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Old 06-14-2011, 07:46 AM
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Cleaning Georgian oil paints.

Hi, I'm new to painting. I do love it apart from one thing. The toxic fumes when it comes to cleaning paints. I'm based in the UK. What is the cleanest/safest non expensive way to clean up? I'm concerned as I paint on the same floor as my kids sleep and it's real hard cleaning out all the fumes.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:18 AM
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Hi, well first off if you want to use spirits for cleanup the thing to do is switch to an 'odourless' type, or low-odour white spirit. Most or all of the makers of artists' paints offer one of these now but you can get very similar products in bulk from places like B&Q, Wickes, Homebase etc.

This will take care of nearly all of the spirits smell and products of this type will tend to be materially safer too (check MSDS information if you want to be sure). But you can go a little further if you wish; most or all of your cleanup can actually be accomplished using a cheap cooking oil from the supermarket.

There's a little more information about this in a few threads in Oil Painting if you'd like more detail.

Einion
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:05 AM
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Re: Cleaning Georgian oil paints.

Thanks Einion. I couldn't find the threads you're mentioning in oils. What phrase did you search?
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:28 AM
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Re: Cleaning Georgian oil paints.

Also, I found out about alternative water soluble non toxic oils from Winston and Newton on this thread

Once I've finished my oils up I'll be converting to these.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:34 AM
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Re: Cleaning Georgian oil paints.

For anybody interested I've read the following from here. Will try this tonight.

How to Clean Oil Paint Brushes

When choosing oil brushes be sure to get good, quality brushes. Despite the cost, they will stand up better and give you many more years of use as long as you follow a few basic care and cleaning tips.
Brand Name Cleaning Solutions

Of course there are lots of expensive cleaning solutions sold in the art stores but in all honesty you donít need to spend your lifeís savings to keep your brushes in good condition. Donít be afraid to experiment with other, less costly, methods of cleaning brushes for something that works well for you.
Mineral or Petroleum Spirits

One method of cleaning your brushes is to soak the brushes in a solution of mineral spirits over night. Wipe the brushes clean with a paper towel in the morning. One thing to keep in mind when using mineral spirits is that this is a petroleum solvent, not only poisonous, but also highly flammable and should be used with care.
Baby Oil

A much less abrasive alternative to the mineral spirits is unscented generic baby oil. If you canít find an unscented oil, the scented oil could be used as well, but it does, of course, scent the brushes. You can knock off any access oil on container set aside for this, then clean the paint off with a soft cloth or paper towel.
Vegetable Oil

For the really struggling artist, any household vegetable oil will do the job. Simply dip the brush in the oil and wipe out the paint with a paper towel. Repeat until the paint is gone. Shape the brush into the nice puff or blade shape it was designed and stroe cleaned brushes in a container, brush head up.
After the Oils

Rinse the excess oils out of the cleaned brushes before using the next time with a gentle soap and water. If you prefer, you can with a generic brand oil soap. It is best to mix the oil soap with water using one part soap and one part water. Run the brush under clear warm water to get out the soap.
Donít Mix Your Mediums

One last thing for the artist who works in several mediums. Choose different brushes for each of the mediums you are working in. Do not use your water paint brushes for oils. Water and oil donít mix, not in a lake and not in art.

Finally, proper care of your brushes will ensure that they will be ready and waiting for you for many years to come.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmritS
Thanks Einion. I couldn't find the threads you're mentioning in oils. What phrase did you search?
A search for cleaning and brushes will bring up a lot of related threads; you'll find tips on searching in one of the links of my signature if you need them.

Some of the related threads:
Almost Solventless brush cleaning
Using oil to clean brushes
Best vegetable oil for brush cleaning bath?
Anybody Here Not Use Solvents?
Solvent-free methods and painting styles?
Cleaning your brushes....

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmritS
Also, I found out about alternative water soluble non toxic oils from Winston and Newton on this thread

Once I've finished my oils up I'll be converting to these.
In general water-miscible oils are no more or less toxic than any regular kind of oil paint, excepting where certain heavy-metal pigments are deliberately not included in the range.

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Old 06-16-2011, 09:25 AM
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Re: Cleaning Georgian oil paints.

I tried this last night. I was amazed at how the paint just rolled off from my pallette onto the paper tissue with a little oil on it. First I used olive oil (my wife will kill me if she knew), then I found the vegetable oil and used that. In both cases the brushes were left very clean. I did this in my kitchen and no odours what so ever.

I strongly recommend using cooking oil to clean your paint brushes and pallettes.

Regards

Amrit

Last edited by Einion : 06-17-2011 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Removed quoted portion: repetition
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:57 PM
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Re: Cleaning Georgian oil paints.

In the end the easiest way I've found to clean the pallette is to use a sheet of alumiunium foil. This is great as you can just throw it away.

Secondly I have found a very non toxic way to clean my oils.
1. I wipe any excess paint from the brush using a roll of cheap tissue paper.
2. I use Turpenoid natural which is an orange based cleaner to then take out any excess paint form the brushes.
3. I use a bar of Olivio olive oil soap. This removes the excess paint from the brushes and keeps the brushes nice and conditioned.
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