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contumacious
04-15-2019, 07:33 PM
Here is a simple test of how grocery store Safflower oil impacts the drying time of a fairly fast drying oil paint. I chose this oil because it was relatively cheap and had a lower viscosity than some other oils. It works quite well for cleaning brushes. Heated on a candle warmer, it thins out and cleans even better.

I used Gamblin Burnt Umber oil paint. Three small drops of Williamsburg refined linseed oil were worked into the paint to make it more brush-able. Varied amounts of Safflower oil were added to that mixture. The mixture size and texture was kept as close to the same for all tests. All swatches were applied to a Masterís Touch acrylic primed cheapo canvas board. The ďgrocery storeĒ oil used was Lou Ana brand Safflower Oil.

The test swatches were brushed evenly so that the canvas texture was still clearly showing, but no white ground was showing through. I have some more thickly applied swatches that I might post information about later. I wanted to also test in the same way using Safflower oil that was marketed for artists, but decided not to at this time since I couldnít find any. Artist grade Safflower is supposed to dry faster than poppy but about the same as Walnut. I have never used any myself.

My conclusion for this oil type, that as long as you wipe most of it off your brush before using it with paint, there shouldnít be much of a change in the drying time. If larger amounts get in there, the drying time can be significantly extended. I fully expected a much more dramatic increase in drying time than was seen with Mix 3 and 4. Mix 5 was about what I thought would happen.

The strength and adhesion of the film with the grocery store Safflower in it is something that could be studied further, but I have no plans to do so. The films in this test seem strong and are adhering well. I will continue to watch them for a few months.

Mix 1 Ė Williamsburg Linseed Oil / paint mix only. Just enough Linseed to make it brushable.

Mix 2 Ė Three drops of safflower oil were added to some paint from Mix 1, and mixed well with a knife. That was followed up with a # 8 bright hog bristle brush soaked with Safflower oil that was used to work the oil from the brush evenly into the paint mixture. This is likely more Safflower oil than could ever get into your paint unless you were really sloppy and didnít wipe the brush when done cleaning.

Mix 3 Ė A # 8 bright hog bristle brush was saturated with Safflower oil then the larger drips were wiped off on the side of the oil container. The oil in the brush was worked evenly into some of paint from Mix 1. I tried to simulate what might be the most amount of Safflower cleaning oil that one might introduce into their paint.

Mix 4 Ė A #8 bright hog brittle brush saturated in Safflower oil was squeezed and firmly wiped several times using a dry, clean cloth until no liquid Safflower oil could be seen coming off on the cloth or on the bristles. The brush was then used to mix the paint well before applying it to the canvas.

I used a small silicone blending tool to test lifting by pressing it onto the paint. Tackiness was tested by touching the surface with my bare finger. The Gamsol lifting test was done with a Q-Tip soaked in Gamsol, gently stroked on the surface, simulating a brush stroke. The "firm rubbing" Gamsol test was just like it reads - a more firm stroke that simulated rubbing off wet paint on top of the dried paint with a rag.

The numbers shown for Tackiness and Lifting are a range of 1 to 5 with 1 being the least amount, 5 being the most.

I could not get the spreadsheet to legibly display with the minuscule file size limitations, so I added a PDF download below.

Pinguino
04-15-2019, 09:28 PM
Bravo! :clap:

JCannon
04-16-2019, 04:12 AM
Thank you for this test. In my case, I don't want to think about how I dry each brush after each dip in the cleaning solution. There's too much else to think about while painting. It's best to have a working practice that allows for a certain amount of carelessness and room for error.

For me, the cheapest and least smelly solvent is the only way to go. I bought a big container of "green" OMS-substitute at Home Depot, and it works just fine. And it says that it is not flammable, so that's a plus.

I understand that some people have the noses of angels, noses that cannot tolerate ANY solvent. For them, walnut oil is the way to go. My understanding is that, for brush-cleaning purposes, any grocery store walnut oil will do, even if the oil has some vitamin E (or whatever) in it.

Gigalot
04-16-2019, 06:02 AM
In USA, arrtists can get their Walnut oils with the price of Biodiesel. In my country, Walnut oil is five times more expensive than Linseed oil! Therefore, I stay with Sunflower oil to clean brushes.

RomanB
04-16-2019, 06:20 AM
In USA, arrtists can get their Walnut oils with the price of Biodiesel. In my country, Walnut oil is five times more expensive than Linseed oil! Therefore, I stay with Sunflower oil to clean brushes.

Donít you have those healthy food stores where they press it from nuts? They look as on this photo (https://moskva.i-mne.com/js/tinymce/editor_upload/moskva.i-mne.com/__/images/press-trawa.jpg).

Gigalot
04-16-2019, 06:28 AM
Donít you have those healthy food stores where they press it from nuts? They look as on this photo (https://moskva.i-mne.com/js/tinymce/editor_upload/moskva.i-mne.com/__/images/press-trawa.jpg).
https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A0%D1%8B%D0%B6%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%B5_%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%81%D0%BB%D0%BE
I can get this oil for reasonable price.

RomanB
04-16-2019, 06:32 AM
https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A0%D1%8B%D0%B6%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%B5_%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%81%D0%BB%D0%BE
I can get this oil for reasonable price.

Is it made from mushrooms? :eek:

Gigalot
04-16-2019, 06:42 AM
Is it made from mushrooms? :eek:
No, :lol: It is made from Camelina sativa seeds:
Camelina sativa is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae and is usually known in English as camelina, gold-of-pleasure, or false flax, also occasionally wild flax, linseed dodder, German sesame, and Siberian oilseed. It is native to Europe and to Central Asian areas. This plant is cultivated as oilseed crop mainly in Europe and in North America.
I guess, Talens (and Kreul?) use such oil to make a paint, it has specific odor.

contumacious
04-16-2019, 07:58 AM
For those who expressed thanks for posting this, you are welcome. Hopefully it will be of some use to someone. I just noticed a typo on the spreadsheet. It shows 3-Jan in one spot instead of just a 3. Excel decided to help out by changing the number into a date.

Gigalot - Camelina oil looks interesting. Too bad it is so expensive here in the USA - I am seeing $70 to $130 a gallon.

My understanding is that, for brush-cleaning purposes, any grocery store walnut oil will do, even if the oil has some vitamin E (or whatever) in it.

Based on my testing I agree with you on it being OK using oils with added ingredients to clean brushes. However, I had my doubts before doing the test. It doesn't need to be walnut oil, it could be plain old $5 a gallon Canola Oil for brush cleaning as long as you wipe it off the brush when you are done cleaning, which is what I do with the artist grade walnut oil I use for cleaning every day, so there is no difference in the amount of time / effort spent for me.

I did this test out of curiosity since I had never seen any information about how the various adulterated kitchen oils behaved in paint. The results were not what I was expecting. The Safflower oil I used was leftover from the one time I used it on a trip where I flew in to a remote location and needed a non solvent cleaning solution when I got there, and there wasn't any artist grade oil (I include Spectrum Walnut as artist grade) available anywhere in the area.

Walnut oil is what I use daily for cleaning and "resting" my brushes when I don't want any solvent in the studio such as in the winter. During the summer, sometimes I use Gamsol for brush cleaning while painting, though I find that constantly cleaning them in OMS tends to make the bristles splay more than oil. I quit leaving my brushes in a tank of OMS for that reason and switched to walnut oil storage between sessions. Outdoors when painting quickly, I like how fast OMS gets the color out my brushes so I use the ridiculously cheap KleenStrip OMS with abandon.

It is pretty tough to beat cold pressed, refined Walnut Oil in gallon containers for $40 delivered. It simplifies things as well having just one type of oil that does so many things. In addition to brush cleaning and overnight storage, I use it to make my own paint as well as in various oil mediums and fumed silica gels.

I have found that my brushes do need to have any oil cleaned out of them every 4-5 days or they will start to gum up near the ferule.

Gigalot
04-16-2019, 08:43 AM
Too bad it is so expensive here in the USA - I am seeing $70 to $130 a gallon.

We have $3 for 300 ml Camelina oil price.

Michael Lion
04-16-2019, 08:14 PM
I too tested non-drying supermarket safflower oil mixed with linseed oil paints, and the paint definitely dried.

But if you want to buy a cheap drying oil in the supermarket, look for soybean oil, which is usually called just "vegetable oil" (because soybean oil has a bad reputation for some reason).

contumacious
04-16-2019, 10:30 PM
I too tested non-drying supermarket safflower oil mixed with linseed oil paints, and the paint definitely dried.

But if you want to buy a cheap drying oil in the supermarket, look for soybean oil, which is usually called just "vegetable oil" (because soybean oil has a bad reputation for some reason).

Is the soybean you tried fairly thin? My initial reason for buying this safflower just for cleaning brushes was that it was quite thin compared to the other oils on the shelf. I never intended to mix it in with my paint.

For anyone looking at this thread, be sure you don't buy the Lou Ana brand of Safflower expecting to be able to mix it in with your paints. As the chart shows, (if you aren't looking at the chart you are missing the boat on this...) a relatively small ratio in Mix #2, (maybe 2%?) added to burnt umber and almost 6 days later it still isn't dry. It is still tacky to the touch. There was color lifting with contact for 3 1/2 days. Brushing over it with linseed oil, alkyd medium or Gamsol at 6.5 days, dissolves the surface of the paint, and if kept up, it will eventually come off all the way to the canvas. Mix #3 - less than 1% oil added, is dry to the touch, but it still lifts up pretty easily with oil, medium or Gamsol at the 6 1/2 day mark. That means you wouldn't want to be glazing over it even after almost a week of drying. Mix 4, probably less than 1/2 of one percent oil added, is dryer than the others, but still has moderate lifting when swabbed with oil or solvent. You could glaze over it if you were gentle without too much of a problem. Mix 1 with no traces of the Safflower oil, was dry with no lifting from Gamsol at 2.5 days. I am guessing that #3 and #4 will eventually dry. Time will tell if Mix #2, the highest concentration will cure or stay soft indefinitely.

Plan on using this particular oil only for cleaning brushes and for best results, try to get most of it out of the brush with a rag before put the brush into the paint.

Updated chart added in PDF and JPG format for those who don't want to click on a PDF.

contumacious
04-16-2019, 11:37 PM
Updated chart added in JPG format for those who don't want to click on a PDF.

WC went off line when I was making the post above and didn't come back in time for me to edit some errors. The time frame in my post where I typed 6 1/2 days should read 5 1/2 days.

Gigalot
04-17-2019, 07:15 AM
It is interesting for me to try solvent solubility of paint after 6 months of drying time. Not in OMS, but in real turpentine because turpentine needs to dissolve old dammar varnish. How much paint you can remove with turp after six months of drying time?

contumacious
04-17-2019, 07:31 AM
It is interesting for me to try solvent solubility of paint after 6 months of drying time. Not in OMS, but in real turpentine because turpentine needs to dissolve old dammar varnish. How much paint you can remove with turp after six months of drying time?

I don't use turpentine or any mediums with turpentine or oil of spike in them, but that would be an interesting test to do. My guess is that paint films with no natural resins in them would hold up better than those with them. You would need to use turpentine or some other stronger solvent on a dried painting to remove varnishes that had natural resins in them. I seem to recall that people also use turpentine to soften up the surface of a dried painting to make it more receptive to a new layer of paint - is that fairly common?

AnnieA
04-17-2019, 01:25 PM
Contumacious, I also want to thank you for the testing you did. I don't think I'll plan to use safflower oil because as JCannon also noted, it's better not to have to think about it as I'm working. I'll continue to use Spectrum brand walnut oil, which works out to roughly $60/gal., but that's OK to me because I prefer to buy it in smaller quantities anyway, as the pint sizes are easier to store in a very limited space. Still, for future reference, I'm curious about your $40/gal. walnut oil source. I don't think I've seen you mention it so could you please divulge it?

contumacious
04-17-2019, 02:34 PM
Contumacious, I also want to thank you for the testing you did. I don't think I'll plan to use safflower oil because as JCannon also noted, it's better not to have to think about it as I'm working. I'll continue to use Spectrum brand walnut oil, which works out to roughly $60/gal., but that's OK to me because I prefer to buy it in smaller quantities anyway, as the pint sizes are easier to store in a very limited space. Still, for future reference, I'm curious about your $40/gal. walnut oil source. I don't think I've seen you mention it so could you please divulge it?

You are welcome. I do this for myself out of curiosity and for enjoyment (Yup, I am weird) but figure why not share it. Someone might get something from it.

I also stick with artist grade walnut oil for brush cleaning. It isn't worth the risk, though I rarely buy any that is packaged for artists. I started out with M Graham, then tried Spectrum Walnut and found no difference other than the M Graham is less yellow. Locally the Spectrum Walnut is $10 a pint, so $85 after tax for a gallon. I use a lot of it both in cooking (Note: Not all Walnut oils being sold are OK to use in cooking. Check with the seller / supplier before you eat any of it!) and for artwork. You can also use it on wood. The best deal I have seen so far is $31 / gallon for refined Walnut Oil, shipped for 5 gallons.

5 gallons is over the top for me, but I do have a large chest freezer so keeping 5 gallons fresh would be easy. If you have artist friends, do a group buy! If you live in a large city you can sell it off on Craig's List for $12 to $16 / quart and end up with a quart or gallon of free oil plus some cash for yourself.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Base-Carrier-Oils-Cooking-Soap-Making-Soaping-Massage-BULK-5-Gallons-35-Pounds/281520414688?hash=item418bec9fe0:m:mf1oq6Q-al_TOsyFOpM7q9g

If you search on ebay for: walnut oil gallon - you will usually find some at the $40 mark, shipped, for a gallon. More offerings in the $44 range. I have not bought any from either of these two sources. My previous source isn't listing on ebay right now.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Premium-Quality-Carrier-Oils-Free-Shipping-4OZ-1GALLON/361311416055?hash=item541fd6aef7:m:m-Kx6PsUa6f8rgue3-lMGxw

contumacious
04-24-2019, 09:19 AM
Now at 2 weeks drying time

Mix 1 - Virtually no color lifting when rubbed with Gamsol. No tackiness.

Mix 2 - The paint is still soft and tacky. Rubbing with Gamsol will still dissolve the paint to the point of removing it to show bare canvas.

Mix 3 - Slightly tacky (I revised this based on re-reading my notes), paint lifts fairly easily when rubbed with Gamsol but is more resistant than Mix 2.

Mix 4 - No tackiness. Light color lifting when rubbed with Gamsol.

Even very small amounts of this oil have had an impact on the curing time. There is enough change that I would not use this oil for cleaning my brushes unless I had no other choice, so as to avoid any chance of excess contamination. With increased amounts of the oil in the paint mix, the drying time is delayed enough that it could cause long term problems lasting many weeks. I will check it in another week to see if Mix 2 has changed much.

Richard P
04-24-2019, 01:50 PM
2 weeks is nothing. Wait until you try walnut oil with clove oil and Titanium white and the white is still wet after 4 weeks.. ;)

Gigalot
04-24-2019, 02:20 PM
2 weeks is nothing. Wait until you try walnut oil with clove oil and Titanium white and the white is still wet after 4 weeks.. ;)
At least, it is necessary to wait 7 weeks to dry. 2 weeks is nothing even for linseed oil paints, many of them can stay wet 10 days or even more. I do not agree with short time testing, that became fashioned after Sarah Sands! We can't affect the natural chemistry of drying oils by doing short time experimentation.

contumacious
04-24-2019, 06:01 PM
I was putting together a group buy for some of that dirt cheap $31 a gallon Walnut oil on eBay and was notified that they are out of stock and they won't be getting any more. Bummer.


2 weeks is nothing. Wait until you try walnut oil with clove oil and Titanium white and the white is still wet after 4 weeks.. ;)

Not surprising. I am well aware of much slower drying oil paints as well as oils that cause slower drying of paint mixtures. I chose one of the fastest drying paints intentionally. The point of this test was to see how grocery store oils that one might use for brush cleaning, but not for mixing with paint could possibly impact the drying of your paints when too much was unintentionally introduced from the cleaning process. Though I would never want to purposely add any of this type of oil to my paint, if someone used it to clean their brushes and got too much in their paint mix, they might end up with what would normally be a one or two day drying paint, that is now a 2-6 week drying mixture, or even longer. Perhaps titanium white with walnut and clove oil that wouldn't dry for a year or more. ( I will leave you to that test if you wish, as I have no interest in ever using clove oil in my paints.)

Not drying in 2 Weeks for Burnt Umber clearly shows that there can be a dramatic influence on the drying time when using oils that have been modified for food use. I assumed such was the case but have never seen it tested, so I decided to do a test myself.

contumacious
04-24-2019, 06:15 PM
At least, it is necessary to wait 7 weeks to dry. 2 weeks is nothing even for linseed oil paints, many of them can stay wet 10 days or even more. I do not agree with short time testing, that became fashioned after Sarah Sands! We can't affect the natural chemistry of drying oils by doing short time experimentation.

Again this was not a paint drying test. It was to see what happens if non drying grocery store oil gets mixed in to your oil paints unintentionally from cleaning your brushes with it. Clearly it does have a rather large impact.

I am not implying that the paint in Mix 1 - with no "food use modified" grocery store Safflower added is fully cured, just that it was more than dry enough to continue painting / glazing over after only 13 HOURS. Mix 2 with the most "food use modified" Safflower oil in it of the 4 mixes was still as wet as when it was applied at that same 13 hour time mark. I am using the "food use modified" text in quotes as I am assuming they did something to this oil since such a small amount prevents the paint from drying so significantly. I didn't ask the maker. 14 DAYS later, Mix 1 with no Safflower in it was so dry that scrubbing it with a rag and Gamsol did virtually nothing. I don't use Turpentine, so I didn't test with that. Mix 1 would stand up to all kinds of over painting and rubbing off without concerns for removing paint at only 2 1/2 days. All the other mixes even with tiny amounts of Safflower induced took significantly longer to dry at 4 to 6 days for Mix 3 and 4 and they still weren't as dry as Mix 1 by the time they hit 14 days. Mix 2, the highest concentration of Safflower to paint, was still tacky at 14 days and could be totally removed from the canvas with a rag and the rather mild solvent, Gamsol.

That is a HUGE difference between Mix 1 and Mix 2, but still quite significant on the other two as well.

Gigalot
04-25-2019, 02:56 AM
It will be interesting what can happens with MIX2 paint after 2 months of drying time. If it will dry to hard, then such paint mix is safe, if not, then it isn"t safe to admix this safflower oil to oil paint.

Richard P
04-25-2019, 07:44 AM
I presume it is the vitamin E that has extended the open time?

Gigalot
04-25-2019, 09:08 AM
I presume it is the vitamin E that has extended the open time?
Vitamin E; Carotene

Richard P
04-25-2019, 10:02 AM
And would these last longer in the oil than clove oil do you think?

contumacious
04-25-2019, 12:02 PM
It will be interesting what can happens with MIX2 paint after 2 months of drying time. If it will dry to hard, then such paint mix is safe, if not, then it isn"t safe to admix this safflower oil to oil paint.

I have some reminders set to check it every 2 weeks. After 2 months I will post the results.

AnnieA
04-25-2019, 07:24 PM
Yup, I am weird.
:lol: I think that can be said of most of us here...

I started out with M Graham, then tried Spectrum Walnut and found no difference other than the M Graham is less yellow.
When you say the M Graham is less yellow, do you mean in the bottle, or as mixed in with the paint on the painting? In other words, does the Spectrum cause paint yellowing? Did you do the same sort of testing as above? Would your testing also mean that Spectrum walnut oil (or, if the yellowing is an issue, the M Graham oil) could be used - without any sort of treatment - to create a putty by mixing it with calcium carbonate or marble dust, or would the oil need to be washed first?

5 gallons is over the top for me, but I do have a large chest freezer so keeping 5 gallons fresh would be easy. If you have artist friends, do a group buy! If you live in a large city you can sell it off on Craig's List for $12 to $16 / quart and end up with a quart or gallon of free oil plus some cash for yourself.
Heh...this sounds like way too much work, especially the craigslist idea, as who knows if it would actually sell. But it's possible I might want to do this in the future, so I've copied down the walnut oil sources.

So thanks again.

contumacious
04-25-2019, 11:04 PM
:lol: I think that can be said of most of us here...

When you say the M Graham is less yellow, do you mean in the bottle, or as mixed in with the paint on the painting? In other words, does the Spectrum cause paint yellowing?

It is less yellow in the bottle than the Spectrum. I have not noticed any difference mixed in in the paint. I think Tad Spurgeon suggested washing the Spectrum but I use it straight out of the bottle.

Did you do the same sort of testing as above? Would your testing also mean that Spectrum walnut oil (or, if the yellowing is an issue, the M Graham oil) could be used - without any sort of treatment - to create a putty by mixing it with calcium carbonate or marble dust, or would the oil need to be washed first?

I did not do any dry time testing with the Spectrum. It dried at about the same rate as my M. Graham walnut so I wasn't concerned about any left on the brush from cleaning them with it.


Heh...this sounds like way too much work, especially the craigslist idea, as who knows if it would actually sell. But it's possible I might want to do this in the future, so I've copied down the walnut oil sources.

Well, the bargain stuff is moot. They are sold out and said they won't be getting more anytime soon if at all.

So thanks again.

You are welcome!

Boogiechile
05-07-2019, 12:19 PM
Thanks for posting this info. Thought Iíd share my experience.
Because open solvents and OMS seem to give me headaches during long painting sessions, I currently use cold pressed safflower oil for only cleaning brushes. I use a small palette cup and dip the brush tip in the oil, then brush the paint out on a wood surface next to my palette, repeating until clean on a rag. If it is during a painting session, before using the brush again, I dip it in another small palette cup that has very little Gamasol and wipe clean before Loading with any paint or artist linseed or walnut oil. The Gamasol removes almost all of the food grade safflower oil from the brush. I havenít had any drying problems. The small amount of open Gamasol hasnít given me any headaches.
For between painting sessions I donít remove the food grade safflower oil from the brush, and donít wash natural bristle brushes with soap or detergent. the brushes seem to like it.

contumacious
05-07-2019, 12:40 PM
One Month Check


Mix 1 - Still the same as at 6 1/2 days - dry to the touch, no lifting at all with the Gamsol rub.
Mix 2 - Still tacky - Substantial color lifting with Gamsol rub, only slightly more than Mix 3, so it is catching up.
Mix 3 - Still slightly tacky. Still some fairly substantial color lifting with Gamsol rub, almost identical to Mix 2.
Mix 4 - Almost no tackiness. Slight color lifting with Gamsol.


Even after a month of curing, the impact of the varied amounts of the grocery store safflower oil can still be seen. Glazing over mixes 2 and 3 will still lift color quite a bit. Pretty significant reduction of curing for both Mix 2 and Mix 3 considering the Burnt Umber paint used. I would not want to apply Gamvar to Mix 2 or 3, but Mix 1 is ready for it and Mix 4 almost ready. I may do a test with known slow drying colors later but this test with one of the fastest drying paints has shown me enough to know that I won't be using this to clean my brushes in the future unless I have no other option.

contumacious
05-07-2019, 12:54 PM
Thanks for posting this info. Thought Iíd share my experience.
Because open solvents and OMS seem to give me headaches during long painting sessions, I currently use cold pressed safflower oil for only cleaning brushes. I use a small palette cup and dip the brush tip in the oil, then brush the paint out on a wood surface next to my palette, repeating until clean on a rag. If it is during a painting session, before using the brush again, I dip it in another small palette cup that has very little Gamasol and wipe clean before Loading with any paint or artist linseed or walnut oil. The Gamasol removes almost all of the food grade safflower oil from the brush. I havenít had any drying problems. The small amount of open Gamasol hasnít given me any headaches.
For between painting sessions I donít remove the food grade safflower oil from the brush, and donít wash natural bristle brushes with soap or detergent. the brushes seem to like it.

Thanks for the information. Adding some Gamsol to the oil sounds like a great idea to reduce the fumes and have an even better cleaning action than plain oil. I am going to try that myself.

Safflower or Poppy Seed oils seem to be ideal for cleaning brushes. If you can get pure cold pressed oils with no added ingredients you would not have to worry about contaminating your paints. I wish they were less expensive.