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Linseed Oil Paints

Selder linseed oil paints can be used indoor and outside using a brush, a sprayer or a roller on all substrates - from wood to metal. They remain durable and fine practically forever when you prime and paint as described in this work manual and perform simple maintenance measures.

We produce the paints as zinc-based primer and as topcoats in semi-gloss and half sheen, in white and as tinting bases A, B and C for machine tinting using certified modern pigments. They’re available in all NCS and RAL tints as well as in our own tints. The hue is identical from one delivery to the next.

They differ from other linseed oil paints first and foremost in that the binder consists exclusively of drying oils.  The other constituents of linseed oil do not dry and have been removed. The paints therefore have excellent drying properties, excellent durability and mould resistance. Read more on the TECHNOLOGY.

They differ from alkyd oil paints and other synthetic paints in that they penetrate the surface structure of the substrate, adhere permanently and “breathe”, i.e., are permeable to water vapour but not to liquid water. Therefore no condensation accumulates under the coat of paint and it doesn't flake off.

They are painted undiluted “straight from the can” to covering 70–120 μm, i.e., 0,07-0,12 mm thick coats, which gives 14-8 square meters per coat, usually applying one coat of LINSEED OIL PRIMER and two coats of topcoat, LINSEED OIL PAINT HALF SHEEN or LINSEED OIL PAINT SEMI-GLOSS.

Drying time: Less than 24 hours at 20 ⁰C / 68 ⁰F with good ventilation.

SIMPLE MAINTENANCE, NO NEED TO REPAINT

Selder’s linseed oil paints age slowly as the molecular chains of the polymerized binder gradually are broken down by UV radiation. When this happens, after a couple of decades in shaded locations in the North down to after a few years in sun-drenched locations in the tropics, the surface becomes matte and fades, the paint becomes chalky. A thin layer of Selder's LINSEED VARNISH OIL replaces the lost binder and instantly gives the surface its original colour and gloss.  With this simple maintenance measure, the lifespan of the paint is unlimited. If maintenance is neglected for a long time, most of the binder is eventually destroyed, the paint cracks, a typical crocodile skin pattern appears and squares of paint start to come off the surface. Such surfaces can be seen on outdoor objects painted with linseed oil paint in the 19th century or during the first half of the 20th century.

WORK MANUAL FOR LINSEED OIL PAINTS

Selder's linseed oil paints remain durable and fine practically forever when you prime and paint as described in this work manual and perform simple maintenance measures.
They are produced as the primer LINSEED OIL PRIMER and the topcoats LINSEED OIL PAINT SEMI-GLOSS and LINSEED OIL PAINT HALF SHEEN and six tinting bases: A, B and C in semi-gloss and half sheen. The tinting bases are machine tinted by us and some of our retailers to any ordered NCS, RAL colours and our own. The tinting bases are selected according to the ordered colours.
Each colour is identical from one delivery to the next.
Selder's linseed oil paints can be painted with a brush, a sprayer or a roller on all surfaces, ranging from wood to metal.

Wash used brushes, tools and containers with strong soft soap.
Rinse sprayers with white spirit.

WARNING: DANGER OF SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION!
The paint contains oxidizing fatty acids. Cloths and other porous materials moist with paint must be immersed in water without delay. Painted or oil treated surfaces do not ignite spontaneously - the risk only applies to fibrous materials.

PRE-TREATMENT OF THE SUBSTRATE

Dust, dirt and moisture prevent the paint from adhering to the surface.

Selder's topcoat paints are made for painting on Selder's LINSEED OIL PRIMER, not directly on the substrate. LINSEED OIL PRIMER is particularly fatty and adheres excellently. It contains 500 g/litre zinc oxide which effectively repels mildew and other growths, including on topcoat painted on top of it.

Selder's LINSEED OIL PRIMER is white, but it can be tinted to make the topcoat cover better. However, the white zinc oxide affects the tint - for instance LINSEED OIL PRIMER tinted black, is light grey.

The more porous the surface, the more oil, i.e. binder, is absorbed. If too little binder is left in the pigment, the optical properties of the paint change, and the colour fades and becomes matte and often blotchy. Therefore, the topcoat should be painted on a substrate with saturated pores. On rather closed substrates, pore saturation is achieved with LINSEED OIL PRIMER, on porous ones oil treatment is needed.

Movements in wood outside, where the moisture fluctuates strongly, can cause even linseed oil paint to flake. Such surfaces should therefore be made dimensionally stable and water repellent. Read more below under "IMPREGNATE WOOD IN EXPOSED LOCATIONS".

CLEAN THE SUBSTRATE
Brush off any loose dirt and sand off any tightly adhering dirt. Do not use water or alkaline detergents as even the tiniest residue prevents linseed oil paint from adhering to the substrate. If the surface is very greasy, first clean with 99 % alcohol.

SATURATE POROUS SUBSTRATES
Topcoat should be painted on closed surfaces, i.e., such in which any pores are saturated. If a porous substrate is deficiently saturated, so much oil i.e. binder, is absorbed that the optical properties of the paint change and the surface becomes faded and matte and often blotchy. Should this occur, contact Selder & Co. for instructions on how to best restore the colour and gloss of the paint.
The problem can be avoided by following the instructions below on how to pore saturate various types of substrates.

SOFTWOOD AND HARDWOOD IN PROTECTED LOCATIONS
Seal knots and resin pockets with SHELLAC. Use shellac dissolved in 99,5 % alcohol. Solvents made with weaker alcohols contain water that evaporates after the alcohol has evaporated and the shellac has begun to settle. The result is pores in the shellac - under a microscope, the coating looks like a sieve and resin bleeds through.
Saturate by priming with LINSEED OIL PRIMER.

STUCCO, CONCRETE, OLD PAINTED SURFACES TO WHICH THE PAINT STILL ADHERES
Saturate using PRIMER OIL at room temperature. Apply, spread from saturated areas to areas that still absorb oil. Apply and spread until the entire area is saturated. Wait for an hour, then thoroughly wipe off any oil that has remained on the surface as oil that remains on the surface forms a sticky skin. Give time to oxidize.
Prime with LINSEED OIL PRIMER.

SURFACES FROM WHICH THE PAINT HAS BEEN REMOVED USING A HOT AIR BLOWER OR AN INFRARED PAINT REMOVER
The heat treatment has made the wood extremely dry and absorbent. Such substrates should be saturated using PRIMER OIL heated to 130 °C / 266 °F. Read the instructions for this below under “IMPREGNATING WOOD IN EXPOSED LOCATIONS”.

EXTREMELY POROUS SUBSTRATES E.G. MDF, PLASTER, PRESSURE IMPREGNATED WOOD, POROUS TILES
Saturate using our thickest and fattest oil, LINSEED VARNISH OIL. Apply, spread from saturated areas to areas that still absorb oil. Apply and spread until the entire area is saturated. Wait for half an hour, then thoroughly wipe off any oil that has remained on the surface as oil as oil left on the surface forms a sticky skin. Let oxidize.
If the surface continues to absorb, stop and let oxidize. Repeat the process until the entire surface is being saturated.
Prime with LINSEED OIL PRIMER.

IMPREGNATE WOOD IN EXPOSED LOCATIONS
Heat PRIMER OIL, or our thicker LINSEED VARNISH OIL for pressure impregnated wood, to 130 °C / 266 °F in a deep fryer. Apply using a natural-bristle brush - synthetic brushes cannot withstand the high temperature. Spread from saturated areas to areas that still absorb oil. Apply and spread until the entire area is saturated. Wait for half an hour, then thoroughly wipe off any oil that has remained on the surface, as oil left on the surface forms a sticky skin. Give time to oxidize.
Seal knots and resin pockets with SHELLAC. Use shellac dissolved in 99,5 % alcohol. Solvents made with weaker alcohols contain water that evaporates after the alcohol has evaporated and the shellac has begun to settle. The result is pores in the shellac - under a microscope, the coating looks like a sieve and resin bleeds through.
Prime with LINSEED OIL PRIMER.

WORKING WITH SELDER'S OIL AT 130°C / 266°F IS SAFE
When you treat wood with Selder's oil at 130 °C / 266 °F, moisture in the wood evaporates, bordered pits in the cell walls open outwards due to the vapour pressure in the cells – they cannot open inwards - and the warm, low-viscosity oil penetrates into the cells. You can see small steam bubbles on the surface when you apply warm Selder's oil.
You can safely work with130 °C / 266 °F warm Selder's oil - it will neither burn nor waft. The boiling point of Selder’s oils is 300 °C / 572 °F, and it begins to emit a white, sharply smelling steam at 180 °C / 356 °F. At 130 °C / 266 °F, it only emits a fragrance of linseed oil.

DEEP IMPREGNATE END GRAIN IN EXPOSED LOCATIONS

Videocarpenter Martin Lydén deep-impregnates the ends of fence boards on site.

Wood impregnated with Selder's oil is a rot resistant and dimensionally stable composite of wood and dried oil.

Heat PRIMER OIL in a deep fryer to 130 ⁰C / 266 ⁰F. “Deep fry” the wood in the oil until the bubbling of departing steam ceases. This can take from ten minutes up to several hours, depending on the capacity of the electric resistance, the type of wood, the humidity, the dimensions and the quantity of wood. When the bubbling ceases, all the moisture in the wood has evaporated and the steam pressure has opened the bordered pits in the cell walls outward - they do not open inward.
Let the temperature drop to 90 ⁰C / 194 ⁰F. The lower temperature creates a vacuum and oil is sucked into the wood. Half an hour is sufficient for oil to be sucked 5-6 cm (approx. 2”) into end grain. If you leave the work piece in the oil for too long, the cell cavities are filled with oil. There it serves no useful purpose, but prevents the supply of oxygen to the oil in the cell walls and thus the drying.
Wait for half an hour and then then thoroughly wipe off any oil that has remained on the surface, as oil left on the surface leaves a sticky skin. Let oxidize.
Seal knots and resin pockets with SHELLAC. Use shellac dissolved in 99,5% alcohol. Solvents made with weaker alcohols contain water that evaporates after the alcohol has evaporated and the shellac has begun to settle. The result is pores in the shellac - under a microscope, the coating looks like a sieve and resin bleeds through.
Prime with LINSEED OIL PRIMER.

PRE-TREATING CLOSED SURFACES

RUSTED (CORRODED) METAL
Make sure that the surface is completely dry. Remove loose rust, dirt and residues of paint. Do not use water or alkaline detergents as even the tiniest residue prevents linseed oil paint from adhering to the substrate. If the surface is very greasy, you can degrease it with 99% alcohol. Tightly adhering rust and point corrosion can be left.
Apply RUSTPROOFING OIL at room temperature. Spread from saturated areas to areas that still absorb oil. Apply and spread until the entire area is saturated. Wait for an hour, then thoroughly wipe off any oil that has remained on the surface as oil, as oil left on the surface forms a sticky skin. Give time to oxidize.
Prime with LINSEED OIL PRIMER.

PLASTIC LAMINATED GALVANIZED TIN ROOFS
Remove the plastic but not the galvanization. Treat as per the instructions above for RUSTED (CORRODED) METAL.

CLEAN METAL
Prime with LINSEED OIL PRIMER.

GLASS
Glass has traditionally been painted with linseed oil paints, e.g. display windows. Preferably paint on the backside of the glass, which provides a perfect surface viewed from the front. Paint the topcoat directly without priming first.

PAINT WITH A FINE AND DURABLE RESULT

GENERAL GUIDELINES
Do not paint on a moist surface, when rain may occur, or if the daily temperature drops below 5°C / 41°F. Provide good ventilation.
First paint a coat of LINSEED OIL PRIMER, followed by two coats of topcoat. Paint all coats carefully to covering but not overly thick layers, i.e. 0.07 -0.12 mm per coat depending on the substrate. This gives a consumption of one litre for 8–14 m² per coat of paint.
Let the paint dry thoroughly before you apply the next coat of paint.

MIX SO THAT THE PAINT IS BECOMES HOMOGENOUS
Remove the lid of the can. Scrape up all the pigment from the bottom of the can. Stir until the paint appears well mixed. Use a flat stick or a rotating paint mixer, If you stir it with a stick, then close the lid well and shake the can.

DO NOT DILUTE THE PAINT
Paint “straight from the can”. Keep in mind that the paints are anhydrous and are ruined if diluted with water.

PAINT CORRECTLY WITH A BRUSH
Linseed oil paint does not float out by itself but has to be worked to even and covering coats.
There is no need to put heavy pressure on the brush - the binder penetrates the surface structure of the substrate even when you apply no pressure at all.
Load a small quantity of paint on the brush, straight from the can. Then work out the paint with light brushstrokes until the coat is even and covering but not thick. Repeat when no more paint comes off the brush.

In order to achieve an even coat of paint with as invisible brushstrokes as possible on even surfaces such as panels, doors, and flat metal surfaces: use Selder’s LINSEED OIL PAINT SEMI-GLOSS. It is somewhat thixotropic, i.e., floats out by itself. Load a small quantity of paint on the brush, straight from the can.
Then work out the paint with light brushstrokes in one direction until the coat is even and covering but not thick. Repeat when no more paint comes off the brush.
Then even out the coat with long brushstrokes in the perpendicular direction without loading more paint to on the brush. Finally, even out the remaining brushstrokes by moving the brush in the direction in which you applied the paint with a feather light hand, barely letting it touch the painted surface.
If you apply too thick a coat, it’s difficult to even out the brushstrokes.

PAINT CORRECTLY WITH A SPRAYER OR ROLLER
Pay special attention to paint even, covering but not overly thick, i.e. 0,70-0,12 mm coats.

MATTE SURFACE ON STUCCO OR CONCRETE
Stucco and concrete can be painted without prior oil treatment. Paint two coats of Selder's linseed-oil paint half sheen “wet on wet”, i.e., paint one coat and immediately thereafter the next coat without waiting for the paint to dry.
For a semi-gloss or half sheen result on stucco or concrete, follow the instructions above for “PRETREATING POROUS SURFACES / STUCCO, CONCRETE…" and “PAINT WITH A FINE AND DURABLE RESULT".

THE DRYING TIME VARIES
Selder's paints and oils dry. i.e., harden by oxidation of the binder and the drying time depends on 1. The supply of oxygen and 2. The temperature. In a dryer box, the paint can become dry to the touch in a few hours’ time - in a poorly ventilated cold garage, it can take a week or more. At 20 °C / 68 °C and with good ventilation, the paint dries in one day.

LINSEED OIL PAINT HARDENS SLOWLY AFTER IT HAS DRIED
Once the paint is dry, the oxidation i.e. hardening of the binder continues during a few weeks. During this time, microscopic cracks appear in the coat, allowing molecules of water vapour to pass through, but not liquid water, which has surface tension.
The surface gets its final luster when the hardening is complete. If you’ve painted somewhat unevenly, the luster may be uneven, but this disappears once the hardening is complete. The surface may smell faintly of linseed oil during the hardening. Thereafter it is completely odourless.

MAINTENANCE

Painted surfaces can be washed with water and acid or neutral detergents after the paint has dried. WARNING: DO NOT use alkaline detergents, e.g. STRONG SOFT SOAP as the paint reacts with bases. If this happens, the outermost layer of paint dissolves and the surface must be repainted after thorough rinsing and complete drying.

Selder’s linseed oil paint is durable because the refined linseed oil used as binder is non-biodegradable and polymerizes naturally to 100%. Therefore, no microbes can attack it.

However, Selder’s linseed oil paint ages slowly as UV radiation gradually breaks down the molecular chains of the polymerized binder. When this happens, the paint becomes chalky, i.e., the surface fades and becomes matte and small quantities of pigment powder come off the surface when it is touched.

Aging is prevented by applying a thin layer of Selder's LINSEED VARNISH OIL to the dry and grease-free surface with a brush or a sprayer. The oil replaces the binder that the UV radiation has broken down and the surface immediately regains its original colour and gloss. You obtain an even better result with semi-gloss paint by ordering Selder's MAINTENANCE OIL, which is identical to the original binder.

If you still have lighter patches or areas after such an oil treatment, the outer pigment layer has been damaged as well. Sand such places lightly with a # 320 paper thoroughly moistened with oil to regain the original colour and gloss.

The required maintenance interval depends on the amount of UV radiation - from a couple of decades in shady places in the North to a few years in sun-drenched places in the tropics. You can give the surface a light oil treatment as often as you wish to make the surface look freshly painted.

If maintenance is neglected for a long time, most of the binder is eventually destroyed and the paint cracks into small irregular squares that flake off. The flakes are extremely hard and have sharp, cutting edges. Such surfaces can be seen on outdoor surfaces painted with linseed oil paint in the 19th century or during the first half of the 20th century.

Flaking paint must be removed and the surface under it must be repainted. Wooden surfaces beneath such old paint are extremely dry and should be pore saturated using PRIMER OIL heated to 130 °C / 266 °F. Read the work manual above under “SATURATE POROUS SUBSTRATES” / “IMPREGNATING WOOD IN EXPOSED LOCATIONS”.