Turpentin alternatives

A quick post about turpentine alternatives (mostly as a note to myself).

Turpentine is smelly, but more importantly, it is also quite toxic -not to mention flammable. (Even the odorless terpenoid is quite toxic. Aromatic compounds are not good for your health as a general rule.) However, since oil paints are part and parcel of scale modelling, not to mention enamel-based weathering products (such as AK’s  and Mig’s  weathering range), you are forced to use it. (I am still experimenting with water-based oils.)

I found two viable alternatives, which I would like to share. While they are certainly better than the original, they are still not healthy for you. It is still important to have proper ventilation.


I have been using Zest-It for diluting oil paints, prepare washes, apply filters, and cleaning brushes. Perfectly serviceable – I can only recommend it.

Turpenoid Natural

Now, just because “natural” is in the name, does not make it healthy. (Arsenic is quite natural, too, after all.) I have not had the chance to use it, but once I run out of Zest-It, I will probably give it a go. It claims to be non-toxic and non-flammable, which, in my book, makes it an acceptable compromise even if the performance is inferior to turpentine’s. (It does mention a maximum mix ratio, which suggests to me that it may not perform as well as the good ole’ turpentine,

5 thoughts on “Turpentin alternatives”

  1. For my oils l use linseedoil: a standaard solvent usedby art painters (the guys with the canvases). Seems to be lees lethal as wel. Linseed is indeed natural.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How fast does it dry? The problem with “traditional” tools is that they normally take forever to dry which is an advantage for “traditional” painters, but may be a bit too long for miniature painters. (Although long drying times do allow for blending which I am really bad at with acrylics.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s