Outdoor Cedar Wood + Boiled Linseed Oil = Fire?

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kylethoman
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Q:

I am making an outdoor organic raised bed garden out of Cedar wood but would like to preserve (as well as protect) the color f the wood by applying boiled linseed oil. First off, is this an organic way to go? I've heard that it could destroy with mildew? Secondly, will my graden combust and catch fire? I've also heard of its flamable nature...

Is this ok? what should I do?

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Kylethoman,

If you're concerned about organic gardening, don't use boiled linseed oil on the inside surfaces of your raised beds. It contains heavy metal driers that can leach into the soil and be taken up into the plants.

Flammability is only a concern when the oil is still wet. If you use rags to apply linseed oil, spread them out to dry in a single layer. If wadded up in a bundle, they can spontaneously combust.

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I've used boiled linseed oil on my cedar siding and it lasted 25 years.  It should not be any more flammable than regular wood is after it dries.  You can also use a solid color wood stain though.  There are many that are excellent and available in latex formulations. 

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