Linseed oil is obtained by pressing seeds of the flax plant and does not “dry” like water or turpentine. It does not evaporate or disappear; instead, when spread in a thin layer and exposed to air, it jells to a “soft” finish. When rubbed into wood, it fills the pores with a thin protective film.
Raw Linseed Oil offers the following advantages:
- Raw linseed oil is lighter in body and penetrates deeper into wood than boiled linseed oil, so it is sometimes used on light colored woods as a light stain to bring out the grain and give protection against water stains.
- Can be used as a moisture repellent for unsealed wood.
- Commonly used as a polish to maintain oiled wood and natural finishes. Best results are obtained when the oil is mixed with paint thinner – half and half and the mixture is wiped on and immediately wiped off with a clean rag.
- Raw linseed oil is a safe, non-toxic finish for wooden salad bowls, utensils and cutting boards.
NOTE: Rags soaked in linseed oil are dangerous if left in a pile because spontaneous combustion may occur. That means that a chemical reaction creates heat and the rags can begin to smolder and burst into flame. All oil-soaked rags should be washed immediately or disposed of in a container of water. For temporary storage, dampen rag and hang flat, not crumpled in a wad.