Oil or linseed varnish – which should you choose?

Close to nature
Jalynn Peterson
Oil or linseed varnish – which should you choose?
It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

If you have wooden elements in your garden or on your terrace, you know how difficult it is to make them look great. Not only do you have to blend in with the surroundings, but you also have to protect them properly. For this purpose, many preparations can be used. More and more people rely on ecological solutions. In this case, oils will work, as well as linseed varnish, which is more and more often taken into account.

Oil or linseed varnish – how to match them to wood?

Oil and linseed varnish are the most recommended, ecological products used for care and protection of wood against negative effects of weather conditions. It is worth mentioning that wood is a material that absorbs moisture very well and after a long time outdoors, especially if it is not properly protected, it deteriorates and looks unsightly.

So what are the differences between oil and linseed varnish? The latter is used for a one-time process of impregnation of wood. The material, which has been coated with linseed varnish, soaks it and receives a protective coating. The agent penetrates deep into the free spaces in the wood and thus prevents moisture from getting inside. As a result, the wood becomes resistant to fungus, mildew, evaporation, and insect nesting, and for a long time.

However, oiling is done periodically. It is worth using oil systematically, every season. Thanks to this it penetrates the structure of the material, preserves and protects it, and at the same time allows the wood to breathe. It is therefore much less invasive than varnish, so repeated impregnation is required.

How to impregnate garden furniture?

Oil is generally used to impregnate hardwood, which itself shows high resistance to mechanical damage. It is not recommended, however, for the so-called soft species. Then it is worth using varnish. Interestingly, it can also be successfully used to protect wood-based materials, and even for mineral plasters and other porous surfaces and synthetic products. 

On the other hand, if you want to achieve a natural effect of beautiful, healthy wood, oil will work better. In addition to impregnation, it will bring out the grain and color of the material. In addition, it will make the product covered with it warm to the touch and will not resemble in any way the varnish, which is used, for example, to cover floors in the apartment. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that before applying the oil, you need to prepare the surface properly, as afterwards it may accentuate irregularities and blemishes. You can also use it on a previously impregnated substrate, it is enough to sand it beforehand. 

On the other hand, varnish will not work with other impregnates. Wood covered with this agent is not suitable for additional finishing with paint or varnish. Therefore, if you decide to use flax varnish, you should consistently use it for the next impregnation as well.

main photo: unsplash.com/Philip StieberHire

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