Flaxseed oil is an oil that is extracted from dried flax seeds. It has a number of uses, ranging from furniture finishing to oil painting. Hardware stores and art supply stores often sell it, and there are typically several options available, all of which behave slightly differently when used.
It is important to distinguish between flaxseed oil and flaxseed oil. Although both oils come from the same seed, they are treated differently.
Flaxseed oil is a crude, cold-pressed oil and is often sold as a dietary supplement. Flaxseed oil is heated and chemically treated, and is not safe to consume.
People who use flaxseed oil as a dietary supplement want to take advantage of the oil’s rich nutritional value in raw and cold-pressed form. People who are interested in consuming this oil should make sure that they purchase a product that is clearly marked as “food grade.”
Linseed oil is used in some oil paints.
One of the classic uses of linseed oil is in furniture finishing. Crude oil not intended for human consumption can be rubbed into unfinished wood to create a rich, glossy finish.
Typically, multiple coats are required, and it takes a long time for the finish to dry between coats, so this finishing process requires some patience. The so-called “boiled” flaxseed oil, which has been treated, dries much faster, allowing people to make several layers in a short period of time.
The treated oil is also added to things like paints, resins, varnishes, and inks, because it dries quickly, promoting fast, even drying. Painters use it as a carrier oil for their paintings, appreciating the rich sheen it creates.
Depending on the amount of oil used, a painter can also vary the thickness of the paint, from very dense and lumpy to thin and short-lived.
Flaxseed oil that has been treated tends to be dark amber in color, and has a distinctive odor. The smell and color are an indication that the oil is not safe to consume.
Flaxseed oil, on the other hand, is pale golden in color, and is virtually odorless and tasteless.
When flaxseed oil is used for home improvement projects, people should know that it is highly flammable. As the oil evaporates, it can sometimes spontaneously ignite, causing a fire.
For this reason, the cloths that have been used to apply it should be allowed to air dry before being discarded or washed; They should also not be run through a tumble dryer, as they can catch fire.