Linseed oil : how to use it to treat wood ?

In order for the wood to retain its original beauty and resist the ravages of time and 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 the 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 in the rules of the art.

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 very slightly darkens the shade of the lightest woods. It can be used to maintain all species. It is therefore a product to have on hand to take care of your interior furniture, parquet, frisette, cladding or even your wooden garden furniture. It would be a shame to deprive yourself of 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 floor tiles and tiling in natural materials as it beautifies and protects for a long time.

Once applied evenly 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 versus :

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

However, it has its limits in that it only partially protects the wood against water vapour, to which it is not 100% waterproof.

Linseed oil deeply nourishes the wood.

Treatment of wood with linseed oil: procedure to follow

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

Prepare your flaxseed oil mixture depending on the type of wood.

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

It takes about 500ml mix based on flaxseed oil to cover 5 M² at most.

Turpentine oil is also a natural product since it comes from the pine resin.

Preparing 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 preparation of the wood, it is imperative to follow the following steps chronologically.

  • Sit outside or if the weather does not allow it, ventilate well the local first. This limits the risks of inhaling Volatile Organic Compounds or COV which emanate from the essence of turpentine.
  • Wear protective gloves and goggles.
  • Sand the wooden surface to be treated with:
    • either a sanding block,
    • either 150/180 abrasive sandpaper, i.e. fine grain, whether the wood is soft, hard, raw or stained,
    • 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 shavings, dust and other residues,
  • Aspirate to complete the preparation.

You must keep your protective equipment on during the entire preparation period because fine particles of wood or splinters can sink into your eyes or fingers.

Spread linseed oil

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

  • Slightly warm the linseed oil mixed 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 application. This allows to obtain a homogeneous layer and to avoid unattractive demarcations.

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

Grind with sandpaper

This procedure is essential for:

  • Eliminate the tiniest roughness and obtain a flawless result,
  • Facilitate the adhesion of the layers of linseed oil between them.

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 the regular dusting of wooden furniture.

It is preferable to apply the pure beeswax on wood that has previously been nourished and treated with linseed oil. To prepare this encaustic just do the following:

  • Warm the pure beeswax in a bain-marie,
  • Mix 1/3 beeswax with 2/3 turpentine,
  • Place a little wax on a perfectly clean, dry, soft and lint-free cloth,
  • Pass 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 coat is also very thin,
  • Let dry,
  • Polish with a soft, clean cloth.

Once the treatment of the wood and the finish have been completed, all that remains is to clean the 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 carried out every two years to prevent the wood from graying or being attacked by insects, an increased risk when it comes to garden furniture that passes the clearest of his time away. As for beeswax polish, it is used more frequently, throughout the year, but always in an ultra-thin layer.

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