You can’t go wrong with linseed oil, especially when protecting and accentuating your wood’s natural color and grain texture. 

Linseed oil for decking? YES! Like other oil finishes, linseed oil penetrates deeply into the wood grain, protecting it against scratches and weathering. The satin finish will bring out the best of the lumber underneath. 

You’re on the right page if you’re wondering how to use linseed oil on decks. 

This article will discuss the following;

  • How To Use Linseed Oil on Decks 
  • Linseed oil and Turpentine for Wood Deck Treatment 
  • And more

You’ll also learn tips for the effective use of linseed oil and the precautions you need to take before using linseed oil.

How To Use Linseed Oil on Decks

To use linseed oil on your deck, a rag or brush should be used to rub the oil into all exposed wood surfaces. To ensure a proper application of the oil, it is important to first thoroughly clean any dirt or debris from the surface of the deck. The linseed oil should then be applied in thin coats, allowing each coat to fully dry before adding another.

Linseed Oil for Decking

Linseed oil is naturally a refinishing stain that, when used on wood decking, makes the natural grain appear prominently, leaving a wet look on your deck.

Clean and prepare your deck for treatment

Before staining your deck, remove all the decking items like furniture and plant pots. Those that are too heavy to move should be covered using plastic sheeting.

Use long-handled brushes or brooms to remove dirt, cobwebs, and debris of leaves and twigs from the deck, and use a puffy knife to work through the tiny gaps in the boards.

Sand away any rough, damaged, or severely splintered parts of the deck. Quick sandpapering of your railings will also help enhance that splinter-free smoothness. Remember to remove sanded dust from the deck surface before staining.

The next step involves thoroughly cleaning the deck with quality deck cleaners like Oxy Solve Deck and fence cleaner, which effectively removes tough grime, oils, greases, and stains that could prevent deck sealers or stains from penetrating properly.

Then, apply a roller or pump sprayer to the deck surface.

Steps for cleaning your deck

Step 1: First, wet the deck’s surface with clean water and scrub the cleaning solution into the timber using the right scrubber.

Step 2: Allow the solution to set into the soiled timber for about 10-20 minutes before rinsing it off. Leaving the timber cleaner on the deck surface longer than recommended causes the timber to turn “furry”.

Step 3: No deck cleaners at hand? Worry not. Instead, give your deck a quick rinse-off using a pressure washer. It’s the fastest way to clean your deck. Fasten it and start blasting.

Step 4: When you’re done scrubbing, rinse off your deck with clean water. At this point, the deck surface should appear fresh and clean, awaiting the finishing touches. We recommend leaving the deck for about 24-48 hours before staining it with linseed oil.

Step 5: Whatever way you choose to clean the deck, be thorough with it. And don’t forget your safety—always wear gloves and an eye protector before cleaning.

Quick sidebar: If your deck is pretty old or was constructed before 2004, confirm the wood species used. Decks built before 2004 used pressure-treated wood containing a dangerous chemical to prevent insects and rotting. If your decking was done using this lumber, the dust produced during sanding could be harmful. In that case, involve a professional before staining the deck.

Treat your deck with oil-based paints

Most people choose decking stains to customize the appearance of their decks, while others go for the oiled treatment to nourish and enhance the natural textures of their wood. Ultimately, the choice is yours but trickles down to your preferences.

This article is about Linseed oil though your local hardware store might have a wide selection of other decking natural oils—Danish oil, Varnish, or All-in-one products. (Check out the difference between Danish oil and linseed oil in our guide.)

So, why linseed oil?

Derivatives from linseed oil are highly versatile treatments great for hardwoods. They consist of flax seed extracts (flax seed oils) that restore and rejuvenate outdoor wood furniture. In addition, the flaxseed extracts produce boiled linseed oil that dries fast.   

When used on decks, linseed oils accentuate the natural wood grain, allowing it to weather over time and leave a warm, natural appeal unique to this finish.

For the best treatment, we recommend using Nordicare Linseed Oil for Wood which is 100% raw or natural, as this forms a solid finish resistant to heat, water, stains, and scratches! 

See: Advantages and disadvantages of using danish oil

How to Treat Your Timber Deck with Linseed Oil

If your deck has serious cracks, stains, or damaged seams, you must consider using sanding paper to smooth out your deck before applying the Linseed.

Now that your outdoor timber deck is cleaned, dry, and ready for a treat, it’s time to start the process with oil.

Tools for treating timber deck with Linseed oil

  • Linseed oil
  • A pair of gloves 
  • Rag or Brush

First, use a rag to apply the initial coat of linseed oil to the exposed deck surface. Apply the oil liberally without allowing it to puddle, as it might not dry. Some parts of the deck might act “thirstier” and take in more oil—that’s alright. Just be sure to add it where necessary. 

After the first coat has soaked for about an hour, use a clean, dry piece of cloth to spread pooled oil or eliminate any residual oils for an even finish. Then give it enough at least 24 hours to absorb the oil. If you wish, apply a second coat after it’s completely dry. 

How much Linseed oil is needed? Well, this will depend on several factors, including the humidity and temperature of the place and how dry the wood decking is. 

You’ll see the oil soaking into the plank while water beads on the deck’s surface before evaporating because there’s no chance it will be absorbed into the exposed wood.

It’s interesting to realize that linseed oil can also be used as a dietary supplement that’s safer for those with pets. The oil also produces an odor that delights most people. 

One downside of raw Linseed oil is that the wait time is longer, usually 24-48 hours, before it’s fully absorbed. This means you should apply it in thin layers. Also, use a lint-free cloth to wipe excess oil, so your surface doesn’t dry sticky.   

To alleviate the time it takes linseed oil to dry after application, manufacturers have introduced boiled linseed oil. Though not boiled, the solution contains additives like Turpentine and mineral spirits that accelerate drying—about 18-24 hours instead of 24-48 hours. 

Another disadvantage of oil-based treatments is that they demand regular application every 2 to 3 times each year.

Did you remember to treat between the boards? That’s one thing you should always keep in mind to ensure comprehensive protection and a consistent finish.

For more detailed insights and step-by-step instructions on effectively staining in between deck boards, refer to our comprehensive guide.

This will help you achieve a beautifully enhanced and long-lasting deck finish while taking into consideration every aspect of the staining process.

Afterward, dispose of the rags you have used well. Here’s our guide on how to dispose of Linseed oil rags safely.

Seal and protect your timber deck with quality Linseed oil

To properly seal your timber deck, use raw linseed oil for a deeply nourishing finish, abrasion, water-resistant and UV protection. 

For enhanced wood protection, mix the natural Linseed Oil with a Mineral turpentine like Weber odourless Turpenoid in equal measure. Then, use a roller or brush to apply two coats of the mixture.

Since Linseed Oil takes the longest to dry, the solution should be applied in thin coats and left to absorb well into your timber deck. Remember to use a lint-free piece of cloth to remove excess oil to reduce the sticky drying of the surface.

Linseed Oil for Decking

For additional protection against fungi and mold

A humid climate will increase the risk of mold growth on your newly-cleaned timber deck. However, there are Anti-mould Linseed Oils that provide mold and mildew resistance. 

To achieve utmost deck protection from your anti-mold Linseed Oil, use a roller or brush to apply a thin coat of the solution to your clean timber deck. 

Sometimes drying time depends on the weather conditions, though we recommend waiting for about 24 to 48 hours before stepping on or moving back items to the deck. 

If you intend to apply a second coat or make touchups, let the first coat dry for about 4 hours before application. If there are difficult areas you didn’t get to the first time, like cracks, edges, or corners, use a brush to go over them.

Use a clean, dry cloth to remove excess oil and avoid a residual build-up of oil or making the drying surface sticky. In case of a bad job, remove the linseed oil from the wood carefully.

Linseed Oil and Turpentine for Wood Deck Treatment

Your wooden deck should be preserved and protected. Linseed oil and Turpentine is a winning combination that does exactly that. The solution will keep your timber deck—hardwood or softwood, in superb condition all year round and into the future. 

Before applying the solution, remove any dirt, debris, algae, or mildew first. Then, ensure the decking is thoroughly cleaned and dried to allow penetration of the treatment deep into the wood.

Effective treatment of your deck with Linseed oil and Turpentine has several benefits, including:

  • Protects wood against weathering and or UV damage
  • Reduces wood warping and splitting
  • Prevents growth of mold and fungi

Easy-to-Use solution

Turpentine plus Linseed oil treatment is an easy-to-apply solution that’s also cheap and environmentally friendly. In addition, this type of treatment exposes the natural beauty of the wood, which is why it’s a go-to treatment option for protecting the wood.

How to dry it?

First, let the wood dry completely before applying this solution. Then use a roller to apply the treatment, ensuring it’s even and goes all the way in. Once you’re done, let the treated deck dry completely for a day or two.

You can now begin to see why it’s recommended that you treat your deck with this solution during summer when temperatures are at their highest between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Read Also: How to Fix Deck Wood Cracks

Is Linseed and Turpentine Treatment Only for Wood Deck?

No. The solution is versatile and can be used to treat other woodcrafts like your garden fence or patio furniture. However, your fence panels will turn grey over time and lose their true color and initial protection.

This treatment will help you preserve and restore its luster. It will also protect your fence against decay, mold, and fungi.

How Often to Apply It?

Well, it all depends on the wood you are working with. A touchup might be necessary if you’ve already applied Linseed and turpentine treatment on your deck and it starts fading. Twice a year (of course, after cleaning the deck).

We emphasize that it’s important that you get rid of any dirt, wax, or paint from the deck using a deck cleaner to completely clean and or strip the deck to expose the bare wood. This step is crucial and allows the treatment to penetrate the wood deeply for the desired look.

Tips for Using Linseed Oil

Linseed oil is not resistant to ultraviolet light, which damages wood over time. Linseed oil can also promote mold growth; hence, you must exercise caution when applying it to areas with moisture.

When applying linseed oil, start with the hard-to-reach areas of your deck, like corners. Keep in mind that this oil takes time to dry, so give it time to dry before you walk on it or return your furniture. Consider leasing a power washer instead of purchasing an expensive one.

I would also recommend using polyurethane over boiled linseed oil for even better results.

Warning Before Using Linseed Oil

Linseed oil is commonly used in DIY home projects, particularly during summer, perhaps to stain fences, decks, or patio furniture.

Soaked linseed-oiled rags are very flammable. The oil contains natural substances extracted from flaxseed that are considered highly dangerous. In addition, as linseed oil dries, it generates heat. How?

When the oil mixes with air, the oxygen molecules produce a chemical reaction that produces heat, a process called oxidation. The heat then builds up, becomes too hot during the curing of oil-soaked rags or paper, and ignites a fire.

After use, spread the rags out on a gravel or concrete surface to cure them completely before soaking them in water and thoroughly washing them.

Alternatively, you can wash the rags and dispose of them properly in the trash. Never use linseed oil on redwood or western red cedar. It will be like fertilizer for mold, which will grow faster, form a black surface and eventually damage your wood.

Interesting read: Is Linseed oil safe for cutting boards?


How do you apply linseed oil to a deck?

It’s easy though it takes some time. Finishing wood with linseed oil starts with thoroughly cleaning the deck to remove any unsightly blemishes that could prove impossible to remove later. Once the deck is clean and dry, apply the linseed oil and let it soak into the surface. Next, wipe any excess oil and buff the decking with a clean cloth. To achieve your desired finish, apply several linseed oil coats, ensuring adequate drying time between the coats. As a caution, DON’T apply excess linseed oil, or it may become too gummy if absorbed. If you have to add more layers, we recommend waiting a few days before reapplying.

Read also: Will an outdoor rag harm a wood deck?

Can you use linseed oil on exterior wood?

Yes. Raw linseed oil can be used on exterior wood to prevent aging due to drying out. Linseed oil can also work wonders in enhancing the natural color of the wood and giving it a fresh look.

Can I paint wood after applying linseed oil?

Yes, you can, as long as you use oil-based paints. This is because water-based or acrylic paints can bubble or become unevenly distributed.

Is one coat of linseed oil enough?

No. Dry wood usually absorbs the first coat, so one or more later coats are a must. You’ll probably get a more resistant surface if you use a wax polish or boiled linseed oil containing metal salts that enhance the hardening of the wood surface. Be sure to give each coat enough time to dry completely before reapplying.

Can boiled linseed oil be used on finished wood?

As you can imagine, “boiled linseed oil” is not cooked, but it is treated with toxic chemicals that change it into a drying oil. So, can boiled linseed oil be used on finished wood? Well, it depends on what was used to finish the wood.  However, boiled linseed oil can be applied to wood previously finished with either linseed oil or any other non-film-forming oil. We recommend using boiled linseed oil regularly. Wipe on, wait a while, and wipe off the excess oil. Do not bother using boiled linseed oil on the painted or varnished surface. The oil will not soak well, so it can be messy.

Next read: Watco Danish oil colors on pine


While using a wide range of products to treat wood decks, you can always go right with pure linseed oil for decking. And now that you know how to use linseed oil on decks, why not give it a try and:

  • Extend and fortify your wood deck 
  • Give your antiques and fine wood finishing
  • Bring out the natural wood tone and grain pattern of your wood
  • Seal wood decks and protect them against nicks, scratches, and watermarks. 
  • Add a beautiful gloss to the natural wood

Leave a comment down below and let me know how it goes!