If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Art News may receive an affiliate commission.
Slow your paint’s drying time and increase your composition’s workability by mixing your oil paint with stand oil medium. If you use oil paint, you’re probably familiar with linseed oil, a substance used to increase viscosity. Stand oil is simply a thickened version of linseed oil. The name of the product originates from roughly the 17th century, when oils were left to “stand” for a period of time to let the impurities settle out. Today, the medium is a heavy-bodied oil made by heating linseed oil in a vacuum for an extended period. The result is greatly improved color retention, compared with untreated linseed oil. The process also increases paint flow and provides a hard, durable, enamel-like finish once the paint is dry. Because of these attributes, many artists prefer stand oil to refined linseed oil. Browse our selection of the best stand oil options below.
1. Winsor & Newton Linseed Stand Oil, 75 ml
Winsor & Newton’s oil has a rich, low-flow consistency that improves the workability of paint. When dry, brushstrokes are evened out, and yellowing is kept to a minimum. The oil, made in the United States, can be used in conjunction with other Winsor & Newton natural oil media like the company’s thickened linseed oil, which functions much like stand oil but dries more quickly and darker. The main flaw of this oil is in the packaging: The cap is made to prevent leaks, but it can be tricky and frustrating to open. Offered in 75-, 200-, and 500-milliliter bottles and 1-liter cans.
2. Old Holland Stand Oil, 100 ml
Old Holland borrows from the recipes of Dutch Masters like Vermeer but introduces contemporary technology to remove inconsistencies and speed up the production process. The company doesn’t share details of the process it uses to create its stand oil, but it does say it starts with alkali-refined linseed oil. What’s certain is the result—a medium with a thick, honeylike consistency that mixes well with paint or pigment and dries to a sturdy, bright luster. Available in a 100-milliliter bottle.
3. Lukas Stand Linseed Oil, 125 ml
While paint thinners speed up drying times, oils that add body do the opposite. This is perfect for alla prima painting. This mid-grade oil not only lengthens the amount of time your oil paints remain workable but also can be used to increase the translucence of their colors. Available 125-milliliter bottles and 1-liter cans.
4. Daniel Smith Stand Oil, 236 ml
If you use retarding mediums infrequently or are looking to experiment, this affordable oil comes in an 8-ounce (236-milliliter) bottle with an easy-pour top. You need only a little bit of this solution at a time; just a drop will increase gloss, minimize visible brushstrokes, and lengthen drying time.
5. 3M Gamblin Stand Oil, 236 ml
Gamblin’s stand oil is less viscous than others, not because it’s of lower quality but because it has intentionally been heated for a shorter time. As a result, you may need less solvent—which some believe to be unhealthy to breathe—when you mix your paints. Note that this oil, produced from North American linseeds and priced similarly to the Daniel Smith product, is still quite viscous compared with refined linseed oil. It will thicken your paint and limit yellowing during the drying process. Available in 8-ounce (236-milliliter) bottles.