linseed oil

What is linseed oil?

Flaxseed or flaxseed oil is obtained from cold-pressed flax seeds.

And what is linseed oil for? Well, roughly it’s for the manufacturing products that protect wood outdoors. It can be said that it is a natural, traditional and economical alternative to some varnishes and paints. It is a similar product in terms of performance to lasur oil or teak oil.

Its use is not limited to the protection of wood, it also serves, for example, to make the oil paints that artists use in their paintings. Also to clean some materials like stoneware or terracotta.

Flaxseed oil properties

  • It’s a product natural and ecological.
  • Thanks to its high iodine content, it is a drying product.
  • Adds color and shine to dark woods. In light woods, it can turn yellow.
  • Waterproofing.
  • Protection.
  • Nourishes wood. This avoids cracks and curves.
  • The difference other products like varnish, does not create a layer that dries and hardens (crystallizes), but generates a protective film.
  • Him flax oil price is low compared to other alternatives.
  • It can be dyed to add different shades to the wood. They must be solvent-based dyes. Another common method for darker color is to mix it with bitumen from Judea.
  • Intense odor, although not harmful.
  • Helps prevent attack from xylophagous insects.

Types of flaxseed oil

Flaxseed oil can be purchased or prepared in different forms or types, in order to alter or improve some of its natural characteristics.

The most common types of flax oil are raw, cooked and containing desiccants. It is common to purchase stews with built-in blotters.

The main difference between these three classes is the drying times. Crude linseed oil takes a long time to dry, up to several days depending on the wood and the environment. While the one that incorporates blotters can do this in a few hours.

Another advantage of cooked flaxseed oil compared to crude oil is that it offers greater resistance to fungi.

Although obviously, if what you are looking for is a product free of solvents or other toxins, which may even be suitable for toys or countertops, it is better to resort to more natural versions.


The use of linseed oil in wood not limited to outdoors. It can be used indoors, although it is not common, as the surface can be a little greasy.

It is mainly used in doors and windows, roofs, pergolas, fences, outdoor furniture, platforms, etc. Indoors it is used in rustic environments, mainly in beams.

When is linseed oil not a good idea?

  • In wood that will be subject to constant friction, for example, a pallet.
  • In already treated wood, for example with varnish.
  • When we want to change the color of the wood. In that case, there are much more effective products.
  • In areas of intense solar radiation, much more frequent renovations may be necessary, since it does not always include UV filters.

Wood Application

The application of linseed oil on wood does not differ much from the application of other products in this material:

  • Initially, the wood must be prepared by sanding and cleaning. There may be no remnants of other products.
  • Prepare the product to apply it. Here you will have to respect the manufacturer’s specifications, for example, the proportions if it is necessary to mix it with a product such as turpentine.
  • It is applied by brush in thin layers, but also for those who apply it with rags. Not only with this product, but with all of them, it is advisable to do a test in an invisible area to see if the finish is as desired.
  • At least 3 coats are recommended. The touch drying time is approximately 12 hours. It is advisable to let it dry at least 24 hours before the last coat.
  • It is recommended to renew the finish every year in temperate climates. Every two in colder climates.
  • If you want to dilute you can use turpentine. The approximate yield is 12 m2 per liter, although it depends largely on wood.

These data are estimates for pure flaxseed oil with built-in blotters (the most common). Even so, always read the manufacturer’s specifications.

When you don’t incorporate drying agents, flaxseed oil takes much longer to dry, and the job can take a long time. It can also be found raw or cooked. In the latter case, it dries a little faster, although not as fast as the one that comes with a blotter or is applied to it. The advantage of drying linseed oil earlier is that it will be exposed to dirt or dust stuck to the wood for less time.

How to remove or eliminate flaxseed oil?

For some reason, like wanting to apply some other type of finish, we may want to remove or remove linseed oil from the surface of a wood.

The process is not complicated. We will use a cloth dipped in turpentine. This will remove much of the oil. To finish the job, you can use sandpaper or steel wool to remove any impurities that may remain.

Where to buy linseed oil?

It is a very common product available in most hardware stores and DIY centers. Another problem may be that they have exactly what you are looking for.

It may be sold with built-in blotters, perhaps the most common, but it is also a little less pure and with some risk of inflammation. You can also find it neat and cooked.

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