How to Clean Furniture With Linseed Oil

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Manufacturers press flax seeds to remove their oils, resulting in linseed oil. Linseed oil is available as raw or boiled. Raw linseed oil generally requires dilution or it will leave a slow drying, sticky feel to furniture. Boiled linseed oil, while never actually boiled, has additives that speed up drying times. Using linseed oil restores and revives an old finish without having to strip and refinish. You can also make your own furniture polish rather than using a commercial furniture polish. Linseed oil preserves a wood surface and protects against wood rot in both indoor and outdoor furniture.

Things You'll Need

  • Turpentine
  • Glass jar or metal container
  • Stir stick
  • Soft rag
  • Lint-free cloth
  • White vinegar

Reviving Wood Finishes

  • Add equal parts linseed oil and turpentine to a glass jar or metal container. Do not use plastic because it may react with the turpentine or linseed oil and melt the container. Use raw linseed oil for outdoor furniture and boiled linseed oil for indoor furniture.

  • Stir the ingredients to mix with a wood stir stick.

  • Dip the corner of a soft cloth into the mixture. Rub a light application onto the furniture surface. Allow the mixture to sit on the surface for five minutes.

  • Rub the excess mixture off the surface with a soft, lint-free cloth until it feels dry and no longer sticky to the touch. Outdoor furniture may feel slightly tacky and oily. The sticky feel will dissipate as the oil evaporates. Drying times vary depending on temperature and humidity.

Homemade Furniture Cleaner and Polish

  • Mix equal parts linseed oil, white vinegar and turpentine in a glass or metal container.

  • Stir well to blend the ingredients with a wood stirrer.

  • Dip a soft cloth lightly into the polish. Rub the polish onto the furniture. Allow the polish to remain on the surface for two to three minutes.

  • Rub the excess polish off the furniture with a new soft, lint-free cloth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply polish or reviver to finished and unfinished wood surfaces.
  • Polish furniture once per week to keep it shiny and clean.
  • Work in a well ventilated room.
  • Wear rubber gloves while using linseed oil.
  • Submerge oil-soaked rags in water to store them to prevent combustion and fire.
  • Label the container clearly with all ingredients.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not store or use near open flames or while smoking.

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References

  • "Grandpa's 5001 Handyman Secrets"; Dr. Myles H. Bader; 2006
  • "Outdoor Structures"; Time Life Editors; 1997
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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