View Full Version : Wax bloom on cheap oil pastels?

01-02-2008, 10:07 AM
Yesterday I came across my old (student grade) set of oil pastels. I haven't used them anymore since I bought myself a set of neopastels. However, when I opened the box I saw a white/milky film on many of the sticks. It could be easily removed by gently cleaning the pastels with a tissue. Is this wax bloom?
I'm afraid of using these oil pastels now, b/c I think that the same phenomenon might occur to a finished painting after some months, too. :confused:
Has anyone of you experienced something like this before?

01-02-2008, 12:05 PM
I expect it is wax bloom. That's an interesting question about a painting possibly developing bloom. Since I've only used professional OPs, I don't know the answer. Jane

Pat Isaac
01-02-2008, 04:21 PM
I also suspect the same thing and am not sure about it happening to a finished painting. I do know that I did my first OP with Craypas square OPs. and that was 13 years ago. It is still fine.


01-03-2008, 11:11 AM
Dear Jane and dear Pat thank you very much for your help.
Well, I did not paint much with them back then, but those few paintings I've done are still looking fine, too. No hints of wax bloom so far.
Anyway, I think it will be better for my peace of mind if I just throw those old pastels away.

Pat Isaac
01-03-2008, 04:32 PM
I think that might be a good idea. The wax bloom or whatever is there may have been caused from being closed up for many years and different temperature variations. In any event , I think that is the best solution.


01-08-2008, 02:18 PM
How about melting them down and doing a encaustic painting?? I so hate to throw any art supply away:o Azure

01-10-2008, 12:46 PM
:clap: Azure, that's just too funny, believe it or not, when I originally bought this set of OPs I actually had in mind of using them for encaustic.
They were so cheap compared to the original wax sticks for encaustic painting and I thought they might be the same, at least they do contain pigments, wax and oils, too, but I was awfully wrong :crying: ! The oil pastel sticks just do not melt the same way the wax sticks do! They seem to contain much more filllers and other stuff, by the time they start melting they also start burning. :( So I cannot recommend OPs for encaustic painting to anybody.

I hate to throw away art supply, too, but in this case I am not sorry for them. As I said before they were cheap. And I mean really cheap. I will get over it...:cat:

01-10-2008, 05:32 PM
Silvia, I have successfully melted OPs to create new colours, but I have only done this with Sennelier and Holbein Artist OPs. I think the problem you encountered has to do with whatever they put in really cheap OPs. Also, I melted mine in a metal cup on an electric grill using the lowest possible temperature at which they would melt. Jane