Finishing Options: Oil

What is linseed oil?

Linseed oil, also known as flaxseed oil, is a natural oil extracted from the seeds of the flax plant. It has been used for centuries as a traditional wood finish and is known for its durability and protective properties.

How does linseed oil benefit furniture?

When applied to wooden furniture, linseed oil penetrates the wood fibers, enhancing its natural beauty and providing a protective layer. Here are some of the benefits of using linseed oil on furniture:

1. Enhances the natural grain

Linseed oil brings out the natural grain and color of the wood, giving furniture a rich and warm appearance. It adds depth and character to the piece, making it visually appealing.

2. Provides protection

Linseed oil acts as a protective barrier against moisture, stains, and scratches. It helps to prevent the wood from drying out and cracking, extending the lifespan of the furniture.

3. Easy to apply

Applying linseed oil is a simple process that can be done by anyone. It can be brushed or wiped onto the wood surface, allowing for easy and even application. It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results.

4. Environmentally friendly

Linseed oil is a natural and eco-friendly option for finishing furniture. It is derived from a renewable source and does not contain harmful chemicals or additives. Using linseed oil promotes sustainability and reduces the environmental impact.

Pros and cons of using linseed oil on furniture

While linseed oil offers numerous benefits, it is important to consider both the pros and cons before using it on your furniture:


  • Enhances the natural beauty of wood
  • Provides protection against moisture and scratches
  • Easy to apply
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Prone to stains and water marks
  • Drying time: Linseed oil can take a long time to dry, which may require multiple applications and extended waiting periods.
  • Odor: Linseed oil has a distinct odor that may linger for some time after application.
  • Flammability: Linseed oil is flammable, so proper precautions should be taken during application and storage.

In conclusion, linseed oil is a versatile and natural option for enhancing and protecting wooden furniture. Its ability to bring out the natural beauty of wood and provide a durable finish makes it a popular choice among furniture enthusiasts. However, it is important to consider the drying time, odor, and flammability factors before using linseed oil on your furniture. With proper application and care, linseed oil can help maintain the longevity and beauty of your furniture for years to come.