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How to Best Apply Linseed Oil to Terra-Cotta Tiles

Updated February 21, 2017

Terra-cotta tiles are made of a red clay that is hand-formed and fired at low temperatures. The resultant tiles are extremely porous, ranging in colour from light golds to dark browns. There are many ways to seal and protect terra-cotta while enhancing its colour. Its porous nature requires it to be sealed several times to keep maintenance to a minimum. To both seal the terra-cotta and deepen its colour, a mixture of linseed oil can be applied to the surface of the tiles once they have been cleaned.

Mix 1 cup vinegar and 1 gallon warm water. Mop the tiles with this solution to remove dirt or debris that could become trapped in the linseed oil. Let the terra-cotta dry.

Mix equal parts paint thinner and linseed oil in a clean bucket. The paint thinner acts as a vehicle to get the oil into the terra-cotta.

Mop the terra-cotta with the linseed mixture with a fresh mop head. Pay close attention to coverage; the tiles immediately darken after applying the oil. Check for light areas.

Once the terra-cotta is dry, a second application can be made. Depending on how porous the terra-cotta is, several applications may be necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Mop
  • Linseed oil
  • Paint thinner
  • Clean mop head
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About the Author

Sarabeth Asaff has worked in and has written about the home improvement industry since 1995. She has written numerous articles on art, interior design and home improvements, specializing in kitchen and bathroom design. A member in good standing with the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Asaff has working knowledge of all areas of home design.