How Many Coats Of Boiled Linseed Oil Is Enough (Ultimate Guide)

The correct finish applied with essential skills offers the wood surface an excellent and shining look. Also, a rich finish helps you to protect tacky furniture with ease. However, there are different oil finishing methods, which leads to controversial questions.

One of the most common questions is how many coats of Boiled Linseed Oil is enough? Therefore, this article provides you with blow-by-blow oil finishing strategies to apply boiled linseed oil correctly and the proper amounts of coats to extend your furnishings lifetime.


How Many Coats Of Boiled Linseed Oil Is Enough? 

In general, many experts suggest 3 coats when using Boiled Linseed Oil because these amounts guarantee that the oil has completely penetrated the wood fibers. As a result, these coats offer your furniture a solid and complete finish that will last for a long time before maintenance and repair. 


How To Apply Boiled Linseed Oil For Finishing?

Things You Need Before Applying Boiled Linseed Oil

Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO) is not “boiled” as its name implies; instead, this oil is chemically qualified to advance quicker drying about a few days. A slow drying oil, including walrus oil, is also a great alternative, yet it takes weeks or months to cure in cold weather. 

Therefore, before learning how to apply boiled linseed oil, it is vital to prepare all equipment to boost productivity. Here is the list of tools needed to start your oil finishing strategy. 

  • Respirators or safety masks
  • Gloves
  • Two grades of sandpaper for new wood
  • One mechanical sander
  • Tack cloth
  • One sponge or a cotton rag
  • 400 grit sandpaper or grey Scotch-Brite pads
  • Boiled Linseed Oil
  • SmartPak natural Bristle Stiff Brush
  • One bucket or appropriate mixing container 

4 Steps To Apply Boiled Linseed Oil Properly

Step 1: Sand and dust the wood

Before applying Boiled Linseed Oil, sanding the material is essential. It pays to master appropriate strategies depending on the kind of wood you tend to use. Specifically, it is best to adjust sandpaper with grit ranging from 90 to 180 and about 320 for flawed surfaces if you deal with expired woods. 

A 400 grit sandpaper is also an ideal choice to sand the material between coats of finish. Besides, before progressing to better grit sandpaper, clearing the dust build-up is crucial to receive the best outcome. 

A vacuum is one of the excellent machines to remove dust quickly. If you deal with lots of materials, it is tactical to select quiet vacuum cleaners to reduce the noise as much as possible. 

Furthermore, you can use a brush, a dust collector, and a wet rag to eliminate dust on the materials’ surface. However, dilapidated rags are great tools to apply when you sand between coats of finish. If your factory installs a sound exhaust system, compressed air is another excellent method to remove dust easily.


Step 2: Raise wood grains

While some surface coatings can conceal scratch marks or coarser on the wood, the oil only emphasizes them because an oil finish does not possess any measurable constitution. Therefore, if you want your furniture to have an even more delicate finish, it is best to raise the wood grains deliberately. 

You can apply a wet rag or a spray bottle to dampen (not soak) the wood surface. Next, let it dry completely and sand them again with 220 grit sandpaper to remove some raised wood fibers.


Step 3: Apply Boiled Linseed Oil on the wood surface

There are two standard methods you can apply Boiled Linseed Oil to the material surface. The first way is to slowly stream it straightforwardly from the can onto the material and use a clean rag to apply. However, this technique is not convenient because it is challenging to manage the amount when pouring, which leads to a high risk of waste. 

The second method is to pour the Boiled Linseed Oil into a bowl or suitable containers, soak a clean rag, and apply it on the wood surface. Noticeably, wearing gloves during the whole process, from handling to application times, is essential to protect yourself.

In addition, here are some tips to boost efficiency when applying Boiled Linseed Oil:

  • Begin with the material’s hardest-to-reach sections like wood corners to reduce contact later during the application process.
  • Rub the rag along the wood grain and apply slow circles across the wood grain.

The first coat of Boiled Linseed Oil aims to soak the material as deeply as possible. As a result, apply Boiled Linseed Oil more times if you deal with dry and reclaimed woods because they suck in the oil like a sponge.

Moreover, it is advisable to make the wood surface much wet, yet puddles shouldn’t form. If puddles start showing up, wipe the excess off with a clean rag. Keep an eye on the next couple of hours to examine whether any redundant oil bubbles the wood surface. 

Learn how to dispose of oily rags safely here to avoid spontaneous combustion. 


Step 4: Reapply subsequent coats 

Applying the following coat depends on the drying time of the first coat. Some elements such as humidity, the thickness of the first layer, and the room temperature will affect how fast the wood dries. For quicker drying results, store the material in a warm room for more than a day. 

In general, leaving the wood to dry overnight is adequate. Patch a small test by passing your hand over the material’s surface and let it dry more time if it feels sticky. Meanwhile, if the wood surface is reasonably dry and slick to the touch, it means that it has dried adequately.

After finding out that the surface is arid, you can sand on the first coat lightly. It is advisable to follow the direction of the grain when sanding. Use a 400-600 grit sandpaper or a 400 grit grey Scotch Brite pad to obtain the best outcome. 

After the sanding process, then apply the following oil coat. Generally, it is best to apply about three coats of Boiled Linseed Oil. After laying down the final coat, you don’t have to sand the material’s surface anymore; however, completely curing it is essential.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long does Boiled Linseed Oil completely dry?

It takes from 1 day to 2 days for a separate coat of Boiled Linseed Oil to let it dry. In general, the more BLO you lay down, the more time wood takes to dry. Thus, after applying oil to the material, use a clean cloth to remove excess oil. 

  1. How long does Boiled Linseed Oil persist on wood?

Boiled Linseed Oil can last on wood for half a year to a year, depending on the frequency of your application. Reapplying other Boiled Linseed Oil coats is vital when the wood becomes discolored or dry. Typically, wood surfaces on constantly used areas, including furniture and floors, will require more maintenance than other areas like beams. 


We hope you won’t wonder how many coats of Boiled Linseed Oil is enough anymore with the information mentioned above. Moreover, it pays to prepare all the tools to help the oil finishing process faster and protect yourself by wearing safety masks. Finally, should you find this article helpful, don’t hesitate to share it with your friends and relatives to gain more practical tips to apply Boiled Linseed Oil with ease.