I'm getting near completion of a Huntboard Table and thinking of
using an oil finish like Boil Lin Seed Oil (BLO), Danish Oil, or some
recipe thereof. I found a recipe using BLO and SPAR varnish.
The table is made of white oak and want to have the wood
grain show through versus the standard Huntboard paint job.
1) Forget the spar varnish since it never totally hardens.
I'm no finishing genius, but have made some white oak pieces finished
with BLO, followed by bees wax cut with turps.
I'm happy and so is the person who received the stuff.
The instructions are on the BLO can, cut it 2 parts BLO, 3 parts turps
or something close.
Apply thin coat with soft rag, allow to drive, then repeat 3-4 times.
Allow to cure a couple of weeks, then wax.
I melted 1/2 lb bees wax in a coffee can that was in a pot of boiling
Add 1 cup BLO and 2 cups turps.
(No good reason for the BLO, just did it)
Mix and allow to solidify.
Apply with soft rag.
(If wax is too stiff, remelt and add more turps)
Keep wax covered with plastic lid of the coffee csn.
Nothing special, but I like it.
Become a label reader. Oil - Danish - X oil "finish" - wipe on X - standard
varnishes - are all the same. There's just more resin to solidify the
finish with each step. Different resins, too. Alkyd, urethane and phenolic
are the three that are most commonly found.
Anything above simple curing oil becomes tougher as the resin to oil ratio
increases. I'd go in at the wipe-on level on a huntboard. Stop coating
when you have the depth you desire.
Oh yes, spar varnish is a long-oil type with UV inhibiters. Great for
outdoor use where temperature changes are regular and ranges are high.
Ingredients lists (sort of) here
General info here, among many others.
Sat, Dec 29, 2007, 8:52pm email@example.com (Otoe) doth query:
<snip> Your thoughts?
I think I'll have a cuppa coffee.
Oh yeah. Use scrap pieces and test finishes until you find one you
If you can read this you're in range.
Sun, Dec 30, 2007, 8:08pm firstname.lastname@example.org (Otoe) doth sayeth:
I've saved end pieces just for this finish testing. Just trying to
findout what are the different oil recipes to play with before applying
You wants a oil recipe, you gets a oil recipe. Fresh cooking oil.
If you don't believe it, check the archives.
If you can read this you're in range.
try 1 part BLO, 1 part mineral spirits (or turps), 1 part oil based
Wipe it on and let it soak in for about 30 mins. If it get adsorbed
during that 30 minutes, wipe on some more tot the dry spots. Wait
another 15 minutes or so and wipe off. Repeat after 24 hour. it may
take 5-6 coats depending on your taste.
"varnish" is a general term for any clear coating you put on wood.
Poly, alkyd and shellac are all types of varnish (by this definition).
I don't think of BLO as a varnish, because it doesn't form a coating
(film) on the wood.
Oil based poly can be mixed with MS and BLO is any proportions. The MS
evaporates away. the BLO is absorbed into the wood and darkens and
enhances the grain. The poly will build up the film finish. So, more
poly = more film like finish.
Any drying oil can be mixed with any varnish. I haven't
found a combination that doesn't work. Reason you won't
find poly recommended here so much is it looks and feels
like plastic, and ages to a sickly jaundice-like urine tone.
My current favorite finish is similar: 1/3 BLO, 1/3 tung oil, 1/3 poly. This
has been attributed to Sam Maloof. The only downside is that it will yellow
lighter woods like maple. Actually, that may not be a downside if it appeals.
It makes a good finish for a table -- fairly durable and very easy to repair.
Just lightly sand the problem area and wipe on more finish. I used it on a
kitchen table a couple of years ago and it is doing fine.
I'll top it off with a wax made of 1/3 BLO, 1/3 Tung oil, 1/3 bees wax. You
need to grate the bees wax and dissolve it in the oils while warming them in a
If I really want to pop the grain, I'll start with 1/2 tung oil, 1/2 mineral
Go read a book - plenty of good ones out there, but I'd start with
Flexner's "Understanding Wood Finishing" or Jeff Jewitt's "Hand-
Applied Finishes". His old classic recipes book (can't remember the
exact title) is one of the best around for oil recipes, especially if
you're doing serious repro work, but it's hard to find.
Apart from that, anything sensible will work and will give you the
result it's meant to. The rest is a matter of personal choice,
depending on what you want to achieve. You really do need to finish up
some decent-size timber samples with a rage of techniques and see how
you like them.
I wouldn't use linseed (yellows over time) so use a commercial tung
oil-based mixture first, for starters.
I'd also suggest (to get a better looking finish) either plain oil, or
shellac over oil, for a piece of furniture, rather than an "oil +
varnish" mixture like Danish oil.
Technique can matter too. For producing a "fine finish" to furniture
grade, the application technique can often get to be more complex than
just slapping it on. Read the index to the last few years of Fine
On Mon, 31 Dec 2007 02:26:30 -0800 (PST), Andy Dingley
Started doing this too. Would you expand on the Danish oil comment?
What's with Danish that is unsatisfactory?
I've read about shelac as an undercoating/sanding sealer but does that
work OK with BLO, for example. I read an article about a quick finish
using oil with shelac before the oil drys.
There are so many combinations and application techniques. I'd hate
to spend a lot of time experimenting and then ending up as
confused as I started, ha!
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