Gamsol is a safe solvent that allows oil painters to utilize all traditional painting techniques without compromise.
Primary Uses for Gamsol:
- Thinning oil colors. A little goes a long way; stiff oil colors relax immediately when a little Gamsol is added. Be careful not to thin oil colors too much with solvent alone, this can compromise the ability of the paint to form a paint film.
- Modifying painting mediums. Gamblin's Galkyd line of painting mediums is formulated with Gamsol, so they readily accept Gamsol as a thinning agent. Note: Gamsol should not be added to painting mediums made with natural resins (damar, copal, mastic). They require strong solvents such as turpentine.
- Studio clean up: brushes, palettes, palette knives.
Most solvents available to artists come from the industrial paint industry where solvent power and cheapness is prized. Gamsol it is made for products and processes that come into more intimate contact with the body such as cosmetics, hand cleaners, and cleaning food service equipment. Gamsol is a petroleum distillate but all the aromatic solvents have been refined out of it, less than .005% remains. Aromatic solvents are the most harmful types of petroleum solvents.
All of these factors have lead to Gamsol being used widely in oil painting classrooms; in those classes there are no solvent odours, only the wonderful smell of oil colors.
Solvents should be stored out of reach of children. As important, we recommend not pouring solvents into Mason jars, coffee cups, water bottles, plastic Solo cups, or any beverage container. It is best not to eat, drink, or smoke while painting. Thoroughly wash your hands after your painting session, and before eating.
In our own studios, we have found that metal solvent containers with “clip-on” lids, as well as wide glass jars with screw-on lids work best. Both include basins to allow pigments to settle on the bottom for re-use of solvent and can’t be easily mistaken for water cups. Secure lids also help prevent spills and solvent evaporation.