Linseed oil - ideal treatment for unprotected wood
Originally used for its nutritional value, linseed oil is gradually finding many other applications. It is used in the world of decoration and interior work to protect and enhance wooden structures. This natural and effective solution is now becoming the essential ally of all DIYers.
What is linseed oil?
Linseed oil is a product extracted from dried linseed. Created in ancient times, it is now used in the maintenance of exterior wood (garden sheds, siding, wooden structures) and interior wood (parquet, furniture) and is the most popular oil for finishing woodwork around the world.
There are three types of linseed oil:
First and foremost is raw oil, which has not been heat treated. It has the advantage of impregnating the material properly while drying well and offering increased protection. However, over time, it can yellow the wood, especially if it is exposed to a lot of light.
Secondly, there is the boiled oil to which a siccative such as manganese or cobalt has been added which has the power to dry the material quickly. Clarified linseed oil offers a less marked color.
Finally, there is the linseed oil that has undergone a thermal treatment of polymerization. Thanks to heating it to more than 280°C, the oil does not cause yellowing of the material. However, the wood will not show a 100% natural color but will offer a slightly dark or golden finish. Resistant, this version of linseed oil dries quickly but has difficulties penetrating the wood properly.
Why treat wood with oil?
Unfortunately, wood has many enemies, among which are the sun's ultraviolet rays and humidity. The former causes a kind of burn on the material like the one we experience on our skin after being exposed to the sun for a long time. This phenomenon leads to the appearance of grayish surfaces and cracks. Although the structure is not weakened, the wood becomes visually unsightly. On the other hand, when it is attacked by humidity, the problem can be serious. Water can cause a risk of capillary rise, attack of xylophagous insects or development of mushrooms can appear.
To avoid the aforementioned phenomenon, the wood must benefit from surface protection. Nothing like linseed oil to protect it from exposure and humidity. Non-film forming, this product ensures a beautiful, resistant and elastic, satin finish that provides a very elegant visual effect. Linseed oil is also easy to use, does not have a strong odor and dries between 12 and 24 hours if used with driers.
How to use linseed oil?
Of course, to obtain an optimal result, it is still necessary to use it properly. Before proceeding to the application itself, start by cleaning the wood. Proceed to sanding with an electric sander and then remove dust.
Now it's time to proceed with the preparation of the oil. Mix one part oil with one part solvent such as turpentine. Before you start, test the oil on a small area to see if the color is right for you.
Once this is done, equip yourself with a mask, glasses and gloves and start applying the product with a roller or a brush depending on the volume to be treated. A drying time between two coats is strongly recommended. Note that for a piece of furniture, two coats may be sufficient. On the other hand, if you plan to work on a parquet floor, it is better to go up to four coats at least.
Ideally, you should sand with a 150-180 grit and a sanding block between each coat to smooth the surface. As you know, oil has difficulty penetrating the wood so thanks to sanding, it can easily reach the material for an optimal rendering and a maximum of resistance.
Thanks to linseed oil, your wooded surfaces will enjoy a water-repellent and protective film that will fight against the greying of wood.
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