Reversible and Non-reversible Medium

There are many uses for both reversible and non-reversible mediums in decorative painting.  A reversible medium can be taken back to a glaze with water (or alcohol like shellac).  Non-reversible mediums are far more common and are permanent (unless a solvent is used to remove). Reversible Mediums: Gouache Glaze = Gum Arabic + H2O + […]

Spontaneous combustion of Linseed Oil

This is an example of spontaneous combustion of linseed oil.  This cotton glove, that was soiled with linseed oil and paint thinner, was thrown in the trash on a jobsite which ended up being a perfect opportunity for a fire to start.  When linseed oil oxidizes (dries), it creates heat when it is mixed with […]


Acetone is a colorless and flammable solvent.  It is used mostly for printing, dry cleaning, and nail polish remover.  It is very smelly and powerful. In decorative painting, common uses are: A cleaning agent for brushes (use a cloth wet with acetone to clean dried paint).  Do not soak brushes in acetone for an extended […]

Denatured Alcohol

Denatured alcohol is a solvent used with alcohol-based products, such as shellac.  This product is purely a solvent, without additives. This is a handy solvent.  We put it in small containers that go on every job.   Here are some uses of denatured alcohol. Cleans off dry acrylic paint/glaze A good cleaner for dirty surfaces (as […]