Do Oil Painting Fumes come from the paint or from the solvent?
 
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  1. #1
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    Do Oil Painting Fumes come from the paint or from the solvent?

    I do know that oil painting in a room without good ventilation is bad. Very bad. What I don't know is why. Is it the actual paint? The paint doesn't seem to have much of an odor. I know that fumes can be odorless, but when I thought about it it did seem that the problem was more likely Turpentine. So is Turpentine the culprit? What about Liquin?

    It's crunch time on my midterm painting and I was wondering if I could paint in my apartment with questionable ventilation if I just didn't open up and use my Turpenoid or my Liquin and just used plain old paint. And then I could wash my brushes in a container outside.

    Oh and while I'm on the subject of toxicity and paints, is acrylic paint toxic at all? I know the fumes are okay to use in my apt. but would it be a stupid move to do something like eat a sandwich while painting with acrylic? I know food plus oil paint equals baaaad.

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  3. #2
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    It's generally the solvents in any paint that are toxic in the sense you mean. Anything that evaporates. This is usually the turps, etc., that you use, and to a smaller degree, the solvents (similar chemicals) in the paint itself. The degree of danger is, in my opinion, much overrated if you use some moderate ventilation and care. The biggest problem pops up from whiners complaining about the smell, which is, again, mostly from the solvents. There are people here who will obviously disagree with me, but what it boils down to is just how sensitive are you to these chemicals?

    A bigger danger is the heavy metals used as pigments. Ingestion and heavy skin absorption could definitely be dangerous because the effects are cumulative.

    Acrylics are much less of a problem solvent-wise--it's water--but the same problem exists with heavy metal pigments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MyOrangeHat View Post
    What I don't know is why. Is it the actual paint? The paint doesn't seem to have much of an odor..
    It's not the paint, it's the thinners, mediums and varnishes that most people use with the paint.
    I was wondering if I could paint in my apartment with questionable ventilation if I just didn't open up and use my Turpenoid or my Liquin and just used plain old paint. And then I could wash my brushes in a container outside.
    That should be fine.

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    beware "odorless" turps.... they are still toxic...they just sneak up on you.
    you can use gin . as long as you remember not to drink it...

    (bad girl stop drinking the thinner)

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