For craft use I am looking for a cheap alternative to linseed oil medium to use with oil paints.

The only oil mediums I seem to find are all “artist grade” and hence expensive. Cooked “cheap” industrial linseed oil is not available where I live.

So, are there any cheap drying oil alternatives, preferably easy to find, like in a supermarket?


1 Answer 1


If you really, really, don't care about lightfastness, paint permanence, and brittleness, then you have a few choices out of the local supermarket:

  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Walnut oil

Some of these have either been used historically or are becoming more common in oil paints, but will have been refined much better than what you'll get in the store. Either way, I would experiment with your paints a bit with these and see what works best and then cook with what doesn't. :)

  • You seem to have a breadth of painting knowledge. Have you tried any of these oils before?
    – user24
    May 19, 2016 at 0:25
  • 1
    @CreationEdge - No, I use artist grade linseed myself, I don't have a financial constraint there. I know that these oils, when well refined, get used in paints, but if there's no care for quality, then the consumer cooking variants should suffice.
    – Joanne C
    May 19, 2016 at 0:29
  • These oils have also been used in woodworking for finishing things like breadboards.
    – Matt
    May 19, 2016 at 0:48
  • folowing the same logic (oil binders used by some paint manufacturer) i already tryied safflower and sunflower, and also soyand olive oils. i haven't been convinced. maybe i shoud not have mentioned supermarkets... are there other alternatives like hair oils, or DIY oils. May 22, 2016 at 23:06
  • 2
    Cooking oils such as olive oil etc will never dry! Buying cheap is a false economy, and you don't really need a lot of linseed oil...if you use mineral spirit as well then a little will go a long way.
    – Artemesia
    Jul 25, 2016 at 9:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .