Yorkshire linseed paint manufacturer expands with move to new premises as demand soars

19 February 2024

Environmentally sustainable linseed paint manufacturer Brouns and Co has relocated to new premises in Sherburn in Elmet, near Leeds, to accommodate the firm’s growth, after reporting a 400% increase in export sales to the US in the last three years.

Brouns & Co, which moved production of its all-natural linseed paint to Yorkshire in 2022, has relocated from nearby Garforth to the new site. The paint’s primary ingredient, flax seed, is harvested at nearby Collingham.

Designed for use on timber and metal as both a coating and a preservative, Brouns & Co linseed paint has seen a leap in sales both in the UK and the US, where it has taken off with owners and custodians of the historic and new timber-built properties that are a feature of the East Coast.

US sales have quadrupled to over £100,000 since 2021 and the business reported a record quarter at the end of 2023.

Brouns & Co CEO, property restoration expert Michiel Brouns, said: “Demand for linseed paint has really taken off, particularly in the US, where the problem of how best to preserve ageing timber buildings is a real headache for owners and conservation societies.


Reintroducing the wheel: Linseed paint as the natural option

“Linseed paint was used for centuries before the advent of the modern plastics-based paints that we now see are having an environmentally devastating effect, polluting our waterways and oceans with microplastics. Linseed paint is vastly superior to plastic-based paints in its abilities to preserve wood, for centuries in many cases. It is absorbed by the timber and allows it to wick moisture out, ensuring it won’t rot, and we are really pleased to be bringing this product back to market.”

Brouns & Co’s relocation to its new unit will enable the business, which employs a team of seven, to manufacture the paint, and store raw ingredients as well as tins of the finished product, on one site.

“Now we have everything in one location which makes everything work better logistically and will enable us to grow as a business. We hope to be creating new jobs over the coming months,” said Mr Brouns.

The linseed paint manufacturing process, which Brouns & Co has brought back to Yorkshire for the first time since the 19th century, involves oil from flaxseed grown and pressed in Collingham, being triple-milled with ground natural pigments to create paint in a range of 40 historically accurate colours.

Brouns & Co’s paint is used in the UK by many historic properties including Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, the restoration of Wentworth Woodhouse near Rotherham, and English Heritage-owned Brodsworth Hall near Doncaster, as well as by architects and developers.

Image caption: Michiel Brouns at the new Brouns & Co site, Sherburn in Elmet, North Yorkshire


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