ISSUE 16  |  Clean Living

Back to Nature: The Appeal of Linseed Paints

April 27, 2016 6:00 AM

BY Julie Carlson

Like many onetime household standbys, linseed oil paint is making a comeback—and we’re all for it.

When London artist Marianna Kennedy told us about Holkham Linseed Paints, now called Allback Linseed Oil Paint and available from Rare Earth (she uses it throughout her artistic home in Spitalfields), we wanted to know more. Holkham, based in the UK, makes all its linseed paints and accoutrements in Sweden. Unlike conventional paints, which use a physical barrier to protect wood, linseed oil paint actually absorbs into the wood itself, nourishing and protecting the wood for the long haul. About every seven years, the pigment will start to fade and should be given a maintenance coat to revive its color. What’s more, linseed oil paint is nontoxic and safe for use in your home. (In fact, linseed oil is better known in the US as flaxseed oil, the stuff nutritionists keep encouraging you to consume more of.)

Holkham Linseed Oil Paints

Above: Holkham Linseed Paint with a traditional Scandinavian Round Spooned Brush for £20.40 ($30 USD) at Precious Earth.

Linseed Oil Paints in Shades of Blue

Above: Linseed Oil Paint in Old Blue, Linseed Blue, and Ice Blue.


Above: Linseed Coloured Wax is ideal for wood in need of restorative care and protection but where only sheer color is desired. £15.74 ($22 USD) for 200 ml at Linseed Paint & Wax Co.

Linseed Oil Paints in Shades of Green

Above: Linseed Oil Paint in Sea Mist, Lichen, and Spruce Green.

This post is an update; the original ran on June 7, 2012 as part of our Color Therapy issue.