Linseed Oil Paint FAQs

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:

Halomethanes (methylene chloride)
Learn More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichloromethane

Chlorinated ethanes (1,1,1-trichloroethane)
Learn more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,1,1-Trichloroethane

Aromatic solvents (benzene, toluene (methylbenzene), ethylbenzene)
Learn More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethylbenzene

Chlorinated ethylenes (vinyl chloride)
Learn More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinyl_chloride

Polynuclear aromatics (naphthalene)
Learn More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naphthalene

Chlorobenzenes (1,2-dichlorobenzene)
Learn More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzene

Phthalate esters (di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, butyl benzyl phthalate, di-n-butyl phthalate, di-n-octyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, dimethyl phthalate
Learn More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phthalate

Miscellaneous semi-volatile organics (isophorone)
Learn More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isophorone

Heavy metals and their compounds (antimony, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, lead, mercury).
Learn More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimony & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadmium
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexavalent_chromium & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead

Preservatives (formaldehyde)
Learn More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formaldehyde

Ketones (methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone)
Learn More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketone
http://www.npi.gov.au/database/substance-info/profiles/58.html

Miscellaneous volatile organics (acrolein, acrylonitrile)
Learn More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrolein
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylonitrile

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