A UK manufacturer of natural linseed paint with a range of historically accurate colours
Natural linseed paint is undergoing a renaissance thanks to its sustainability, durability, natural ingredients and hypoallergenic properties.
Whereas modern paints are made from plastics, which are tinted with synthetic pigments and then filled with drying agents, linseed paint is made in the traditional way by grinding powder pigments into boiled linseed oil to make a paste using triple-roller mills, then adding more oil until the correct consistency is reached. Absolutely nothing else is added to Brouns & Co’s exterior paint, and only a very minimal drying agent is added to the interior version.
Brouns & Co linseed paint is made from all-natural ingredients, with no plastics or VOCs.
Linseed oil paint protects against all weathers. Once it has been painted, wood won’t rot and iron won’t rust. It has fantastic wicking properties, enabling the evaporation of moisture, instead of trapping it under an impermeable film.
In Scandinavia, which has a long tradition of using linseed paint, original coats of linseed paint have survived on houses that are several centuries old.
Brouns & Co work with architects’ practices all over the world and with a high-profile client list including Chatsworth House, the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Estate, and Channel 4’s Grand Designs team, Brouns & Co is also winning new orders for its unique natural paints from the US, where, in regions such as New England, the maintenance of historic wooden buildings is a major conservation issue.
Brouns & Co are based in the north of the UK in West Yorkshire where the paints’ raw ingredient, flax, is grown. The business was founded by historic building conservation expert Michiel Brouns, who gained his expertise surveying historic buildings in his native Netherlands, before moving to the UK in 2006 and setting up Brouns & Co in Yorkshire.
"Linseed paint is an incredible product for wooden surfaces both outside and in,” says Michiel. “We have this notion in the UK that the more coats of paint we put on timber, the better it is. Unfortunately, water always finds a way in, and when it does, it needs to find a way out again as well."
“The usual application of four or five coats of a petrochemical-based paint does the exact opposite of what it is meant to do. It seals the water in and then the timber starts to rot. Linseed paint is different because it doesn’t form a film on top of the timber and it allows water to escape again and even helps to preserve the wood. It’s also long-lasting: maintenance is just a wipe with some oil once every 10-15 years, so it is actually cheaper than many brands of conventional paint.”
Brouns & Co have two ranges of paint one for exterior application and the other for interior. The exterior linseed paint range is available in a range of 40 historically accurate colours, and the interior range features contemporary as well as historic colours. These paints are complemented by a range of oils, materials and appliances that can all be use in the preparation and application of paint to protect and restore buildings, furniture, wood and metal, in an ecologically friendly way, as well as giving the surfaces maximum protection. Brouns & Co also offers tradition wood tar oil, the mother of all wood treatment, identical to that found on the Norwegian Stave Churches dating back to the 12th century.