How to dilute oil paint?

How to dilute oil paint?

For most people, at some point there comes a time when they are faced with the need to use oil paint for any need. But due to the fact that part of it remains unclaimed for a long time after use, the paint thickens or dries out. In such a situation, it can be diluted to a working condition..

Varieties of oil paints

According to their purpose, they are conditionally divided into two groups:

  • Construction oil solutions. They, in turn, are subdivided into thick grated and ready-made. Densely grated solutions are subject to mandatory dilution with solvents intended specifically for these mixtures. Ready-made compositions are diluted with solvents only in the case of thickening and when a liquid consistency of the solution is required.
  • Artistic varieties of oil paints. They are mainly used for drawing, both professional and amateur. They are also used to produce artistic paintings of various interior compositions. To dilute such solutions, special diluents are required..

Below are the solvents used for the group of building oil mixtures.

Drying oil

It is the main component in the manufacture of oil paints, moreover, it is a universal solvent for all works where it is used. Because these materials contain a high percentage of drying oil, a thin film is obtained on the surface when painted..

You should pay attention to what type of drying oil is present in their composition. Information about this can be read on a can with paint – it is this type of drying oil that must be added for dilution.

There are generally accepted standards by which oil paints are classified. In addition to drying oil, the formulations include certain fillers and various pigmenting components. For mixtures that have a single component, the name corresponds to this component, for example, ocher.

The possibility of using paints on various surfaces is marked with the number 2 in the event that the same brand of drying oil was used for dilution as in its production. Oil mixtures are also classified according to different types of drying oils, taking into account the basis on which they were made..

  • Combined (compositional) drying oil. State standards are not applied to its production. In this regard, the composition of such drying oil includes toxic components. It is not recommended to use paint made on the basis of this drying oil in rooms where people or animals live, since the unpleasant smell persists for a long time after the composition has dried. Such a mixture is marked with the abbreviation MA-025.
  • Natural drying oil. The production of natural drying oil is based on vegetable oils (up to 97%) and about 3% remains for the addition of the desiccant. It is customary to paint all the necessary surfaces inside residential buildings with paint made on the basis of this drying oil. The marking of this coloring composition is МА-021.
  • In the form of a substitute for the natural composition, an artificial glyphtal drying oil. Marking – ГФ-023.
  • Pentaphthalic. It has a composition that includes natural oils, glycerin, desiccant, and phthalic anhydride. Drying oil marking with this composition – PF-024.

In accordance with the requirements of GOST, the packages of all types of paint and varnish products indicate which solvents can be used for each type and their required proportions. A prerequisite is also an indication of the required consumption of the mixture per 1 sq. m.


This formulation is very popular as a diluent. There are two types of turpentine that are used in the work. These include woody and turpentine turpentine.

Woody is made from woody components that contain resin. Initially, the solution turns out to be dark in color, after certain processing it acquires a transparent shade. When distilling the resin of coniferous species, turpentine turpentine is obtained. Has many properties that apply in a variety of applications besides dissolution.

By diluting paints with a similar solvent, you can achieve faster drying of the painted surfaces. But the disadvantage of using such a composition is a specific smell, as a result of which work should be done with active ventilation..

White Spirit

They can replace turpentine. The availability of this tool determines its popularity. Also available are varieties of white spirit without a pungent odor. In use, this liquid is very convenient due to slow evaporation, work can be done slowly, with great care. It is also a positive quality that the color of the mixture does not change with the introduction of white spirit..


To dilute oil paints, a solvent number 647 is used. There may be other designations – it depends on the components from which the composition is made. But you should not use products that contain acetone..

Dilute oil mixtures with a solvent carefully, as too much liquid can lead to a deterioration in the quality of the paint.

Gasoline and kerosene

Used for dilution, if there are no other solvents and only for external work. A specific smell is the predominant disadvantage – it can cause dizziness and even poisoning. But in hopeless cases of thickening of the material, it is recommended to use kerosene to dilute it – for this you must first mix it with a desiccant or turpentine.

The use of kerosene increases the drying time of painted surfaces.

Dilution order

Compliance with the dilution order is essential for a good result. The following is the order of such a process..

First you need to open the can, evaluate the density, mix thoroughly with an improvised means.

Carefully determine the required proportion, which depends on the type of solvent used and the thickness of the paint. In order to avoid deterioration of quality, the introduced liquid should not exceed 5% of the amount of the total mass. But if the mixture is planned to be used as a primer, then the volume of the solvent can be increased to 10%.

To achieve the required quality, the diluent is added directly to the jar, little by little and mixed thoroughly after each addition..

You can use the prepared mixture if the paint begins to thicken during the staining process. It is brought to the desired consistency by adding the required amount of solvent..

If the mixture remains open and a characteristic film has formed on the surface, then it should be carefully removed, since the hard conglomerates formed when the paint is mixed with the film cannot be dissolved, and it will be very problematic to remove them.

Then you need to add a little kerosene, which is pre-mixed with white spirit. After that, the mixture is thoroughly mixed and the prepared solvent is added as needed, until the desired result is achieved..

Dilution of oil art paints

Their use is mainly common for creating highly artistic decoration works, painting and other creative moments. Artistic paints are distinguished by a dense structure, wide color gamut, considerable ease of mixing, and there is no great difficulty in correcting mistakes..

Diluted mixtures are widely used by artists, but they dry out rather quickly, as a result of which they are regularly diluted..

It is recommended for professional artists to thin oil paints with certain vegetable oil-based thinners..

It should be borne in mind that a large amount of thinner will increase the drying time, since the oil does not have the ability to evaporate..

Applicable types of thinners

There are several groups of demanded thinners used by professional artists. These include formulations made on the basis of vegetable oils, varnishes, as well as twins, tees and pinene..

  • Butter. Common vegetable oils of various origins, such as linseed, poppy, sunflower, hemp, have long been used by artists to dilute paints.
  • Varnishes are made on the basis of diluted resins. When used as a thinner, the structure of the paint is compacted and promotes better adhesion to the canvas. Special varnishes are made to be added to thinners to dilute oil paints.
  • Double and tee. As the name suggests, a double is a thinner that contains two components. These components are varnish, as well as vegetable oils, formulated in proportions that artists often select themselves. In the tee, a thinner is added to the above components.
  • Pinen. It is also called “Thinner # 4”. It is used to dissolve and dilute formulations.

Each artist has his own approach to thinning paints – it depends on what goal should be achieved. If quick results are to be achieved, only pure thinner can be used., which helps to dry quickly. In the case of the inclusion of vegetable oils, drying is significantly slowed down – sometimes it can reach five days.

The use of doubles and tees depends on the desire of the artist, who can independently mix the components to achieve the desired goal..

In conclusion, we can say that oil paints are popular because of their properties, which include strength and durability, which advantageously distinguish them from other materials. These compounds are perfectly applied to various surfaces: plaster, metal, wood, as well as concrete surfaces. Mixtures help protect them from corrosion, various types of decay, excess moisture, and also serve as an excellent source of decoration.

Dissolving dried paint at home is a snap if you follow the tips above..

You can learn how to wash brushes from oil paints from the following video..

About the author