How to Best Apply Linseed Oil to Terra-Cotta Tiles

Written by sarabeth asaff
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How to Best Apply Linseed Oil to Terra-Cotta Tiles
Not all red-coloured tiles are terra-cotta. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

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.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

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

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    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.

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