Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Retired Novice Woodworker
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I apologize if this question has been asked and answered before. I am a beginning woodworking hobbyist (retired Army), and I have just built a new work bench for my shop from yellow pine. My first thought was to preserve the natural beauty of the new wood, so I applied one coat of Boiled Linseed Oil to the surfaces.

Someone suggested I might want to stain it and apply polyurethane afterwards. From research I've done on linseed oil, it doesn't accept stain too well, so I want to remove it and just stain the wood surfaces. What is the best method to remove the linseed oil coating before staining with a dark stain?

I have heard and read that mineral spirits is the answer, but I would like the advice of someone who has actually done this type of operation before.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,404 Posts
Could you post a picture of the color you want. Some peoples idea of dark is different than mine. If you are wanting to go dark then perhaps having some linseed oil on it is good. Linseed oil can act as a wood conditioner. I would probably wash it down with a stronger solvent than mineral spirits. Perhaps lacquer thinner or acetone. It may remove enough of the excess the wood can be stained. You might want to test stains on scrap wood first. Yellow pine with have pronounced stripes in it when you stain it. Depending on the color you might be happier spraying a dye on it rather than a wiping stain. The dye would color more uniform.
 

·
Old School
Joined
·
24,017 Posts

Just a thought, if you stain it dark, it will show wear pretty quick. If you topcoat it with a film finish, that too will show scratches and damage. Refinishing would be a PITA.

I would just stick with BLO. You could do whatever you want to the top just for looks, and lay on a Masonite sheet as a protector, and remove it for when you just want to stand back and relish the beauty of your bench.:smile:






.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
I just put a coat of shellac on mine. Nothing too serious about it. I lay down a piece of cardboard cut to fit if I'm doing any painting or working on non wood projects. You can easily give it a light sanding and put on a fresh topcoat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,160 Posts
A film finish (lacquer, shellac, varnish, poly varnish) is not the way to finish a workbench top. A workbench is going to get dinged and film finishes will crack or craze or be otherwise damaged. Once a film finish is penetrated, it looses its effectiveness and adjacent areas begin to fail. No treatment is going to make a soft wood benchtop harder. I much favor an "in the wood finish". Here are two that lots of folks find effective.

First, is an boiled linseed oil and wax finish. Sand the surface to 180 grit. Mix paraffin or bees wax into heated boiled linseed oil. USE A DOUBLE BOILER TO HEAT THE OIL. The ratio is not critical but about 5-6 parts of boiled linseed oil in a double boiler with one part paraffin or beeswax shaved in. Take it off the stove. Thin this mixture about 50/50 with mineral spirits to make a heavy cream like liquid. Apply this mixture to the benchtop liberally and allow to set overnight. Do it again the next day and again the following day if the top continues to absorb it. After a final overnight, lightly scrape off any excess wax and buff. This finish will minimize the absorbsion of any water and you can use a damp rag to wipe up any glue excess. Dried glue will pop right off the surface. Renewal or repair is easy. Just use a scraper to remove and hardened stuff, wipe down with mineral spirits using a 3/0 steel wool pad (a non-woven green or gray abrasive pad is better), wipe off the gunk and apply another coat of boiled linseed oil/wax mixture.

My personal preference is for an oil/varnish mixture treatment. Either use Minwax Tung Oil Finish, Minwax Antique oil or a homebrew of equal parts of boiled linseed oil, your favorite varnish or poly varnish and mineral spirits. Sand the benchtop up to 180 grit. Apply the mixture heavily and keep it wet for 15-30 minutes. Wipe off any excess completely. Let it dry overnight and the next day, apply another coat using a gray non-woven abrasive pad. Let it set and then wipe off any excess. Let this dry 48-72 hours. To prevent glue from sticking apply a coat of furniture paste wax and you're done. This treatment is somewhat more protective than the wax and mineral oil as the varnish component adds some protection from not only water both some other chemicals also. The waxing makes the surface a little more impervious to water so you can wipe up any liquid adhesive. It also allows hardened adhesive to be scraped off. Repair and renewal is easy. Just go throught the same scraping, wiping down with mineral spirits and reapplication of the BLO/varnish/mineral spirits mixture and an application of paste wax.

Both of the above treatments are quite protective but are easy to maintain and renew. They do not fail when the surface takes a ding.

Finally, keep in mind it's a bench. It's role in life is to get scratched and dinged. You're not dealing with furniture.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top