I finished a piece of wooden furniture I've built with industrial premade linseed oil finish. Afterwards I noticed patches where glue residues caused visible stains on the wood. This does not look so great, so I'd like to paint over with matte white and I am wondering:

  • Is it possible to paint over linseed oil finish. It has dried for about two weeks now and feels dry to the touch.
  • If so, which kind of varnish/paint should be used. I have some water based white which was used for a different project. Would this be advisable?

1 Answer 1


In my opinion it's better to use oil paint over an oil finish, but with the right primer you can use latex / water based.

I'd go over it with fine steel wool and a little mineral spirits to prep the surface either way.

  • 1
    I agree with oil over oil but I am old school. I know there are latex products out there that work over oil but I have had better luck with oil / solvent based over oil.+
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 22, 2018 at 15:27
  • Thanks, it is what I had suspected... But I've read some people stating that painting over too early can result in a permanent linseed smell, because it supposedly prevents the oxygen required for polymerization to reach the oil. Would you have any insight to share on this? Oct 24, 2018 at 8:17
  • If you used raw linseed oil, it might not be fully solidified for a very long time, but the mineral spirits should take care of that, dissolving most of what's on the surface. What has hardened, the steel wool will rough up for better adhesion. Once the paint has dried, you won't smell much of whatever was under there. Oct 24, 2018 at 10:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.