Rubbing Out Lacquer for a High Sheen

Wax is a better choice than linseed oil for rubbing out on top of a film-forming finish such as lacquer. November 25, 2008

I built a desk using a burled maple veneer with a solid maple nosing. Sealed and lacquered with my usual stuff (SW pre-cat). After two weeks I rubbed it out with boiled linseed oil and 0000 steel wool. Dried out nice, but the veneer seemed a little sunk in, so I reapplied the linseed oil. Now the solid maple is perfect, but the center has a slight dusty feel in a couple of spots. I need to go at it again. Should I do the linseed oil with steel wool or maybe wax and steel wool? I'm a little concerned about more linseed oil. The veneer was 500. And I don't want to experiment too much.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor M:
Sounds maybe like you rubbed through your finish.

From contributor S:
What adhesive did you use for the veneer?

From Paul Snyder, forum technical advisor:
Linseed oil works best on bare wood since it's not a film forming finish. I would not recommend applying it over any film forming finish. As linseed oil dries/cures, it absorbs oxygen and swells up. That may be the texture that you're feeling. If you want to rub a film forming finish, like lacquer, to a satin sheen with steel wool, wax would be a much better choice.