View Full Version : Anyone tried cloves (the spice, not the oil)?

12-19-2018, 12:36 PM
Has anyone tried using cloves, the spice bud rather than the oil, to retard drying in a sealed palette?

Over Christmas I'll be traveling, and would like to take a very minimal paint kit with me. Rationale: In case my relatives are boring (or if I bore them), I want to have something to keep me busy. But I won't be able to take much, in terms of weight or volume. I work on 5"x7" gessobord, and keep a palette in a small plastic box, so that's not the problem.

Instead of taking a selection of paint tubes, I thought I'd place blobs of paint on the palette. Most of the time it will be cool (not refrigerated) and dark. I don't use solvents.

I don't have clove oil handy, but I do have cloves (the spice bud). I wonder if taping some of the cloves to the inside of the palette box will work as well as cotton with clove oil? Only needs to work for about three or four days.

12-19-2018, 03:38 PM
I don't know, but if you have time to experiment before your trip, you might try crushing the cloves to release the oils and then test to see how well that might keep your paints open. You could probably leave the crushed cloves in a bottle cap and place that with the paint in your sealed box. I'm not certain that will really do the trick, but it's a cooking technique that should work better than just the unadulterated cloves.

OTOH, clove oil is easy to come by (you can get it in many health food stores if there aren't any art supply stores near you), and cotton balls weigh next to nothing. If you put a drop of clove oil on one or two cotton balls, you could then leave the bottle at home; that will probably be your best bet.

If you happen to have a small bottle of spike lavender oil, that might work too, but you would probably need to bring it along and then put a drop in each pile of paint as needed each evening to keep it loose, rather than using a drop on cotton balls. This approach may be something that could conceivably interfere with the paint film, so use it at your own risk.

12-20-2018, 01:45 AM
Let us know if it works....

My guess is it won't work very well. a few drops of clove leaf oil has more of the "stuff" found in clove plant parts that slows paint curing, than maybe half a cup or more of clove buds - but you never know until you try.

Have any of you compared clove bud oil vs clove leaf oil? I have only tried clove bud oil which is almost gone. It has worked OK, but I still need to use the refrigerator for maximum impact. I have a bottle of clove leaf oil on the way which is said to be significantly stronger than the bud oil. Too strong some say for various essential oil therapies that are OK with bud oil. I am hoping less of it will do the same or more than the bud oil.

12-20-2018, 11:45 AM
Thanks for the polite discouragement. Likely to have been a dumb idea. Instead of investing in clove oil (from whatevr part of the plant), I decided to invest in a few colored pencils. I already had a few for laying out design ideas. So instead of the oils, I'll take along the colored pencils and a small sketchbook. Can also be useful if there are any little kids around and they forgot to bring their video games.