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Old 07-12-2012, 07:39 AM   #1
KMinAF
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Default Old engine oil as wood stain

Laugh or shake your head if you will, but it looks pretty good. I had just finished installing a new floor on my trailer and was too tired (cheap) to go buy some proper wood sealer. I saw the container of old engine oil and went hmmm I wonder if..... so I did. I don't think I would use it on fine furniture but it definitely worked for this project, the water just rolls off and the smell is like taking a bit of the garage with me where ever it goes.

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Old 07-12-2012, 07:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

Is that the "stained"picture? It looks pretty light.

I have heard about old-time farmers using a mixture including diesel fuel and possibly oil to preserve barn wood, so you're not crazy or anything.

I'm sure the EPA would freak out over the method, but whatever.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

Great idea! Bet it smells like an old machinery shed
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

My Dad did the same thing.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

My uncle did that with his new house, board-n-batten siding. Looks awesome, his had more of a gray tint to it.

He says it was super easy to match when he did an addition too!
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

Great idea!
I was saving used engine oil to use as under spray on my truck this fall (winter salt protection) and you just gave me more ideas. Keep us posted on how it holds up.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

I've been dumping used oil on my manure spreader floor forever. Coats the floor and chains ! After using it the floor looks like brand new wood. It kind of polishes it from all the $hit and straw that it moves. So if you have a $hitty
trailer, go for it !
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

Isn't there a flamability issue with this method?
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

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Originally Posted by albaran View Post
Isn't there a flamability issue with this method?
....in Oklahoma, wood is flammable.....

I'm going to be redoing the floor in my dad's trailer soon, I might do this. Maybe use some visqueen to make a trough and pour the oil in and soak the boards overnight. What do you think? I'll be using treated boards anyway.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

I've heard of this before but what I heard was it's better to use an oil that doesn't have the additives in it. They may have been talking about new oil though & not used.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

Neighbor has a garden shed that was in place since 1968. He coated the non-Pressure treated 3/4" plywood floor with oil every season and when he built it he really coated the underside with what looked like axle grease?? Due to some roof damage and other issues we tore it down over the 4th weekend and when it came to the 6 sheets of flooring they were like new? I was amazed. like it was stated EPA may not like it but wow. realize the floor was mostly protected from the elements but the underside was just on a bunch of blocks and had 44 years of moisture hitting it.. very impressed
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:25 AM   #12
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

When I had no garage and had to work on my car in the backyard or driveway, I used big chunks of wood like 12X12 as my safety stands...and they would rot. I started oil soaking by just setting them into a dishpan with the oil from an oil change...after about 2 days in the oil, the wood would be resting on the bottom, then I'd flippitover and soak the other side. After all angles were covered, I let the chunk drain for a while and after that there was nothing out there that could rot it. Appearance and smell improve with time...
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:28 AM   #13
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

I know it works exceptionally well at staining whatever shirt I happen to be wearing. I just changed the oil in my '94 F250 7.3 IDI turbo diesel. The oil filter slipped out of my grip and turned upside down, draining its contents on me. The carbon that the oil picks up in a diesel engine NEVER comes out. I immediately used Shout pretreat on the spots, and they simply laughed at it.
Use diesel oil for that Jacobean look.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:50 AM   #14
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

I have maybe 300' of wooden fence that I have treated with used motor oil. I just replaced 90' of it and wanted to use up what I had. Took a 5gal. bucket and added a gal. of stain, 3gal. of motor oil, half a gallon of mineral spirits, and 3 half pint cans of stain that were not perfect for a job in years gone by. Mixed it up with a paddle in the Dewalt drill.....priceless! Didn't cost me a dime and I got rid of a lot of "stuff".
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:50 AM   #15
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

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Originally Posted by albaran View Post
Isn't there a flamability issue with this method?
I would think so too, of course wood burns too, but it certainly does not ignite as easily as oil. Might be worth trying it on some scrap. I would hate a careless cigarette to burn down my trailer and contents
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:07 AM   #16
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

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Originally Posted by LutzTD View Post
I would think so too, of course wood burns too, but it certainly does not ignite as easily as oil. Might be worth trying it on some scrap. I would hate a careless cigarette to burn down my trailer and contents
Have you ever put a lit cigarette in some oil?
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:56 AM   #17
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

Linseed oil is a far better oil to stain and protect wood than petroleum oil.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:56 AM   #18
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

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Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
Have you ever put a lit cigarette in some oil?
Alls it does is saturate the cig and smother the flame.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:16 AM   #19
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

Used motor oil from a diesel pick up is what I used on the counter tops I made from construction grade 2"x8"s for my shop.

As for flammability I don't think it changed much over bare wood. I have a few burn marks on the edge from where I soldered some copper pipe joints together. Just scorched, it never supported a flame.

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Old 07-12-2012, 11:23 AM   #20
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Default Re: Old engine oil as wood stain

[QUOTE=Bull;2428279]Is that the "stained"picture? It looks pretty light.QUOTE]

If you want it darker, just drive the car longer between oil changes.

That's a cool idea. There is no shortage of waste oil in my garage and I can't use it as bar and chain oil fast enough. I have a trailer with a wood floor and just noticed the wood was showing its age. It'd look nice with a coat of "stain" on it.

I like the comments about the smell. Just don't use gear oil--gawd, I hate that smell.
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