I recently finished a pine table with 100% polymerized linseed oil (Tried and True), however would like to retain the natural feel of the wood while protecting it more.

Ideally looking for something that maintains the natural feel of the wood as much as possible while also protecting it more than linseed oil does alone.

Coasters will not be used.

  • Hi, welcome to StackExchange.SE is not like regular forums, a search of the existing content is considered mandatory so as to, as much as possible, have no repeat Q&As. – Graphus Jul 5 '20 at 8:00
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    IfF you click on the tag "finishing" above you will be presented with a lot of similar questions, which may be helpful for you. I suggest you take the tour more on how this site works. – Ashlar Jul 5 '20 at 23:56
  • @Graphus thank you very much for your feedback. I have scoured through the questions and the closest I could find was this link however, the question nor the responses specifically address maintaining the feel of the wood but rather maintaining the look of it. More than happy to remove this question, should you feel that is most appropriate, but thought that addressing the feel of the wood and adding a layer specifically over linseed oil was unique – Gschoff Jul 9 '20 at 20:27
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    I thought I'd posted a few things about maintaining feel, although it's hard to remember with all the Answers I've provided. Feel is perhaps the hardest thing to really maintain, I mean really, since most people are happy with close enough. Once you put anything on wood, even a penetrating finish like linseed oil, it stops feeling like wood any more but instead feels like finished wood. Once you get to this stage however then it's easier, since the feel of one finish is very much the same as another. – Graphus Jul 10 '20 at 11:53

Ideally looking for something that maintains the natural feel of the wood as much as possible while also protecting it more than linseed oil does alone.

Linseed oil in general provides very little in the way of protection to wooden surfaces, even when many coats are built up over some time and then allowed a full curing period — more than a month — as with the traditional procedures.

So it is quite easy to add protection here, since most other finishes are more protective.

Maintaining the natural feel of wood is harder, since everything changes the feel somewhat. Plus there is some subjectivity here (read: a lot for some people). But once you have applied linseed oil maintaining much the same feel as that is a lot easier.

One of your simplest options here is to wipe on polyurethane varnish. When wiped on poly becomes one of the easiest finishes to do well..... for all intents and purposes it's the same as applying linseed oil. And the protection it provides is streets ahead of linseed, even polymerised linseed which is quite different to raw linseed oil or "boiled" linseed oil. See this previous Answer for more on making your own wiping varnish and how it may be applied, the info from finishing guru Bob Flexner who has done more to popularise wiping on poly than anyone else.

If using the option to wipe away all of the excess (which I would recommend here for a couple of reason) I suggest applying at least four coats, but six or seven would be better if you can stomach the time it takes.

Note 1: remember that full protection is only afforded once a finish has had a decent amount of time to cure, which here will be somewhere about 3-6 weeks after the final coat is applied.

Note 2: if you end up with a surface that feels a little slick a light sanding with fine abrasive paper (320 or finer), or scuffing with fine steel wool (0000/00000) or fine ScotchBrite will sort this out and even up the reflectiveness of the surface while you're at it.

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