How to Make Linseed Oil Furniture Polish

Written by james young
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How to Make Linseed Oil Furniture Polish
Flaxseed oil provides one of the main ingredients in a simple wood polish. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Raw linseed oil, extracted from the ground seeds of the flax plant, dries to a tough, elastic film if rubbed on wood. Heating the raw oil to 107 degrees C produces boiled linseed oil with a faster drying time, says the University of California at Riverside. Boiled linseed oil purchased for use in polishes may contain some extra drying agents. Boiled linseed oil forms the base of several useful homemade woodworking treatments including cleaners, oil polishes and wax polishes for hard finishes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1/2 cup measure
  • Gum turpentine
  • Glass jar with metal lid
  • Boiled linseed oil
  • Paint stirring stick
  • Cloth
  • Beeswax
  • Paring knife
  • Double boiler
  • Metal container with lid

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  1. 1

    Measure 1/2 cup gum turpentine into the wide-mouthed, glass jar.

  2. 2

    Measure 1/2 cup boiled linseed oil and pour the oil into the jar with the turpentine gum.

  3. 3

    Blend the ingredients thoroughly with the paint stirring stick.

  4. 4

    Dip a lint-free cloth in the mix to apply the polish to oil-finished furniture. Rub the polish into the furniture until you see the dry sheen of a fresh, protective layer on the wood.

  1. 1

    Pare 1/2 cup of beeswax shavings into the measuring cup with the paring knife. Pack the shavings tightly before adding the wax to the inner pot of the double boiler. Crumble the shavings with your fingers to reduce heating time.

  2. 2

    Measure 1/2 cup gum turpentine and pour over the wax shavings.

  3. 3

    Measure 1/2 cup boiled linseed oil and add that to the gum turpentine and beeswax. Stir with the wooden paint stirring stick.

  4. 4

    Add water to the bottom pan of the boiler before setting the top pan inside it. Don't get any water in the wax polish mix.

  5. 5

    Set the double boiler over a burner set on low heat and slowly heat the polish until all wax dissolves and the mixture shows an even colour. Remove the top pan and pour the polish in a metal container. Store tightly covered.

Tips and warnings

  • To polish oil-finished, antique furniture, mix 2 parts boiled linseed oil with 1 part gum turpentine, says the University of Georgia.
  • Don't use pans intended for food preparation -- use an old skillet as the bottom pan and an old sauce pan as the top of the boiler. Chemical residues in the pans could transfer to foods later, if used in cooking.
  • Never leave a double boiler unattended when heating polish mixes. The double boiler keeps the temperature of the inner pot below the boiling temperature of water. If the bottom pan boils dry, the wax could heat to the flash point and explode into flame.
  • Keep water out of the polish mix. Water in the mix might become a steam bubble and splash part of the mix out of the pan, onto the hob or burner.

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