ZenART's Membership Plans Terms & Conditions

(Updates effective 17/08/2020)

These terms and conditions (“Terms and Conditions”) govern the ZenART Supplies Rewards & Referral Plan as well as Subscribe & Save Plan (“Membership Plans”), and members of the programs will earn zen coins in connection with the purchase of qualifying online products and online activities that are redeemable towards the purchase of certain products online. For the re-occurring members (Subscribe & Save Plan) this includes exclusive gifts & content.


  • Free. No purchase is necessary to obtain membership in the Rewards & Referral Program, but you must establish an account at https://shop.zenartsupplies.co/account/register . Please see our privacy policy, located here, to understand how information you provide us will be used. This program is void where prohibited.
  • Eligibility. In order to be eligible for the Rewards & Referral Program, you must create an account as outlined in these Terms and Conditions. You may create an account if you are at least seventeen (17) years of age, have Internet access, and have a valid mailing address. If you are between the ages of 17 and 18, you must have your parent’s permission to register for an account. If you choose to create an account, you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account, username and password and for restricting access to your account. You are responsible for keeping such information current, complete, accurate and truthful. You agree to accept responsibility for all activities that occur under your account, username and/or password. You agree to provide only current, complete, accurate and truthful information. If you are accessing and using the Site on someone else’s behalf, you represent that you have the authority to bind that person as the principal to all Terms and Conditions provided herein, and to the extent you do not have such authority you agree to be bound to these Terms and Conditions and to accept liability for harm caused by any wrongful use of the Site or Content resulting from such access or use. You may only have one member account per natural person. Persons who are discovered to have more than one account forfeit their zen coins and will be unsubscribed from the Loyalty Program.
  • How To Enroll in the Rewards & Referral Program. (a) Create an account: Visit www.zenartsupplies.com (the "Site" or "Online") and become a registered user of the Site. Click here to be taken directly to the registration page. You will be asked for your first and last name, your email address, and a password. You will also be given the option to sign up for our newsletter. Once you have submitted the requisite information, you will be sent an email to the address you listed confirming your membership. Once you have confirmed your email address, you are automatically enrolled in the Reward & Referral Program and are a member (“Member”).
  • How to Access/Change Your Member Information. You must keep your personal information on your Account up-to-date. To do so, click on the "My Account" section and access your account by entering your registered email address and current password. From your dashboard you can access your account information; review your current and past orders; change your profile; manage your subscriptions and applications, and access your previous purchases.
  • How to Cancel Your Membership. You may cancel an account at any time. To cancel your account, please send an email to support@zenartsupplies.co and write “cancel membership” in the subject line. The email must come from the account currently listed on our servers as being associated with your Rewards & Referral Program. If you no longer have access to that email address, please email our customer service department and we will verify your status and cancel your account. Upon cancellation, you are no longer a member, and any unused zen coins accrued in your account will be forfeited and cannot be redeemed. Zen coins maintain their value only on valid accounts in good standing, and except as otherwise provided here for redemption, have no cash value outside of their redemption value on the Site.


  • General Members can earn zen coins on the purchase of qualifying online products at zenartsupplies.co. To receive zen coins for your Online purchases, you must be signed into your account. You may check at any time to see if you are signed in to the Site by looking in the upper right-hand corner of the site. Gift cards do not qualify for zen coins. Other products that do not qualify for zen coins are noted on the Site.
  • Earning Rate. Members earn 5 sen coins for every $1.00 spent on qualifying purchases (in other words, one (5) zen coins for every one dollar ($1) spent). Zen coins are based on your order subtotal, after any discounts, only. Zen coins are rounded down to the nearest whole number. For example, if you spend $9.99, you will receive 9 zen coins. The calculation is as follows: $9.99 x 1 zen coins per dollar = 9.99 zen coins, which is rounded down to 9 zen coins. This program started on August 17, 2020, and initial levels were set on the 2020 amount spent on ordering products. Note: Shipping and Taxes are not taken into consideration. If an item is return and/or price adjusted that will also be removed from your rewards calculations.
  • Gift Cards. Gift card purchases are not eligible to receive zen coins. However, once a gift card is redeemed, zen coins will be awarded to the recipient for the subtotal after any gift card values, provided s/he is logged into the account, as outlined in these Terms and Conditions.
  • Addition of Zen Coins to Accounts. Zen Coins will be added to your Account under the following conditions, and will generally show up immediately. You will receive zen coins:
    • At the time of account registration
    • During the purchase of qualifying products
    • For other activities outlined on the Site that may show up from time to time. Note that for these other activities, including “bonus zen coins” accumulations and other zen coin promotions, zen coins may show as “pending,” depending upon the activity.
    • Joining the Birthday Club. Birthdate must be entered 30 days before your Birthday to qualify.
    • For Liking the ZenART Supplies Facebook page and sharing the ZenART Supplies Facebook page with your following. This is good one time only.
    • Following ZenART Supplies on Instagram. This is good one time only.
    • Referring a friend to ZenART Supplies. Your account will be automatically awarded the discount only if the referral friend used the link sent to them from your referral account and makes a qualifying purchase. Discount will automatically be applied to account if stipulations are met.
  • Exclusions. Members earn zen coins only on the purchase price of: (i) qualifying online products. Calculation of zen coins excludes payment by the Member for shipping charges and all taxes, including without limitation, federal, state, and local taxes or use taxes. Zen Coins will not be earned on any discounts or other credits offered in connection with a product or service. For example, if a product that is normally $50 is on sale for $25, a Member will only earn zen coins on the purchase price of $25. Purchases of gift cards, redemption of vouchers, and any type of price adjustments, including merchandise returns, are not eligible for zen coins. All purchases made: (i) by a Member prior to such member joining the Program, (ii) Online without a Member being logged onto the Website with the Member's Account number linked to the Member's Online account, are not eligible for Reward & Referral Program credit. The purchase of ZenART Supplies products outside the Zenartsupplies.co website are not eligible for the Reward & Referral Program.
  • Returns/Order Cancellations. Zen Coins earned for a purchase that is then the subject of a return, cancellation, refund, declined credit card or gift card, or other credit will be deducted from your account in an amount equal to the zen coins earned for the original transaction, including any bonus zen coins that may be applicable. Any rewards discounts that are applied to the order, will be distributed equally to the applicable items in the order when completing a return. Zen Coins redeemed on an order will not be reapplied back to your rewards account for any reason on a returned order. If a return/cancellation will cause your account to have a negative zen coin balance, you will not begin earning zen coins again until your zen coins balance is returned to zero (0), by making purchases, or engaging in other promotional activities offered from time to time. If an item is exchanged (different product) any redeemed rewards on the initial purchase may be transferred to the exchange one (1) time only. Rewards used on an order that is canceled cannot be reapplied as they are good for just one use.
  • Bonus Zen Coins Promotions. From time to time, ZenART Supplies may run certain bonus zen coin promotions. Under bonus zen coin promotions, Members can earn additional or "bonus zen coins" in connection with the purchase of certain online products. When you purchase these specially marked products or make the purchase during a bonus zen coins time period, you will earn bonus zen coins on each product, as specified in the offer. Bonus zen coin promotions are subject to the terms and conditions of the offer and may be offered at any time in ZenART Supplies sole discretion. Bonus zen coin offers cannot be combined with any other offer.
  • Limitations on Bonus Zen Coins and Zen Coins, Generally. These terms apply to zen coins and bonus zen coins accruals. If you purchase a product during a promotion and the product comes with an additional, free product, zen coins will not be issued on the retail value of the free product. If you redeem zen coins towards the purchase of a product and pay a portion of the retail price after the zen coin's redemption, you will receive zen coins only on the leftover retail amount you pay, and not on any value attributed to the zen coin you used. If you redeem zen coins towards the purchase of a product in an amount equal to the full price of the product, you will not earn any zen coins.
  • Non-purchase Options for Earning Zen Coins. You may also earn additional zen coins on non-purchase activities. From time to time, ZenART Supplies may offer you the chance to win various prizes, and earn zen coins, for entering into promotions. For sweepstakes promotions, there is NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO PLAY OR TO WIN. Rules and restrictions will apply to such promotions and may be found on the entry page of any promotion.
  • Referring a friend to ZenART Supplies. Email a friend an $8 off coupon on $50 order by clicking “ Earn Zen Coins” then “ Refer a Friend”. Enter the email address of a friend who has not purchased with ZenART Supplies before (if your referral has shopped with us before the referral link will be automatically voided by the system). A referral link will be sent to your friend with an $8 off coupon on a $50 order. $8 off coupon on $50 order will automatically be rewarded to your account only if the referral friend used the link sent to them from your referral account and makes a qualifying first-time purchase with ZenART Supplies. Your Referral friend will receive an $8 off coupon on $50 order, 200 zen coins for signing up, and zen coins from their first purchase made while signed into their new ZenART Supplies account.


  • How To Use Your Zen Coins. Zen Coins must be used in increments outlined in these Terms and Conditions. The maximum number of zen coins that may be used in a single transaction is 10,000 zen coins. Zen Coins may only be used Online at the ZenART Supplies website. Zen Coins towards Products: Members can use their zen coins to reduce the purchase price of a product or to receive a product for free based on the following scale:
    • 500 zen coins = $5.00 off
    • 1,000 zen coins = $10.00 off your at least $50 order
    • 1,500 zen coins = $15.00 off your at least $50 order
    • 2,500 zen coins = $25.00 off your at least $50 order

    Zen Coins can only be redeemed in any combination of the zen coin and increment amounts set forth above. Redemption of zen coins towards purchases of products is subject to product availability. Any rewards discounts that are applied to the order, will be distributed equally to the applicable items in the order when completing a return.

  • Gift cards. Once available, zen coins cannot be used towards the purchase of gift cards. Gift card redemption, however, is eligible for zen coins. Zen Coins accrued pursuant to the use of a gift card will benefit the gift card user, provided the user has an account in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
  • To Redeem your Zen Coins. Before you begin shopping with us, sign in to your Shop account on our site. Select “Redeem Zen Coins” from the red tab housed in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and select the amount of zen coins you would like to redeem. You will be issued a custom code that you can copy and paste into the discount bar during check out (Please note - only one code can be used). Your total payment amount will be discounted by the amount of zen coins you allocate to the purchase. Note that zen coins may only be redeemed for the purchase price of the product. Sales tax, shipping, and other handling charges assessed in addition to the price of the product are your responsibility and zen coins may not be used to discount these additional charges.
  • Exclusions. Only one account per natural person. Only one discount code can be redeemed per transaction. Rewards redemption codes may not be combined with any other discount codes. Zen Coins may not be transferred or gifted at this time. Zen Coins cannot be used on past purchases. Zen Coins accumulated on different accounts by different members may not be combined or aggregated to make purchases of products or for any other reason. Zen Coins earned in a transaction cannot be redeemed in the same transaction. Redeemed zen coins cannot be retroactively applied to any past order or receive a price adjustment on any order where redeemed zen coins were not applied. Zen Coins have no cash value outside of the ZenART Supplies website and are available only to members in good standing.
  • Zen Coins Expiration and Time Lapses. All zen coins acquired, whether standard zen coins or bonus zen coins, shall expire 180 days from the date the zen coins are added to your account. Zen Coins expire 180 days from the date in which they were assigned to your account. Specific onsite activities in which zen coins will be awarded are set to accrue zen coins based on a time-lapse at the discretion of ZenART Supplies.
    • Sign up: zen coins are added to your account instantly
    • Order: zen coins are added to your account when your order is placed.
  • Once zen coins are redeemed, a discount code will be assigned and we are unable to cancel the discount code and reapply the zen coins to your Reward & Referral account. Discount codes generated by redeeming zen coins do not expire until used. They are a one-time use code, so once it is used it is gone. If an order is returned zen coins will not be reinstated.

4. Subscribe & Save Plan

  • Re-occurring purchase. Purchase is necessary in order to participate in this plan. The plan is worth $6.95 and will be charged to your account on the same date of the month that you purchased the plan, i.e. if you purchased the plan on 19th of January, you will be charged for the plan on the 19th of each month you are a Subscribe & Save Plan member.
  • 15% re-occurring discount. As a member of the subscribe & Save Plan, you are eligible for a 15% discount every time you put an order in place. You are qualified for the discount as soon as you purchase the plan.
  • Cancellation. After a purchase made with a Subscribe & Save Plan, you are not able to get a refund for the plan for the month the purchase was valid for but you can cancel for the following months.
  • Free samples & accessories. These are included for members of Subscribe & Save Plan only. These are not included in each order but the member will be informed when they will receive "extras" in their order.
  • Access to exclusive content. Exclusive access to tutorials, guides, tips & tricks in video, pdf, or audio format will be part of the membership program. Not all exclusive content is available but what is and will be available is up to ZenART Supplies sole discretion.


  • By registering with Zenartsupplies.co and joining the Reward & Referral Program, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions set forth in these Terms and Conditions, as well as any other terms that may be associated with the Reward & Referral Program. ZenART Supplies reserves the right to cancel, modify, suspend or restrict the Reward & Referral Program, your account, the redemption of zen coins, or any aspect of the Program, including, without limitation, the zen coin conversion ratio and the zen coin expiration policy at any time. Any changes can be made without advance notice. ZenART Supplies may make these changes even though such changes may affect your ability to use zen coins already accumulated. You are responsible for remaining knowledgeable about the Program Terms and Conditions. A Member's zen coins balance, as reflected in ZenART Supplies records, shall be deemed correct. ZenART Supplies reserves the right to determine the amount of zen coins in any Member's account based on ZenART Supplies' internal records related to such Member's account. In the event of an inconsistency between the amount accrued in a Member's account as stated on any Member's receipt and ZenART Supplies internal records, ZenART Supplies internal records will control. ZenART Supplies assumes no responsibility for errors caused by incorrect Member information. Your right to transfer zen coins earned or granted under the Program is strictly limited. The sale of zen coins is prohibited and may result in the confiscation or cancellation of your zen coins as well as suspension or termination of your membership, which in each case shall be final and conclusive. All transactions involving zen coins and all Member accounts are subject to review and verification by ZenART Supplies. The zen coins balance in a Member's account may be unavailable for use when an account or transaction is under review. ZenART Supplies may revoke any Member's membership in the Reward & Referral Program at any time if such Member engages in abuse of the Reward & Referral Program or fails to follow the terms and conditions of the Program. Fraud or abuse relating to the accrual of zen coins or redemption of rewards may result in revocation of membership in the Program and may affect a Member's eligibility for participation in any other ZenART Supplies program, present or future. Zen Coins are non-transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash. The interpretation and application of the Program's Terms and Conditions are at the sole discretion and determination of ZenART Supplies. For more information or other questions, click on Contact Us.
  • The Terms and Conditions of the loyalty program are subject to change at ZenART Supplies’ sole discretion at any time and without notice to customers. Upon customer’s at-will termination of their Zenartsupplies.com registered account, or if a customer is termination for violation of these Terms and Conditions or other activities in violation of the intent and good faith intended use of this Site, all zen coins will immediately be forfeited and will no longer be redeemable. ZenART Supplies will make reasonable efforts to award zen coins as outlined above to all 1. registered and 2. qualifying Zenartsupplies.co customers but is not responsible for any technical or unforeseen errors that may occur.
  • Zen Coins are nontransferable, nonredeemable for cash, are nonrefundable and are not valid outside of Zenartsupplies.co. Purchases made outside Zenartsupplies.co are not valid for zen coin accrual (this includes, but is not limited to Facebook resell groups, Ebay, and Amazon).
  • Employees of ZenART Supplies are not eligible to participate in the Reward & Referral Program.

Subscribe & Save Plan

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A Guide To Oil Painting Mediums

A Guide To Oil Painting Mediums

What are they? | Why are they used? | Different types of Oil Painting Mediums

Anyone who has ventured into oil painting will find themselves a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number and variety of oil painting mediums available. Do you really need them all and what do you do with them exactly? Let’s start with the first question…

What are oil painting mediums?

Oil painting mediums are additives that you mix with your oil paints to change their consistency or viscosity, drying time (faster or slower), or their surface finish.

Why are mediums used?

Using any medium will affect your paints in one way or another. Knowing how each one affects your paints, how to use them, and when to use them will give you more options with your techniques.

Some mediums hasten the drying process while some slow them down. There are also mediums that thicken your paint, allowing you to do impasto-like finishes without having to use too much of your paint. While some make a too thick or pasty paint more blendable (old paints for example). And some mediums help you achieve beautiful glazing.

Personally, I use oil painting mediums as sparingly as I can. This is what I’ve learned in school and I find that I agree with my teacher’s advice. Anything you add to your paints will change them and sometimes not for the better. The thing to remember is that you should always follow the 'fat over lean' principle.

What is fat over lean?

This means that you should paint the leanest layers first, these usually have some kind of solvent mixed in to reduce the fattiness of the paints. Then, as you add each layer, each succeeding one should be fattier than the last. Fatter means there is more oil mixed in.

Plan out your painting process so you’ll know when to use which oil painting medium and by how much. For my process, I usually mix in some odorless mineral spirits with my first layer where I want to have a very watery mix. Which I then use to sketch and block out the bigger shapes and shadows. Then if I’m in a hurry, I paint the first two layers with some Liquin (lean medium) mixed in with my paint. It dilutes the paint a bit and also hastens the drying time. After I use paint straight from the tube. For the final layer/s I add some linseed oil, but I usually just dip my brush in the oil and mix it with my color/s. I leave the layers that require some glazing for last as they are the fattiest of them all.

Here’s a simple diagram to help you visualize how this works.

The more oil painting mediums you use, the more careful you have to be. Try to stick to one per layer to be on the safe side.

Why is it important to follow?

Following the fat over lean process will ensure that your paintings won’t easily crack over time. If you painted with a fat layer first and then followed with a lean one, you’ll most probably end up with a cracked surface as all the layers start to cure.

Why? First, because lean layers will dry first. Fatter also means it has more flexibility because of the oil. Imagine a top layer that’s not as flexible as the layer below it that also dries first. The still wet layer below can still “move” while it’s drying and this will in turn create cracks on the layer above that’s already dry.

Layers below should dry first before the upper layers. To make sure this happens, always paint fat over lean when using oil paints.

Oil Painting Mediums Explained

Various mediums that I personally use mixed with colors (Cadmium Red Hue, Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ochre) from ZenART Supplies’ Essential, Portrait, and Impressionist Palettes. Chungking Hog Brushes (Filbert and Flat) and a palette knife from the Renoir Collection to mix and apply the paint.

Mediums that change the consistency of the paints

Artist-grade oil paints have a nice, buttery consistency when used straight out of the tube. But not everyone will want to paint with that consistency all throughout their painting process. Here is where mediums come in quite handy as you can make your paints thicker or very thin and fluid-like.

For a more fluid flow, you can add oils, alkyds, or glazing mediums to your paints. You usually want this when you’re painting fine details, want a smoother finish where the brushstrokes are leveled out, or for some glazing effects. Or for the first leaner layers where you want more transparent or thinner applications.

If you’re looking to paint highly textural impasto work or where you want to retain the brush marks, then wax or gel mediums are your best friends. They come in a range of varying densities. Heavy ones are perfect for those ultra-thick and sharp-edged knife marks or brushwork. Then, there are also softer gels and waxes that are easier to work with and will give you subtler - yet still textured - effects.

Mediums that change the surface finish of the paints

All the different oil painting mediums will affect the surface finish of your paints in one way or another. Any medium you add will change the consistency of the paints and this in turn will alter the finish once it dries.

Solvents evaporate quickly but leave a dull or chalky finish. Wax mediums give a more matte finish. Synthetic resins such as alkyds can range from a satiny patina to very glossy. A good ratio of natural resins mixed in will usually yield a high gloss finish. And oils will also give you glossy finishes, too.

The choice will always be up to you. At the end of the day, varnish can be used to alter the final surface finish to whichever sheen you prefer as a final step in your painting process.

Testing out various mediums using the same color, Prussian Blue, from the Impressionist Palette, ZenART Supplies.

Mediums that change the drying time of the paints

Oil paints have varying drying times across different brands as the formulations also vary. And for artist-grade paints, for each color or pigment as well. Some colors dry faster than others and this will be one of the things that you should want to learn and take note of. The good news is, oil painting mediums can help you adjust the drying time whether by hastening it or slowing it down.

Why use oil painting mediums that hasten the drying time?

This is quite essential for the first few layers and also if you don’t have the luxury of allowing your paints to dry in their normal drying time - perhaps a commission with a deadline where you’re pressed for time.

Driers, solvents, and resin are used in greater amounts while oils are kept to the bare minimum. How fast your layer of paint dries will depend on how much you use and how thick of an application you do. Thinner layers can be dry to the touch by the following day.

Mediums that hasten the drying time can be bought ready-made or you can make your own too.

Now let’s have a quick overview of the most used mediums and solvents by artists below. I’ll divide the list into four: solvents, oils, alkyds, and waxes.

A List of Oil Painting Mediums: The Usual Suspects


Solvents can be used for cleaning your painting implements and for thinning down your paint. Your mixture will become runnier, more transparent, dry quicker (as the solvent evaporates very quickly), and will dry with a matte finish.

You don’t have to use solvents if you’d rather not. It is quite alright to paint solvent-free, too.

Turpentine - can be used both for cleaning and for diluting your paint. Many artists still favor it as it mixes very well with oil paints. But it is a toxic substance that also releases noxious and heady fumes and should be used with great caution and in a well-ventilated area. Containers with lids are best so they can be kept closed while not in use. Use rubber/latex gloves to avoid direct contact with the skin and keep away from your eyes as well. It’s best to keep these precautions in mind for the next three solvents on this list: turpentine, OMS, and oil of spike lavender.

The good thing about turpentine is that it can be reused multiple times. Wait for the paint sediment to sink to the bottom of the container. Then transfer the now clearer liquid onto a new container and use it again.

Odorless mineral spirits or Artist’s white spirits - can be used similarly to turpentine (cleaning and thinning paint) but is considered to be subpar for thinning down paint compared to turpentine. It’s more aggressive and can cause the paint film to be greatly weakened which might lead to a more brittle surface that’s prone to cracking. I use it mainly for cleaning, then thinned down only for sketching or blocking out rather than as an oil painting medium.

It is odorless but the fumes are still there and will affect your health in the same way as turpentine when not used with care. I also reuse it just like turpentine for cleaning my brushes.

Yellow Ochre from the Portrait Palette of ZenART Supplies’ Infinity Series oil paint sets.

Do not use regular white spirits from the hardware store as those have a lot of undistilled impurities that will affect your painting’s integrity over time.

Oil of spike lavender - is a good alternative to turpentine and mixes almost as well when used as a medium. It is much stronger so you’ll also need to use less, but it’s also less toxic. Many also agree that it has a much more tolerable smell, too. It’ll cost you more (compared to turps) but since you’ll use far less, it just evens things out.

Zest-it Oil paint Dilutant and Brush Cleaner - is an eco-friendly alternative to all of the above. You won’t have to worry about fumes and strong smells as it has a pleasant citrusy aroma. It’s also biodegradable which is always a good thing. You can use it to thin your paint (though it’s on the thicker side compared to the three above), clean your brushes, and mix with other mediums. This is ZenART Supplies’ co-founder, Ardak Kassenova’s personal choice as it’s much safer to use when there are kids (and or pets) around.

Turpenoid (Odorless) - is another odorless turpentine substitute. It can be used in the same ways as turpentine (painting properties and drying time) but is odor-free.


Oil paints from the tube already have some kind of drying oil mixed in them (usually linseed). Adding extra oil makes the paint ‘fatter’ and more transparent, you can get smoother brush strokes, too. But it will slow down the drying time.

Oils dry differently than acrylic paints where the water just evaporates, allowing the paint to dry quickly. With oil paints, the oil gets exposed to the air and oxidizes. The paints then start to ‘cure’ and start to dry through this process. Only use oils that are meant for oil painting (drying oils) as not all oils will be suitable. Almond oil and olive oil for example are non-drying oils, so if you use them, your painting will never dry.

The most popular oil used for oil painting is linseed oil, it comes in several different varieties as well. Other popular oils are safflower oil, walnut oil, and poppy seed oil. There are other painting oils but the ones most used are these.

All oils fall under the ‘fat’ umbrella. Add oil/s to your paint or your medium mixture in small increments and increasing amounts as you layer on.

Refined linseed oil - is from the seeds of the flax plant (all linseed oils are). This is the most popularly used oil paint medium both for mixing with solvents and for creating DIY mediums. When it dries, it creates a strong and durable film because of its high linoleic content. It also contains another acid (linolenic) that causes yellowing over time.

Cold-pressed linseed oil
- compared to refined linseed oil, gives you a shinier and harder film when it dries. But it will take longer to dry. So if you’re not pressed for time, it’s a good choice to opt for.

Linseed stand oil - has a much thicker consistency compared to other oils, very heavy-bodied like a very sticky syrup. When used, it will give you a smooth and glossy finish. Due to its thicker body, it’s not as flowy as other oils but levels out very well. You also won’t have to worry so much about areas ‘sinking in’ when using it. This is the perfect fat medium to use when creating your own glazing medium. It also doesn’t yellow as much as regular linseed oil over time.

Safflower oil
- is more fluid than linseed oil and allows you to have a runnier mixture. It dries much slower than linseed and dries to a much weaker film. But it doesn’t yellow as much as linseed which is why it’s usually used for painting areas with pale or white colors. When you compare it with linseed oil in the bottle, it is visibly a much paler yellow in color.

I advise you to use it sparingly. If you find yourself using it a lot then mix in a bit of linseed to help with the durability. Then varnishing your painting later will also help with the longevity of your painting.

Poppy seed oil - is much like safflower oil, it’s a paler and clearer oil paint medium that minimizes the change in color over time. Though it’s also on the more expensive side compared to other drying oils. It also dries slower than linseed but gives your paints great flow and a glossy finish. Similar to safflower oil, it’s not as durable as linseed oil in the long run.

Walnut oil - walnut oil is a good substitute for linseed oil if you don’t mind the longer drying time. From the bottle, you can see that it’s a very pale color similar to safflower and poppy. But unlike the two, walnut oil dries to a much more durable and even flexible film.

This is my preferred drying oil for painting light-colored sections. It has been used since the Renaissance and was often mentioned by Da Vinci. It enhances the flow of the paint and gives colors an added depth. You can use it to ‘oil out’ a painting that has dull and chalky parts or for the areas that have ‘sunken in’.

Some artists also use it for cleaning their tools instead of solvents. Just keep in mind that walnut oil can noticeably go rancid. It’s best to store it in the refrigerator and away from sunlight to extend its shelf life. Oils from nuts are more sensitive in general.

Cold wax

Cold wax doesn’t require heat to harden, hence the name. Adding cold wax to your paint will thicken it, allowing you to paint with heavily textured brushstrokes. It will also give your paints a matte finish due to the natural matte finish of the wax but will make them dry faster as well. By adding a little alkyd to the mix, you can bring back some sheen to it. Though it won’t be glossy, more on the satin side.

With this medium, you can achieve impasto brushstrokes without having to use a lot of your paints. You can build layers upon layers using wax without having to worry about the ‘fat over lean’ principle. And it will also be dry in a couple of days even when applied very thickly. Different brands offer their own cold-wax formulations and choices.


Cadmium Red Hue from the Essential Palette of ZenART Supplies’ Infinity Series oil paint sets.

Alkyds are a synthetic medium created from oil-modified resin treated with alcohol to speed up the drying time. There’s a great variety to choose from depending on what you’re looking for. There are formulations that are either thickening or thinning, give a satin or glossy finish, and hasten or slow down drying time. Varying levels of viscosity allow you to have a range of options from light washes to heavily textured strokes.

Alkyd mediums mixed with your paint can be touch dry in 24 hours. If you don’t want to wait for days on end between each layer, then consider adding alkyds into your painting process. I usually use this for painting the first two layers after blocking in my painting. It allows me to paint thinly but without worrying about it being too runny. Most alkyds give a flexible and glossy finish and dry to a durable film, almost enamel-like.

Ultramarine Blue from the Impressionist Palette of ZenART Supplies’ Infinity Series oil paint sets.


Driers work by hastening the drying, curing, and hardening time of the oil paints by acting as a catalyst. You’ll find dark-colored (Cobalt, Manganese) and light-colored driers (Calcium, Zirconium). Dark ones can affect the color of your paints but are very effective. While the lighter ones are less prone to discoloration but also dry slower.

You can mix them directly to your paint but must be used sparingly - just a few drops at a time. This may be necessary when you have deadlines that you don’t want to miss, as the drying time of oil paints varies across pigments and brand formulations.

Ready to explore oil painting mediums?

Experimenting and trying out different oil painting mediums is the best way to find out what works for you and your painting style and process. But don’t get bogged down on them or discouraged when you don’t find what you’re looking for. Personally, I only use a handful and find myself quite content with what I can achieve with them. The important thing is to properly get to know each one you plan to explore and be careful with the more toxic ones. Your health should always be number one.

Before you splurge on said mediums, check out our oil painting supplies list as well and make sure you have all the oil painting essentials that you’ll need.

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Which oil painting mediums have you tried using so far? Did you see one from above that you’d like to explore? Comment away below! Join our friendly art community Painting Inspiration Daily on Facebook. You can share your art and ideas, watch LIVE tutorials, and be inspired to paint!

While you’re trying out new mediums, I recommend you explore the different oil painting brush strokes at the same time, too. You’ll never know what special combination of mediums and techniques you’ll come up with that will be your very own. Have fun with your oil painting adventures!



Kathleen is the Wordsmith at ZenART, resident artist and art editor. When God sent a shower of talents, Kathleen made sure she got a basketful of them! She's a visual artist with practical knowledge on various fields from painting and sculpture, to costume and set design which comes in very handy when writing about various art techniques and theories. She also shares her passion for the arts through teaching. She runs her own brand of handmade wirework jewelry designs.

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