OMS (odorless Mineral Spirits)


Well-known member
You may already know this - I just found out. OMS is $14.40 a QUART on Jerry'sArtOramma but $12.90 a GALLON at Home Depot ($8. for a quart)
Best still - you can get it any time without waiting 1-2 weeks for mail order.
Some info on Mineral Spirits and Turpentine before you start using the stuff from the hardware store:

Mineral Spirits and Turpentine

I used the traditional oil medium of 1 part linseed oil/1 part damar varnish/1 part turpentine so I always used turpentine rather than mineral spirits. I also far prefer the pine smell to that of the petroleum-derived mineral spirits... although I might use these... or the cheaper hardware store turpentine... for clean-up.
There are people who can't deal with the smell of turpentine, even the Georgia stuff, the best there is. Which is fine, as long as they understand that the lack of smell in OMS doesn't make it any less toxic, as most all solvents except water and water-based are. Although I painted in acrylics far more often than oils, I never used OMS in a medium, only for clean up.
I’m a user of the hardware store stuff.
I've heard and read all about how its not as good and could/will ruin paintings but I never had a problem. I use it for cleaning brushes, mixing with stand oil, and sometimes thinning paint. Never had a problem.
I prefer and use artist-specific medium/cleaning agents only. Odorless is just as detrimental/dangerous as regular. When I was a kid learning to paint, my Dad adamantly instilled in me to only use artist-specific chemicals (to this day, he is not a painter). Plus, I only oil paint outside in the warmer weather (never, ever in the house... ever), so in effect, I'm only oil painting 4-5 months out of the year (I wish it was more, but it is what it is). that low amount of time spent painting along with only buying on sale/clearance allows me to afford and stay with the art-specific supplies.
Due to sensitivity to the off gassing, the only solvent for oils I can tolerate is Gamsol. I tried art grade OMS from Hobby Lobby, no smell, but it bothered my eyes. Gamsol is pricey but I use very little, only for adding to initial layers of paint, never for clean up. Gamsol has very little off gassing in the small amount I add to a palette cup that clips to the edge of my palette. The cup gets capped after every session.
I would advise against Hardware store Mineral Spirits if working indoors, unless you have excellent air exchange. It won’t adversely effect your paint drying or adhesion, but beware of the gasses.
All drying oil paints give off gasses as well, including water soluble oil paints.
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Is there any laboratory testing or data to support that Gamsol OMS is any different/better than hardware store OMS. There are no claims on the Gamsol label other than it being oderless and made of 100% naptha. They are both classified - aspiration toxicant - 1 ,
Offhand I doubt any manufacturer of OMS would go out of their way to make a separate, specialized product for a tiny company like Gamblin, unless Gamblin was able to afford a large production run.

Best way to find out, of course, is to contact Gamblin.
I use gamsol to clean brushes.
I use liquin.
I paint next to a bank of windows which I keep open year round. The coldest and hottest days, I just don't paint.
i only added a bit of Liquin to speed up drying time. I preferred the traditional Turp/Damar/Linseed for my painting medium.
There are zillions of opinions about which medium is best for this or that.
No, it doesn't really, but you can jab your brush into liquin while you are painting and wipe it off for a cleaner brush than just a wipe. I usually have 2 brushes of each size going, one for lights, one for darks, but that's mostly for efficiency.
speaking of liquin - I keep it in a small (tiger balm) jar and I don't notice any smell unless I put my nose right over it. It has something like a contact cement smell too it.

I wonder what it consists of - and if anyone has a homebrew version?
I have an artist acquaintance who at one time was working on a homebrew version of Liquin. However I haven't heard anything more about it. I'll probably run into them at an upcoming fall show, so I'll ask. They are a chemist in real life...
It is my opinion that one can use just about any sort of solvent to clean one's brushes, and that includes the cheap stuff from the hardware store, provided you can tolerate whatever smell it emits.

However, for many years now, I have used Oil of Spike Lavender as my solvent ingredient in my painting medium, primarily because of its compatibility with oil paint, as well as ability to aid in making the paint flow precisely as I want it to flow. That, combined with Linseed Oil, Walnut Oil, and Canada Balsam, are the ingredients of my painting medium, which I've been using for years, now.

I would not ever consider using any sort of solvent that is offered at a hardware store. Hardware stores, and food stores are not places to obtain suitable materials for use in serious oil painting. Of course, the exception is cleaning brushes. For that you can use just about anything that you fancy, as long as it is not incompatible with oil paint, such as motor oil, or baby oil.