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Six top tips for restoring a Victorian property

Six top tips for restoring a Victorian property

Nick and Ingrid’s 1904 Victorian home in Harrogate is benefitting from a grand overhaul. Here they tell us about their renovation project…


Victoria renovation using linseed oil


1. Highlight Historic Features

Nick said: “We’ve been here eight years. The first job we did was rebuild the old entrance porch a year ago.” It’s a grand glass structure featuring ornate stain-glass windows and a vivid aubergine front door. “Even though a weather-shield paint was used it hasn’t even lasted a year and now needs repainting.”


2. Wash The Stone

Secondly Nick and Ingrid had their stone washed to give the house a freshen up. However, this highlights further problems. Decorator Ian Stokes said: “You can see the windows are in a real state. A synthetic paint has been used and it’s really flaking. We’re now stripping it down to the bare timber and applying linseed oil paint throughout.”

How to apply linseed oil


3. Protect the Timber

Ian encourages all his clients to use linseed paint on their project. “Modern conventional paints form a soft skin over the top of the surface you are painting. Linseed paint soaks in. Being a breathable finish, linseed paint allows for moisture to exit the timber. The penetration of the paint alongside the removal of moisture prolongs the timber lifespan from the decaying process,” says Ian. 

Linseed oil paint offers long-lasting colour and protection and only needs to be maintained every 10-15 years with a quick rub down of raw linseed oil, saving Nick and Ingrid the expense of further renovation in years to come. 

Why decorators use linseed paint


4. Conservative Interiors 

Ingrid takes us inside to see the work they’ve done on the interior of the home. “We’ve only managed three rooms so far. I’d like to say it’s a conservative style.” The house is accessorised with grand oak furniture and antique-style decor to compliment this grand Victorian home. “We’d like to paint the rest of the house in linseed oil paint now we’ve discovered what great colours and protection it offers.”

10 reasons to use linseed oil 


5. Restore Traditional Features

Next Nick and Ingrid plan to strip down all the internal doors to make a great feature throughout the home. “There’s another job for Oricalcum’s linseed products,” says Nick.


6. Go Natural

“No really, since Ian has introduced us to the product I’ve really researched it and even chatted to Oricalcum to get a real understanding of the product. It’s great to see paint returning to its natural roots and turning away from solvent-based synthetic paints. I’m really impressed with their passion.”

Why is linseed oil all natural and eco-friendly

Nick and Ingrid’s renovation is expected to take two to three week. We’re excited to reveal the finished project coming soon…

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Why painters and decorators use natural linseed paint

Why painters and decorators use natural linseed paint

Commercial decorator and director of Nouveau Decor Ian Stokes specialises in heritage properties and period homes. Here Ian explains why linseed paint has since become his unique selling point and transformed his decorating business.

A realistic heritage-property finish

Ian said: “I have always been interested in using natural paints on period properties because natural paint was used back when the period homes were built; not modern synthetic pigments and plastic-added paints. The natural ingredients and colour pigments used to produce linseed paint create a more realistic finish in keeping with the heritage of the homes we decorate.

"The natural colours are also very strong and intense because the pigments are ground extremely finely allowing the pigment to be totally oil saturated,” says Ian.

Upon discovering Oricalcum linseed paint three years ago Ian decided to take a visit to the factory in Sweden. “Meeting the small dedicated production team at Ottosson gave me an insight into the care and commitment that goes into the production. It helped me appreciate their sourcing of the best quality natural ingredients and the sustainable practices employed.

linseed paint factory

Preserving a period property 

“I find modern conventional paints form a soft skin over the top of the surface you are painting. Linseed paint soaks in.” Oricalcum linseed paints are made from a high-quality oil in which the molecules are smaller than water so they penetrate deeper into wood than water.

Linseed paint's wicking capabilities draw moisture out from under the surface. “Being a breathable finish, linseed paint allows for moisture to exit the timber. The penetration of the paint alongside the removal of moisture prolongs the timber lifespan from the decaying process.”

linseed paint

Long-lasting paint

“My most recent project is an old stable barn conversation. Weather was hitting the back of the house and the owner was struggling to find paint that would last even a year without flaking and peeling.” Linseed paint works at its best when applied to bare timber. Therefore Ian stripped the old paint off using a Speedheater and applied linseed paint, confident it would easily cope with bad weather.

“It’s been two years and the paint is still as it was when we first painted it. We’re now going back to the property to paint the adjoining farmhouse in linseed paint because the owners are so pleased with the outcome. And future maintenance on the barn would only require a fresh coat or the oiling of existing coats.

"The public have become used to cheap, synthetic paints. I am trying to educate my customers on the benefits of natural linseed paint. ”

Delay the decay of period properties

Ian recommends using linseed paint to combat damp or decay as it allows moisture to be drawn out of the surface to evaporate. “Using modern synthetic paints creates a high-gloss sheen that may look attractive but it is actually filled with plastic. It’s like wrapping your house in a polythene bag. You lock the moisture in, which will result in problems with rot, damp and rust.” 

Wooden beams waxed with linseed oil wax

Healthier working environment

“As a decorator working with paint all day long, I have struggled with my chest. Using natural linseed paint has stopped that. The oil exudes a mild but inoffensive odour that is not disagreeable to work with. Alongside this, its ethical credentials are reason enough why I prefer to specialise in working with linseed paint.”

“My next project is three weeks long, working on Victorian properties in Harrogate. I will definitely be using linseed paint throughout.”

Find out more about linseed paint with our top ten reasons to use linseed paint or trial it today with a linseed sample pot.


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