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Linseed Oil

Linseed oil comes from the seed of the flax plant, Linum Usitatissimum, the very same plant whose fibers are used to make linen. Flax is one of man's oldest domesticated plants and grows best in the cool, damp climate of Nortnern Europe.

What is linseed oil used for?

Before the 15th century, linseed oil was used a little in easel painting. Linseed oil 's main function was as a final varnish for paintings. However, linseed oil dried slowly and often had to be sun-dried.

In the early 15th century, it was discovered that when mixing linseed oil with a small amount of lead pigment, linseed oil paint dried much faster and more evenly.

Linseed oil has since then become the binder in oil paint. Linseed oil is an excellent drier because it forms a strong paint film. Moreover, linseed oil is compatible with most pigments.

How does linseed oil dry?

Linseed oil dries by oxidation. But once linseed oil dries, it cannot be reversed or reliquefied without totally destroying the oil paint film.

How does Linseed oil come?

Linseed oil comes in different varieties such as cold-pressed linseed oil (or linseed oil in its purest form), refined or steam pressed linseed oil, and sun-thickened linseed oil.