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Can You Use Linseed Oil on Outdoor Furniture? (Answered)

Linseed oil is a great way to maintain wood health for a long time. It adds color to the wood and protects them from weather, molds, and damage.

However, here we will explain how good linseed oil is for outdoor furniture and some essential tips that you may find helpful to work with linseed oil and wood.

Can you use linseed oil on outdoor furniture?

You can use linseed oil on outdoor furniture. But it should not be the outermost layer of outdoor furniture. Linseed oil does protect the wood from water damage for some time, but not for very long. After curing the wood with linseed oil, apply a polyurethane layer for maximum protection.

Linseed oil is a drying oil extracted from flax seeds. It is also known as flax oil or flaxseed oil. Linseed oil is produced by compressing the flex seeds to extract oil. 

It is mainly used to cure woods and concretes but has many other uses in varnish, soap, ink, etc.

You can use linseed oil in any type of wood, but it is best to use linseed oil in indoor furniture that will not contact with water and weather. Linseed oil can protect outdoor wood when applying waterproof paint or polyurethane over it.

Linseed oil is not enough to protect outdoor furniture. Still, it’s ten times better to leave uncured furniture outside. Linseed oil does provide decent protection for months, but you will need to apply the oil again when the wood starts to get damaged.

How long can linseed oil protect outdoor furniture? It entirely depends on the weather and what kind of wood you are using.

If you cure a wood perfectly, the wood should stay spotless for about three months. After that, you should notice a few black spots on the wood.

After about six months, the wood gets darker in average weather conditions. Frequent rain and moisture can damage the wood faster. Reapplying linseed oil can protect the wood for months.

There are two types of linseed oil. Let’s discuss them.

Boiled linseed oil:

Boiled linseed oil is not boiled at all. Linseed oil has a long drying time. You will need several days to cure a wood with linseed oil. Boiled linseed oil contains some chemicals that help the oil to dry faster.

So with boiled linseed oil, you can quickly cure a wood with linseed oil. Many types of chemicals can be used as a dryer agents. Some of the elements can have toxic effects on us.

So, use gloves, eye-protective glass, and a respirator mask while working with boiled linseed oil if you want to be on the safe side.

Raw linseed oil:

Raw linseed oil is the pure version of linseed oil. Natural linseed oil does not contain any extra chemicals. The only drawback of raw oil is the drying time is longer than the boiled linseed oil.

Many people prefer raw linseed oil as it has no toxic effect. In some places, peoples cook different dishes with pure linseed oil.

If you have 4-5 days, it is better to use pure linseed oil. The applying process does not take much time; you just need to put it for drying for a few extra days.

Is linseed oil good for outdoor teak furniture?

Yes, You can use linseed oil for outdoor teak furniture and they are good. Teak wood is the most durable wood that can resist the weather. Usually, boats are made with teak wood, but outdoor furniture made with teak wood is also trendy.

However, only linseed oil is not enough to make the wood waterproof. People use different burnish to make the wood weather resistant. The furniture can turn dark over time, but the wood will remain stable for years.

Danish oil is the best oil you can find for your teak furniture. It combines linseed oil and other ingredients that strengthen the wood much better than linseed oil.

Both boiled and raw linseed oil is useable to cure the teak wood. Two to three layers are needed to fix the teak wood completely.

Does linseed oil make outdoor wood waterproof?

Linseed oil does make outdoor wood waterproof but not entirely. It provides some sort of protection, but the wood gets damaged long-term.

However, it depends on the wood and its usage. For example, if you have some nice wooden chairs outdoor, you will want to protect them as much as possible. But you may not care that much about the wooden frame you use in your flower bed.

If you care about the aesthetics of the furniture, linseed oil is not enough to waterproof outdoor wood. Linseed oil will provide decent protection from water for several months.

But its layer gets damaged by moisture and water, so you will need to apply the linseed oil again after some months.

What happens when you use linseed oil on outdoor furniture?

Wood is an excellent material for furniture, but it has some significant weaknesses. Raw wood is weak to moisture and water. The wood absorbs moisture and helps to inhibit molds and fungus. This way, unprocessed wood gets bad so quickly.

Linseed oil protects the wood from moisture, molds & fungus, and weather damage. Here is what happens when you use linseed oil on outdoor furniture.

Protects from moisture:

Wood has countless tiny tubes inside it. The tubes transport saps when the tree is alive. Those tubes of wood remain unused and can absorb a lot of moisture.

So, when you fill the tubes with linseed oil, the wood has no room left for water.

This way, the linseed oil furniture becomes waterproof. However, without a  protective layer over the linseed oil layer, the wood becomes damaged over time.

Protects from mold:

Woods are made of cellulose chains, and cellulose is digestible for fungus and mildew in the presence of water. So, the wood goes bad so fast without preserving the wood from fungus or moisture.

The molds and fungus create some blackish colonies and eat the wood from in and out. Linseed oil creates an outer layer and seals the tiny holes inside the wood, so moisture can not enter and molds cannot grow.

It makes the wood beautiful.

Linseed oil adds beautiful woody color to the wood. It also highlights the patterns of the wood and makes it look aesthetic. If you cure the wood with proper sanding, you will get a nice and smooth piece of wood.

How long does linseed oil protect wood outdoor?

Linseed oil protects outdoor wood for 1-3 years if cured perfectly. The time depends on many factors.

Firstly, the weather is a significant factor; if you have hot and dry weather, linseed oil will protect the wood for longer. Linseed oil cannot cover the wood for long in humid conditions.

The durability of wood also depends on the type. Some woods are naturally hardy, while some tend to go bad fast.

Applying linseed oil as an outer layer of the wood makes the inner part very dry, and the wood absorbs a massive amount of water if the outer layer is damaged.

When that happens, moisture traps inside, and wood decompose faster. But no worries, check the proper way of applying linseed in the next section.

How do you apply linseed oil to outdoor furniture?

The applying process of linseed oil is pretty straightforward but a bit time-consuming. That does not mean you will have to spend all day curing the woods. About half an hour for 2-4 days is enough to complete your project. Follow the steps for perfect wood curing with linseed oil.


At first, use sandpapers to make the wood smoother and remove any odd parts. Sanding also opens up the wood so that the wood can absorb oil faster.

First, use 80 grit sandpaper and carefully polish the surface evenly. After that, use 240 grit sandpaper to make the wood surface smoother.

Clean the wood:

Now clean the wood with a cloth, remove all the dust. Next, use a damp cloth to wipe the surface.

Apply oil:

Apply some oil and spread equally. Wait for some moments. If the wood absorbs the oil, apply again. Apply oil in the end grain part. It is like feeding the wood with oil.

When the wood stops absorbing, keep it there for 15 min. Remove the extra oil with a cloth and leave it for a day.

Apply again:

The next day, clean the wood surface, apply the oil and wait for 15 min. Remove extra oil after that. Repeat step 4 the next day.

Final thoughts

One can use linseed oil on outdoor furniture, but an extra cote over burnish, or polyurethane is required for complete protection. Soaking the wood with linseed oil is essential to make the wood more durable. Use protective equipment while working with boiled linseed oil.