How to Protect your Vintage Timber Wood Doors Outside - Bali Abundance

Preserving Vintage Charm: Shielding Your Doors from the Elements with Linseed Oil and Turpentine

Preserving Vintage Charm: Shielding Your Doors from the Elements with Linseed Oil and Turpentine

Vintage doors add character and charm to any space, but when exposed to the harsh outdoor elements, they can lose their luster.  In this guide, we'll explore a time-tested method to protect your vintage doors and extend their lifespan—enter the dynamic duo of linseed oil and turpentine.

I am about to do a Bali backyard makeover in my home with this amazing 3 piece set of Vintage Doors and Panels pictured below. I currently look out at a wooden paling fence which I want to cover to create a Balinese style backyard and a tranquil place to relax. The doors are from Java and now quite rare to find such a beautiful original set like these. The doors are a little short for walking through so perfect as a screen in my garden. In future blogs I will share my backyard makeover as it all comes together. I really want to protect these doors so they do not deteriorate and have decided on the process below to help preserve them in my garden. 

The Battle Against the Elements

Vintage doors face a formidable opponent in the form of weathering. Rain, sun, and fluctuating temperatures can take a toll on the integrity of the wood, causing it to warp, crack, or fade over time.

The Superpower Combo: Linseed Oil and Turpentine

Here's where the magic happens. Linseed oil, derived from flaxseed, is a natural wood preservative known for its ability to penetrate deep into the wood fibers. Combine it with turpentine, a solvent that enhances penetration, and you've got a potent mixture ready to shield your doors from the elements.

The Recipe


  • 50% Linseed Oil
  • 50% Turpentine


  1. Mix the linseed oil and turpentine in equal parts.
  2. Stir thoroughly to ensure a homogeneous blend.
  3. Ensure your vintage door is clean and dry before application.

The Application Process

  1. Preparation: Sand the door lightly to create a smooth surface.
  2. Application: Using a brush or cloth, apply the linseed oil and turpentine mixture evenly across the door.
  3. Absorption: Allow the mixture to penetrate the wood for at least 24 hours.
  4. Repeat: For optimal protection, repeat the process every few months, especially in high-exposure areas.

Benefits of the Linseed-Turpentine Shield

  • Water Resistance: Repels water, preventing warping and rot.
  • UV Protection: Guards against sun damage and fading.
  • Enhanced Aesthetics: Restores and enhances the natural beauty of the wood.
  • Longevity: Prolongs the life of your vintage doors.

By investing a little time and effort into this simple yet effective treatment, you can ensure that your vintage doors not only withstand the elements but continue to make a statement for years to come. Say goodbye to weathering worries, and hello to beautifully preserved vintage charm!

Did you know  Linseed oil can undergo spontaneous combustion, especially when rags or towels soaked in it are left in a pile.

Did you know? (It's important!)

Linseed oil is combustible. Dispose of used rags properly to avoid fire hazard"  to store and dispose of linseed oil-soaked materials in a well-ventilated area and away from heat sources. Better safe than sorry!

Watch our YouTube Video to see this easy process to help protect timber from the outdoor elements.  Thank you for taking the time to read our blog...