Usually when I paint there is enough linseed oil.

However, in the kitchen there is always some sunflower oil, for cooking of course.

It appears to work well but I wonder about a few things.

  • How is the drying process affected? Will it take longer or shorter?
  • Does it have any affect on the paint itself?
  • Does it affect the color of the paint over time?
  • Could you mix it with turpentine?

Has anyone used sunflower oil, like what is used for cooking food, in oil paint?

  • Forgive me if the intention changed too much but I wanted to fix the wording of the question. You can roll it back if you want or edit if you think I missed something. It is an interesting question.
    – Matt
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 18:35
  • well thank you,your not that far off,so it's ok :)
    – IljaRepin
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 19:15

2 Answers 2


Cooking oil certainly isn't a direct substitute for linseed oil. Oils used for paint and treating wood are so called 'drying oils' this means that they naturally polymerise when exposed to air, forming a dry flexible material.

All vegetable oils will do this to some extent but for something like sunflower oil it will take a very long time and you will end up with a gummy sticky mess long before it actually dries. It is also likely that during this time it will end up being colonised by bacteria, turning it rancid.

Also many drying oils are further treated by steaming (ie boiled linseed oil) and/or adding drying agents to speed up the drying process.


Flax oil is often boiled before it's used as a finishing product. I guess sunflower oil can be boiled too to get the very same result. My guess is that the curing time will be longer. I have just check it out and https://www.schmincke.de/en/products/mediums/binders/sunflower-oil.html

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