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Can You Use Baby Oil with Oil Paints?

When you are using oil paints, it is really easy to think that everything with the word “oil” in the name can be used as a mixing medium. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and there are still some oils that you shouldn’t use anywhere near your oil paints.

So, can you sue baby oil with oil paints? Unfortunately, you can’t, because baby oil is considered a non-drying oil. This means that if you mix it with oil paint, it will not dry. When the paint doesn’t dry, it doesn’t cure. Your painting won’t be safe since you won’t be able to use a sealant on top of it, and it will ruin the paint. It’s best to steer clear of baby oil around your paint supplies.

Since baby oil is a non-drying oil, you shouldn’t use it with your paints or on your paintbrushes. You might think it is a great alternative to solvents to clean up your brushes after oil painting, but this is not true. It is best to stick to what is designed to be used instead of trying other things. Let’s read on to learn which oil is best to use with oil paints.

Can You Use Any Oil with Oil Paints?

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If you are new to oil painting, you are going to wonder just what you can use with the oil paints. It is a very common misconception that you can use any type of oil with oil paints. There are plenty of different oils that you can use, but there are also some that you need to avoid entirely.

Linseed oil is the most popular oil to be used with oil paints. It works as a great base and makes it possible for you to get different effects on paper. Most oil paints will already be made with linseed oil, so it makes sense to use it as a thinner if you need to. Some other oils you can use include walnut oil, safflower oil, and poppy seed oil.

I highly recommend Winsor & Newton Linseed Oil for your oil painting. It’s a great brand that’s also affordable. I have used this linseed oil in the past, and I didn’t have any problems with it.

If you don’t feel comfortable using these types of oils because you aren’t sure how they will impact your painting, you can always stick with solvents and oil-based thinners to thin your paint. Thinners and solvents won’t usually impact the color of your paint or the durability in the long run. This means there is a lower chance that your paint will yellow over time.

U.S Art Supply has wide variety of oil paint supplies, and I have used their Mineral Spirits Thinner. It’s odorless and blends really well into oil paints and varnish. It’s a must have if you paint with oils.

Can I Use Baby Oil to Clean My Oil Paint Brushes?

There’s no surprise that you want to try to use as little solvents and thinners as possible. These ingredients are damaging to your environment and can have a negative impact on your health. It isn’t exactly recommended to use baby oil to clean your oil paint brushes, but you can if you have nothing else on hand.

First, you will need to cover your oil paint brushes with the baby oil. Do the best you can to evenly spread the oil over the bristles of the paintbrush. Gently and carefully work the oil into the bristles to help break up the paint. The primary focus of this method is to make sure every bristle is covered with baby oil to remove the paint quickly.

When the brushes have been completely coated with the baby oil, you will start cleaning them. Use a soft cloth or your fingers to gently wipe off any excess oil and paint from the bristles of the paintbrush. You do not want to break any bristles during this process, so make sure you are extra careful.

Start at the base of the bristles and work your way up to the tips. Repeat this a few times, adding more baby oil when needed. After you have gotten rid of the paint stuck in the bristles, you can soak the paintbrushes in water mixed with a small amount of dish soap. The dish soap will work to break down any remaining oil. Rinse your brushes and let them dry, then you have clean oil paintbrushes.

The ideal method for cleaning your oil paintbrushes is with linseed oil. All you need to do is pour some on a piece of thick paper and place the bristles of the paint brush in the oil. When one side has soaked for a few minutes, rotate the brush and soak the other side. Wipe off any excess oil and wash with soap and water to finish.

Can I Use Olive Oil with Oil Paints?

Just like baby oil, olive oil is a non-drying medium. This means when you mix olive oil with oil paint, your painting won’t dry. This significantly increases mold growth in your painting since the oil paint won’t fully cure. Without curing, oil paint won’t create the hard, protective layer that prevents mold from growing in the paint. 

Oil paint that doesn’t dry is at a much higher risk of being ruined. The paint can run when you try to stand it up or hang it on a wall, you can dent the paint, dust and dirt can collect in the paint, and you will be left with a piece of work that you are very disappointed with. It is very strongly advised that you avoid using olive oil with oil paints.

What Can I Mix with Oil Paint to Make it Thinner?

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There are multiple ways you can effectively thin your oil paints. The most common option is mixing linseed oil with the oil paints. This is because the paints are most often made with linseed oil, so all you are doing is adding more of an ingredient that is already there.

You can also use mineral spirits or turpentine to thin your oil paints. These mediums will have more of an odor and let off more dangerous fumes than linseed oil. You have to be incredibly careful with these mediums and make sure you work in a well-ventilated area. If possible, wear a mask for extra protection.

I like to use Winsor & Newton Odorless Turpentine. Winsor & Newton is an amazing brand that been around a long time, and is super reliable. Not only can you use this to thin your paint, but also to clean your brushes. I love that it’s odorless and isn’t as bad as other paint thinners out there.

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Liquin is another extremely popular medium for thinning oil paints. Liquin is a great choice because it has quick drying capabilities. It is used to speed up the drying time of oil paint, which we all know takes forever and a day to dry. Liquin is also used to add flexibility to your oil paint to decrease the chance of cracking over time.

When mixing any thinner into your oil paint, start out with a little first and add more if needed. It is possible to add more thinner, but it isn’t possible to take it out. If you do accidentally add too much, you can add more paint to even out the mixture.

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Final Thoughts

If you are new to using oil paints, it can be easy to think that you can use any type of oil to thin your paints and clean your brushes. This is not the case, and you need to be careful with what you add. Baby oil, for example, is a non-drying medium. If you add it to your oil paint, the painting will never dry.

There are several options out there that are much better to use with oil paint than baby oil. Linseed oil is the most popular, as well as mineral spirits and turpentine. Always be sure that you mix and use oil paint in a well-ventilated area to prevent any damage to your respiratory system.

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your oil painting turns out great. Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting! 

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