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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Studio safety of W & N Artisan thinnerApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2019-11-25 17:41:40 ... Most recent comment 2019-11-28 14:46:31
    Solvents and Thinners


    recently read an article on this forum re water-miscible oils (2019-11-16) . This has rekindled my interest in using them again. I first started using W & N Artisan oils over 10 years ago, and off-and-on since. Problem is that if you use water as a thinner it evaporates almost instantaneously leaving a very short open-time. This was a big turn-off for me.

    I have got their associated thinner (Artisan THINNER) which stays open for at least an hour and great stuff for altering an initial drawing/lay-in. (I only use it for the initial drawing). On specific questioning W & N advise to use a maximum dilution of 1:2 by volume ( 1x part oils : 2 x parts thinner). I usually use a bit less thinner than this. They stated that it was non-toxic also. (I realize that there can be a problem with this description in some cases) 

    At the above ratio it does all the things I used to use turps for and, hopefully, a lot less toxic. Which is what I really want to know, ie., just how safe is this thinner?

    I checked the MSDS for the product which states that: " This product has been certified by ACMI to carry the AP (Approved Product) seal, meaning this product bears no chronic or acute human health hazards". The Artisan literature also states exact same reference.

    Specifically, under the heading 'Inhalation' it states no specific symptoms known. Also, not classified as a specific target organ toxicant after repeated exposure. Skin contact also had "No specific symptoms known".

    The only caution was that it could cause irritation to eyes and mucous membranes; also that thermal decomposition.......may include harmful gases or vapors. However, is stable under normal ambient condions.

    Initial boiling point >100 deg.C at 760mmHg.

    In my home studio I have a portable fan that I could place in the windows, but the noise is irritating.  I also have open windows. However, in the colder weather I can only have them slightly open (there is a small cross-flow thru these windows from facing rooms) because my hands have an extreme reaction to the cold. If I opened the windows to any large degree I would have to wear gloves so thick that I could not handle a paint brush.

    Can I safely use this Artisan thinner with minimal cross-ventilation (I only use about 2 - 3 mls (5 mls at the absolute max.) during any one session)?

    Do you have any other information that could cause me to be more cautious?

    Really appreciate your expert advice, as usual.

    Many thanks in advance.

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    The authority on materials safety for this item would be the toxicologist who prepared the SDS or the designated brand representative referring to that document, but if it does carry the AP seal of the ACMI, that means it's been determined to be safe for normal (as directed) use by individuals of all ages.  Products with the AP seal are really intended for use in any classroom or home, and it's assumed that young children will not be capable of managing ventilation or skin protection.  "Thermal decomposition or combustion products" means smoke or vapor from exposure to high heat, and is not something the artist should be encountering during ordinary use. 

    Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2019-11-25 18:43:58
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment


    many thanks for your prompt reply and clarification of the AP seal.

    This site is an excellent resource for artists who are trying to work their way through the maze of information, and misinformation, taught in art school, in books and online.

    Keep up the great work.

    2019-11-26 18:04:44
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    Thanks so much Matthew. I believe that you have answered this but I will send a note to W & N to see if they would like to comment.

    Brian Baade
    2019-11-28 14:46:31

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