow, wind, frost),
  • UV,
  • Mushrooms (antifungal),
  • The insects,
  • Wear,
  • The stripes,
  • Dust,
  • The graying.

However, it has its limits by only partially protecting the wood against water vapor to which it is not 100% waterproof.

Flax seed oil deeply nourishes the wood.

Flaxseed oil treatment of wood: procedure to follow

It is necessary to be relatively methodical to feed and treat wood in the rules of art. To do this, it is best to follow the following steps.

Prepare your mixture based on linseed oil depending on the type of wood.

  • For softwood : 50% linseed oil + 50%turpentine, the latter being used as a solvent,
  • For hardwood : two thirds of turpentine + one third of linseed oil.

It takes about 500 ml of mixture based on flaxseed oil to cover 5 M² to the maximum.

The essence of turpentine is also a natural product since it comes from the pine resin.

Prepare the wood to be treated

The surface on which you are about to apply linseed oil must be perfectly clean, completely free of any residue, and ultra smooth. This is essential for the treatment to be as effective as possible. For this wood preparation it is imperative to follow the following steps chronologically.

  • Settle outside or if the weather does not allow it, ventilate well the local first and foremost. This limits the risk of inhaling Volatile Organic Compounds or VOC which emanate from turpentine.
  • Put on gloves and protective goggles.
  • Sand the wooden surface to be treated with:
    • either a sanding block,
    • either 150/180 sandpaper, i.e. fine-grained, whether the wood is soft, hard, raw or tinted,
    • or an electric sander if the wood surface to be treated is large enough.
  • Carefully brush each piece of wood that has been sanded to remove chips, dust and other residues,
  • Aspirate to complete the preparation.

It is important to keep your protective equipment during the entire preparation time because fine particles of wood or splinters can get into the eyes or fingers.

Spread linseed oil

The linseed oil / turpentine preparation is applied to brush. It is better to take care to choose a brush of good quality that does not lose its hairs if you do not want to find them trapped in the oil. The result would inevitably be much less successful.

  • Slightly cool the linseed oil mixture in a bain-marie so that it is more fluid. It will then be easier to spread.
  • Apply linseed oil in one thin layer.
  • Always respect the sense of wood by simply following the veins with the brush.
  • Go from one end of the surface to the other without stopping during the application. This makes it possible to obtain a homogeneous layer and to avoid unattractive demarcations.

Sometimes, two layers may be needed. In this case, allow the first coat to dry for at least 24 hours before applying the second under the same conditions. Be careful to respect the drying time between each coat.

Grind with sandpaper

This procedure is essential for:

  • Eliminate the tiniest roughness and obtain a flawless result,
  • Facilitate the adhesion of the linseed oil layers to each other.

The gesture allowing to shell must be flexible and it is useless to press too hard on the wood freshly treated with linseed oil.

Pure beeswax as a finish

Pure beeswax is another essential natural product to nourish this noble material that is wood. It is used during the finishing phase only if desired. It offers many advantages, namely:

  • Satin,
  • Protected,
  • Facilitates regular dusting of wooden furniture.

It is better to apply the pure beeswax on wood that has previously been fed and treated with linseed oil. To prepare this encaustic just proceed as follows:

  • Warm the pure beeswax in a double boiler,
  • Mix 1/3 of beeswax with 2/3 of turpentine,
  • Place a little polish on a perfectly clean, dry, soft and lint-free cloth,
  • Wipe the cloth over the wooden surface to deposit a very thin layer of finish,
  • After drying, repeat the operation if necessary, ensuring that the second layer is also very thin,
  • Let dry,
  • Polish with a soft, clean cloth.

Once the wood treatment and finish is complete, all that remains is to clean brushes and rags with a little turpentine, then Marseille soap and clear water. Put them to dry in a ventilated and clean place.

Linseed oil treatment can be done every two years to prevent the wood from turning gray or attacked by insects, an increased risk when it comes to garden furniture that passes the lightest of his time outside. As for the beeswax encaustic, it is used more frequently, throughout the year, but always in an ultra thin layer.