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  • walnut oil compared with linseed oilApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2017-01-31 11:51:09 ... Most recent comment 2017-01-31 16:07:00
    Drying Oils Alkyd
    How does a walnut oil film compare with a linseed oil film in strength and flexibility?......   I know that it is a slower drying oil and will eventually reach the same level of yellowness and embrittlement over the course of decades as linseed, but will take longer to do so.......  I am considering the use of a walnut alkyd, added to a walnut oil medium to compensate for the slower drying time of the latter. .... .. The lower viscosity of both, vs stand oil with an added alkyd medium, would then require less OMS to thin it out, resulting in reduced solvent evaporation in an enclosed studio.   (I live in MN.   Either the heat is on or the air conditioning, ha, ha)....   Walnut oil is also drying oil and I suspect that a walnut alkyd may use less drier in manufacture than those alkyds made from semi-drying oils....Thank you for your thoughts....Richard

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer


    As far as walnut vs linseed. I can only reiterate the general consensus on the subject . Most writers and researchers suggest that linseed oil dries the fastest and creates the strongest most resilient film when mixed in the proper amount with pigments. Walnut oil is considered next with poppy and safflower below that. This is what we have in our “Resources” section. The degree, however, to which any “inferiority” to linseed oil effects walnut oil’s suitability for oil painting is far less certain. Some have written that the slightly slower drying time may help to prevent wrinkling in paint films while others suggest that some of the film defects seen in 16th century Italian paintings are a result of their use of walnut oil. My guess is that its use is neither the panacea, nor the harbinger of doom that opinions on either extreme suggest.  To be truthful, I preferred using walnut oil in my lead white and fast drying blue paints like cobalt blue. The thinness of the walnut oil afforded the ability to make a very dense white and the good drying of the lead white would counteract and effects of the slightly slower drying oil. Yes, walnut oil may yellow just as much in the long term, but it was nice to stave off any yellowing for as long as possible.

     As to the alkyds, I think that some of this was touched on in the previous response about alkyds. It appears that the choice of oil in a long-oil alkyd medium has less of an influence on the longevity than the amount of driers and other additives. It is difficult to get the precise formulations from manufacturers, but as R. Gamblin wrote, you can get a sense of the relative amount of driers by comparing the color of the medium. Most companies use a cobalt or mixture of metal driers that contain cobalt. The cobalt imparts a violet or pink hue to the medium. Hopefully this is of some help.

    Baade, Brian
    2017-01-31 19:12:46

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