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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Matting AgentApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2020-01-06 11:15:30 ... Most recent comment 2020-08-09 12:34:56
    Paint Additives

    ​Hi MITRA,

    Do you know specifically what substance(s) are added as matting agents to matte varnishes and mediums?   

    Thanks, Koo

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​Typical types of matting agents for varnishes are fumed silica, wax and zinc stearate.

    George O'Hanlon
    2020-01-06 11:42:14
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​I recently learned about a substance called Terpineol, a few drops of which can apparently be added to a medium to make it more matte. Has anyone used this before or have more information about it? 


    2020-01-11 15:00:53
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    I am unaware of the use of this substance as a matting agent. Perhaps Matthew or George can shed more light on this.

    Brian Baade
    2020-01-12 11:24:17
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    I have corresponded with a few other moderators and no one has heard of turpeneol being used as a matting agent. It is a colorless liquid at room temperature. Where did you get this information?

    Brian Baade
    2020-01-12 14:33:18
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer


    Matthew Kinsey found this product on Kremer’s site and it does appear to create a matte paint surface. We have no experience with its use.  George has said that he will be experimenting with it. We will report back when there is more to say.

    Brian Baade
    2020-01-13 18:39:53
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Hi Brian - Apologies for the delayed reply. Yes exactly, I learned about it from Kremer. They only have a very large container available at this time, so I'm waiting for smaller bottles to come in before trying it out as well. Thanks for looking into this!


    2020-01-14 09:36:04
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​It appears that you can purchase smaller bottles of Terpineol on ebay and amazon. 30ml for $10 was one example I found. Kremer lists it in their catalog thusly: "Terpineol, slowly evaporating solvent for oil paint mediums." I couldn't find any reference to it on their website other than the catalog listing.

    2020-07-05 15:59:47
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​I stumbled on this page when looking for Terpineol sources:

    Quotes from the link:


    A transparent, viscous solvent with an odor of lilac. Terpineol is an unsaturated cyclic terpenoid found in many essential oils and turpentine. It is made synthetically for use in perfumes, soaps, and paints. In paints, terpineol acts as a diluent but also a thickener and it prevents the brushmarks from leveling. Terpineol dries to a matte surface.

    Synonyms and Related Terms

    terpene alcohol; turpentine alcohol; terpilenol; Nopol [Glidden]; p-Menth-1-en-8-ol; 4-trimethyl-3-cyclohexene-1-methanol

    2020-07-27 10:20:00
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer


    Brian Baade
    2020-07-27 11:19:25
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    I cam to know about it as a material that Brice Marden used to create a matte surface, but have never done testing although do have some and can say it smells like an overpowering Pine-Sol​. For a couple of references to the use by Brice Marden see (do a search for the term):

    But as to its true long-term impact on the paint, I have not seen any research but as a painter that loves matte surfaces it did catch my curiosity.

    Sarah Sands, Senior Technical Specialist, Golden Artist Colors
    2020-08-06 10:15:50
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Thanks Sarah Sands for the additional information. 

    It appears that there are several different types of Terpineol. What variety is the one you have on hand? 

    Alpha, Beta, Gamma and more:

    2020-08-07 14:32:31
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    I'm actually not sure. It was quite a few years ago, as part of a wide range of materials we were curious about, but am not even certain if we still have it in storage. I can check the next time I am on-site but currently work from home, so it might be a couple of weeks. And of course am not even certain if the one we brought in is the same as Brice Marden used or the most optimal.


    Sarah Sands, Senior Technical Specialist, Golden Artist Colors
    2020-08-07 15:01:34
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Thanks for the reply. 

    I did some reading today on the differences between the various types, but it was a bit much for me since my last chemistry course was in the '70s. I just now found this PDF from

    Their offering is Alpha-Terpineol (62.3%). I suppose we can safely assume that they are offering the type that works the best when used with artist's oil paints. This text from the PDF is encouraging:

     "Another advantage is that oil paint applied with this material dries completely mat."

    I am very anxious to try some. Unfortunately, Kremer does not appear to offer Terpineol on their US website.

    2020-08-09 12:34:56

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