Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rubber gloves, oil and dirty knees

Get your head out of the gutter people!  I'm here to show you how to oil up your wooden garden beds. I really wanted to paint my garden beds bright colors but couldn't find any no VOC paint near me so opted to just use boiled linseed oil.
Linseed oil is a classic wood finish and natural protectant that is produced from the seed of the flax plant and processed so that it will dry faster than raw linseed oil.  Boiled linseed oil protects and seals unfinished wood surfaces and produces a beautiful hand-rubbed finish on fine wood and antiques.  Or in my case a wooden garden bed.

Before you start using the oil please read the directions carefully. Do not store near heat and use rubber gloves when handling it.  My husband had this idea to put some coffee grounds into the oil and maybe it would add a natural color to it. I found some vanilla flavored coffee grounds in the freezer and just used those. Didn't like the taste of the coffee at all so I put it in the freezer for just this type of occasion.  I grabbed some old wash clothes and cut them in half so I could use them to rub the oil on the wood.

I started off by using a old Tupperware bowl to put the oil in.  I thought that this was way too much but I was wrong. This stuff goes on forever! I added some coffee grounds and let it sit for a few minutes while I made sure there was no dirt around the edges of my garden bed.

I started taking my time rubbing in the oil as much as I could. I quickly realized there was no need to take my time because the wood sucked up that wood super fast.  I honestly don't think the coffee grounds did anything at all.  But hey it was worth a try.  I did the outside pretty good then did the inside as well.
The inside I did a pretty heavy coat on because the fact that it will be filled with a ton of dirt.  I did get a bit of mud mixed in but instead of darkening the oil it just prevented the oil from soaking into the wood. So make sure all mud/dirt is away from the oil.
I finally finished one!  As you can tell from the pictures, its very different.  Not the cool vibrant color I wanted but still pretty.  I will have to put off doing the second one because I have to take my girls to school.  Both will be done today because it will be raining again tomorrow and they need oil now or the wood will get wet and I will have to wait for another day of no rain.  In Oregon who knows when that will be.
Has we used cedar for this project it would of been pretty expensive.  Even with using Fir and buying oil, it was still way cheaper.  Next we will be getting organic dirt delivered and hopefully by then the weather warms up and I can start planting.  Woot woot!!
Now i'm off to sit and do nothing.  My back is killing me and i'm feeling pretty old right about now.

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