how to clean oil paint brushes without paint thinner
How to Clean Oil Paint from a Brush Without Solvents. It is really top notch paint. But they all make your paint ‘fatter’ so it is important to only use tiny amounts. So only you will know whether it suits your style, palette and subject matter but I do love them. Art should be fun and expressive and “rules” should not be part of the vocabulary. It is not so great to do it the other way round). So just wanted to throw that option out there for everyone . Do keep in mind that the toxic bit is not always dangerous in the same way. I love geeking out over materials. Final Words Most brands are aware that we want safe alternatives to the toxic pigments, and are manufacturing an excellent range of choices. I paint without medium, dryers or solvents all the time and my paintings dry very quickly (I paint quite thinly). Hope that helps! There are also safe brush cleaning soaps on the market, such as Masters soap (which is what I use). The dish soap will allow the water to penetrate the oil and remove the remaining paint. Whether a paint colour is toxic is not always stated on the tube, so you might have to do some research. Great tips there. It sounds like you are already doing it, but in a very small nutshell oiling out means applying a very, very thin layer of oil to your unfinished painting and then working your next layer of paint onto that. When learning how to clean oil paint brushes always work in a well-ventilated area when cleaning brushes in solvents such as paint thinner, lacquer thinner, alcohol and ammonia. In addition to this some of the pigments in oil paint possess an element of … Solvents made me feel quite ill and after trying out a variety of mediums I returned to oil painting without solvents. Your email address will not be published. They cannot get absorbed by the skin by merely having a smear on your finger. I don’t think it is suitable for impasto work. (OK I think I deserve some advertising money for this, Vasari, are you listening?). To clean my brushes while I am painting, I simply wipe them on some kitchen roll, and then clean properly with Masters Soap afterwards. Oil painting does not need to come with health warnings as painting without solvents is the way ahead. My underpainting stages: scrubbing paint straight from the tube onto a canvas, and working some colour into it next. Shake off the Paintbrush. Clean the brush thoroughly. Honestly, it is completely doable to work solvent free, and more and more paint manufacturers are waking up to our call for eco materials. That has been the one problem I haven't been able to solve yet. Wrap the brush. Clearly a tubed oil paint does not have any dust so those pigments are relatively safe to use, as long as you don’t eat the paint or grind your own paint from the pigment. Dishwashing liquid and water, also works well. This is great information!! Start off by brushing out any excess paints. October 6, 2020 May 24, 2018 by Mary Fischer. Cleaning your brushes with paint thinner is uncomplicated, but the products involved in this operation are toxic. Hi Sophie. It is super easy, non-toxic, and feels pretty much like normal oils. Many are more than happy to answer. So what do you use if you want to avoid solvents? I have yet to find a non-toxic varnish for oil paintings. It’s not a “real” oil painting . One simply has to use common sense. Learn how your comment data is processed. She paints portraits and still life and specialises in painting drapery and lace. thinner, brush cleaner and volatile painting medium for oil-based paints and artist paints. This is why many artists choose to learn how to clean oil paint brushes without paint thinner; they want to stay healthy. How To Clean Oil Paint Brushes Without Paint Thinner. They look like they’ve found that sweet spot where its thin enough to spread well but thick enough to have great covering power. There are various oils on the market that do various things to your paint. I use a fat medium which is refined linseed oil mixed 50/50 with Stand oil. If you want to ban it altogether, as I have done for years, there are plenty of options. I do not think it is necessary to wear gloves as most, if not all, toxic pigments cannot be absorbed through the skin. In this video you will see how to clean oil paint brushes using a very common item. To save myself that hassle I just stuck to banning it all completely. It has the ability to be gentle on your paint brushes while removing the sticky, slick paint behind. This is most effective when you use any kind of rough paper rather than traditional printer paper. Though paint thinner is meant to help clean brushes and remove excess paint, it has a tendency of drying out your brushes. And I’ll feel like a real artist again after reading your post. Hi Sophie! Other things will require more commitment. So you only need it if you want your paint to do something that it doesn’t normally do. Stage 1: Mineral Oil or Baby Oil Stage 2: Mineral Oil and Liquid Detergent Stage 3: Liquid Detergent and Water Nore more mineral spirits or turpentine; just soap and baby oil. Join one of my online workshops to see how I do that. I don’t need a solvent and I don’t have issues with drying time as the paint is scrubbed on so thinly it is dry in no time and I can paint over it pretty much immediately. I hope this short guide on oil painting without solvents or toxic paints will help you make the move to oil painting if you haven’t already. Some paints are made from toxic pigments, such as cadmiums, cobalts or lead. I get Rosebud and yellow Ochre. Turpentine is the traditional oil solvent choice. Go paint!! To avoid damaging your brushes, use a small amount of dish soap. Remove brush and wipe on a paper towel or newspaper. For other pigments it is mostly dangerous if the dust is breathed in. You can then continue with oils on top. If you are particularly messy and are always looking very ‘arty’ with paint splatters all over you (ie. This can be mastered with thin brushing, working alla prima, and using palette knives. So i came up with a cunning plan. As for the fat and lean issue, I don’t know how Vasari makes their paints, but i could only assume they add more linseed oil to make it as fluid as they are but as I say they are understandably very secretive about these things. Hi Kare, thanks for your comment. Wrap it around the metal where the bristles connect with the brush (known as a “ferrule”). How To Clean Oil Paint Brushes Without Paint Thinner. I generally don’t use any mediums or solvents, only very rarely do I use a drop to make paint more fluid. Varnishing offers the best protection I can give and a varnish will simply add a synthetic layer between the paint and the outside world. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. I prefer to work without mediums and keep my ‘ingredients’ as simple as possible. To begin this process of how to clean oil based stain brushes without paint thinner, you will first need to take your linseed oil and pour some on a piece of paper. With palette knife painting you do not need any solvents or mediums. This hypo-allergenic formula without essential oils has been used successfully for chemically sensitive persons for more than a decade. Perhaps in an underpainting they would like to start with thin washes of paint. I love what you are writing, although in a way, it is also a little sad. Dear Laurel, thank you for your wonderful comment and I am sorry I am so dreadfully late with my reply! If you used shellac, use denatured alcohol. Some artists wear gloves. And oil painting without toxic materials is much easier than you think! It will explore how to keep your studio safe for children, pets and your own health. Keeping the paint lean in the first few layers is always sensible. Your email address will not be published. I feel validated for the first time like my art is real and just as “right” as anyone else’s who painted in layer after layer over time. See also my Affiliate page. How Long It Will Take Oil Paint To Dry & How to Speed It Up. I know lots of people say it is all image over quality but I don’t agree. It is a Belgium brand. But I use their varnish and they also have a good solvent free gel medium. You won’t drop dead the minute you breath in a toxic pigment particle, but if you do this regularly over a long period of time it can harm you. Composed of mineral spirits, turpentine, and acetone or other solvents, paint thinner effectively does its job of thinning oil-based paints and cleaning tools like brushes … This can be mastered with thin brushing, working alla prima, and using palette knives. So I started adding Oleogel, I thinned it and thinned it, its amazing how thin Vasari is, it makes Michael hardings look like Old Holland. I am an emotional painter and I paint when it hits me and I can spend 12 straight hours on a painting (I have ) in one sitting … then not paint for a few weeks…. It is not a good idea to use oil as a thinning agent in an underpainting, as it would make the paint too oily (‘fat’) and you might get into trouble with the ‘fat-over-lean’ rule. If you need a more fluid paint, you can also consider changing brands. thanks. And you don’t even want to think about them picking up something hazardous. So the idea of selling my work was crazy because they weren’t “real” no one would want these fake paintings! Hi Neil, that was quick! I work with oils straight from the tube and do not add a medium or uses solvents. Hi Tim! You can see how I work toxin free and you can try it out yourself, all the while practising your oil painting skills in a supportive and friendly community. Join Sophie’s Art School and get monthly workshops, courses, tutorials and articles. There are perfectly wonderful other paint brands out there, so if too expensive I’d go for those and if you need fluidity, just add a medium like you describe. The little bit of stand gave it the vasari sheen and drag. To avoid damaging your brushes, use a small amount of dish soap.The dish soap will allow the water to penetrate the oil and remove the remaining paint.Once this is done, you can leave the paintbrushes out to dry. Do look at the ingredients, or if they are not listed on the bottle, just ask the manufacturer or seller what is in it. The first step in child and pet-proofing your studio would be to not have anything toxic lying around. Thanks for stopping by. Allow the citrus solvent to set … I’m going to have to try them! If you used oil-based polyurethane — you want to use paint thinner to remove any residue. Just paintbrush and paint!!!! I've always been concerned about the fumes from my turps, but it never occurred to me to clean up with soap and water! Clean the brush with the appropriate solvent for the type of paint you’ve been using. Interesting links:https://www.gamblincolors.com/studio-safety/solvent-free-painting/https://www.jacksonsart.com/blog/2017/03/17/jesse-waugh-tests-gamvar-picture-varnish-gamblin-solvent-free-gel-medium/. I read your other blog about how some mediums might add to the drying process…Ive been using cobalt drier along with mediums since I’ve learned but want to ditch the solvents. I tried a tube (out of the cheaper range, they’re not all that pricey) and liked it. A medium will change the normal behaviour of oil paint. I still mainly buy the cheaper range with the odd crazy splash out now and then (sometimes just because I want to see what all the $$-fuss is about). Learn to use paint straight from the tubeLearn to work with oil paint straight from the tube. Squeeze with moderate pressure so the paint is pushed out of bristles at end of stroke/bristles, and try roughly to mimic the shape of the brush at the end of wiping the excess paint off. Keep up the great work! Why not give it a go. Mix your brush in the soap, coating as many bristles as possible. Dip the brush into the oil up to the ferrule, entirely coating the bristles. But overall, don’t worry too much about it. When I’m not painting watercolors, solvent-free has been my own approach to oils for years and years (out of necessity and wisdom). It is perfectly doable to paint without any toxic materials. The paints do not feel oily though. If you are pregnant or have small children I believe it a good idea to follow the guidelines for a safe studio and ban toxic pigments and all solvents. On top of that their colours are really gorgeous. I suppose it all depends on you, your situation, your studio, your children, your health etc. One silly reason is I like the 60ml sized tubes…. Thank You for your article about painting without solvents! I created many paintings that were just oil with no mediums and I’d do them in one sitting and I never thought my art work was “real”! If you do want to add some linseed oil then keep it minial, especially if you are going to add more layers – as you don’t want to seal in a not-yet-dry area with fast drying paint. They don’t like the look of it (although there is matt/silk/gloss varnish out there) or the idea of adding a layer to their paint. I like to do it bc it brings up the paint color and gives the feel of wet into wet Thank you. I use Gamblin’s paint and solvent free products They also make a varnish called “Gamvar” that allows the painting to breathe so you can actually apply it the minute your painting is dry to the touch! If you used a water-based paint such as acrylic or latex, clean the brushes with warm water or mild dish soap. This guide explains how oil painting can be enjoyed without the need for solvents or heavy metal pigments. After you have finished your under painting, do you then just paint one more layer using paint straight from the tube without added oil or medium? Very Helpful. It is up to you how far you want to take this. Hi, thanks for your comment! But if you don’t want to go this far, then you can use toxic materials and be sensible about it. Learn to use paint straight from the tube Learn to work with oil paint straight from the tube. But it is slightly different (for most colours, not all) in that many of its colours are not transparent and they all are very ‘long’. I find, for example, Old Holland quite thick and pasty, while Vasari and Blockx more fluid. I mixed the equivelant rosebud colour with Michael Hardings, I used titanium white/bit of zinc/napthol red and touch of permanent orange. We are waiting for a manufacturer to come up with a solvent-free varnish…. ... Natural Yet Effective Solutions To Cleaning Your Brush Without A Paint Thinner. . Have fun! For most toxic paints there are alternatives out there. It is the main reason why I write on my blog and teach art – to kill those myths that keeps us from doing what we love! https://www.gamblincolors.com/studio-safety/solvent-free-painting/, https://www.jacksonsart.com/blog/2017/03/17/jesse-waugh-tests-gamvar-picture-varnish-gamblin-solvent-free-gel-medium/. I started using oil paints shortly after my children were born. . I’ve never tried Vasari as they would be an expensive experiment (i live in blighty too) and have mostly used Michael harding, but with some of the hardings I’ve found they are a little bit too oily. So I put my experimental cap on! I am going back to my original way now !! Place the brush bristles in the linseed oil. Many artists like to use solvents to thin their paint. Clean the brush right after using it to stop it from drying out. How do you oil out? There is no such thing as a ‘safe’ solvent I think. The fact that its made with Poppy oil makes the blues and purples very vibrant. Depending on the reasons you want to remove toxins from your studio, there are a few things to implement easily. and Thank You. Yes I do like Blockx, they are super smooth. On another note. Remove excess paint. If you just bought yourself an expensive sable brush you might not want your toddler having a little testing round, or Fido using it as a dog’s bone. I might have missed it, but how do you clean your brushes when you need to from one color to the next? However, due to the individual uniqueness of allergic reactions, exceptions are possible. You can try linseed oil or walnut oil to see if it suits you but it might slow down drying time. I didn’t hear anyone mention “Gamblin” brand yet… this is a highly safe brand that prides itself on making non toxic products ! Some artists are very strict in which pigments they ban, I generally just ban the heavy metals like lead and cadmium. If you are sensitive to paint thinner, then it is possible to clean your oil paint brushes without it. It is super easy, non-toxic, and feels pretty much like normal oils. You may be concerned about the pollutants and fumes that go along with using solvents like mineral oil and paint thinner.