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Issues with linseed?

Hi everyone, I'm new to oil painting, but not new to art in general.  I work in realism and finally decided after many years to give oil painting a shot after never quite achieving my desired results with acrylics or water colors.  I recently purchased some linseed oil and asked a few folks on the oil painting subreddit about it, and most advised me to use it with caution as it sometimes makes rags and paper towels catch fire.  I live in a very hot climate and my house often gets pretty warm itself, so that's a little bit concerning.  I'm curious as to how I would dispose of the paper towels safely after use, and if there's anything else I need to be cautious with.  And no, I'm not using any solvent because I'm confident that I don't have the proper ventilation in my house :) Thanks. :)

Comments

  • kingpyretta

    Welcome to the Forum.

    Use a lidded paint tin, half filled with water. Put used oily towels under water and secure lid.

     The heat will build in any container, if there is no oxygen it can’t ignite.
    However, a plastic bag will melt and then it’s dial 911.

    I have posted this short video several times but it is worth repeating.


    Linseed Oil and Spontaneous Combustion


    Denis
    kingpyrettamanitouoaktown
  • dencal said:
    kingpyretta

    Welcome to the Forum.

    Use a lidded paint tin, half filled with water. Put used oily towels under water and secure lid.

     The heat will build in any container, if there is no oxygen it can’t ignite.
    However, a plastic bag will melt and then it’s dial 911.

    I have posted this short video several times but it is worth repeating.


    Linseed Oil and Spontaneous Combustion


    Denis
    Thank you so much for the info! That answers my question 100%, I appreciate it and will be doing just that!:)
  • paper towels don't self combust as readily as cloth especially cotton rags but no mater what you use follow @dencal 's advice. It doesn't matter what kind of oil you use either any vegetable or animal oil will have the same problem. 
    kingpyrettaKathymanitouoaktown
  • I drop my oily rags in a home depot orange bucket half full of water, then put the lid on it. There is no way they can spontaneously combust as long as they are saturated in water. 
    kingpyrettaoaktown
  • Hello, I am new to oil painting.  If I do not use linseed oil, but only use Geneva oil paints (which contain linseed oil), and wipe my brushes on paper towels, should I treat disposal of those paper towels the same way?  Thanks
  • Kathy

    The risk is less with paper towel and less again with paint remnants. The risk is still there.
    So, with a low likelihood and severe consequences it is worth using some water to avoid any heat build up in what is very combustible waste.

    Denis


    manitouoaktown
  • I am so glad I stumbled upon this thread, I am new to DMP and oil painting and did not know about this. And I live in a fire zone in CA. Thank you all.
  • CBGCBG -
    edited June 8
    @kingpyretta

    I've heard you can set them outside to dry as long as they are not crumpled up in any way... and then safely dispose (not sure but possibly reuse?) the dry rags.

    @dencal

    Do you reuse your oily wet paint tin rags?  If so how do you prep for reuse?
  • CBG

    I don’t reuse or use rags. I use paper tissue for brush wiping and cleanup.

    Denis
     
  • dencal said:
    CBG

    I don’t reuse or use rags. I use paper tissue for brush wiping and cleanup.

    Denis
     
    Can I ask what you do to your paper tissues after brush wiping and cleanup to dispose of them safely?
  • CBG

    During a painting session I have one or up to three oil/clove immersion baths with pot scourers to agitate excess pigment out of my brushes. My brushes cycle in and out of these baths and often stay in the bath between sessions, so there are only a few tissues used and for vanishingly small amounts of paint or oil.
    Any tissues at the end of a session are dumped into my wettish garden mulch bin.

    Greendl kindly posted this nifty idea. I have used it ever since with a stainless steel or nylon scouring ball in the oil to agitate the brush.


    This design uses rubber grommets on the brush handles to adjust depth.

    Denis
    CBG
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