Choosing an Oil Painting Thinner

Choosing and oil painting thinner can be confusing.  With so many options how is a beginner artist to know which materials to thin oil paint with?  In today’s free video I’ll review four different thinner solvents you can use to thin out your oil paints and clean your oil painting brushes.

I’ll be revealing my favorite way to thin your oil paints and bringing up the topic of safety.  A little bit of knowledge will save you money and keep your painting studio safe.

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Choosing an Oil Painting Thinner: Transcript

Have you had a difficult time choosing a thinner for your oil paints? Today we’re going to talk all about your options.

All of these thinners I’ll be talking about today can be used to thin out your oil paint and clean your brushes. One of the least expensive options which you’ll find at your regular hardware store is just mineral spirits (OMS). On the shelf next to it is paint thinner. Either one of these options is a low cost way to thin your paints and clean your brushes.

A few more dollars will get you pure turpentine; this is the thinner that have been used for hundreds of years for thinning out oil paint. It can leave a sticky residue and it doesn’t dry quite as fast as some of the other options.

My favorite oil painting thinner is turpenoid. Turpenoid, while you will not find it at a regular hardware store, you have to buy it at an art store. It’s odorless, it dries quickly, it’s really a great way to thin out you oil paints.

What all these thinners have in common is they’re all flammable. So what you are going to need to do is store any paper towels or rags that you’ve soaked with thinner in a fire proof container. I like using this metal can here. I’m John Morfis from, thanks for watching!


  1. bernice byrnes says:

    love your videos!

    1. John Morfis says:

      Thank you Bernice.

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