Linsee Oil Finish
The Shakers found many uses for linseed oil. They used it as an
ingredient of their paints, stains, and varnishes; as a wood
perservative; and by itself as a natural wood finsher. To bring out
the natural beauty of dark woods-- particularly walnut-- nothing
surpassses linseed oil. It penetrates into the wood and enriches the
graining. Moreover, wood with is treated with oil is amply protected
against ordinary damage, and the finish may be renewed at any time
with a fresh applications.
For finishing Shaker reproductions, such as the copy of the Hancock
Shaker bench shown here, boiled linseed oil is thinned slightly with
turpentine. Two tablespoons of vinegar may be added to each pint of
oil. The mixture is then applied as shown in the accompanying
photographs. For best results, two or three coats should be brushed
on. Between coats, excess oil is rubbed off with a soft rag.
After a drying period of two or three days, the final coar may be
polished with wax to produce a soft luster. It will be observed that
the oil penetrates into the wood--and once it has hardened it does
not soil covers or clothing.
page 98, The American Shakers and Their Furniture with measured
drawings of museum classics, by John G. Shea
On pages 94 and 95 are 1849 recipies for colored stains.
Of the furniture shown there are tressle tables, 6-board chests, peg
benches and other peices that were done the same way in period.
There are also a lot that were not done in period.
I am not arguing, just looking to learn more.