It is so easy to go overboard with baskets,  so I try to limit the ones I collect to ones that I have a practical use for.  This one I use for collecting herbs and produce from the garden.  But it gets a little dirty and needs cleaning more often than others.    Cleaning a basket should be done with dusting brush or with a vacuum, I use a long bristle paint brush to get into the cracks. They can be rinsed and dried quickly, but not soaked.  In the past I have brought in baskets and practically drowned them in the bathtub to clean them.  Washing baskets too much dries them out and shortens their lifespan.  My idea was to give this one a coat of Boiled Linseed Oil to help it last longer.

The proper application of Boiled Linseed Oil is to add a bit of mineral spirits or turpentine to the base coat, which helps it dry faster, giving the later coats something to grab on to and keep those coats from becoming tacky.    This was not that application.  I just grabbed the can of BOL and a chip brush and started painting… I expected all the excess BOL to drip off and I wasn’t in a rush for it to dry as I don’t need it again until spring.   I hung the basket outside confusing the squirrels who thought it was a new feeder.  And brought it in when the weather turned cold.  If I had it to do over I would indeed use a thinner in the basecoat as the willow bark is NOT absorbent at all.   The excess BOL did drip off, then I parked it ontop of the oven for another 48 hours until it was dry to the touch.  Now it is hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen.  

It is best to hang your baskets in the kitchen where they won’t experience extreme temperature variation and won’t get overly dry.  

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