The Origins of Balsam Turpentine

The Origins of Balsam Turpentine

Published by Michiel Brouns on 2nd Jun 2024

Balsam turpentine, also known as gum turpentine, is a natural extract sourced from the sap of pine trees. This age-old substance, captured in an image by the Keystone View Company around 1906-1920, holds a rich history and versatile uses. 

Extracting balsam turpentine involves two primary methods: chemical extraction and steam extraction. In alignment with our commitment to environmental sustainability, we exclusively utilise steam extraction for our product. The process involves extracting the sap from trees, the sap is then steam distilled and the cooled vapour produces gum turpentine. 

Distinguishing itself from its synthetic counterpart, modern white spirit or 'turps', balsam turpentine boasts a unique chemical fingerprint. Unlike synthetic alternatives commonly found in hardware shops, which can disrupt the molecular structure of natural linseed oil paint, our balsam turpentine harmonises seamlessly with natural linseed paint. This principle underscores the compatibility between natural turpentine and traditional linseed oil paint.

Balsam turpentine is one of the elements of a linseed oil paint primer. You can mix your own primer with 15% balsam turpentine, 35% raw linseed oil and 50% paint, alternative we supply ready mixed primer for our range of colours. You will find our balsam turpentine here.