Walnut Oil

I’ve had some questions about walnut oil. Here are some answers in a nutshell…

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Walnut oil history in art dates back to the ancient Egyptians, and was accepted and preferred by many artists, especially in the Renaissance period.

In general, since walnut oil is less viscous than linseed oil, and easier to manipulate straight out of the tube, solvents are not needed to ease the flow of the paint.


The fatty acid composition of walnut oil indicates that it yellows and cracks less over time than linseed oil. It oxidizes slower, but has a tougher film once cured. I put my small paintings inside an old cooler with a low watt lightbulb for heat to speed the oxidizing process.

I use Art Treehouse cold-pressed walnut oil paint because it is not processed with alkyd (a synthetic polyester resin), petroleum-based solvents, alkaline chemicals, and bleaches unlike most oils used for painting.

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Art Treehouse offers a water-washed walnut oil they refine themselves over a several day process. It starts with cold-pressed walnut oil added to a container of water to filter the particulates. When the oil and water separate, the water is removed, and more fresh water is added until the oil is “clean”. The result is an oil that dries faster, is even clearer than regular walnut oil, and provides excellent color depth. Water-washed oil is more viscous that chemically refined oil, and works well with impasto techniques.

Because I have MCS, without this paint, I would not be able to produce my art. Grateful beyond words!