Tru-Oil over Boiled Linseed Oil??


New member
I want to finish a maple neck first with several coats of Boiled Linseed Oil and then apply Tru-Oil over it - Should this be OK?

A little background:  I've done several necks in Nitro and Tru-Oil.  My two favorite Nitro necks I actually applied several coats of Boild Linseed Oil first and then sprayed the nitro.  This really really brought out the grain in 3D and gave them a very subtle aged look.  I actually read a fews month ago though that that was a bad idea - that the linseed oil would react with the nitro - but I must have gotten lucky (or that source was wrong!).  My necks are 2-3 years old and show no such issues at all.  Well most recently I've done some Tru-Oil necks and applied water-based stains first.  I LOVE the feel of these necks, just not the color - I want that Boiled Linssed Oil look.  So I need to figure out if thse two finishing oil will work together (I've sprayed Nitro over Tru-Oil, no problem (headstocks), but have heard that Tru-Oil over Nitro is a disaster).

So any opinions welcomed.  Thanks

Seems a bit redundant.  Tru-oil is a linseed blend.

Conversely, it certainly won't be a problem!  I suppose, the two products being slightly different, they may have different diffraction index, and the straight BLO underneath Tru-oil could appear visually different from Tru-oil alone.

But still, suspenders and a belt....? :icon_scratch:

If you put nitro over linseed (I routinely use oil under top coats on figured wood - it really does amp up the depth) you must have used some sort of sealer in between.  Otherwise I'm amazed the nitro didn't fish eye terribly.

Now that it's cured there is little likelihood of problems.  The problem normally occur when the solvent reacts badly (it is a physical reaction, not a chemical reaction) with the oil present on the wood.  And that would have been evident from the first few coats.

At worst you may have less than stellar adhesion of the topcoat, in which case you should try to avoid rapid or extreme temperature changes (which could cause the nitro to begin to lift and/or flake.)
Keyser Soze said:
But still, suspenders and a belt....? :icon_scratch:

That's hilarious - but then again I wear a belt everyday, but never wear suspenders!

Anyway, like I said, I must have gotten really really lucky with the nitro over the oil.  It's a shame that's at risk behavior because it looks amazing!  Only thing I can think of is that the oil must have really sunk in and dried prior to me shooting the nitro - which would make sense because I tend to prep the neck, then prep the body (which takes forever), and then shoot nitro.  so the neck probably sat around 3 weeks oiled before being shot with nitro.

Thanks for the info guys!  I will prep my new neck free of worry
I was a bit succinct in my first answer...

Pure Linseed oil and Tru-oil are similar, but they also have important differences. A very important difference, is that Warmoth considers Tru-oil as giving a 'hard finish' which is mandatory if you want to keep the warranty on necks made from wood that requires a finish. Linseed oil or Tung oil would not qualify. This is because Tru-oil is primarily a varnish.

On the other hand, in my experience, linseed oil is much better for sinking into the wood for the first few coats. That gives a lot more liveliness of the grain in the finished object.

So, what I do is start off with the body or neck sanded down to 600. Then I lightly ! moisten it with a rag with boiling hot water, and when dry sand again with 600. Next is a liberal coat with Linseed oil, heated by putting the bottle in a jar of hot water for some time. When the first coat is dry (I let the first one dry for a day or two, then leave a day between coats) add additional coats until the wood stops absorbing the coats. It depends a lot on the wood and the grain when this happens. With a maple neck, two or three coats will be enough. With a Korina body (the one I'm doing now) It was about six coats.

Then I sand down the body or neck with 1200 (wet) and switch to Tru-oil. Work with very thin coats. Three coats with a drying time of one day, then dry for two days and wet sand with 1200 again. Keep going until you're satisfied the surface is really even. Then I let it dry a few extra days before moving to the final finish. I'm currently using Micro-Mesh, moving down from 2400 (I skip 1500 and 1800 because I already sanded with 1200 paper) right down to 12000. The result is completely smooth and with a mirror gloss. And you can achieve that with very little demand for real 'skill', just a bit of patience.
ooh, I like idea of warming the Linseed Oil before application.  I'll definitely give that a try, anything to deepen the grain.  Thanks for writing up your method.  BTW - I don't even sand my Tru-Oil, just lightly brush with steel wool after several coats.  Probably not a pretty as your finish - but I just love the feel.  absolute saviour on a humid day.
ByteFrenzy said:
On the other hand, in my experience, linseed oil is much better for sinking into the wood for the first few coats. That gives a lot more liveliness of the grain in the finished object.

Excellent point.  When I first began woodworking my technique for boiled linseed oil was to warm it up on the stove, take it out the the shop and mix it 50/50 with turpentine - now that penetrates.  Over the years I stopped doing the heating but still like to dilute the first couple coats to improve penetration.

I also miss real turpentine.