Finish – A one trick pony


When it comes to finishing a project there are literally 1,000’s of options. Take your pick.  My pick for the last several years is Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO, on the web).  I have used it on everything that I have built in the last few years. Workbench, tool cabinet, chest of drawers, chairs, benches, a table…  In the picture is everything that you need except the rubber gloves:  a can of BLO, a couple of cotton rags, and a wide mouth jar.  There was an excellent article written on this in Woodworking Magazine (I think the one with a “tricky stool” on the cover).  It is a great read.

Here is the process.

1 – Plane the surfaces clean (or sand them to 220 or so).

2 – Wipe on a good coat of oil.

3 – Wait ~10 minutes and wipe it all off.  This is the most important step.  Wipe all excess oil off the surface.  Any thick spots remaining will gel up and not be nice.

4 – Wait 3 or 4 days or until the surface is dry to the touch.

5 – Repeat steps 1 thru 4.

Stop when you are happy with the surface.  I have found that 6 coats looks real nice.  The article that I mentioned suggested 12 coats.  If you don’t have the patience for multiple coats, then do one coat of BLO and then use a mix of BLO, turpentine, and beeswax (equal parts of all three).  That builds faster and leaves more of a matte finish.  I like it almost as much as 6 coats of BLO.


3 thoughts on “Finish – A one trick pony

  1. Pingback: Complete this dresser! | The Christian Tool Cabinet

  2. Pingback: My Favorite Finish | The Christian Tool Cabinet

  3. Ken

    I really like using blo for a finish. I do it a little different on the first two coats though. For the first coat I cut the blo with a 3 to 1 mixture with mineral spirits being the 3 parts. The second coat I use a 50/50 mixture. This allows a much deeper penetration giving the finish a better seal.


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