Budget Furniture Fix-Ups
I have put four coats of linseed oil on unfinished oak chairs. They are now gummy. What can I do?
GW from Atlantic Beach, FL
Linseed oil is not meant to be applied in multiple coats. Doing so can cause gumminess since the oil may never completely dry. Linseed oil dries through oxidation, a reaction with air, not solvent evaporation, so thick coats don't set properly. A single coat gives as much protection as you can get, which is why linseed oil is not the first choice for modern furniture refinishing. It also doesn't offer much in the way of abrasion resistance.
You'll need to remove the linseed oil and start over. Try furniture refinisher, a solvent that should strip the oil off with little effort. It's applied with fine steel wool. Use eye protection, solvent-resistant gloves and, of course, read the label instructions. This is a very stinky and flammable product so it should be used outside if possible or with maximum ventilation.
Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here NaturalHandyman.com/aitikia. For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links NaturalHandyman.com. If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page NaturalHandyman.com/Friends.
The Natural Handyman Site Directory
- Home Repair Articles naturalhandyman.com/iip
- Home Repair Links Library naturalhandyman.com/linkslibrary
- NH's Bookshop naturalhandyman.com/bookshop
- Find a handyman at naturalhandyman.com/network
- Win unique home repair gifts and prizes at NaturalHandyman.com/Contest. Please read the important copyright and disclaimer information located at NaturalHandyman.com/Copyright.
More Money-Saving Tips for Your Home
- Should I use a HELOC for home remodeling and repairs?
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- How much can additional payments save me on my mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?