Home-made Oil finish?

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Do NOT use this mixture for anything!
As someone else already pointed out, it is not a finish but is sometimes still used by unfortunates as a cleaner / reviver. It will leave the infamous "Hershey Finish" on your furniture as it slowly reacts with light to leave a chocolate brown goo which is very difficult to remove. Winterthur had a real problem sometime ago since the mixture used to be thought of as an excellent cleaner / reviver for antiques. One of the chief restorers at the Smithsonian had to come up and spend weeks teaching people how to safely remove it.
The vinegar provides an acidic environment for the linseed oil to create the polymers when exposed to light.
If you want an oil finish, I suggest a commercially available mixture of oil, varnish, and thinner like Watco or Minwax Antique Oil Finish. The small amount of varnish will provide at least a little protection for the wood.
Good Luck.

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In some old WW books (of UK origin) that formula, or some variation of it, was *always* a cleaner, or reviver. I tried it, and was not very impressed. It did not work well, you have to keep shaking it continuously to keep it mixed, and it stinks! VM&P Naptha works better.
Your friend may be confused with the following mix, which will make a good oil/varnish wiping mix:
Equal parts BLO, spar varnish and turpentine.
You can fiddle with the proportions any way you like, to get the finish desired. Some folk say use the best possible spar varnish, while others claim the cheapest possible stuff works fine. I have only used the cheaper polyurethanes and they give a good finish. Don't use too much BLO, otherwise it can take days to dry out.
I have also experimented with adding dyes and artist's colors to this mix, to get a "wiping varnish with color" It works well, but be prepared to spent a lot of time messing about if you are fussy on the precise color. The big advantage is that you can match the stain to another piece of furniture.
Practice on some off-cuts to get the wiping techniques correct, and to ensure the end color is what's desired. It can vary a lot, even on the same species of wood.
Barry Lennox.
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