Japan Drier

japan drier

Japan drier is a chemical used to aggressively speed up the dry time of oil-based paint and glaze.

The drying process is actually a chemical reaction that produces an organic plastic when mixed with a drying oil.

These driers are derived by ions of certain metals such as: cobalt, iron, or manganese and prepared as “salts” in order to make them oil soluble.

“Japan drier” is a general term for any oil-drying agent that can be mixed with drying oil, such as LINSEED OIL.  I’m not exactly positive of the derivative of Japan Drier, but my best guess points to a technique called “japanning” which was made popular in the 17th century, where layers of fast-drying varnishes (usually black) are polished and given a glossy finish.

Uses for decorative painting:  Japan drier is an essential ingredient in an OIL GLAZE RECIPE.  Without it, an oil glaze will take at least twice as long to dry.  You only need to add a capful of Japan drier to a 32 oz. container of oil glaze.   With the drier, your glaze will most likely be dry the following day (given that you adhere to the ideal proportions of LINSEED OIL and TURPENTINE).  Don’t worry; the deep purple color of Japan drier will not affect your glaze color.

Additionally, Japan drier can be used to speed up the drying time of other alkyd paints and varnishes.

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