View Full Version : walnut oil instead of Solvent

06-18-2002, 09:21 AM
I'm trying to get back into oil painting after being out of art school for almost 7 years and only doing the web/graphic design thing. But, I don't want to use turp in my little downstairs studio....plus it always gave me headaches even back in school. So, I've been toying with the idea of trying water mixable oils, but I'm not too sure. What if I want to sell a painting I do. I'd be uncomfortable selling at H20 painting to someone. But I recently came across some info about using walnut oil as a medium and to clean the brushes with. I'd like to start up a conversation with people that do this and get the inside scoop about how and why to do this. FYI...i've done searches to read past discussions on this, but they don't seem to go very far. So...what's up? :)

06-18-2002, 10:18 AM
There should be nothing stopping you to make the decision to paint in straight oils. There are oil paints on the market that come out of the tube in a very workable state, find the brand that works best for you and forget the solvents and extra additions of oil. The only safe way to use added walnut oil is only if you leach out some of the tube oil - you will gain a small advantage in a thinner feeling paint that dries slower, or if you add the tiniest amounts to progressive layers - this is not necessary.

You will still have to face a solvent when you varnish - unless you can pay someone to do this, maybe your framer.

06-18-2002, 10:56 AM
what about cleaning brushes?

06-18-2002, 11:43 AM
Can't remember which thread, but I read some people are using vegetable oil :confused: then washing with regular soap. Perhaps you can do a search?

06-18-2002, 11:47 AM
Wipe off the excess paint from the brush, then use a bar of soap, (like ivory, for instance) and water, works just fine...and no, you don't need some 'special' soap, a bar of hand soap from your supermarket will suffice. Work the brush on the soap bar to lather it up, and work the lather into the brush with the palm of your hand. Wear those hospital gloves if you have concerns about skin contact. regards, alva

Wayne Gaudon
06-18-2002, 12:44 PM
I could be wrong on this but I do believe that with water soluble paints you are not selling water .. the paints have chemicals added to the carrier so that water and oil will not repell each other .. it is not water based paint .. it's the chemical composition of the carrier that is different, not the paint.

That being said, if you want to work with real oils, you can clean your brushes by cleaning off the excess paint in a cloth and then use any type of soap. I prefer liquid as it's in an easy pump dispenser and easy to deal with. You may want to dip your brushes in some oil afterward as I have heard it helps preserve the fibers or tips or whatever they call those littles sensitive ends.

06-18-2002, 03:34 PM

Sorry about that. I know they are not water based and are oil paint. What I meant was ... I'd be uncomfortable selling a H20 <b>Mixable</b> oil painting to someone.

Does that make for sense to you? :)

Ok, so wiping out the extra paint at the end of the session and washing with soap and water sounds great, but....what about during painting. I don't have enough brushes to pick up another one everytime I switch colors (nor can I afford to buy a bunch). And trying to wipe all the pigment out with every color change seems like it would add a great deal of time to my session.

Thanks for all the input thus far. WC is a great place with great, helpful people.

06-18-2002, 04:01 PM
It almost sounds like an either or situation. Either you may have to wash them out or buy more brushes----considering you are trying to avoid turps. I honestly don't know what the vegetable oil would do, do you Wayne????? I remember reading something about it, several artists said they used it in lieu of turps. Hope you find a solution. Good looking tinyhead, btw-----darling baby!!


Wayne Gaudon
06-18-2002, 05:47 PM
Understand your point now .. just wanted to make sure you understood as some people do believe it is waterbased.

Never tried the veggie oil thing ..

Check out Turpenoid Natural .. it's a non-toxic cleaner and supposed to be safe for artists of all ages. It smells like orange so the fumes are not a problem unless there is something in it that could harm you if inhaled. I don't think there is but hey .. who knows .. perhaps you could look them up on the net and send them an email asking the exact ingredients. Then you could do your own check up. Check it out at the art store .. a lot more costly than turps.

You will have to buy an expensive organic cleaner or more brushes .. I'd opt for the brushes as if you take care of them they will last you some time.

Good Luck.

06-18-2002, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by wardseward
I don't have enough brushes to pick up another one everytime I switch colors (nor can I afford to buy a bunch).
You can paint pretty much anything with 3 brushes. Just wipe them, if you want even more of the paint off the brush, just use some linseed oil when needed. This painting (detail shown), was done with 3 brushes, some tube paint, and some linseed oil. regards, alva

06-18-2002, 09:29 PM

Alva ,


06-20-2002, 12:52 PM
Try cleaning your brushes with baby oil, then washing with soap.
You probably have some around with that cutie in your tinyhead, and it smells SO nice.

06-22-2002, 10:02 AM
i tried the linseed oil for cleaning brushes. it worked great. i wiped off the brush with a paper towel ( a rag does better but i don't have a lot of rags). to get even more paint out, i had a small container of linseed oil and put a little dab on the brush . after using the paper towel to rub out the excess paint, the brush was very clean. it was fast and easy so it could be done during color changes. personally i use turpenoid and have no problem with the fumes. i do keep the fumes to a minimum by keeping the silicoil brush cleaner tank covered. the cap is unscrewed during painting. i just lift it up, swish my brush around inside and recover the tank.