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Linseed Oil-Diesel or Mineral Spirits Mix

BigJim#1-8

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#1
I've heard some of the old timers talk about coating their barns, etc with a mixture of linseed oil with diesel, kerosene or mineral spirits mixed in.
Anyone else know about this & what the mix ratio is?
 

hoarder

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#2
I don't know the answer for exterior use. I had heard about mixing diesel/kerosene/mineral spirits (as budget allows) with boiled linseed oil and paraffin, the latter being melted before mixing. Both the parafin and linseed oil have problems. The linseed oil becomes food for bacteria when wet and turns black, the paraffin prevents caulk from sticking.
If I were to apply linseed oil on exterior surfaces, I would first treat the wood with a borate solution.
For interior wood, people mix polyurethane varnish, mineral spirits, and boiled linseed oil at 50/25/25.
 

edsl48

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#3
Years and years ago I sided an old garage sized shed with some CDX plywood that I treated with a mix of Linseed oil and diesel fuel. I was told that this was a great way to preserve wood by an old now deceased farmer. I never did get the exact mix amounts but being Linseed oil cost considerably more than diesel my mix was heavier on the diesel oil. I did not use any mineral spirits which I assume is to make the mix thinner for easier application and or absorption. I then topped that off with two coats of a WalMArt branded oil based barn paint using a roller for all applications. I forget how long I did this but it has been at least 30 years and to this day it does not look bad particularly when one considers that CDX plywood isn't rated for outdoor exposure. For what this is worth there are probably assorted regulations against doing this today such ass allowing diesel to come in contact the environment and who knows what else...but in any event it did work for me.
 

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#4
Years and years ago I sided an old garage sized shed with some CDX plywood that I treated with a mix of Linseed oil and diesel fuel. I was told that this was a great way to preserve wood by an old now deceased farmer. I never did get the exact mix amounts but being Linseed oil cost considerably more than diesel my mix was heavier on the diesel oil. I did not use any mineral spirits which I assume is to make the mix thinner for easier application and or absorption. I then topped that off with two coats of a WalMArt branded oil based barn paint using a roller for all applications. I forget how long I did this but it has been at least 30 years and to this day it does not look bad particularly when one considers that CDX plywood isn't rated for outdoor exposure. For what this is worth there are probably assorted regulations against doing this today such ass allowing diesel to come in contact the environment and who knows what else...but in any event it did work for me.
The reason to use mineral spirits is it's cleaner and doesn't leave residue. The reason to use diesel is low cost and kerosene in between. I would not use oil based paints for the exterior of climate controlled buildings because hydrostatic pressure (difference in humidity on two sides of a wall) will make it blister. CDX is actually exterior rated, or at least was. That's what the X stands for. What you did minimized the expansion and contraction (caused by moisture changes) of the layers of plywood, thus prevented delamination. I would have guessed that the diesel would interfere with the adhesion of the paint, unless it dried a long time before application.
 

BigJim#1-8

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#5
From what I understand the linseed was mixed with only one of the other ingredients. I believe the fuel, spirits were used to thin the linseed out as they said they sprayed the mix on barn walls/sides.
 

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#6
The blackening caused by bacteria eating linseed oil probably doesn't harm the wood because I see 80 year old barns that have that look...blacker along the bottom and wetter areas but light brown under the eaves. Harm done to the wood by moisture, expansion and contraction causes the most damage. Farmers sometimes have good advice passed down through the generations.