Gunnar Ottosson’s answers about linseed oil paint

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What surfaces can you paint with linseed paint?

You can paint almost any surface; untreated and treated wood as well as MDF boards. You can also paint pressure-treated wood that has dried outside for at least a year.

If you want to paint with linseed oil paint on old plaster and concrete, that works too. New plaster and concrete can be painted after approximately 6-8 weeks when the surface is ph neutral. You can also use linseed oil paint for plaster, asbestos cement, tiles, glass and metal. You can also paint on carefully brushed and washed surfaces that are painted with alkyd paint, acrylic plastic paint, distemper, silicate, lime wash and lime.

Do not paint with linseed oil paint on surfaces that contain silicone or wax. Avoid painting on surfaces with a moisture content of more than 15 percent.

What's the difference between cold-pressed raw and cold-pressed boiled linseed oil?

Raw linseed oil is extremely deep penetrating/impregnating and slow drying. It is usually used for priming outdoors.

Boiled linseed oil dries faster and penetrates the surface well, but not as deeply as the raw linseed oil. Boiled linseed oil is used as an adhesive in linseed oil paint.

The most common linseed oil on the market is the warm pressed linseed oil, raw/boiled. The warm pressed oil is of lower quality and I discourage the use of it. Unless it is clearly stated on the packaging that the oil is cold-pressed, it is warm pressed linseed oil.

Which oil should be used for maintenance?

Boiled linseed oil: When you want to regain shine and color to matted linseed oil paint outdoors, the boiled linseed oil is most suitable as it dries quickly and coats the surface. Apply a thin layer of oil and dry it off with a cloth. On a sawed surface you can add gum turpentine to make the oil thinner.

Le Tonkinois Bio Impression This oil is suitable for outdoor furniture where you want a harder and more durable surface.

Raw linseed oil: For heavily desiccated wood with dry cracks, we recommend the raw linseed oil, as it penetrates and strengthens the wood, or maybe it is time to repaint.For heavily desiccated wood with dry cracks, we recommend the raw linseed oil, as it penetrates and strengthens the wood, or maybe it is time to repaint.

Is it true that linseed paint dries slowly?

Compared to plastic paints, the linseed oil paint dries slower.

The paint dries the fastest outdoors in summertime. It takes a bit longer indoors during the winter season. The drying time can vary from 12 to 36 hours.

Why does the painted surface look uneven?

This is nothing to worry about. This is due to uneven penetration into the surface. This is common after the second coating of new wood. If the underlying paint coats were not sufficiently dry/cured, the unevenness can appear after the final coating. The unevenness can also be caused by uneven application of paint.

Suggestion: Let the paint dry well and apply one more coating. Some unevenness disappears by itself over time.

Why is the painted surface wrinkled?

The paint is applied in too thick layers. Linseed oil paint should always be applied in thin layers. The solution is to scrape, grind and repaint once the surface is completely dry.

Does linseed paint have to contain solvents?

No, linseed oil paint usually does not contain solvents.

Is linseed oil paint poisonous?

No, linseed oil paint is not a health hazard.

How do I clean my brushes/tools?

While working, you can leave the brushes in raw linseed oil and just dry them off before the next coating. Soap dissolves linseed oil paint. Brushes can be washed in concentrated linseed oil soap that also cures the bristles.

Note! Oil saturated pieces of paper and cloth should be soaked thoroughly with water before they are discarded.

Can the paint catch fire?

No, but flammable material like paper, cloth etc soaked with linseed oil can catch fire. It is important to always soak them thoroughly in water before they are recycled as combustible waste.

How do I clean a surface painted with linseed oil?

Use only water or a mild detergent. Soap is not advisable as it dissolves dried linseed oil as well. You can also use Fulgentin polish that dissolves dirt and grease without damaging the painted surface.

How do I make matt linseed paint? Do I just mix it with gum turpentine?

No, gum turpentine is not a matting agent. For indoor use, we have readymade matt linseed oil paint.

The brush strokes are too visible on the surface. How do I avoid this?

The key to a smooth surface is using a high quality brush. We recommend a brush type 12050 from Gnesta Penseln. You can also add 5-10 percent linseed oil varnish, boiled linseed oil, sun thickened linseed oil or Ottosson oil varnish.

Accordion Panel


“Oil paint” contains synthetic alkyd oils and need solvents to be applicable.

Linseed oil paint can be applied without solvents.

Can I paint with linseed paint regardless of cold and damp weather conditions?

The paint is not sensitive to frost and can be used in cool temperatures. The optimum temperature for painting is 15-25 degrees. More importantly is painting on a dry surface with the level of dampness lower than 15 percent.