So you want to use linseed oil paint ?

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So you want to use linseed oil paint ?

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:11 am

...because you've heard how good it is...never needs repainting etc. 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.
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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