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waterwithoil
02-20-2002, 06:03 PM
I created my first painting following a Bob Ross book. It shocked my wife. I guess she liked it. One problem though, I set up shop in my rec room downstairs before long the entire house smelled something awful. Now she would like me to work in the garage, but it gets a bit chilly in the winter.
I wrongly used just plain turpentine for cleaning and I am now curious if using the odorless thinner will reduce the smell so that I may move back inside or is it the paint itself? Any tips or suggestions would be helpful.

Sincerly chilly,
Bill :D

DaveTooner
02-20-2002, 07:00 PM
You won't get any smell from the oderless turps (redundant, huh?). However it does release fumes that can be hazardous -- you just can't smell 'em. I use Turpenoid Natural. It is harmless and the smell is pleasant and not nearly as strong.

timelady
02-20-2002, 08:08 PM
If you're just using it for cleaning up even plain old mineral spirits smells less strongly. Turps nearly knocks me out and I only use it occassionally when it's going into the painting (for dripping and staining type effects).

Tina.

Luis Guerreiro
02-21-2002, 05:44 AM
A few suggestions, if I may:

It's better to be informative than just persuasive. You might wish to inform your family that:

1. Turpentine was invented in the 17th Century and is made from trees. All other solvents (including odourless) are actually derivatives from crude oil and therefore far more hazardous.
2. When using turpentine, even for cleaning up, mix in 5% of Oil Spike of Lavender which is a natural solvent with a very pleasant smell. When painting, you can also use Spike Lavender in small quantities in addition to turpentine, but don't use too much. Spike Lavender Oil has specific properties for painting, slowing down the drying rate a bit and makes paint more slippery too, so be aware. For cleaning, you can use more, of course and if smell is such a big problem at home, use it for cleaning brushes after use and before washing them in the usual way.
And... for Heavensake don't catch pneumonia in the garage! :D
Regards
Luis :)

G.L. Hoff
02-21-2002, 12:14 PM
Luis--

I'm with you. I've used "good old turpentine" for a long time with no deleterious effects. Distilled gum spirits does have a distinctive odor, and does cause headaches when used in a confined, unventilated space.

A common misconception for many is that "odorless" somehow means "harmless" or "non-toxic" but nothing could be further from the truth. Example: carbon monoxide is odorless. And yes, "Turpenoid Natural" (a brand name) is mostly mineral spirits (i.e. derived from petroleum), and is similar chemically to paint thinner. Just because a product doesn't smell, or even smells pleasant, doesn't mean it's okay.

I wonder if people who have problems with turps (or for that matter any other solvent) may be using it improperly. Basically, I use tiny amounts of turps from a squeeze bottle or in making fresh medium when I start a painting session. I don't leave any solvents uncovered in the studio, including turps, paint thinner, Turpenoid, or anything else. I also make certain I have good ventilation (especially in summer).

I'm not sure why turpentine has gotten such a foul rap over the years. It's still excellent in paint. And btw, oil of spike lavender is great stuff, too.

Regards

Wayne Gaudon
02-21-2002, 12:27 PM
Dave,
Would you know if Turpenoid Natural is available in hardware or just in Artist Shops?


waterwithoil
Sounds like the ideal situtation for an agreement on doing some adjustments to the garage .. new lighting, new heating system, new easle, etc... If you are going to paint you have to be comfortable. .. clinching the deal, "I'm doing this for you honey" :D

DaveTooner
02-21-2002, 03:35 PM
Im not sure if it is or not. I got mine from a local Jerry's Artarama store. Maybe someone else knows. Do hardware stores carry the regualr Webber Oderless Turpenoid? If they do, then I would assume the have the Natural, cause Webber makes that too.

Luis Guerreiro
02-21-2002, 07:34 PM
Originally posted by G.L. Hoff
Luis--

I'm with you. I've used "good old turpentine" for a long time with no deleterious effects. Distilled gum spirits does have a distinctive odor, and does cause headaches when used in a confined, unventilated space.
A common misconception for many is that "odorless" somehow means "harmless" or "non-toxic" but nothing could be further from the truth. Example: carbon monoxide is odorless. And yes, "Turpenoid Natural" (a brand name) is mostly mineral spirits (i.e. derived from petroleum), and is similar chemically to paint thinner. Just because a product doesn't smell, or even smells pleasant, doesn't mean it's okay.
I wonder if people who have problems with turps (or for that matter any other solvent) may be using it improperly. Basically, I use tiny amounts of turps from a squeeze bottle or in making fresh medium when I start a painting session. I don't leave any solvents uncovered in the studio, including turps, paint thinner, Turpenoid, or anything else. I also make certain I have good ventilation (especially in summer).
I'm not sure why turpentine has gotten such a foul rap over the years. It's still excellent in paint. And btw, oil of spike lavender is great stuff, too.
Regards

G.L.,
Absolutely. I think this turpentine issue is mostly caused by a lot of misinformation. It comes from trees. True, double-rectified spirits of turpentine smell a lot, that is the reason why I use good old Portuguese Pure Gum Turpentine, which is imported into the United Kigdom by any Art Materials shop minimally proud of its trade :D. Outstanding quality. I do not use white spirit except for cleaning brushes.
Regards
Luis

Scott Methvin
02-21-2002, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro


1. Turpentine was invented in the 17th Century...

Excellent trivia Luis! Please tell me your source, so I can add that book to my collection.

Here's another bit of arcana about terpentine.

Like grapes used for the best wine-maritime (near the ocean) pines are preferred as the best terpentine source for the painter.

If you can't stand the smell of terpentine, you are probably using an inferior quality. Throw it out and get some Windsor-Newton triple rectified. It's pricy, but excellent. Oh, and open a window and keep the dirty rags outside. (in water for safety)

G.L. Hoff
02-21-2002, 10:41 PM
Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro
I use good old Portuguese Pure Gum Turpentine, which is imported into the United Kigdom by any Art Materials shop minimally proud of its trade

Hi, Luis--

Thanks for the note about Pure Gum turps. All I can get here in the States is either crappy hardware store "turpentine" (adulterated chit with all kinds of impurities--yechh) or the expensive Winsor and Newton distilled stuff. Oh, Daniel Smith and some others sell their own house brands, too, but here in fly-over land (Iowa) it's tough to get and can't be shipped except by ground transportation (inflammable, you know). What's the difference between the Portuguese stuff and W&N?

Regards

Luis Guerreiro
02-22-2002, 04:09 AM
Originally posted by G.L. Hoff


Hi, Luis--

Thanks for the note about Pure Gum turps. All I can get here in the States is either crappy hardware store "turpentine" (adulterated chit with all kinds of impurities--yechh) or the expensive Winsor and Newton distilled stuff. Oh, Daniel Smith and some others sell their own house brands, too, but here in fly-over land (Iowa) it's tough to get and can't be shipped except by ground transportation (inflammable, you know). What's the difference between the Portuguese stuff and W&N?
Regards

Gary,
Pure Gum Turps, whether Portuguese or any other is not double distilled so it retains typical characteristics of natural turps. Due to it chemical composition, it lasts for a longer time. I mentioned the Portuguese, because Portugal produces an excellent product, coming from distilling Mediterranean pine trees sap. The final product is called Pure Gum Turpentine. This can be distilled again making a oilier product called Double Rectified Spirits of Turpentine or "Pure Spirits of Turpentine".

G.L. Hoff
02-22-2002, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro
The final product is called Pure Gum Turpentine. This can be distilled again making a oilier product called Double Rectified Spirits of Turpentine or "Pure Spirits of Turpentine".

Okay, same stuff then. Didn't think there was much of a difference. Incidentally, the W&N turps is water-clear, not oily at all--I suspect it's "triple distilled"--but really wonderful stuff.

Cheers