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Try Holkham Linseed Paint

October 15, 2010

A modern paint peeling off a timber sill

For many years I have been frustrated by the poor performance of modern paints when applied to timber windows. The old excuse for getting rid of original timber windows was that they cost a fortune to redecorate every 7 or 8 years.

The weakness of a modern paint is that it ‘s only a few microns thick and inflexible. Once the paint film cracks, as it will in summer, moisture will seep behind the paint and start the process of blistering and peeling.
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Holkham's paint brochure

By contrast, Holkham Linseed Oil Paint (www.holkham.co.uk) is a paint system with a difference. This paint is environmentally friendly (made from 100% pure linseed oil), long lasting (lasting 3 times longer than modern paints) and is cost effective (increases the time between redecoration and the cost of redecoration).

Once the window is tripped, hot linseed oil is painted onto the bare timber and will immediately start soaking into the wood. This protects it from decay and gives a great primer for the first coat of linseed paint. Three coats of paint are applied.

Warming the oil in a paint kettle

 The real benefit of Holkham paint starts at year 6/7 when your modern paint is beginning to look shabby, all you have to do to revive the window is to apply a coat of linseed maintenance oil. At year 14 just one coat of Holkham linseed paint will be required for another 7 years. The low maintenance paint system means you can keep those original windows and keep the maintenance costs down too. The trueth is that it’s not the timber windows that are high maintenance, its the paint!

There are several aspect to the paint that you need to know.

1. Painting is best done in summer, as the paint dries more quickly in warmer weather.

2. Four coats are required (including the linseed primer) as opposed to 3 for “plastic paints”.

3. The paint is more expensive than modern paints, however, the lack of VOCs driers (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the paint means the paint lasts much longer.

Bay window using Holkham paint

If you’re considering repainting external joinery and require an authentic colour and finish with low maintenance, I recommend you have a go using Holkham linseed paint.

You can buy 100ml trial jars and either test the paint on a small area or experiment by mixing your own unique colour blends.

I’ve used 1 part Parchment to 1.5 parts of White on my bay sash window (left), to give an old white look. Once mixed, I store the paint in a plastic Ovaltine jar which seems to keep the paint in good shape for several months.

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