How to paint with linseed oil paint

3-coat painting on new, untreated, exterior wood

1. Primer/1st coat application

Mix your own primer as follows: 35% volume linseed oil paint, 50% volume raw linseed oil, 15% volume gum turpentine. (For example, One liter of primer is mixed as follows: 12 oz color / 17 oz raw linseed oil / 5 oz gum turpentine). Note: On resin-rich wood, the proportion of raw linseed oil can be reduced and the proportion of gum turpentine increased.

Apply this primer to the surface evenly and well. Let dry. Drying time varies depending on the weather. Calculate 3-4 days in hot, dry weather. The surface should feel dry and a little rough when you run your hand over it. On resin-rich wood, you can reduce the proportion of raw linseed oil and increase the proportion of gum turpentine.

Alternative primer for sawn panel, without gum turpentine: Mix the primer as follows: 30% volume linseed oil paint, 70% volume raw linseed oil. Let dry for at least 4-5 days. This variant should not be used on planed panels. There is a risk that the surface will be too oily, which can lead to poor adhesion of the next layer of paint.


It is a great advantage if you can prime the wood before it is installed on the facade. Then you can paint around the board, including the back. The wood will retain its shape better and will not swell on the unpainted side, which in turn means that the board will remain straight without warping.

When the primer has dried, the wood fibers rise, making the surface prickly. We recommend that you sand this surface with coarse sandpaper. You will then have a smoother surface that stays cleaner. It will also be easier to paint the next coat with good results.

Sometimes, wood is “factory-primed”, which means that the wood has been pre-primed with pure linseed oil. In such cases, you can skip priming and go straight to the intermediate and final coats.

2: Intermediate application

Paint a first coat with undiluted linseed oil paint. Apply in a thin layer. If the paint seems difficult to spread thinly on a rough surface, you can dilute the paint with 10% volume gum turpentine. Let the surface dry for at least 2-3 days.

3: Final application

Finish with a thin coat of undiluted paint. Depending on whether you paint a sawn facade or smooth door and window sections, the final coat color can be modified:

Sawn facade panel: Add max. 10% volume of boiled linseed oil to the paint to make it easier to spread the paint thinly.

Smooth/planed facade panel: Paint with undiluted linseed oil paint.

Doors and windows in light colors: Paint with undiluted linseed oil paint.

Doors and windows in dark colors: Add 5% volume Sun-oxidized linseed oil to the paint to increase gloss and hardness.