View Full Version : White, white or white?

07-26-2000, 10:54 AM
We all use white when we paint. It is the most used paint in our palettes.

But, do you know the disadvantages and advantages of all the different whites that you can buy?

Zinc white, Lead white, Titanium white. Which do you use and is it the right white for YOU?

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Learn the Secrets of Oil painting http://www.esartstudio.com
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01-27-2001, 02:18 PM
As a beginner, I am trying to discover the differences between the various whites (Flake white, zinc white, Permalba, etc.). I have only found info about white used for canvas primer and little about it's use for painting and mixing. Experienced comments appreciated.

01-27-2001, 06:08 PM
Zinc white is cool, slightly transparent, supposedly non-yellowing with age, dries brittle, weak tinting strength. Best in mixing translucent tints.

Titantium white is warmer than zinc but cooler than flake, most opaque of the three, non-yellowing with age, inferior dried surface to flake, strong tinting strength. Care must be taken to keep your tints from looking chalky.

Flake white is the warmest of these three, fairly opaque but gains transparency with age, yellows slightly with age but can be bleached back with exposure to light, superior drying to a more elastic surface. Contains lead so is poisonous. Buttery consistency is marvelous to work with. This is the white of the old masters. My personal favorite.

Permalba and other proprietary whites are usually mixtures of zinc and titanium. They therefore share qualities. Combined to produce a white that comes closest to flake without the lead content. Permalba seems to be the one most people like.

Suggest you try them all to see their characteristics for yourself. Then use the one which meets your needs.