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Wood Finishing and Painting

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  #1  
Old 09-29-2011, 12:38 AM
Dakota Sage's Avatar
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Default Boiled Linseed Oil question

I am making many signs right now that I wood burn and color with oil pencils on basswood. Normally, I use a Q tip or cotton ball to rub and blend the colors and then set them with turpenoid.(I like to use oil pencils because it allows the grain of the wood to show through) It is hard to get rid of all the pencil strokes even if I first color lightly and get the color darker by going over the area several times, nor by rubbing. I have even tried using an eraser to smooth the colors.

Last week I bought some boiled linseed oil, only because the name frequently comes up in articles I skim. I read the directions for uses on the container and decided to use a Q tip and try to use it to smooth the colors. It worked better than anything else I have every tried.

My questions are:

1) Does this set the colors as well as make them more fluid and blended?

2) Do I now put on several applications in lieu of tung oil? Do I or can I put another finish over boiled linseed oil or is it not necessary?

3) Is this considered a final finish on its own?

4) The warnings on the container make it sound a bit dangerous. Is it more dangerous than other finishes?

And lastly...

Does anyone have a good and fairly comprehensive review of how to best use boiled linseed oil on works such as the basswood , burned and oil colored that I am working on?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can give me.
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2011, 11:39 AM
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Default Re: Boiled Linseed Oil question

Hi Deborah,
I don't know to much about BLO. My father in law used to use it on all kinds of stuff and loved it.
I do know that rags used to apply it with will catch on fire. My husband used it on something years ago and left the rags on his shop counter. Thank God I went out to his shop for something, because the rags were just starting to smolder.
BLO along with tung oil will both catch fire if left on rags or whatever. When I use tung oil, I put the paper towels or rags in a plastic bag and cover them with water before they go in the garbage can outside.
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2011, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Boiled Linseed Oil question

I use BLO on some of my game calls, let it dry and then apply Watco Teak oil or Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil. Both the teak oil and the Tru-Oil are the natural finish, so it doesn't dye the wood. They are actually just a custom mix of linseed oil, mineral spirits and a varnish.

Quite a few of the oil based finishes have some fire warning, I have a paint can that I store used oil rags in. You can use an old paint can or for a few dollars buy a new empty paint can at most good paint stores. Every so often I clean out my can, soak with water and take them to the recycle place. The main thing is to keep air from the used rags.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Boiled Linseed Oil question

Here's my 2 cents worth....



1) Does this set the colors as well as make them more fluid and blended? I would say not exactly. Linseed oil is used as a thinner for oil paints, so I'm not surprised it works with oil pencils and helps blend them. By thinning, it may help it dry quicker or be absorbed slightly, but I think it would still take a while to dry completely.

2) Do I now put on several applications in lieu of tung oil? Do I or can I put another finish over boiled linseed oil or is it not necessary? You can apply multiple coats, but BLO will yellow with age and too many applications over time can give a "gummy" finish. It takes longer to build up a finish than tung oil and is not quite as durable as tung oil, in my opinion. I have sprayed it with Deft laquer and wiped on other finishes after letting it dry a day or so.

3) Is this considered a final finish on its own? It can be and has been for many years. Some people love it and some hate it. It is easy to apply and looks great in some applications and is a somewhat traditional finish. Some people mix equal parts of BLO, mineral spirits, and polyurethane. Some people dislike it, saying it attracts dust and changes over time. Me, I use it for some things, and I use poly, Deft, mineral oil, or just plain wax for others. Sometimes it just depends on the mood I'm in!

4) The warnings on the container make it sound a bit dangerous. Is it more dangerous than other finishes? I don't take the spontaneous combustion thing lightly! All my rags used to apply almost any finish go into metal cans and I sometimes wet them down just to help me sleep good at night!

I have used BLO before and after painting with both oil and acrylics, but I don't care for the long drying time of oil. I sometimes like the yellow tint BLO gives certain woods, but I generally use polyurethane for a somewhat more durable finish. Except for walking staffs. Poly finishes can chip but BLO can just be reapplied as needed for working staff, rather than one used just for display! Hope this helps a bit!
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2011, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Boiled Linseed Oil question

Thanks, Sharon. I Didn't know that anyone had answered this question. I thought I would be notified. Sorry for the late thank you. (Do you as unsure about the finishing process as I feel?)
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  #6  
Old 10-14-2011, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Boiled Linseed Oil question

Thanks, Dogcatcher. I'm sorry it took me so long to reply. I thought that these replies were sent by notification. I just assumed no one had answered it. Finishing is my least favorite part of the process of any wood project I do. Will I EVER lose this fear, I wonder? Novices like me are so lucky to have people on the forum like you to help us figure things out. And, as this late reply attests, I am also a novice on the site. :P Or act like it , anyway.
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2011, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Boiled Linseed Oil question

Wow! Thanks so much, mpounders! I didn't know that I wasn't sent a notification for responses to questions, hence the late reply. Love the point by point response. Truth be told, after working so long on a project, applying the finish can scare the daylights out of me.

I've started keeping a journal of reactions to finishes, the weather conditions, dry time, etc. in hopes that some things will be learned from all the finishes I try.

I have another question for you. I have made some simple wooden buttons and I would like to finish them in a way that would make them washable. Do you have any experience with such a finish? I googled wooden buttons , but no one is giving away their secret, save one company that said they apply a high wax compound. I would LOVE clothing with natural buttons, but I would never buy them if it required removing them prior to cleaning. The only way I could imagine getting around it would be to make clothing with a button hole on both pieces, and then making a double button, so that it could be slipped out of each button hole in order to wash or dry clean. What say you? TY Dakota
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Boiled Linseed Oil question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota Sage View Post
Wow! Thanks so much, mpounders! I didn't know that I wasn't sent a notification for responses to questions, hence the late reply. Love the point by point response. Truth be told, after working so long on a project, applying the finish can scare the daylights out of me.

I've started keeping a journal of reactions to finishes, the weather conditions, dry time, etc. in hopes that some things will be learned from all the finishes I try.

I have another question for you. I have made some simple wooden buttons and I would like to finish them in a way that would make them washable. Do you have any experience with such a finish? I googled wooden buttons , but no one is giving away their secret, save one company that said they apply a high wax compound. I would LOVE clothing with natural buttons, but I would never buy them if it required removing them prior to cleaning. The only way I could imagine getting around it would be to make clothing with a button hole on both pieces, and then making a double button, so that it could be slipped out of each button hole in order to wash or dry clean. What say you? TY Dakota
I just went to your site and read about your work with "Blue Eyes" and read how you were working with the eyebrows and hair growing from the head, etc. Your mind works like mine does when I am sitting down with a piece. Maybe EVERYone thinks like this? I don't know, but I need to put your blog address on my website. I have a page called "wood world destinations" for other wood sites. If I put it there, I will always be able to go and see what you are working on and explaining. I think it would be very helpful to me. I love the eyebrow solution. I am thinking I might like to try that when I have a lot of hay or prairie grass to do on a plaque. Maybe then, add some wood burning to it for depths. Think that would work? Blue Eyes is gorgeous. There is a real innocence you have capture in eyebrows, eyes, nose and lips. Wow.
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2011, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: Boiled Linseed Oil question

Yes I do get unsure about finishes.
I've been wondering about wood buttons also. I have some big ones I carved to put on cloth purses a few years ago but I haven't put them on anything because of the washing thing. They are still bare wood.
I see people selling wood buttons on etsy, but I don't know if they're sealed or not.
Maybe you could send a message to the button makers on there. Most of the folks I've had communication with are really nice. And if they aren't, well God Bless em anyhow!
I like your double button idea Deborah! My mom was quite the seamstress and that sounds like something she would of thought of. It would look really classy on a outfit!
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Boiled Linseed Oil question

Hi Sharon....

You're right. I have seen the buttons on etsy, too, and the worse thing would be that they don't want to help. I also posted this to the forum. I would NEVER buy buttons or clothing with buttons that I had to remove prior to cleaning. Heck. I don't even know where my iron is, or if I still have one.

I was looking at some of the miniature carvings and thought how cool it would be for a shirt to have little fish buttons, duck buttons , rabbit buttons, et al. If I knew that I could carve them, burn them, and color them with oil pencils AND have them protected, I would do it.

I have two signs up on the board. One needs to be done by Tues, and the other I am still waiting to have the edges routered before I can start...and bigger than I usually do. (36 X 10). After they are done, I can focus more on these things and some seasonal items, as well.

If I find out anything about the button finish, I will for sure give you a shout.

Thanks , Sharon.

Sorry I was so stupid about picking up notes of assistance.

Dakota and the Prairie Dogs
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