FAQ

HEALTH

Why is the paint industry so resistant to using linseed oil paints?

When modern paint manufacturers try to handle an organic, living material like linseed oil according to the same production principles used in producing cheap, chemical-based paints, the results are disappointing. Over the last 50 years, the handful of paint companies that have become dominant in the industry, instead, prefer to push Alkyd and Acrylic, water-based (plastic) paints on consumers. The industry has developed a very successful advertising and marketing campaign behind chemical-based, plastic paint.

Since paint dealers today are usually brand-bound, they find it difficult to market alternative products like organic linseed paint. Until homeowners become more educated about the danger of chemical based paints and their very limited durability and demand organic, solvent free paints, the market will not change.

Does Acrylic paint cause allergies?

Research shows a strong link between asthma, various new allergies, and other airway diseases.Here is a new study conducted by a USA, Swedish, and German research team completed in 2010.Conclusion: take Acrylic paint and other material containing acrylic seriously. It can be very dangerous.

So why does 'modern' linseed oil have a bad reputation?

Many of today's 'modern' linseed oil products are made with large amounts of solvents to keep them stable and retard mould and mildew. These paints are now classified as harmful to health, the environment and should therefore be avoided.

In the USA, most states have now banned paint products containing chemical volatile organic compounds ("VOCs"). This does not apply to Allbäck linseed oil paint; it contains only purified linseed oil and naturally-occurring mineral compounds as pigments.

Unlike chemical-based linseed oil paints, the Allbäck paint products are not prone to mould and mildew because Allbäck linseed oil is "cleaned" organic linseed oil (cold pressed from flax seeds). Then, supplementary Allbäck cleaning processes make the addition of chemicals unnecessary.

Is it true that linseed oil paints contain lead white and are poisonous?

No! The Allbäck linseed oil paint is a 100 % lead-free paint and completely free from poisonous chemicals. Very old linseed oil paint often contained lead in the form of white lead oxide (white lead). When removing lead-based paint, extensive paint removal with sanders and grinders, etc. is hazardous to your health and the environment.

Use infrared heat technology - The Silent Paint Remover - for safe and effective old lead paint removal.

But I have heard lead paints had good anti-fungicidal properties?

True, but Hans Allbäck's traditional method of cleaning and purifying the linseed oil of all proteins and impurities has given his paints similar anti-fungicidal properties. Our paint also has added natural mould protection in the form of zinc oxide, which may be added to the paint prior to application.

I have heard that some linseed paints have had problems with subsequent mould growth?

Not Allbäck Linseed Paints! The boiled linseed oil used to manufacture the paints has been cleansed of all the proteins using a traditional process. This leaves nothing for bacteria to feed on and accounts for the remarkably light colour of Allbäck linseed oil used in the paint.

You may have noticed that artists use the most expensive linseed oils which are virtually clear in colour. Many other brands of linseed oils are darker brown and therefore contain impurities and proteins that will cause mildew.

Nonetheless, mildew is a pervasive nuisance and thorough preparation (cleaning) of the substrate will always pay dividends.

What is a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound)?

Firstly, understand that "Low VOC" is not "No VOC."

It is important to understand what VOCs are. VOCs are found in the evaporating solvents in paint, added to speed paint drying and to increase paint's volume. Basically, all conventional paint contains solvents. Nowadays, the chemicals in most commercial paints are still there but are supressed (to minimise VOC emissions) by other chemicals.

If the paint is 100% linseed oil based and has a dry weight of 100% the VOCs are negligible. Indeed, 100% dry weight means that nothing evaporates from the paint after you open the can. If the dry weight is anything less than 100% you can be assured that it contains some form of solvent.

What is in petroleum based acrylic and oil paint that I should be aware of?

Ingredients commonly used in petrochemical paint products (Acrylic, Alkyd and Petroleum oil paint) you should be aware of include:

ENVIRONMENT

What makes Allbäck Linseed Oil Paint (and all their products) such environmentally friendly and safe?

You may be shocked to learn that all these chemicals are unnecessary if you simply clean the linseed oil before producing the paint. Good quality linseed oil comes from the northern Scandinavian climate and contains 30% protein or more, depending on where the flax seed has been harvested. The protein typically causes the product to go rancid and it causes impurities which lead to mildew and mould.

Conventional paint manufacturers use large amounts of pesticides and herbicides to offset mildew issues. No company (other than Allbäck) cleans the linseed oil in paint 100%. The Allbäck organic linseed oil products utilise only 100% cleaned and sterilized linseed oil, directly from the flax farms in northern Sweden. It contains no added chemicals.

How does linseed paint compare to vinyl siding or vinyl cladding on houses?

One hundred years ago, most of today's issues with paint failure did not exist. Paint failure was unheard of. The Allbäck linseed paint will last for 50 years or more if you maintain the surface with the cleaned and sterilized linseed oil or linseed wax every 5-10 years. Best of all, using the old fashion linseed paint instead of vinyl siding will maintain the original appearance of your old house and retain optimal property value.

Vinyl siding has had the perception of being maintenance free. This is an illusion that has been created by the plastic siding industry for years. There are various detrimental effects that may occur from installing vinyl siding.

Before an installation, consider this information:

Vinyl is not a porous material compared to wood and will ultimately trap moisture behind the vinyl surface. Trapped moisture behind the vinyl surface will attract insects and will rot the wood in your walls.

An even more serious issue is the dioxin and plasticiser used in the production of vinyl siding. These chemicals are some of the most dangerous chemicals to living organisms. In case of a fire, you have large amounts of dangerous chemicals emitted into the air while it burns. If you get close to a burning house with vinyl siding, do not inhale any of the smoke.

The environmental impact from vinyl siding is immense. Dioxin will leave the vinyl siding and end up in the ground around your house, threatening ground water, plants and ultimately your own health.

Additional insulation is often included when installing vinyl siding. In many situations, the insulation is lined with an aluminium foil; this does not allow moisture to escape. This is a very serious issue for a house that is not able to breathe.

You can find a multitude of problems in these houses.

Plasticizer is the chemical substance that makes vinyl bendable. Over time this will also escape from the vinyl. This will result in a very brittle exterior siding. Vinyl is not maintenance free and has a relatively short life span.

APPLICATION

How do I tint linseed window glazing/putty?

Tinting the glazing is something quite popular in England because a clear coat is frequently used. To tint the glazing you can simply add a small amount of the Allbäck linseed oil paint into the glazing.

You can also use a commercially available pigment designed for oil paint from your artist paint store.

How thickly should I apply the boiled linseed oil? I keep applying the oil and the wood keeps absorbing it.

When the wood continuously absorbs the oil, this is a clear sign that the wood is extremely dry and needs oil. Apply oil until the wood is saturated. If you can heat the surface (the Silent Paint Remover works well) the warmed surface will absorb the oil quicker and it will penetrate better.

Use the boiled linseed oil if you want to paint with the linseed oil paint right away.

What else is linseed oil paint good for?

Linseed paint is also excellent for rust proofing anything from steel, house hardware to automobiles. No need to prime nails on exterior siding when using linseed oil paint. You should be able to do all your clean-up without having to use any chemical solvents. Linseed oil soap (which is simply the purified linseed oil and water) can be used to clean everything from paint cans to brushes and rollers after you have painted with the linseed paint. NEVER use mineral turpentine with these products!

Can you mix a colour for me?

Initially we would recommend that you have a go at mixing a colour yourself, using the shades we supply, as it is possible to achieve an infinite array of colours. Use the artists colour wheel available in an artists' paint store or on the web.

Linseed oil paint: Any two or more Allbäck linseed oil paint colours can be mixed to create a desired shade. If you are mixing the colours, make sure you measure the colour volume as exactly as possible.

Allbäck linseed paint contains 50% pigment and is very potent.

Start with small amounts and increase if you need more colour. You can also use commercial pigment available designed for oil paints.

Can I mix colour pigment into the Allbäck Linus interior paint?

You can NOT mix the Linseed oil paint into the Linus interior paint but you can find acrylic based pigments on the market designed for water based paint that will work. (Linus or Linum is Latin for Linseed.)

Can I use Linseed Oil paint if I am having a new sealed, double-glazed window installed?

Yes, but it is not recommended because the linseed oil can destroy the silicone seal in the double glass. It can be done, but it is tricky.

There is a way of sealing the glazing grooves with shellac, preventing the oil from getting into the seals. This is the only situation we have come across where a modern product is not completely compatible with linseed oil.

It has been proven in the field by co-founder, Hans Allbäck, that an old window with sufficient airspace between the outside glass and the interior glass, can achieve as high an insulation rating as any new double glass window made today.

This makes it unnecessary to replace the old glass. Simply remove all paint and install proper weather stripping. Sound insulation can be achieved by using a thicker glass in the storm glass or in the window sash preventing the sound waves from entering through the glass. This simple trick to reduce sound has been well known for some time and proven in the window test done by Lund Institute of Technology, Sweden.

Why should you apply raw linseed oil to wood prior to painting?

If you are treating Victorian or older windows, they have been 'dead' since the house was built. The wood has effectively been drying out for over 100 years. Therefore, it is not surprising the good that linseed oil does to the wood.

Essentially, it's the same principle as applying moisturizing cream to your skin. A very dried out window will benefit highly from some heated raw linseed oil into the wood. This is an excellent base for the paint.

If you want to paint right away, please use the cleaned, boiled linseed oil. The boiled or the raw linseed oil will never turn rancid like regular linseed oil you purchase in a paint store.

Can I use raw linseed oil by itself on exterior wood?

Yes, the best way to apply it is with heat: this changes its texture from being oily, to being watery thereby increasing its penetration into wood. It works very well on fences, gates, wooden barns and is preferable to other wood preservatives.

What should I use to clean my paintbrushes?

Hans Allbäck developed linseed oil soap specifically to clean brushes used for linseed oil paint. It is a much more healthy way than using the more commonly used mineral spirits, which is a dangerous solvent that can enter the body directly through the skin, and into the blood stream.

Instructions: Take some linseed soap in your hand and work it into the bristles, you will see the pigment lift from the brush. Rinse under warm water and repeat until clean.

When the brush is clean, you can pour some more linseed soap into the bristles and leave it there. The brush will stay pliable and it will nourish the bristles for a long time. If you follow this regimen a good quality paintbrush will last for a lifetime.

What other uses do you have for Allbäck Linseed Soap?

It can be used as a household soap for hand washing, for cleaning wooden surfaces like worktops, floors and outside tables. It is also good for cleaning your car, cleaning the oven and one test showed it being great to remove the dirt along the waterline of a boat!

Pour a few mls of straight soap onto the surface and then add a few drops of water to activate the soap. Scrub with a stiff bristle brush. Rinse with water.

How often would I use Linseed Wax on wood?

It varies greatly depending on the dryness of the wood. When you start using the linseed wax you will notice that it will dry out relatively quickly. This is because the wood is dry and it needs nourishment.

After the surface reaches saturation, waxing may be done once a year on an interior surface.

To determine if the surface needs more wax, apply a few drops of water. If the water forms beads, you should be okay. If it sinks into the wood, you can be sure the wood needs a good coat of linseed wax.

You may start with a coat of warmed, cleaned, boiled linseed oil on dry wood as a base. Let it dry and then use the wax.

Can I paint with linseed oil paint on unknown surfaces?

Yes, good linseed oil paint adheres to all surfaces that are clean and dry. Examples include: wood, iron, gutters, glass, and alkyd and acrylic based paints in good condition. Linseed oil paint is also excellent for undercoating your car to prevent rust.

Why does the surface of linseed oil paints go matte?

If the paint has too little linseed oil (binding agent) in relation to pigment, it will look matte from the start. If you, in addition, thin it with large amounts of solvents, it becomes even more matte and causes the paint to chalk quickly, shortening the paint's lifespan.

Linseed oil paint's drying process (oxidation with the oxygen in the air) goes on constantly and makes even gloss paint matte in the end, but this takes many years. This is a positive and clear signal to start planning maintenance.

Clean and apply a fresh coat of linseed oil or linseed oil wax and the shiny colour will return without any other effort. Achieve a quicker penetration of the surface by heating the oil to approximately 80 degrees before the application.

Can I paint Allbäck Linseed Paints onto an existing coat of modern paint?

Yes, it will still perform, but will be subject to the fallibility of the existing paint. It will therefore, not last as long if the original paint has not been scraped off back to the bare wood. You may also find that it takes longer to dry, as the linseed oil will not soak through the modern paint into the wood as well.

Generally, the Allbäck linseed paint will adhere to any surface that is dry and clean.

Is it difficult to paint with linseed oil paints?

The Allbäck linseed oil paint is very easy to apply. No specific priming is required, although a first coat of the cleaned, boiled, linseed oil is recommended when the wood surface is very dry. This will make the linseed oil paint dry evenly.

We have a "one can" paint system. You choose the shade and paint with the same paint outdoors and indoors for all coats without any addition of any solvents. This system means there are no leftover remains of special primer or top coats. You apply thin coats with a stiff natural paintbrush. Clean with linseed oil soap.

Does it matter what kind of brush I use?

Yes, linseed oil paint requires a brush that has a certain amount of stiffness which makes it possible to spread out the paint to a thin coat. A synthetic brush with a soft top for water-based paints and thin varnishes slips over the linseed oil paints like a tyre on a slippery surface.

An old-fashioned hog's hair bristle brush works best. These handmade paintbrushes work very well and last a lifetime, if used properly. Clean the natural paintbrushes with the linseed oil soap. Leave some soap in the bristles after the brush is clean. For long term storage, store the brushes hanging in purified raw linseed oil. Raw linseed oil will take a very long time to dry and does not turn rancid.

TECHNICAL

Will the linseed white paint yellow?

White linseed oil paint of poor quality can yellow considerably. Linseed oil paint of good quality yellows very little and only in the absence of daylight (like under a flowerpot.) The yellow tint disappears if the patch is exposed to daylight.

The phenomenon is partly dependent on the quality of the linseed oil. The Allbäck linseed oil paint is made from purified boiled linseed oil (all protein from the cold pressed linseed oil is removed before it is made into paint) which has much less tendency to yellow.

Can I paint an outdoor wall with linseed oil paint directly in sunlight?

Yes, if the linseed oil paint is made for that purpose without any need of solvents. The Allbäck linseed oil paint is not sensitive to direct sunlight during application.

What is "boiled" linseed oil and linseed oil paint?

Linseed oil paint is a collective name for many different products using linseed oil as a binding agent. Since the definition of linseed oil and linseed oil paint is loose, it includes many different kinds of products, creating much confusion for the consumer. Ironically, with all of our modern technology, it is in the knowledge of traditional methods that we find our best quality products.

Allbäck linseed oil and linseed oil paint is made from cold pressed flax seed grown in a northern Scandinavian, colder climate. The product is 100% organic, no chemicals added.

The cold pressed oil contains about 30% protein that is removed in a chemical-free cleaning process. The removal of the protein is crucial for preventing mould and mildew. When the protein is removed, the oil can be boiled and sterilized.

This is different from the linseed oil products available in most paint stores. These products are NOT actually boiled even though they are labelled "boiled". Linseed oil that has the protein cannot be boiled; it is technically impossible (the oil will become explosive when heated.)

If the linseed oil is not boiled and sterilized, it does not dry. Substantial amounts of chemical driers have to then be added to these "unclean" linseed oil products.

The Allbäck linseed oil and paint is completely free from any chemical driers and dries naturally within a few days. You can apply the linseed oil paint every 24 hours at about 21°C (°70F) ambient temperature. The longer drying time is one of the reasons why linseed oil paint is so durable and flexible after it is dry. It will not buckle or crack. Linseed oil paint moves with the material it is painted on (wood, for example, moves substantially during seasonal changes.)

Why have linseed oil paints earned such a bad reputation in the last 50 years?

Linseed oil paints have been used for several hundred years and have an accumulated history that is greater than all other families of paints put together. In the 1800s in Europe, linseed oil paint fulfilled all requirements of technical properties, drying time, storage properties, ease of maintenance, appearance, economy, etc.

Our old house was painted with lead based paint. How does Allbäck Linseed Paint differ?

The main ingredients of Allbäck Linseed paints, apart from linseed oil, are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These two constituents are infinitely safer to use than lead. Lead paint's use is restricted in Australia, the USA and many other countries. The Allbäck linseed oil paint colours contain earth pigment that is completely resistant to fading.

The colours do dry out over time and may look faded but by adding a coat of the purified boiled linseed oil paint, lustre and colour is restored.

When is the paint dry?

A surface painted with linseed oil paint, on contact, can appear to be sticky and not dry on account of its high friction. To test whether the surface is dry enough to paint and use, press your thumb hard against the surface and twist. If the top paint layer moves, it is not dry enough.

Note: The greatest noticeable drying takes place in the final stages (last third) of the drying process.

What is the most important aspect a homeowner should think about before a painting project?

Some good advice to house-owners! Knowledge - insight - self-reliance: It is better not to do anything at all than to do the wrong thing. First obtain the knowledge, insight and self-reliance to really look into the problems, since those involved in the business today do not always have the right knowledge about the care of buildings.

Paint penetration test: A simple way of testing whether the linseed oil paint is water repellent and penetrating is to paint a 10" circle on porous paper (floor protecting paper works well). Wait until the paint has dried.

If the paint has expanded outside the circle and soaked through the paper, you have a good quality linseed oil paint that will protect and nourish the wood for a long time. You will find if you are doing the same test with acrylic or alkyd paint that they will often only stay on the surface without any penetration at all.

Choice of tools: Learn from the past! Study craftsmen who successfully make a living carrying out the jobs you want to do.

How can I most easily find out what type of paint has been used previously?

Moisten your thumb with mineral spirits and press onto the paint surface for a few seconds. If the surface feels sticky, like contact adhesive, it is some form of acrylic based paint.

 

If this does not happen, apply raw or "boiled" linseed oil onto the paint surface. If the surface then regains its shine, pigment, and former strength, it is probably some form of linseed oil paint.

Doubt can arise where the paint is a mixture of alkyd and linseed oil. Pure linseed oil paint becomes matte after approximately 8-10 years, chalky after approximately 15 years. After 20 years, linseed oil paint cracks into small squares that stay fixed in place. Acrylic paint fades within a short time and without any warning will peel and crack allowing the penetration of moisture that will cause wood to rot.

Is it true that linseed oil paint does not bind as well on planed panels?

No, our linseed oil paint binds very well on planed wood. There are so-called linseed oil paints on the market that don't soak into the wood and, just like plastic-based paints, stick like tape on the surface.

If the timber is very good, rich in resin, and newly planed or milled, sometimes it can be difficult for the linseed oil paint to penetrate into the surface with or without the use of solvents. Extra oily surfaces need extra preparation before painting, so that surplus resin is reduced. Leaving the wood exposed for a year is the easiest method to ready the surface, before the paint is applied. Natural resin-rich wood is not very common in North America today and is not much of a concern. Most wood available in to builders today is extremely dry and readily soaks up the linseed oil.

Will linseed oil paints be damaged by impurities in the air and acid precipitation?

The technology used to manufacture linseed oil paint has greatly improved since the old days - making it much more durable. Good linseed oil paint can easily cope with today's environment. It can also become self-cleaning through controlled chalking.

Many people would like to use linseed oil paints both in and outdoors, but complain that the paint dries slowly. What should I bear in mind?

The slower drying time is the reason why linseed oil paint is superior to any acrylic paint product available today. The linseed oil paint's drying environment is affected by the quality of material, manufacturing process, temperature, ventilation, daylight, humidity, the absorption capacity of the surface and the thickness of the paint layer.

Applying a thin coat with a stiff natural brush is very important because of these various circumstances. Most painters and homeowners can paint one coat of linseed oil per day.

What is Luslack?

Luslack is traditional Scandinavian filler that comes in two parts, chalk dust and a liquid. These are mixed together to form either a stiff paste, or, almost a paint, depending on desired consistency, which is then used to fill small cracks in old wood during repairs. After application it is left to dry, then rubbed down to leave a surface that is extremely smooth. This is then painted over to create a very smooth and professional finish.

What is the composition of Shellac?

It is made from denatured alcohol (methylated spirits) and shellac flakes. Shellac is made from the resin produced by the Lac beetle. The denatured alcohol dissolves the shellac into a useable liquid.

By mixing the shellac flakes with the denatured alcohol, you can decide the viscosity yourself. Most of the shellac you purchase in a store contains chemicals and is quite thin in consistency.

Does linseed oil paint fade over time?

Yes, over the years it becomes chalky and softer in colour, but it is still protecting the wood. It can be reinvigorated with a simple coat of warmed, cleaned, boiled linseed oil, which brings back the vitality of original pigment.

How can linseed oil paint stick to surfaces that have been treated with linseed oil?

Both materials contain linseed oil so they blend together.

Does the type of wood affect the effectiveness of Allbäck Linseed Paints?

Good quality pine, preferably air dried and not kiln dried (which unfortunately most wood is these days) is the best wood to paint on. You can also paint on hardwoods such as oak and some of the tropical hardwoods. Even though there is not a specific linseed oil primer for the Allbäck linseed oil paint, old, dried out wood requires a first coat of the purified boiled linseed oil. This will make the paint soak in and dry more evenly.

I am having new wooden windows made for my house. Is it worth painting them with Allbäck Linseed Oil and Allbäck Linseed Paint?

Yes definitely. You will not have to go through the time and expense of stripping any old paint off in the future. Just maintain the paint on the window by applying the purified boiled linseed oil or the linseed wax every 5-10 years.

Consider that a paint job is 90 % labour. You quickly realize that the savings are exponential over time. Using the linseed oil glazing will allow you to apply the linseed oil paint right away without having to wait for the glazing to dry.

This is an amazing, instant time saver. Maintain the restored sashes with warmed purified boiled linseed oil or the linseed oil wax

Why is the Allbäck Linseed Paint more cost effective?

Using linseed paint really translates into a substantial cost savings over time. When comparing the cost between linseed paint and conventional paint, you must first consider that you never have to remove the linseed oil paint and that it never peels. On top of this, the linseed oil will never trap any moisture that can cause the wood to rot.

The cost of paint is a small portion of a paint job. The labour cost is the overwhelming part of any restoration job. Eliminating the process of replacing defective wood and repainting is a gigantic cost savings over time.

Maintenance of linseed painted surfaces is easy and inexpensive. We recommend a coat of warmed Allbäck boiled linseed oil or the linseed oil wax after 5-10 years. The next treatment would be after the next 5-8 years: a single coat of the cleaned boiled linseed oil with a few ounces of the paint colour you are using mixed in is far less expensive than any other paint systems available today.

At what rate does linseed oil paint fade, compared with Acrylic paint?

Linseed oil paint will actually never fade. Earth pigments are used in linseed oil paint. The linseed paint will dry out over time and may look faded. This is because wood will absorb the oil into the grain leaving the pigment to dry out. This is very easily and inexpensively corrected by applying the cleaned boiled linseed oil or the linseed oil wax every 5-10 years.

Note: Linseed Oil Paints never crack as the linseed oil is flexible and expands and contracts with the substrate.

Acrylic paint fades within a short time and, without any forewarning, will peel and crack allowing penetration of moisture that will cause wood to rot. Once the acrylic paint fades, you must apply a new fresh coat of paint, adding to the numbers of layers on the surface. Each new layer of acrylic paint will speed up the paint failure process.

Why does wood decay so extensively on old buildings. Is it the quality of the wood?

Decaying wood is almost never a result of inferior quality wood. It is a direct result of what type of paint that was used. Acrylic paint has the tendency to trap moisture under the paint layers.

After the acrylic paint stops being flexible and not able to move with the surface during seasonal changes, it starts to crack and peel.

Linseed oil paint will stay flexible over time and will not trap moisture.

Why has the quality of wood changed and what can we do about it today?

By looking at the history of the milling industry, (in USA and likely elsewhere) we can understand why wood quality has declined. High sap and oil content in timber generates a high quality wood - naturally.

However, when the milling industry became industrialized, sap-saturated wood clogged dust shoots and dulled saw blades quickly.

To remedy these problems, the industry began harvesting timber in the spring and summer (instead of winter) when the sap content is diluted to low levels. When sap levels are low, the naturally occurring oil levels in cured wood is absent. As a result of the new harvesting procedures, wood quality declined.

Chemical paint companies welcomed this change because it was much easier to produce a paint inexpensively when the wood surface is dry and without any natural oil. As a result, the use of poor quality chemical paint proliferated and has now created a paint failure epidemic in the USA.

By returning to the ancient use of purified organic boiled linseed oil and linseed oil paint, it is possible to create long lasting wood - even out of today's so-called "low quality" timber. Purified organic boiled linseed oil simulates the natural oil missing in today's timber, provides superior protection and eliminates paint failure. This is the reason purified linseed oil was used for hundreds of years.

The ancient European method of producing purified boiled linseed oil and linseed oil paint from cold pressed flax seed was revived by Allbäck Paint in Sweden in 1980 and this superior alternative to environmentally dangerous, chemical-based paint is - once again - being generated from renewable, sustainable and organically produced products.

Recently, the farming community in Scandinavia has been encouraged to end farming of sugar beets due to European Community (EU) legislation, making more farming capacity available for flax farming and farmers in southern Sweden are producing substantial volumes of oil flax for paint production and preservatives.

How does linseed oil paint work?

The linseed oil in the paint gradually oxidizes with the air. After five to ten years it fades, hence why we encourage the application of a layer of warmed, cleaned, boiled linseed oil. The capillary effect of the linseed oil in the paint will continuously penetrate into the wood and prevent moisture from entering. This will maintain the wood perfectly.

Allbäck linseed oil paint also readily penetrates clay and cement bricks. Follow up maintenance is the same as for wood.

Does drying time have an impact on the performance of linseed oil paint compared with modern acrylic paint?

There are buildings in North America and Europe that have been known to have linseed oil on the exterior from 300 years ago. They are still intact today because of the linseed oil's ability to prevent water from soaking into the wood surface.

Because the organic, cleaned, linseed oil is very close to the natural oil in wood, the linseed oil has an exceptional ability to preserve wood over a very long time. Cleaned, boiled linseed oil will never mix with water and will never trap water making paint failure impossible. Linseed oil is far superior to acrylic paint when it comes to preserving wood over a very long time.

Linseed paint does not cure nearly as fast or hard as conventional petroleum-based oil paint or acrylic paint. A longer drying time allows the linseed oil paint to penetrate into the substrate avoiding any moisture from getting trapped. Linseed oil paint is an integrated part of the wood.

The linseed paint stays flexible and moves with the seasonal changes of the wood. It also does not build up on the outside of the wood surface. Linseed oil paint is inexpensively maintained by applying the purified organic boiled linseed oil or the linseed oil wax every 5-10 years. You will not experience cracking and peeling paint (paint failure). The savings are exponential over time.

Fast drying modern acrylic paint will lose its flexibility and adhesion on the surface within a few years. Acrylic paint also very often traps moisture in the wood resulting in rot. Paint failure can be seen widely today and it is getting worse.

What are the drawbacks with linseed oil paint?

Not many. Some people may think that the colours are muted; however, this is an advantage.

It is not desirable to choose bright sharp colours due to the fact that bright colours do not maintain their glossy colour for a very long time.

Allbäck linseed oil paint consists of traditional colours that (looking at historical buildings where linseed oil paint was used) are proven to last for 50, maybe 100 years when properly maintained.