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Removing polymerized linseed oil?

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Forum topic by CHB posted 10-05-2020 02:10 PM 414 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CHB

3 posts in 52 days


10-05-2020 02:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: linseed oil

Hello,

Believe it or not, I have scoured the internet and still have come up short. I greatly appreciate any help or tips you can provide! I am very much a newbie, I have only refinished a couple pieces of wood.

Our friend gave us a handmade dinner table made with a thick piece of oak veneer plywood with a 2×4” support frame underneath. He thinks it was it was finished with a food-grade polymerized linseed oil coating.

We would like to stain the table a much darker color, and finish it with a couple coats of polyurethane.

So, my question is: besides exclusively sanding, how do I remove the linseed oil? If using an oil-based stain, how perfectly do we need to remove the linseed oil?

I’m totally ok with the table looking a little “rustic”

I’ve seen turpentine, mineral oil, and oven cleaner suggested, but nothing specifically for polymerized linseed oil. Would a chemical stripper work?

Thank you so much!


14 replies so far

View squazo's profile

squazo

204 posts in 2558 days


#1 posted 10-05-2020 02:31 PM

I would think aircraft stripper would work. It absolutely demolishes everything I have ever tried it on. You can pick it up at any auto part store.

View LesB's profile

LesB

2664 posts in 4356 days


#2 posted 10-05-2020 04:57 PM

The oil has penetrated into the wood and as you stated polymerized which is a chemical bonding process so removing it particularly from a veneer may be all but impossible. You may be able to remove any surface finish with a stripper and light sanding and then add your oil based stain to darken the wood as desired. Then you can apply a poly top coat. It you can’t get the wood dark enough with the stain you could also add color to the poly top coat but that may obscure the wood grain slightly.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Rich's profile

Rich

6142 posts in 1502 days


#3 posted 10-05-2020 05:22 PM

I’m with Les on this one. If you can get to a stainable surface, I’d recommend using a gel stain. It’ll leave a more even color and it also colors without needing to soak in as much. It’s often used as a glaze, for example.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Wildwood

2906 posts in 3047 days


#4 posted 10-06-2020 11:57 AM

Would not waste time or money trying to remove an unknown finish on veneer plywood! Throw a table cloth over it and call it done!

Rule of thumb for attempting to remove an unknown finish has always been start in inconspicuous place using one or more solvent / thinner (alcohol, acetone, lacquer thinner, mineral spirits/paint thinner) to figure out what works. Of course always an array of wood strippers to choose from. Some sanding required too! Another consideration is dealing with silicone contamination from furniture spray polish!

-- Bill

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5889 posts in 3264 days


#5 posted 10-06-2020 01:28 PM

It likely penetrated the through the veneer and won’t take stain very well. I really wouldn’t tackle this, you might make it worse than what you have.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Bstrom's profile

Bstrom

205 posts in 86 days


#6 posted 10-06-2020 01:28 PM

Could you apply another layer of veneer over the old and have all the choices you desire? Banding the edge? Sand the edges to bare wood? Rebuild – not refinish would be my approach.

-- Bstrom

View AlanWS's profile

AlanWS

97 posts in 4471 days


#7 posted 10-06-2020 01:58 PM

The problem most have suggested is that oak veneer is too thin to let you remove the finish and sand to clean wood.

If you need to make it darker and the finish is stable you may be able to use a toner, that is, a layer of color on top of this surface below your final finish. A challenge is that you need to make sure the layers will stick to one another, and that the underlying layer is not so soft as to allow the upper layers to crack. People sometimes use dewaxed shellac as an intermediate layer that sticks to everything, and everything sticks to.

Is the bottom surface of the table finished the same way so you have a place to experiment without it showing?

-- Alan in Wisconsin

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

1185 posts in 3730 days


#8 posted 10-06-2020 02:06 PM

Here’s a suggestion that I’m submitting to see what more experienced finishers on the forum will think:

Why couldn’t he apply shellac over the current finish, then apply a gel stain to get the color he wants, then apply a protective coat or two of polyurethane? No chemical stripping required.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6557 posts in 3406 days


#9 posted 10-06-2020 03:40 PM



Here s a suggestion that I m submitting to see what more experienced finishers on the forum will think:

Why couldn t he apply shellac over the current finish, then apply a gel stain to get the color he wants, then apply a protective coat or two of polyurethane? No chemical stripping required.

- jdh122

It might be easier (?) to just apply a dye to the shellac and use it as a toner. Then top coat with whatever. But I agree with teh above that removing what he has isn’t something that will come out well.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View CHB's profile

CHB

3 posts in 52 days


#10 posted 10-08-2020 11:22 PM

Thank you everyone for your replies! I think I will try what a couple people suggested and test a hidden area. I like the idea of using shellac that’s been toned. I may even try thinned paint, since we want it pretty dark. Guess we could paint it if we really mess it up. I just am not fan of blond wood.

Thanks again!

View CHB's profile

CHB

3 posts in 52 days


#11 posted 10-08-2020 11:34 PM



Here s a suggestion that I m submitting to see what more experienced finishers on the forum will think:

Why couldn t he apply shellac over the current finish, then apply a gel stain to get the color he wants, then apply a protective coat or two of polyurethane? No chemical stripping required.

- jdh122

Thank you!

I would love to try this. Dewaxed shellac, specifically? I’m a total newbie, like I said. Maybe I could lightly sand it first, just for good measure?


The problem most have suggested is that oak veneer is too thin to let you remove the finish and sand to clean wood.

If you need to make it darker and the finish is stable you may be able to use a toner, that is, a layer of color on top of this surface below your final finish. A challenge is that you need to make sure the layers will stick to one another, and that the underlying layer is not so soft as to allow the upper layers to crack. People sometimes use dewaxed shellac as an intermediate layer that sticks to everything, and everything sticks to.

Is the bottom surface of the table finished the same way so you have a place to experiment without it showing?

- AlanWS

Thank you!

The bottom is not finished, but a small part of the bottom edge is. Gives me less than an inch strip around the bottom to test stuff, if I’m careful.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6557 posts in 3406 days


#12 posted 10-09-2020 01:32 PM

Dewaxed shellac is always a good idea if you plan to top coat it with a urathane varnish or a waterborne finish. They can have adhesion problems with waxy shellac.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View risnot's profile

risnot

3 posts in 29 days


#13 posted 10-26-2020 10:25 PM

Newb here – stupid question – do the same rules apply for wood rather than veneer? I’m having a sort of similar issue.

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

1089 posts in 2132 days


#14 posted 10-26-2020 10:38 PM



Newb here – stupid question – do the same rules apply for wood rather than veneer? I m having a sort of similar issue.

- risnot


veneer is wood.

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