Non-toxic floor finish - linseed oil?

Hi,
I've got an old house with soft pine floors that I'd like to refinish, but I'd like to use something as non-toxic to the environment as possible. I'm hoping to find something that doesn't give off VOC's when drying, etc.
I'm experimenting with Tried and True's Danish Oil (a polymerized pure linseed oil) on one section of floor, and find that it gets light spots, perhaps where water has inadvertently been spilled on it? It also gets black marks (from shoes) easily, which then don't seem to want to come off.
I tried rubbing a hard past wax (Bioshield Floor and Furniture Hardwax #32) onto the dried Danish Oil finish, and find that gets light spots too.
I'm thinking now of switching to a water-based polyurethane, like Varathane Diamond Finish, but I have an aversion to plastic stuff.
Any ideas? Thank you!
Linc Vannah Stratton, Maine
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Linssed oil and wax give off alot more voc than water base varathane, Water base is the toughest finish also. Go water base
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Linc Vannah writes:

Get over your environmental neurosis, and use something modern and effective.
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

Hi, Does linseed oil ever dry up? Tony
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Yes, but to do so in a reasonable time it must have a "dryer" added to it. In old times woodworkers used to literally boil linseed oil to partially polymerize it to speed the drying time but today if you purchase "boiled linseed oil" it just means that a chemical compound has been added to catylize the polymerization. And if you worry about such things the dryers seem to invariably be heavy metal compounds. These are theoretically perfectly safe after the finish sets but they still worry some (overly?) sensitive people.
Personally, I use tung oil instead of linseed oil since it polymerizes just fine without added inducement and doesn't darken so much over time. Even walnut oil, the same sort sold in the gourmet section of your supermarket, can be used as a hardening wood finish and I've used it in combination with bees wax to finish salad bowls.
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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The OP referred to polymerized linseed oil, which I assume does.
Commercial Danish Oil mixes use agents to promote drying, so unless he is rolling his own out of pure linseed oil, he should be ok.
The drawback of danish oil is that it takes manual effort (multi coats and sanding) to get a good finish, and that doesn't sell well in an ad.
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Hi, I'm the environmentally neurotic original poster of this thread. Thank you for all of the helpful responses (except for Mr. Kinch's).
The Tried and True Danish Oil is a semi-polymerized linseed oil. They start the hardening process (polymerization) by heating it I believe. But, from my experience, it isn't very resistant to water spills or scuff marks from shoes, even with the hard wax finish applied. I'm still leaning towards using Varthane Diamond Finish water-based polyurethane at this point.
I'm curious about the Tung Oil though. Has anyone out there used this on a soft pine floor, and if so, how did it work for you?
Thank you,
Linc Vannah Stratton, Maine
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This should provide an answer for you
http://www.realmilkpaint.com/oil.html
They have links as far as doing flooring. I would pick up a scrap piece of wood or do closet to see how it is going to look since it does show grain quite a bit!
Wayne
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Boiled does wheather really boiled or has metal driers added.

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Linc Vannah wrote:

A side note from a firefighter. The drying process of linseed oil generates heat and if that heat is confined, such as in a balled up rag, spontaneous ignition can result. Any combustible waste that is contaminated with linseed oil should be stored in a metal container with a tight fitting lid. Wiping rags can be hung up flat so that the heat can dissipate. Linseed oil is one of the more dangerous natural oils in this regard. -- Tom H
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the MSDS for linseed oil recommends that contaminated flamables be stored immersed in water.
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