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Thread: Linseed paint

  1. #1
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    Default Linseed paint

    Through the "Shop-made Linseed-based Bedding Compound Recipe?" thread I recently learned about linseed paint.

    https://sagerestoration.com/collecti...seed-oil-paint

    and now I'm curious. Has anyone used it? On a boat? Any comments or feedback?

    I don't have any particular need to stop using quality marine paint (currently favoring Epifanes Yacht Enamel), and it's entirely likely that my curiosity is motivated more by the very pretty marketing materials provided by AllBlacks than by any rational consideration, but still I'm thinking of trying it on a couple of small boats just for the sake of experiment.

    Edit: I see that the topic has been covered here before...

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ed-Oil-Varnish

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    I imagine it would be a satin, chalky finish. Not bad, but not glossy.

    Linseed oil is not a panacea in a wooden boat. Bare wood treated with LO, exposed to the sun, turns black.

    But what the heck, try it. Let us know how it turns out.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    Paint formulas are highly dependent on the composition of the solids to promote longevity. The oil is an emusifier and then a binder creating a moisture barrier. The paint probably has a healthy dose of a Japan Dryer type agent to harden the oil or it would remain sticky for an inordinate amount of time. Old style paint required significant sluffing of the surface layer forming the powder chauk like substance that comes off on your hand. I suspect this would be no different.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    Otherwise know as "oil paint" for several centuries. I suspect the product is similar to the trad oil paints currently offered by Kirby and other small paint manufacturers.
    Last edited by Thorne; 04-03-2019 at 10:37 AM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    The AllBlack information indicates that their linseed oil paint does not contain solvents and cannot be thinned with solvents. So it's not just a linseed-based alkyd enamel and it doesn't contain japan drier - at least not any solvent-based drier.

    Looking at the SDS, the paint is simply linseed oil and pigment, with 2-ethylhexanoic acid and manganese salt as drying agents. Probably not something I'd use on a big boat, but might be a fun experiment on something smaller.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    the marketing is tempting but for the price;
    'never peels or cracks' .. .
    two or three times as much as kirby's plus shipping from sweden? or canada

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    Quote Originally Posted by coelcanth View Post
    the marketing is tempting but for the price;
    'never peels or cracks' .. .
    two or three times as much as kirby's plus shipping from sweden? or canada
    That was my first thought as well, but after reading further the paint is advertised as "100% dry weight" - meaning that since adhesion is not happening through solvent evaporation all of the weight goes into coverage. They claim 2x coverage over solvent-based paint. If that is the case then the cost is comparable. And shipping gets a bit more reasonable as well since you aren't paying to ship a bunch of solvent that will just evaporate. There is a US distributor for them: http://www.solventfreepaint.com/linseed_paint.htm

    In any case I'm interested enough to try it, although probably not for a few weeks. If and when I do I'll report back to be lauded or mocked as the case may be

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    I think Clint used it on the first Drake. Took a long time to dry but the color palate is wonderful. He did win first place for Drake at the WBShow at Mystic.

    The “purified” linseed oil from Albacks does not turn black like hardware store linseed oil.

    Thad might have used some on Sea Harmony’s hull. Maybe he’ll chime in...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    Hello all from Lake Superior. I've used it a fair bit on boats and outdoor projects here. I'll confirm that it does not peel or crack, but it just sort of "evaporates" off the wood as it fails over time. Also, it's really easy to maintain/renew. The sheen for the allback is flatter, and I've cut it with Le tonkinois to create a higher sheen/durable coat. The allback, as i understand it, maintains the highest level of "green" as certified by the Swedish government. Ottosson, another brand (I think there are 7-8 brands in sweden), is less "green" (although still very green), and does dry a bit quicker and has a more semi gloss sheen, as the zinc is cut in at the factory. With the Allback it's sold on it's own and mixed in by the customer. As such, Allback is rated green enough to be dumped in a river, Ottosson is just a level below (this is how it was explained to me). I've also taken to using it for bottom paint. Here on the south shore of Lake Superior, our very cold fresh water is pretty benign, and I did a test with a bunch of different substrates with the Allback colors and sunk them in the lake for a summer several years ago. Most all colors (except white) held up great. I haven't done the same with Ottossson, though I imagine it'd work even better. Also, they clean up great with a linseed oil soap, which for me is a really big perk. I'm 38, went to IYRS when I was 19, and I feel like, at almost 20 years in, I'm closing in on my quota for solvents/chemicals, etc. I've got two sons, 9 and 4, and I really think about long term stuff more than i ever have. I'm pretty careful and use PPE for chemicals, but even then it's starting to gnaw at me. I wonder if any of you feel the same. And finally, the color palate is terrific. Okay, sorry for the novel.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    It's also dreamy to apply. "Their" story is that blackening happens not from the oil but from impurities (proteins) in the uncleaned oil and linseed oil needs to be clean.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    Thanks for the report Jwswan.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    Likewise - thanks! That's great info. And Thad, I'm glad to hear that it's "dreamy to apply".

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    OK here comes another novel:

    I have used linseed paint, both shop bought and mixed myself, for several years and on several boats.
    First off, linseed paint is made from pigments and BLO so drying time is 1-5 days depending on what pigments are used.
    In my experience paint with the pigment hematite dries the fastest.
    Hematite is the go to substitute for red lead which is hard to come over nowadays and is excellent as a primer for the bottom.
    The best white pigments is a mix of white lead and titanium dioxide. The substitute for white lead is zinc oxide.
    Dryers can be used to shorten drying time, but be aware that too much dryer will prolong the drying time; I have experienced surfaces being sticky after three years after having made that mistake.

    Linseed paint should be applied in as thin layers as possible for good results.
    The wood should be oiled with raw linseed oil several times before being painted, or the oil in the paint will go into the wood leaving a chalky surface.
    The first couple of layers paint should be thinned out with either the traditional BLO or the currently now most popular turpentine; there are many schools but I get the best results using BLO.
    First layer 50% paint, 50% BLO/turps.
    Second layer 75% paint, 25% BLO/turps.
    Third and, after sanding, fourth layer 100% paint.

    In cold temperatures BLO gets thicker and the paint will be hard to put on in thin layers, then thinning it out with turps will help. When using only oil, instead of mixing in turps you can heat (carefully, you don't want it hot) the oil; I haven't tried this with paint but my guess is that it would work.

    If the surface starts to get dull or chalky, you can remedy this by applying BLO without pigments.

    As with BLO, rugs, paper, etc with linseed paint on them may ignite spontaneously so should be taken care of apropriately.

    /Mats
    Yes the avatar depicts me; yes I drew the comic boat pic, it's a joke on the pop song I'm Not a Robot by Marina and the Diamonds.
    Swedish Yourneyman of the Year 2019

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    Mats;

    Thanks- that's really good, specific knowledge. agreed on the thin coats. It takes some work to really pull it out with a brush to get it thin on the surface, and yep, the raw linseed oil is a great tip- I'm staining our new house (pine board and batten) with black pine tar stain, and the samples I made up in my shop worked way better that way. good, good info.
    Josh

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    A couple of more things:

    In Sweden, if you ask for "oil paint" you'll most likely get alkyd oil paint, which isn't linseed paint, there may be some BLO in it but usually not much.
    Linseed paint started to be used in Sweden in the 16th century and was the sole paint used on boats since then up to when synthetic paints arrived around... dunno, 1930?

    /Mats
    Yes the avatar depicts me; yes I drew the comic boat pic, it's a joke on the pop song I'm Not a Robot by Marina and the Diamonds.
    Swedish Yourneyman of the Year 2019

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    Thanks Mats. All good info. Now I'm really curious to try it for myself.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    Everything old is new again. Linseed oil, turpentine, Japan drier, and pigment equaled "paint" even when I was a kid. If anybody wants to experiment with highly refined linseed oil, it can be found in the healthfood section of the supermarket bottled as flaxseed oil. (It's edible.) It does take a bit longer to dry, but is good paint. With the modern synthetics, drying is faster. That's why you don't see so many "wet paint" signs anymore. The paint stores used to give "wet paint" signs, stirring sticks, paper paint strainers, and bottle + paint can opener "keys" out for free when you bought paint in olden times. (And gas stations gave away glasses and dishes when you bought gas. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.)


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    Bob;

    that's funny. I'm 38 (as I previously mentioned), and I catch myself saying that nostalgia was better in the old days to anyone that'll listen. Thankfully, the Benjamin moore paint store here in my little fold in the map in northernmost Wisconsin still gives out those same keys. I have a 16d nail in my shop wall with a growing collection, though they most open containers with another sort of hazardous liquid. Thanks for your perspective.
    Josh

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    If anybody wants to experiment with highly refined linseed oil, it can be found in the healthfood section of the supermarket bottled as flaxseed oil. (It's edible.) It does take a bit longer to dry, but is good paint
    You can also go to a specialist art supply house, they'll have a range of different types of linseed oil that've been processed by different methods. Linseed Oil itself yellows more than other traditional painting oils like Walnut or Poppy, but processing also effects how much the Linseed yellows - mucilage from poor quality refining will cause faster darkening, so will the cheaper refining processes (like alkali). For oil painting processing of the oil really matters and it's a whole rabbit hole you can vanish down.

    https://www.tadspurgeon.com/the_book.php?page=the+book is an interesting book aimed at artists replicating traditional paints, including oils, but there's some widely applicable information if you are trying to start off looking at linseed paints from a practical, non-chemist, point of view. Unless you are making something special and expensive like a violin, making your own varnishes/paints can be a pain.
    Last edited by Hugh Conway; 04-06-2019 at 03:07 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    I'll just tag on here... I've been wondering lately about linseed oil, after hearing others talk about using it on centerline timbers to prevent over-hasty drying during construction. There's raw linseed oil, boiled linseed oil, and maybe others. Cleaned, purified, filtered. I'm sure the orange and blue big-box stores sell it, but I presume it may not be the best quality. So, thanks for the sourcing info. It looks like hermatite is available on Etsy and eBay. Maybe I'll mix a batch and try it on the water-heater shed.
    Last edited by chollapete; 04-06-2019 at 07:17 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    I've been using Allback's raw and boiled linseed oil lately. Mixed with some pine tar it's just right (https://www.livingrooms.ws/collections/paints-finishes). We are thinking about using some linseed paint the interior of our boat.

    Cheers,
    Mark

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Linseed paint

    If you go to the Big Box the BLO they sell will usually be processed, boiled (heated), and have dryers - usually cobalt and manganese salts added. That's 3, separate, steps. Works great for plenty of applications. If you buy Linseed oil from https://woodfinishingenterprises.com/ you can buy it with none of those steps, or one, or two, or you can even buy the dryers to replicate the effect. Different.

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