View Full Version : Odorless turp vs. paint thinner?

01-18-2000, 01:33 PM
I have read that the turp breaks down the oil paint while paint thinner does NOT. Would anyone know if this is true? I currently use Weber's Turpenoid. Curious, Brownie/FL

01-18-2000, 03:15 PM
that's right

01-19-2000, 03:57 PM
Bruin, So, you'd recommend odorless paint thinner, yes? I don't recall seeing the art supply store selling anything under that description, just turpentine-type products. Hardware store? Any particular brand you suggest? Thanks, Brownie

01-19-2000, 05:42 PM
If you use too much turp, there will not be enough oil left to bind the pigment. The paint applied this way will become almost like pastel, and you can wipe the pigment of after it has dried. The loose pigment will smear your painting as you continue painting on top of it. If you use too much turp in subsequent layers (not observing fat over lean) the turp will act as a solvent and can destroy the already dried oils causing smearing. The underpainting will also most certainly crack due to the different drying times.

I use an odourless paint thinner, it behaves exactly like turp (i.e. breaks down the binding); it just smells less.

I find Liquin very useful as a medium to thin the paint and also get a quick drying time. It does not destroy the binding and is ideal for underpainting, and glazing.
Liquin does not smell.

Are there other odourless mediums/thinners?

I use a ready made standard medium in the later stages of the paining (1:1 mix of linseed oil and turp or something like that) and I really don't like the smell of it. I think I am going to try a mix of linseed oil and the odourless "turp" to see if that is any good.

01-19-2000, 09:39 PM
Please be aware, the oderless turps and paint thinner is often just as toxic as the stuff that smells. Be sure and read the labels. You're still sniffing fumes, you just can't tell. Also, a word on Turpenoid Natural...never use more than 25% in your mix. I learned the hard way and it took one oil painting 6 months to dry enough to touch. Uh...then I read the label. It is nontoxic though and has kind of citrus smell. I bought it because one of my parrots likes to hang out on my shoulder when I paint and I couldn't have him around the solvents I was using for oils.


01-20-2000, 05:04 PM
Henrik, Yes, that's precisely what I'm trying to avoid, having too much turp in subsequent layers while painting alla prima. Sometimes it seems I'm picking up more paint than I'm laying down! Usually, to compensate for that problem, I just paint without ANY medium, but some of my oils are on the dry side, really begging for some oil. The premixed mediums also seem to cause that problem for me. Brownie

01-20-2000, 05:11 PM
Gisela, I also have a bird who's usually with me, but I worry about even the fumes just from the paint when using oil. Actually, he's such a little monster, even having him around when using watercolor is often too much! <G> Brownie/FL

01-20-2000, 06:39 PM
i get paint thinner from the hardware store. turp,,,i never use. what's the point. if i'm too lazy to clean brushes, which means always, i sit them in vegetable oil like wesson. the oil keeps the bristles fresh

01-20-2000, 07:26 PM
bruin, I never heard of that, you just wipe the wesson oil off and swish the brush in your paint thinner when you are ready to paint?..it doesnt effect your regular linseed w/drop of clove mix??

lazy with oil brushes

01-20-2000, 11:20 PM
I highly recommend "Turpenoid" which they sell at all art supply stores. It is pretty close to odorless. "Odorless" paint thinner that you buy on the cheap at Ace Hardware actually smells pretty bad. It's well worth the extra money for the premium stuff.

01-21-2000, 06:56 AM
Gisela and Brownie,
A bird on your shoulder while you paint....geez that is so 'Key West-ish'. I love it!!!!! The minute I read your posts I 'zoned out' and was back on this tiny little island off the coast of Puerto Rico called Culbebra. A sanctuary of crystal clear water, lush tropical flowers, beautiful island birds and a pace of life right out of a Hemingway novel. Thanks for the trip back.

01-21-2000, 07:36 AM
just swish the brushes in thinner or turp to get rid of the wesson. use a seperate container because the wesson will settle to the bottom and WILL mix with your regular stuff if you use the same container.

01-21-2000, 07:37 AM
and the good thing is,,,you can keep the same container of wesson forever

Keith Halonen
01-21-2000, 09:55 PM
I cannot recommend odorless thinners for precisely the reasons mentioned above in this thread. My art supplier once persuaded me to try odorless thinner. The first indication I had that something was wrong was when I began to get suddenly dizzy and darkness started closing in from the periphery of my vision. I got a refund and returned to the somewhat expensive but far superior d-Limonene citrus thinner. If anyone wishes to receive my endorsement of d-Limonene by email, I will gladly send it. It is a bit lengthy and I would be reluctant to post it here and have it misinterpreted as a commercial endorsement for the manufacturer. I do not work for any company that manufactures any art supply product, but I sing their praises when they work well.

Just contact me if you want the breakdown on d-Limonene citrus thinner.

Keith (http://www.sonic.net/finearts/index.html)

01-21-2000, 10:33 PM
The person who wrote the previous message sounds like he's especially sensitive to petroleum distillates. I haven't had any of those types of problems using "Turpenoid". I think my skin is a little sensitive to it. It's not great stuff, but it's as good as it gets if you want to paint with oils.

Or you could try the new water soluble oils.

01-25-2000, 05:16 PM
Bruin, I swear I already wrote this to you, but I'll try it again...how do you keep your brushes in the Wesson without damaging the bristles? I have left brushes in Turpenoid (intentionally) and had some brushes develop a permanent crimp in the bristles! Brownie/FL

Drew Davis
01-25-2000, 06:23 PM
You can get brush washers with little ledges to catch the ferrule, keeping the bristles suspended above the bottom, or better yet, with the handle caught in a spring holding the brush with the point suspended in the middle of the fluid. Prolonged soaking isn't going to be good for the handle/ferrule of the brush, though.

I suspect bruin doesn't mean leaving brushes point-down on the bottom of a jar of Wesson oil, but rather just coating them and letting the brushes sit out until you get around to cleaning or re-using them. Since most vegetable oils are non-drying, it should hold you for a while. I've also heard of using petroleum jelly in a similar manner.

I just clean my brushes at the end of a session, so I can't vouch for any of these methods.

01-25-2000, 08:15 PM
Well, any way I can keep my brushes in shape would be great. Now I hear references to "conditioning" one's bristle brushes so they won't splay at the ends. I fear my are already done for...Royal Sable and some weird hair I purchased many years ago from Raphael, I think it might be horse hair <cringe> DO seem dried out.
I once tried some Finesse conditioner on them, but it didn't seem to make any difference <G>. Do you condition your brushes? Brownie/FL

01-26-2000, 04:49 AM
hey brownie,,,,,when you use wesson, you never have to worry. the oil just keeps everything fresh. bristles retain their spring,,,no matter how long you keep em there. the only thing i ever do is replenish the same container. i never have to throw out the oil. if you keep sable in there for a long time, they may look all bent up when you remove them, but they get back their shape after washing....milt

"he who thinks he know all and knows nothing is king in a kingdom of one,,,,,or a critic" - the kobe

01-28-2000, 02:56 PM
Milt, Would other types of oil work as well? Canola? Walnut? Safflower? Olive? Or would some of these turn rancid? Just curious, Brownie

02-06-2000, 05:22 AM
Bruin: you have creative lazyness. I'm not certain that mine is. I wash the brushes well in mineral spirits, pull the mineral spirits out with "mechanics" paper towels, and set them down so there is no pressure on the brush end.

Eventually I wash them with Old Masters cleaner and conditioner. This has kept them supple for years, but I like the wesson oil. That method seems even easier.