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Stain and Linseed oil

cherry finishing

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9 replies to this topic

#1 Handi

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:56 AM

Can I add boiled linseed oil over top a cherry stain? Or is boiled linseed oil like a stain and it would bleed out the cherry?

#2 John Fitz

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:18 AM

What are you trying to accomplish? I think the typical uses of BLO and stain are mutually exclusive. I would definitely worry about the BLO would "ruin" the stain, especially if wiped on.
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#3 CessnaPilotBarry


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Posted 05 January 2012 - 11:01 AM

It depends on the stain...

Some stains use varnish binders that seal the wood. Oil applied after these stains may not penetrate. Other stains are all dye, and don't seal the wood. The oil should penetrate these, but may do weird things.

So I'll also ask... Why?
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#4 TimV


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Posted 05 January 2012 - 12:38 PM

simple answer for me, you can, but don't. :)

#5 Handi

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 01:06 PM

Thanks for the replys. Well the wood I am using is I think pine. It's a harder pine. Not the soft pine from 2x4's. Anyway the customer wants it stained cherry. I'm in my 3rd coat and it's not getting as dark as I think she'd like it. So I don't know lol. I'm new to the staining and all that jazz. Usually I just put on stain let dry and apply poly. I got some BLO but wasn't sure it's use I guess. Didn't kkownid maybe it would work together or what. I don't have shellac or anything like that. VERY limited on finish supplies. I got cherry stain and 2 gal of poly oh ad a chestnut gel stain. Any help is appreciated.

#6 Mark Reuten

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:48 PM

The linseed oil will not help your cause and it may just make matters worse. I would either keep trying to get the stain right or tint some poly down to the colour you want and apply as many coats as you require to get the colour right. The pale colour of the pine will keep fighting you on this one.
You mention the pine being "harder" and I wonder if it isn't something in the fir family which can be very difficult to take stain well. I'll bet you keep getting winter growth rings coming up pale, right?
Try this solution. Mix some of that cherry stain in with some poly. Test a dab on some scrap to make sure it was compatible and will still dry. If so, try it on a discreet area of the furniture piece and see if it achieves your goal.

#7 RPCV_Woodworker


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Posted 08 January 2015 - 08:02 AM

Sorry to resurrect such an old thread but I'm doing my first multi-stage finish and found this while researching.  


The Piece: A Coffee Table

The Wood: Red Oak

The Goal: Something really dark and antique looking

Step One: Vinegar and Steel Wool wash (turned the whole table BLUE)

Step Two: 2 Coats of Dark Walnut Stain (Minwax #2716)

Step Three: Boiled Linseed Oil (currently on coat three of ???)

Step Four: Linseed Oil / Poly blend?, Straight Poly?, Paste wax?


I didn't have any trouble with the oil and stain interacting, apart from the oil removing some of the top layer of stain and lightening a bit (which was needed anyway).  Does anyone have a suggestion for the final finish on this?  Here are links to tweets of the table, raw and "pickled"





Other random question, how can I reduce the file size of a picture, all the pics I have of the table are over 1MB, and can't be uploaded to the gallery. It also won't let me use the image function...

#8 wtnhighlander


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Posted 08 January 2015 - 08:09 PM

Yep, oak can have a very strong reaction to the vinegar / iron oxide mix.

Personally, I would let the oil cure out, then maybe just wax it. If you think it needs more protection, I prefer poly thinned with mineral spirits over the oil / poly blend. Re-coat as needed to build to the desired thickness.

#9 wdwerker


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Posted 08 January 2015 - 08:16 PM

I use an app called "image resizer" that 2nd image isn't pickled it's "DRUNK"
Make sure the BLO is completely cured before you top coat. Some sort of varnish would be best on a coffee table.

#10 got wood

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 02:46 PM

I'm sure you probably have the thing finished by now (what ever it is your working on) but I just happened upon your question and here's my 2 cents worth. You can put BLO over, or under, whatever you want as long as it's an oil base. But why would you ?  If I understand your question, you want to make the piece darker, BLO is not going to do that by itself.

Assuming you are finishishing this for interior use and assuming you used a Minwax or Varathane  oil based interior stain and if the color it not dark enough, adding more of the same color really won't change the color.

Obviously you didn't or couldn't try the color on a test piece first and to get that approved by the customer, so after your first coat of cherry you could of done 1/2 and 1/2 cherry and red oak and even some minwax expresso to give it a richer color. So now whata ya do. You can try rubbing the hell out of it with a lot of soft rags and a lot of mineral spirits and after a day or so rubbing and drying and more rubbing you can go back over it with another coat of the darker stain. But that will not change the color significantly because of all your previous coats. And it's a lot of work for very little change.

Here's what I would do. Get yourself some Armorseal by general finishes  or  minwax wipe-on poly  or  just some tung oil (but since you said your finishing supplies were limited, tung oil is probably not an option) and in a hard plastic cup mix equal parts of one of those I suggested  and minwax red oak and minwax expresso stain. Rubber gloves, a lot of clean soft rags and rub it on, rub it off, on and off until you know you have every spec of that surface covered. What your after is a very smooth and thin coat, you just want the surface to look wet. And don't touch it. Let it dry over night and then do it again, and again and again until you get the color your after, probably 4-5 coats. You have to do this in thin coats and litghtly sand (or buff) between coats with 1000 grit sanding pad saturated with mineral spirits, dry off and re-coat.  Done.

Man - that was exhausting.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: cherry, finishing