Art Supplies Back

Aug 28, 2017

* This page is currently under construction

Art supplies we use and recommend

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means that if you go on to make a purchase after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you), which goes towards our website hosting costs for Wildlife Reference Photos.

What medium do we use for oil paints?

Zest-It Oil Paint Dilutant and Brush Cleaner. This is as an effective, powerful and pleasant to use solvent, a brilliant alternative to white spirit and turpentine. 

For years we used white spirit as a medium for oil paint, it's very effective at thinning oil paint and cleaning brushes. But, it absolutely stinks. We didn't like being around those fumes all day even with the window open, and were concerned about the health affects associated with using white spirit long term and on a regular basis. So, Sarah set about researching an alternative and that's when we discovered Zest-it.

We have been using Zest-it for several years now. Not only is it just as effective as white spirit at thinning oils and cleaning brushes, it also has a pleasant orangey smell (a non-citrus smell is also available) and is made using the zest of citrus fruit. It's colourless, more environmentally friendly and generally a safer solvent. It has no detrimental effect on the oil paint or pigment quality. Another thing we have found is that our brushes last much longer since using it, it's less harsh on brushes and as it contains citrus oils it helps maintain the integrity of the brush hair. 

It is made in the U.K and we buy ours from Jackson's who also ship internationally. We've always been happy with the service from Jackson's and are happy to recommend them. If you're a new customer you will also get 10% off your first order.

A little tip - To recycle your zest it making it last much longer, after a painting session simply pour the used zest-it into a jar and pop the lid on. Keep doing that after each use until the jar is full of used Zest-it. Leave it overnight (or sometimes it can take 2-3 days) and the sediment will sink to the bottom. You can then pour out the clear Zest-it to re-use, and you can keep repeating the process. The recycled Zest-it it will usually have a yellow/orange colour but it will be transparent and perfectly fine to keep using. 

Zest-it is made in the UK and although Jackson's do ship internationally, shipping Zest-it products outside of the UK in containers over 125ml is prohibited. However, one of our followers from the USA managed to get around that by purchasing 2 x 125ml bottles.

* The link to Jackson's is an affiliate link. This means if you go on to make a purchase from them after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you), which goes towards our hosting costs for Wildlife Reference Photos.