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Oiling Out

By September 15, 2009

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If you've an oil painting where different sections are glossy and others are flat or matte, and you want everything to be uniformly glossy, what should you do? The answer is an oil painting technique called oiling out.

It's not complicated: take a cloth (a clean one!), dab a little bit of the oil medium you've been using onto it, and apply to the areas of paint (which obviously must be dry or it'll spread) that are dull. This feeds oil into the paint, evening out the gloss. Don't pour on the oil or puddle it; you're just dipping the painting's toes in the oil not taking it for a swim.

See Also:
Oil Painting Mediums
Understanding Fat Over Lean
Oil Painting Techniques


September 15, 2009 at 9:02 pm
(1) Helen South says:

Marion, can I oil out a painting that I did years ago? The answer to the question about painting over old paintings always assumes that you’re going to do a new painting. However I just want to add a couple of glazes to this old painting, to make the surface a little richer.

September 16, 2009 at 4:41 am
(2) Marion BE says:

Indeed you can. Rub a thin layer of oil over the painting and leave it overnight to soak in. Then when you glaze, the oil from the glaze won’t be sucked into the “thirsty” painting so fast.

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