View Full Version : Odor free fast drying medium?

09-01-2001, 12:08 PM
Since the only place I have to paint is in the living room, I prefer to keep the odor level down. I tried Liquin (really bad odor) and could not tolerate it. Recently purchased Galkyd (its not quite as bad) but still pretty smelly. Is there a medium which can be used to hasten drying that is at least low odor or preferably odor free?

Thank you for taking time to consider my question.


09-01-2001, 02:57 PM
wow! if only!

i assume you are using an odorless thinner, such as gamsol. most odorless thinners made from petroleum distillates are about the same. i wonder if you have tried any of the newer citrus solvents which are not odorless but at least have a pleasant odor. the petroleum distillates unfortunately are not nearly as quick-drying as genuine turpentine. you could also try oil of spike lavender as a solvent. its more expensive and not quite as effective as genuine turpentine, but the odor is very pleasant.

you could try a smidge of a light oil like walnut in some odorless solvent, but i'm afraid it wouldn't dry very quickly. stand oil could work but then you'd have a very greasy medium.

odorless thinners are not as volatile as turps, and hence dry or evaporate about 5 times slower. they are also not nearly as solvent and don't dissolve natural resins (such as damar) completely. damar varnish is the traditional "quick dry" ingredient, followed closely by other resins like copal, larch, etc. but varnishes made with natural resins necessitate turpentine (or oil of spike). gamblin solved this problem by creating a medium with an artificial alkyd resin which is completely soluble in odorless turp substitute. but as i'm sure you can attest, galkyd is not at all odorless. i don't know why alkyd smells so intensely, but i'd rather sniff turps any day.

i would recommend you just use an odorless solvent like gamsol and not worry too much about a medium. if you paint thinly, your paintings will dry in a couple of days. or maybe you could paint outside?

09-01-2001, 03:33 PM
Hmm, well I was all prepared to recommend Liquin (or Galkyd, though I don't like the texture as much). Personally, I don't feel either of those have much odor compared to the paints themselves or linseed oil.

You could try a liquid alkyd medium if you're not a purist and want very quick drying. You could switch entirely to alkyd oils and paint alla prima if you can't find an acceptable medium but still want faster drying oils? An idea maybe. Wish I had a better suggestion. :(


09-08-2001, 09:20 PM
Have you tried the water based oils? Many instructors are requiring them because they are not offensive to breathe.

09-09-2001, 11:14 AM
Hi Marilee

Thanks for the suggestion. I started with water miscible oils but am now transitioning to conventional. Have been cleaning my brushes with safflower oil but the quick dry medium thing, without odor, so far has eluded me. Maybe I will have to learn to be patient (yikes!)



09-09-2001, 11:29 AM
Maybe give Walnut Alkyd a try. Made by Grahams. It has very little order. Smells like the oil they make. and it's non toxic. It does give a glossy finish tho.


09-09-2001, 01:58 PM
If Liquin seems offensive you might try this approach. Take some Vicks Vapor Rub and rub a touch on the inside of your nose...then you wont smell the Liquin....guaranteed.

:D :D

09-09-2001, 06:54 PM
I'm beginning to think that there's something wrong with my nose because i don't think that any of the mediums, including Liquin is all that fumey. But that's me and i realize that others are more sensative to smells than i am (i smoke so that may have something to do with it.) Are you using good ventilation? If you have a ceiling fan it would be a good idea to make sure that it's on. Portable fans may help a little as well. If it is at all possible to paint outside, as Sarkana has suggested, it's not only lees fumey but an altogether nice experience! :)