Problems (& Solutions) with Allback linseed paint
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Victor



Joined: 07 Aug 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Pacific North West

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A sulfur compound is added to dried fruits as a preservative (no, it is not yellow).

If there are any chemists in the bunch, why couldn't this same compound be added to paint as a human safe fungicide/mildewcide/bacteriostatic?
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Skuce



Joined: 08 Nov 2009
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Location: Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always add a bit of Zinc Oxide to my paint before using it.
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jefinch



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Elverson, PA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been intending to revisit this topic since some time has passed since my initial posting and the ensuing discussion. I just received another inquiry at work regarding somebody else in our organization who is interested in trying the Allback products so I thought I'd see what had been posted recently and give them the reference to this forum.

SpinozaQ wrote:
I "made" the decision to use Allback paint for my "Exterior Restoration Project".
I did a small test area to test both color mixing ratios ( We are mixing the old blue with white for a light blue. ) and quality, coverage, adhesion... all that good stuff.

Did you have any trouble with the blue not blending in? We had a discussion earlier regarding "bloom." I had this problem using the paint in our kitchen and finally gave up after 3 attempts. This fall I had to match another color using Linseed Blue with white. Even though I tried to mix the heck out of it and really brush it out extensively I still ended up with a blotchy result.

SpinozaQ wrote:
I noticed a few people discussing shellac as primer.

The shellac idea was something that Soren recommended after we had the big problems. He was recommending their water-borne shellac, not a usual alcohol based shellac. We discussed this at the time with my thinking that shellac would inhibit one of the positive features of the linseed paint, absorption into the wood.

SpinozaQ wrote:
Back on the topic of the original poster..... The failure of that paint concerns me greatly! I stared at them for a while. Other then excessive moisture I can think of two things that could play into it, and they are somewhat related.
1.) The age of the paint
2.) Not completely stirring.

This is highly unlikely the cause of our problems. The paint was from different batches but it was used immediately after arrival on the site and the contractor always stirred the cans well. It is possible that number of coats was a contributing factor with our problem.

I have had a couple contract jobs done in more recent times for which I did have the Allback paint used as something of a test. In one case (a porch ceiling that was brand new when I gave it the first coats of Allback products) in 2008), the contractor was supposed to wash the surfaces with Cabot's Problem Solver Cleaner. Unfortunately I wasn't on site when the work was done so I can't confirm what was done but after something in the ballpark of a year it's worse than any of the siding of the Casting House.

Despite the issues at work I've had more success at home in upstate NY. This summer I redid the upper part of the house that I did in the fall of 2007 and then did the lower part and porch anew. The 4 year old section did exhibit some mildew issues but nowhere near what I've seen at work in SE PA. The paint was noticeably faded. We first scraped using Sandvik carbide scrapers and then I applied and washed all surfaces to be painted with the Cabot cleaner according to their directions. The lower area and porch got a coat of lin-turp (Allback boiled linseed oil + turpentine in a 1:1 mix) on both bare wood and remaing old paint. Then we applied one coat of Allback linseed paint (3 different colors) for an authentic 1880's scheme.

As we've said before, I think there are a number of contributing factors to the problems. Among them could be putting the paint on too thick, not sufficiently addressing possible mold present before paint application, and temperature affecting cure time. I think the paint fares better in a less humid environment. Because I'm a stickler for really brushing out the paint to a thin coat and have no real control over this aspect with contractors I think this is one reason my jobs have generally fared better than the contract work. I think too that I used lin-turp instead of plain oil when I painted in 2007 and that may be another possible reason I have had less issues at home than at work. This is supported by my observation that even the painting I have done at work developed problems and in those cases I used plain boiled oil.
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Victor



Joined: 07 Aug 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Pacific North West

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: My experience with Allback paint Reply with quote

I've done some testing with the Allback linseed oil paint.

My first impressions were, "wow, this stuff is beautiful" Deep gloss, brilliant sheen, slow but easy to paint and it spreads far.

So far, since August of 2011, I've painted three windows, six windowsills, all old wood, and some new wood (cedar).

Windowsill # 1: 2 coats of zinc white. No molding, but the paint is cracking, and there are large areas which have no paint any longer. Bare old wood.

Windowsills # 2 through 6. Two coats of regular linseed oil paint. All of them have mold on them.

Windows: minor mold.

New wood: lots of black mold. Vertical and horizontal surfaces.

After seeing the mold on the new wood I checked the windowsills I painted with the non-zinc paint and I was pretty disappointed but figured I could just mix some of the zinc white in the regular paint, clean all the mold off and be on my merry way.

But now since I've noticed the windowsill with the zinc paint on it is completely failing in less than a year sounds like it is back to the drawing board.

Also to note, my tests were on three different sides of the house. Every side except the north. I'm in WA state and it rains here a lot.

I think this is fine paint to use as long as you don't care about mold or you use it where it is dry most of the time, or indoors, but not a bathroom or a kitchen...
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jefinch



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Elverson, PA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used a custom mixed color in our bathroom on the woodwork and floor and both still look great. We do have a good quality vent fan. It was a mix of existing woodwork and new wood.

I have come on some new products that I am testing that may be a help in being able to use the linseed paints where mold has been a problem. One product is to be used on the bare wood as a primer and the other is applied to a surface that has already grown mold. There are no toxic ingredients like bleach so it can take a few months for the mold to disappear, if it does. The one product was initially developed for treating concrete to prevent freeze/thaw deterioration and as I understand the products they work by drying the surface to the point that there is no moisture to sustain the mold growth. I have been told that they do not form a vapor barrier so are breathable. I'll report back if/when more time has elapsed on the areas where we are testing.
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sswiat



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 231
Location: Cambria, New York

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my training in Sweden, you can add zinc white up to 20% to stop mold issues. I believe if you have mold growing already that could cause a problem. The Allback linseed paint does not have any mildew stopping chemicals in it.

As for zinc white, I came across this interesting information today which may explain painting with zinc white alone:

http://naturalpigments.com/education/article.asp?ArticleID=127
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2972
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great piece of research, Steve. Thanks.

This study was written by and for those with a special interest in artistic painting, which is different than our building painting in some regards, but quite similar in other ways. Early in my life I had six years of training in artistic work, and have use what I learned then about painting materials with some success since then in my building work.

My 'extracts' from this study that seem to apply to mold on exterior linseed oil paint:

"It [zinc white] is used as an additive in exterior paints for wood preservation, ... It improves film formation in some paint vehicles, and resistance to mildew (having a synergistic effect with other fungicides) because it reacts with acidic products of oxidation and can absorb ultraviolet radiation."

"If problems were observed since the early part of the 20th century, why is zinc white still used in artists' oil paints today? The problems mentioned above were primarily observed when zinc white was used alone or in excessive amounts... It appeared that the cracking and embrittlement of dried paint films could be minimized or eliminated when zinc white was mixed with other white pigments or used sparingly."

"Zinc oxide is known to be hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water when exposed to air and becomes sticky -- the particles of zinc white stick to one another. If "sticky" zinc oxide is used to make oil colors, some moisture can be trapped inside the paint, which may lead to cracking and peeling..."

"...the hygroscopic property of zinc oxide causes it to react with the atmosphere after long exposure to moisture and sunlight. Zinc oxide can absorb moisture from the air, causing physical expansion of the paint film; and similarly, it can lose moisture if the air is dry, triggering contraction. This results in physical stress of the paint film that can lead to cracking."

"Conclusion

Paints made with zinc oxide and drying oils become extremely brittle in as little as three years. Paints containing zinc oxide exhibit severe delaminating problems after drying and especially zinc oxide paint on acrylic emulsion grounds. Even commercial lead white and titanium white oil paints containing zinc oxide become quite brittle after seven years of drying.

Of course, not every painting containing zinc white will crack and its paint fall off the support... .
Mecklenburg and Tumosa's paper forewarns us about the potential problems with oil paints containing zinc white commonly used by artists today. Artists may choose to ignore the report and continue using zinc in their paintings -- perhaps at their own peril. Whatever the choice, the paper helps artists gain a better understanding of the materials used in their work."

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Last edited by johnleeke on Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:44 am; edited 2 times in total
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Victor, just to confirm, in your test Windowsill # 1, did you use the Allback Zinc White alone as the paint?

And, did you do a test using the Allback Zinc White mixed with Allback Linseed Oil paint per their instructions?

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do wish the Allbacks would participate in this discussion. It could make our attempts to understand their products and learn how to use them so much more effective.

While there are a few here who continue to try figure out these products, there are many, many others I have been in touch with who simply give up after one or two tries and then throw up their hands and walk away in confusion or frustration.

The frustration is understandable. It is the confusion that worries me. Confusion is one of the principle tactics used by the corporateers in their consumer marketing, and I hate to see it come into play here. Confusion is particularly insidious because it is so effective in getting people to buy junk products, and can be relatively easy to eliminate with information.

I look to Hans Allback as the primary focus of information, experience and knowledge about his products. His occasional presence in this discussion would be highly valuable to all involved.

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jefinch



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Elverson, PA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnleeke wrote:
I do wish the Allbacks would participate in this discussion. It could make our attempts to understand their products and learn how to use them so much more effective.

While there are a few here who continue to try figure out these products, there are many, many others I have been in touch with who simply give up after one or two tries and then throw up their hands and walk away in confusion or frustration.

I look to Hans Allback as the primary focus of information, experience and knowledge about his products. His occasional presence in this discussion would be highly valuable to all involved.

I too would like to hear from the horses mouth on this one. I'm one who has refused to totally give up on the product because of the potential good properties. However when I get inquiries at work regarding my experience I refer them to this thread and strongly warn away from using the products until we are able to get some definitive answers and solutions. I'm pretty confident that this has resulted in quite a few lost sales for some pretty significant projects. They may be able to survive on first time sales and repeat business from those who don't have problems but they could do better by providing better customer service.

Just this last week when I was checking the new post to the thread I noticed that I had a PM. When I checked it I saw that it was a 2 year old inquiry from sswiat inquiring about talking to me about these issues. Unfortunately I seldom check this forum unless there is notification of a new message in this thread so missed this at the time. My email responsed bounced so apparently sswiat has a new email address.
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David Ottinger



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
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Location: Arlington.MA

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:10 am    Post subject: Solutions after failure Reply with quote

What strategies have people successfully employed after excessive mold in Allback paint. How long does simple washing last?
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jefinch



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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Location: Elverson, PA

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Solutions after failure Reply with quote

David Ottinger wrote:
What strategies have people successfully employed after excessive mold in Allback paint. How long does simple washing last?

I haven't washed any of my moldy paint other than in preparation for going over it. In those cases I've used Cabot's Problem Solver Cleaner, which works quite well at taking off the mold as well as generally cleaning the surface. The painters on one of my projects were supposed to do this but I don't know if they did or not. That particular location is worse than it was before they repainted. It may also be another case of the paint being applied too thickly. I still have the litre of Linseed Soap Extra that I was supposed to try on the moldy paint but my expectation of success with that is so low that I've never made the time to go and try it out. I really need to do that now that I've been experimenting with some other products.

I previously mentioned some products that I came across last summer. These have sodium tartrate crystals suspended in distilled water with a bit of isopropyl alcohol. I've seen pictures of remarkable results with this line of products applied to old grave stones covered with lichen and mold. Of course just because something works well doesn't mean it belongs on an old building with traditional materials. I have applied it to the building with the half moon cookie and because I know where to look I think I'm beginning to see a change.

I've also tried it on a stuccoed masonry building that is stained with algae. In less than 2 months that spot had turned white. However I don't think this is a good product to use on a masonry building where we want to apply lime wash because it's supposed to be a moisture block except for movement from inside the wall. The latter is good but we want the moisture on the outside to get to the lime paint as part of the advantages of lime products.

They have another product more apropos to this discussion that is supposed to be used on bare wood before paint is applied. Unfortunately this too is a vapor barrier, which is supposed to allow vapor transfer the opposite direction. If it weren't for the vapor barrier issues these might work to keep the surface dried out to the point that mold wouldn't be able to grow on the linseed paint even if all the other necessary conditions were present.
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Haldis Fearn



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 42
Location: San Leandro, CA

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been reading thru these posts and am now concerned about trying the paint on the exterior woodwork of my house. It seems there are multiple problems.

Mixing special colors seems to be a real problem. I had bought three of their colors to experiment with mixing, but it sounds like I'm going to run into issues.

The issue with mold seems to be even bigger. There is no way I want to spend the money and end up with mold. I am even more concerned because my plan is/was to have the woodwork properly stripped, apply their linseed oil mixed with 25% gum turpentine to feed the wood and then paint. This strings makes me think this is not a good idea.

Here's the weird thing - I used their linseed oil on my stripped porch pillars - applying 4 coats before the wood stopped sucking it up and then coated with their varnish - 3 layers. Granted I have to 'oil' them every year which I didn't understand at first, but have since been doing. I mix the linseed with 10% gum turpentine and apply it to the washed pillars. I have had no mold issues. The only issue I have had is failure with Miniwax's Interior/Exterior wood putty - but that may well be from me - I was using wood putty for the first time outside.

I also used the linseed oil on the top of the wood bookcases framing my fireplace. There are two west facing windows above and the wood and finish was a mess. I cleaned my woodwork (paint spatter clean up and dirt) using a mix of equal parts their linseed oil, gum turpentine, and white distilled vinegar, a mixture that a furniture refinisher turned me on to and I use on my furniture. Then I mixed the linseed oil and 10% gum turpentine and literally painted it on very thinly with a 1" stiff artist brush. I did this until the wood stopped absorbing the mixture - which took 7 coats on one and 9 on the other. I did this about 18 months ago and they still look terrific.

John - in your posts you talked about your Dad saving the linseed oil and mixing paint- my questions are:

1. Was he mixing his own paints?

2. Were there formulas for doing this that he used?

3. Do you know anything about the type of linseed oil he was using?

It seems to me that I am missing something - I feel like there is information about formulas that has been lost because I haven't seen people talking about mold being a problem on old paint. Is the lack of lead the underlying issue?

Would be interested in anyone's thoughts.
Thanks Haldis
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jefinch



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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Location: Elverson, PA

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haldis Fearn wrote:
Mixing special colors seems to be a real problem. I had bought three of their colors to experiment with mixing, but it sounds like I'm going to run into issues.

With some colors I have had none to less problems mixing. The biggest problem I have experienced is with the Linseed Blue mixed with White.

Haldis Fearn wrote:
The issue with mold seems to be even bigger. There is no way I want to spend the money and end up with mold. I am even more concerned because my plan is/was to have the woodwork properly stripped, apply their linseed oil mixed with 25% gum turpentine to feed the wood and then paint. This strings makes me think this is not a good idea.

At my own house I have used a 1:1 mix of turpentine and boiled oil (both paint store grade and Allback). I have had significantly less problems (close to none) with mold there than in cases where just boiled oil was used.

Haldis Fearn wrote:
Here's the weird thing - I used their linseed oil on my stripped porch pillars - applying 4 coats before the wood stopped sucking it up and then coated with their varnish - 3 layers. Granted I have to 'oil' them every year which I didn't understand at first, but have since been doing. I mix the linseed with 10% gum turpentine and apply it to the washed pillars. I have had no mold issues. The only issue I have had is failure with Miniwax's Interior/Exterior wood putty - but that may well be from me - I was using wood putty for the first time outside.

I have used the Allback linseed varnish inside on my wood floors and love it. I use boiled oil for the first coat and then 3 coats of varnish. I've had no mold issues with any of the products in interior use. I've also experienced problems with the Minwax wood putty. I think it's too hard to sufficiently expand and contract with the wood.


Haldis Fearn wrote:
I haven't seen people talking about mold being a problem on old paint. Is the lack of lead the underlying issue?

There's a good possibility that the lead inhibited organic growth. This is one reason I think that the lin-turp solution may be one of the reasons I haven't yet had problems with mold on my exterior paint.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turpentine definitely acts as a poison to the mold and fungus, as did lead.
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