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So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Help with choosing the right coloured milkpaint to slather all over your new project.

So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby RogerS » 15 Oct 2019, 08:06

...because you've heard how good it is...never needs repainting etc. So far..so good. But just exactly what timescales are you working to as this stuff, as Coley has also found out, takes a l..o..n..g time to dry out to the same extent as 'normal' paint.

What's involved ?

The plus side is just the one tin of paint. And a brush. Some raw linseed oil to stick your brush in between coats (as you never clean the brush). You also need to prime the first coat with a mix of 50% linseed oil paint, 35% raw linseed oil and 15% balsam turpentine. Ratios are not critical. But it is now very thin and so wear goggles - DAMHIKT. You put it on ideally onto bare wood. You put it on thinly. Very thinly. You think you've put it on thinly enough but it's still too thick. So use a clean brush to brush over the just-painted surface to remove the excess that you didn't think you had but you did.

Then wait. If you're lucky - a day. If you're unlucky - two days. If after three days, it's still wet then what part of the phrase 'thinly' are you having difficulty in understanding ? ;)

So now you're ready for the next coat. This is where the fun starts. A pack of nitrile gloves is essential. As is linseed soap. And a roll of paper towels. And some scrap cardboard or similarly absorbent material to protect the floor/surrounding area. Absorbency is important. I'll return to that later.

Apply a thin coat of paint. Now drag a clean brush over as it will still be too thick. Be careful, so very very careful to avoid build up in crevices, on external corners. You have to rediscover that anal-retentivity inside you. Now go over it all again just to be sure.

Wait. At least two days if not longer. Linseed oil is not for anyone in a hurry. No sirree.

Meanwhile you can discover the other 'feature' of linseed oil. Remember I said use something absorbent on the floor ? A bit of scrap black plastic DPM is NOT a good idea. Those drops won't dry. Ever. They will skin over..yes..but inside lurks wet paint. Which gets transferred to your gloves, your clothes, your shoes. When it gets into contact with something impervious like nitrile gloves, and you don't realise it, you transfer it to the next non-porous object that you pick up. Where it sits like a malignant troll, waiting for you to pick that same object up a couple of days later with your bare hands whereupon that paint gets transferred to your hands. And round and round we go. That's why you need the linseed oil soap! And a big bag of nitrile gloves.

So a few days on and you reckon it's dry enough for the last coat. It isn't as you soon find out because as you apply the new coat, you find that it starts to soften the previous coat and that you then start to drag out that coat in little knobbly bits of semi-dry linseed oil paint. And don't even think about trying to sand it away..therein lies madness. That stuff is like rubber. You can sometimes use that feature to your advantage because if you've found a drip that you missed first time round then you can rub it vigorously with your gloved hand which removes the thin skin over the top and lets you flatten the drip back to some semblance of flat. You've still got those rubbery bits though. Good luck with getting rid of those.

Leave that last coat to dry. For a week or so. Then put some new nitrile gloves on (other types available) before you start lifting that door into place because I can guarantee that there will be some areas of excess that haven't fully dried.

So there you go. Cracking stuff.
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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby sammy.se » 15 Oct 2019, 09:08

I enjoyed reading that epic. Looking forward to the sequel.

I've used linseed oil hundreds of times, as an artist. If I ever use it on wood work, I'll be sure it is out of the way for weeks before it's touched by anyone or anything. It takes weeks/months to dry. But it does eventually dry.



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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby Coley » 15 Oct 2019, 09:53

I've still got new tins of the stuff from different manufacturers. I haven't got around to it. The first attempts left me exhausted tbh and the finish was patchy. First impressions were it's hard work !

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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby Robert » 15 Oct 2019, 09:59

My book on wood finishing has a section about linseed.

Doesn't sell the idea of 'oils' :)

Phone picture of the pages but it is readable when enlarged

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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby Trevanion » 15 Oct 2019, 10:50

What did you expect? Jacob likes it... :lol:

I’ve wanted to try it but it seems a whole lot of hassle compared to a couple days worth of spraying water based paint and having the job done instead of waiting weeks and still wondering “is it done yet?”.
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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby Doug » 15 Oct 2019, 20:44

Trevanion wrote:What did you expect? Jacob likes it... :lol:



Well his front door don’t look bad.

9F2EBF7C-5A8D-4B25-B3A8-DD7DE92B1627.jpeg
(367.21 KiB)


& that was a good few years ago & it still looks good.

Perhaps linseed paint is like the old saying Rog, good things come to him who waits :eusa-think: :D
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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby RogerS » 15 Oct 2019, 22:10

Yeah..but it took two years to dry.

I've been digging a little bit deeper into this. For instance, in the Uk, you've got two main offerings...Brouns...formerly Oricalcum and Allback from Sweden. Read one, they say use raw linseed...and don't spray...the other 'boiled linseed' and 'you can't spray'. Go figure.

Going further field there is a very good German site that basically agrees with me ...in that they offer desiccants as an add-on when you order their paint to make the bloody stuff dry...this side of eternity.
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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby Cncpaul » 16 Oct 2019, 07:28

Roger, try some terebine driers
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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby sammy.se » 16 Oct 2019, 08:53

In the art world, we use siccative as a drier, for accelerated curing. I can't see why it wouldn't work for furniture painting as well, but it probably isn't the cheapest since art supplies are usually small quantities.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_drying_agent

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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby will1983 » 16 Oct 2019, 09:03

Japan driers?? No experience of using these but maybe someone else has.
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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby sammy.se » 16 Oct 2019, 09:32

"Japan driers" is one of those generic terms, so there are varying quality and derivatives.

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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby Trevanion » 16 Oct 2019, 10:50

Kind of curious to how to go about repainting it after a few years, I know it can be “spruced up” with a bit of linseed oil but if you need to repaint it do you have to wait for a seriously dry summer where there’s no chance of rain? Most of the stuff I use including the oil based stuff is impervious to rain after a day or two but would the LOP gain little watermarks from rain landing on it even after a few days?
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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby Woodbloke » 16 Oct 2019, 14:18

I used to use yer bog standard oil based paints and they were a pain in the arris so this linseed gloop seems to be the same sort of stuff on steroids and I really can't be ar$ed with it :D I've now changed over to quick drying water based paint which means that I can get a couple of new licks of paint on the front door in a day...and be able to close it at night. I also haven't got the faffing about with white spirit to clean the brushes which is a monumental bonus.
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Re: So you want to use linseed oil paint...

Postby RogerS » 09 Nov 2019, 09:07

Cncpaul wrote:Roger, try some terebine driers


Paul, have you used terebine wit linseed oil paint ?
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