Natural paints expert and CEO of Leeds-based linseed paint manufacturer Brouns & Co, Michiel Brouns, has become a published author with his book, Linseed Paint and Oil, A Practical Guide to Traditional Production and Application, released this month by independent specialist publisher Crowood Press.
The book is the definitive guide to using linseed paint – a centuries-old, all-natural and sustainable paint that is now being manufactured, by Brouns & Co, in Yorkshire for the first time since the 19th century.
“I’ve been making the case for using linseed paint for years, giving talks about why and how to use it all over the world,” said author Michiel Brouns. “Interest in linseed paint is growing really fast right now, especially given the volume of microplastics now proven to come from plastic-based paints, and we’ve had pre-orders for the book from across the globe. It’s the perfect time to share my knowledge, and hopefully to encourage and empower people to use this amazing natural paint.”
The book is the latest step in a journey which saw Brouns gain his expertise in restoring and renovating historic buildings in his native Netherlands before moving to the UK in 2006 and setting up Brouns & Co in Yorkshire. The venture has gone from strength to strength and last year, Brouns & Co saw US orders for its natural and sustainable products increase by more than 120% in 12 months, with the support of the Department for International Trade (DIT) in Yorkshire and the USA.
Brouns has worked on high-profile restoration projects including Woburn Abbey, Chatsworth House and Windsor Castle. He is widely regarded as the leading expert in linseed paint, and he delivers presentations to architects across the UK and USA, approved by RIBA, AIA, ICAA and ACBA.
Michiel added: “Everything about linseed paint stacks up – not only does it contain only natural ingredients, across Europe, original coats of linseed paint have survived perfectly well on houses that are well over 500 years old.
“Linseed paint is different because it doesn’t form a film on top of the wood; it allows water to escape and helps to preserve the timber. It’s also long-lasting – maintenance is just a wipe with some linseed oil once every 10-15 years, so it actually works out cheaper than many brands of conventional paint. It really is the perfect alternative to plastic-based paints.”
Linseed Paint and Oil describes in detail the unique role linseed paint plays in the preservation of historic buildings, the ingredients that make up the paint and its production process. Crucially, Brouns explains how linseed paint can play a pivotal role in reducing microplastics pollution and making the building and restoration industries more sustainable. Also included are detailed step-by-step instructions for applying linseed paint to a variety of surfaces.