I'm currently working on an oak table and I'm finishing it with boiled linseed oil is this a stand alone finish? I normally use a clear varnish but fancied trying something different. Will the linseed oil give me protection against spills and the like or should I give the table a coat of lacquer as Well? Thanks

  • 1
    See also the Woodworking area of SE.
    – keshlam
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 13:32
  • This question would be a good candidate for migration to WW.SE
    – Matt
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 13:56
  • How long will you wait before cleaning up the spills and the like?
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 14:33

2 Answers 2


BLO is a good stand-alone finish for things that won't get wet. That is to say that many people like the way it looks on it's own...but it does not provide any significant protection against moisture.

For instance, it would be terrible as a stand-alone finish for an eating table or a side table in a TV watching area.

Very nice though for something like a TV stand, or a rocking chair or a picture frame.

Be sure to read up about fires from drying BLO rags. BLO is unique in its ability to create enough heat while "curing" to light itself on fire. Many garage fires have been started in this way. As long as you handle the used rags properly, no problems. Just tossing it into a trash can in your shop along with wood and sawdust...not so good.


Depends on the level of care you'll give it. If you clean up spills promptly, it should be fine. If you have wild bacchanals and come to days later to find the table covered in spilled wine, not so good.

My process with BLO has shifted from many coats of straight BLO to a few coats of straight BLO and then a mixture of BLO and carnauba wax ("clear bowling alley wax" is the stuff I get - check the ingredients.) This provides a bit more surface protection while not ruining the wood feel of the object as a more aggressively film-forming (plastic-y) finish does (IMHO.)

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