View Full Version : Boiled Linseed Oil?

08-23-2000, 05:20 PM
Hi, everyone. I was complaining to a friend about the outrageous prices at the local art supply store, and she suggested we take a trip to Home Depot. There we found mineral spirits for $3 a gallon (last time I bought Turpenoid at the art store it was $33/gallon!), as well as "boiled linseed oil" for $10 a gallon (best I have seen around here is $18 for a pint of the art store stuff).

I am comfortable with the idea of using the mineral spirits to clean my brushes, but I have no idea if there is any real difference in the quality of the linseed oil...

Has anyone ever used this stuff? Any ideas about whether it yellows?

I am wondering if this is a case of you get what you pay for, or if its just that the art stores figure they have us over a barrel and can charge what they will...

Any feedback much appreciated.


It is a huge danger to pretend that awful things do not happen. But you need enough hope to keep going. I am trying to make hope. Flowers grow out of darkness.
--Corita Kent

08-23-2000, 05:34 PM
There is a great deal of difference between the commercial oils sold in Home Depot (notice that they don't sell the politically incorrect Turpentine?) and oils made for artists.

Boiled oils for artists have been used for centuries with varying results (they don't darken much past where they are when boiled). Commercial boiled oils have a number of metallic salts added to them to help speed drying and reduce wrinkling.

It's great stuff to use on axe handle and garden implements as well as fence posts, but you'll be very unhappy with what it does in a painting.


02-08-2012, 05:14 PM
My dear,

Boiled lineoil I use for ages.
If you use it only to dry your paint quicker and use
a litle bit, it does not yellow.
If you use it, your paintingtime is much shorter.
Kind regards

02-08-2012, 05:50 PM
Seems to be an informed general consensus that hardware store linseed likely contains too many additives to be used as artist-grade material. You will likely find the same thing with turpentines, hardware store stuff may be of a much lower refinement. Mineral spirits on the other hand, you should be fine, especially if you go the odorless route, as it is more highly refined.

02-08-2012, 05:50 PM
I would not care to use hardware store mineral spirits, except for washing brushes. And, I would not choose boiled linseed oil for oil painting applications, whether it was offered in the hardware store or in an art supply store.

02-08-2012, 06:02 PM
All I know is that boiled linseed oil was/is commonly used by Norwegian decorative painters. I am referring specifically to "rose painting" such as this:

Some old houses have such decorative painting which is more than two hundred years old.

However, I also know that many of the artists boiled the oil themselves, so the product used may have been quite different from cheap oil from a store.

Carey Griffel
02-08-2012, 06:30 PM





Just a few of the threads that came up doing a quick search. :)

Ron Francis
02-08-2012, 09:55 PM
This thread was 12 years old!

Carey Griffel
02-08-2012, 10:19 PM
Not quite. Don't try to age it before its prime. :D

02-08-2012, 10:21 PM
a watched pot of oil never boils :D

Ron Francis
02-08-2012, 10:57 PM
This thread was nearly 12 years old! :rolleyes:

02-08-2012, 11:00 PM
This thread was nearly 12 years old!

12 years? did it yellow?

02-09-2012, 05:57 AM
This thread was nearly 12 years old! :rolleyes:

It's like whiskey, it needs to age a bit. The lightfastness of the old posts is remarkable though. :)