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Steve Maskery

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I've just been reading a very old thread about using Boiled Linseed Oil on oak. There seems to be a question mark over how much it darkens the wood. Too late, I've already given a picture frame two coats.

I love the colour, but the finish is very dull, almost completely matt. Now I don't want to be able to see my face in it, but I would like a bit of lustre. Is it just a case of more coats, or is it not a finish that does buff up?

I think I must have had this 500mm bottle 20-odd years, which shows you just how often I use it.
 

Trevanion

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I use it on my tool handles (wooden ones anyway :wink:) and they’ve developed a definite sheen from being handled and buffed by the hand during use. Although I’m not sure whether that’s the actual finish buffing up or whether the wood is just getting burnished and smooth from use.

If in doubt, wax or shellac over the top of the BLO.
 

Steve Maskery

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Thank you Trevanion. I think tools handles are pretty much the only thing I've ever used it for, too. However, a picture frame is not going to be handled, of course.
I have thought of waxing it, but I didn't want to do so if it turns out that BLO needs 99 coats first. Is 2 enough?
 

Trevanion

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Steve Maskery":vzgd6oqr said:
I have thought of waxing it, but I didn't want to do so if it turns out that BLO needs 99 coats first. Is 2 enough?
One coat would’ve been enough, two will be plenty :) Just make sure that the BLO is properly dry before you apply anything on top of it. I actually like to put a coat of BLO on some stuff prior to waxing as it can make the grain look that much nicer and deeper. But I very rarely do any work which constitutes that level of care in the finishing, it’s usually Osmo and slap it on :lol:

Try a test piece with just wax on and compare it, it’s usually quite a difference! Looks good under sanding sealers and other shellacs too.
 

woodbloke66

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Steve Maskery":11k2dfjp said:
Thank you Trevanion. I think tools handles are pretty much the only thing I've ever used it for, too. However, a picture frame is not going to be handled, of course.
I have thought of waxing it, but I didn't want to do so if it turns out that BLO needs 99 coats first. Is 2 enough?
Steve, I once made a large octagonal coffee table in solid oak and finished in solely with BLO aka Alan Peters. It soaked up oil like it was going out of fashion and took weeks to dry but eventually the frame did take on some sort of a sheen but the top remained quiet dull and wasn't very good regarding drinkies etc. My daughter has it now and takes rather better care of it than I did :(

I would put some wax over the top once the oil is completely dry to give it a low level sheen - Rob
 

RogerS

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The linseed oil paint manufacturers suggest RAW linseed oil wiped over their paint a few years down line when the paint's gone a bit matt.
 

AndyT

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In my limited experience, BLO will buff up quite nicely on a close grained wood such as beech after a few coats. With oak, so much will soak in, I'd expect to be adding lots more coats before getting a smooth surface layer capable of being burnished - six or so?

Alternatively, you could look on the first two coats as a pigment-free primer and (provided they are dry and fully cured) add some shellac, to get to a gloss a bit quicker.
 
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