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Thread: How to remove Linseed Oil finish?

  1. #1

    How to remove Linseed Oil finish?

    The bowl shown below was recently finished with linseed oil but I would now like to remove it after realizing it wasn't good for contact with food products. I tried rubbing it with mineral spirits and then acetone without avail. It seems sanding it is the only solution unless someone has an alternative. Suggestions? I don't want to trash it since it is a nice size and shape bowl.
    Platter 003.jpg

  2. #2
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    I had a project with BLO go south once, sanded it. I would think you could sand the bowl and be fine. My two cents...

    Chris

  3. #3
    Maybe wet sanding with a solvent, or if you are going to use a solvent based finish that could work too. I always use the walnut oil finishes, specifically from the Doctor's Woodshop.

    robo hippy

  4. #4
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    I have thought that linseed oil was a good choice for things like your nice bowl. Raw linseed oil is non toxic (I think). I would give it a rub with scotchbrite and a coat or two of an oil you feel better about. I like Watco butcher block finish for wood that will be in contact with food.
    Missouri, it's not that bad. Best Regards, Maurice

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice Mcmurry View Post
    I have thought that linseed oil was a good choice for things like your nice bowl. Raw linseed oil is non toxic (I think). I would give it a rub with scotchbrite and a coat or two of an oil you feel better about. I like Watco butcher block finish for wood that will be in contact with food.
    Raw linseed oil is usually marketed as flax seed oil. That is recognized more as a food product compared to a wood finish. Any use of solvent for removal will take the oil deeper into the wood pores. I assume the OP means boiled linseed oil, but clarification would be nice. Today, boiled almost always means metallic dryers have been added for the oil to cure. Often common to see a little resin added to wood finishing products marketed as BLO.
    Last edited by Richard Coers; 11-27-2022 at 3:06 PM.

  6. #6
    Yes, it was boiled linseed oil. Looks like the only solution is sanding. I'll finish it afterwards with walnut oil, my new go to treatment for bowls and such.

  7. #7
    Another option is to simply seal in the BLO as I doubt you could ever truly remove all of it. Shellac will seal the bowl and is food safe. You could put on a coat, steel wool it back, add another coat, etc. After 3-4 coats you should have a fairly nice finish. I know it isn't the "oil" finish you want, but it will be a LOT faster than sanding and makes for a nice finish that is safe. The shellac will dry in less than 30 minutes if the humidity isn't terrible.

    Left click my name for homepage link.

  8. #8
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    This is when a lathe with a vacuum chuck would be nice. Dear Santa...
    Missouri, it's not that bad. Best Regards, Maurice

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by John Keeton View Post
    Another option is to simply seal in the BLO as I doubt you could ever truly remove all of it. Shellac will seal the bowl and is food safe. You could put on a coat, steel wool it back, add another coat, etc. After 3-4 coats you should have a fairly nice finish. I know it isn't the "oil" finish you want, but it will be a LOT faster than sanding and makes for a nice finish that is safe. The shellac will dry in less than 30 minutes if the humidity isn't terrible.
    Appears to be a better plan than what I ended up doing which was sanding or scrubbing the BLO off. Impatience got the better of me and so I forged ahead without seeing John's post. I started with 120 grit sandpaper but quickly realized that it loads up too quickly. I then tried using some fairly course Scotch Brite strips. Maurice's idea. That worked pretty good. The removed gum can be easily flicked off the pad and reused. Once most of the BLO was scrubbed off I went back to 120 grit sandpaper until all I could see was fine wood dust. I followed up with finer courses to 400 grit. I doubt all of the BLO was removed but I'm satisfied most of it is gone. I then followed up with walnut oil. Hopefully what results is a safe bowl to use for foodstuffs.

  10. #10
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    It is a very graceful bowl! The wheels and axle from what must have been a mine cart are fun to see too!
    Missouri, it's not that bad. Best Regards, Maurice

  11. #11
    I think John has the best solution, BLO soaks into the wood and will go deeper on the end grain and be very difficult to get all sanded out.
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Blair View Post
    I think John has the best solution, BLO soaks into the wood and will go deeper on the end grain and be very difficult to get all sanded out.
    Now I'm a little worried about the imbedded BLO if any. Can I shellac over the walnut oil?

  13. #13
    I think Shellac will pretty much seal most anything.
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  14. #14
    Well, I don't use shellac. I think it is a surface finish. If the walnut oil has any wax in it, that could cause problems with the shellac sticking to the wood. I use the Doctor's Woodshop stuff, and it has carnuba wax in it.

    robo hippy

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Blair View Post
    I think Shellac will pretty much seal most anything.
    I agree. It’s a good surface finish. Don’t really want oil filled salad bowls …unless Martha Stewart says “it’s a good thing”.
    There are different kinds of shellac . Talking bugs not brands. The orange shellac is the most durable and water resistant. I’ve tested it by
    putting 3 thin coats on wood and weighting them down under water for days. Yes the orange shellac bugs are the smartest kind.
    Last edited by Mel Fulks; 11-28-2022 at 2:05 PM.

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