Characteristics: Titanium white is bright, intense, warm white that is extremely opaque (so it's useful for painting out mistakes), and has an extremely strong tinting ability (so a little lightens another color very quickly). Titanium white is the most common white used today (often sold as "mixing white") as it's an inexpensive pigment.
Common Names: Mixing white, permanent white, white.
Color Index Name: PW 6.
(Color Index Explained)
Color Index Number: 77891
Pigment Origin: An opaque white oxide derived from the metal titanium.
Used for Painting Since: 1920s.
Tinting Ability: Very strong.
Lightfastness Rating: ASTM I.
Oil Paint Drying Speed: Slow.
- Not recommended for priming/initial layers or thick impasto in oil painting because of slow drying rate and tendency of the pigment to become brittle when dry (in oil paint only).
- Extremely strong tinting ability, so easily overwhelms a transparent pigment. Use with caution.
- A warmer white than zinc white.
Quotes About This Pigment:
"Titanium dioxide, or titania, has twice the covering power of lead white and is extremely stable. Once the manufacturing difficulties were resolved, titania quickly became the dominant white pigment: by 1945 it accounted for 80 per cent of the market. ... Today most white paint of any sort is 'titanium white'." -- Philip Ball, Bright Earth, p382.