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Linseed oil

Posted by Henry in MI on January 12th, 2003 12:19 PM
In reply to Thanks, Henry by Margaret Fite on January 12th, 2003 11:46 AM [Go to top of thread]

Margaret, I'm not much of a fan of any oil finish and most of them have boiled linseed as a base. They just do not offer enough protection. If it's just you and you don't have to worry about kids and dogs and the things that they do, you MAY be happy with oil. If you EVER think that someone in the house will bring water into that room in any form, I think that oil is not a good choice. Forget having plants there, for instance. You will have white ring much quicker with oil than with poly, and worse than with poly.

The other thing with oil is that, in most instances, film finishes, like poly, shellac and lacquer, do not stick to oil. Once you apply an oil finish, you can only have an oil finish. I would prefer more choice.

About the only good thing with oil is that it's easy to "repair" problems. The downside of that is that you have to repair problems more often. If you will renew your oil finish at least every 6 months, it can be a reasonable choice. I know that we will not, but you might.

These are my feelings and opinions, in addition to facts. If you want oil, it's your house. One thing that does happen is that people think that something is good because it's an old product/process. Remember that many of the things we have today were not available or affordable years ago. Shellac is a super finish and many top quality antiques were done with it. It was too expensive for the "masses" years ago, so they used oil. I wonder how many of the old master craftsmen that used shellac would have used poly if they had it available.

This is kind of a similar question to the use of aluminum. Before the advent of a cheap and easy way to melt aluminum, it was considered a rare jewel. Today, it's everywhere. It's the same with poly, in my opinion. For what it's worth, I like Park's Oil Modified Poly for floors. Matte finishes are easier to care for than glossy ones and don't show defects as easily.

Henry in MI

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