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I have taken up oil painting. Is Paint thinner Turps bad for me with M.E.?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by lookinglass, May 10, 2014.

  1. lookinglass


    I guess it has to be bad for everyone if not working in a well ventilated space, which I am fortunately. Even so, should I be avoiding this chemical altogether? I am in remission but I have never felt completely recovered and still have frequent days of crashing BP and nausea and IBS.
    Ambrosia_angel likes this.
  2. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

    OH USA
    I had to give up oil and go to acrylic painting. Even when contractors did work in my old house I had to leave, most products were too toxic to me immediately.

    Before I got sick I was an interior designer and I was around out gassing wallpaper, carpet samples and fabric. I developed a sensitivity to all strong smells. If I were you, I'd go acrylic and still have a well ventilated room.
    SilverbladeTE likes this.
  3. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    oh hell yeah turps is HELLISH, it will stench the whole house out even if it doesn't make you sick
    there's expensive alternates, but I'd strongly recommend acrylic paint instead, or digital ;)
  4. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

    I know of a paint thinner that is natural. Expensive though. I can PM the information if you want it. There may be other brands besides the one I found.
  5. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

    Ventura, CA
    I love aryclic personal favorite medium of mine lol, oil painting can give a really nice finish but like others say it totally stinks quick! haha

    I am sure you can find very non toxic versions for it if you really wanted to stick with that version though, lots of people offer safe non toxic painting options especially now a days with the huge "Go Green" stuff going on.
  6. Min

    Min Guest

    Allyson likes this.
  7. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

    Midwest USA
    Me too! Vinyl wallcovering was the worst...but I knew things were heading south fast when I started having to take antihistamines to make a trip to the design center to look at fabrics etc.

    I still miss it though. :(
    Sushi likes this.
  8. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

    that is very neat. you could give me a million dollars and i could never make a room look nice. it would just look like a bunch of expensive items. i really admire people who have an eye for style.

    did you ever think of giving people decorating advice on etsy?
  9. taniaaust1


    Sth Australia
    hell yes. I too are going to say go to acrylic painting (that is also washable off in water) before you do yourself damage. I no longer use oil based paints cause of both the paints and the turps, got rid of all my oil paints and now only use acrylic.

    I ended up with MCS as I was using chemicals while doing part time cleaning jobs, if you havent already got MCS it is easy if you still have this disease to end up with it so I suggest avoiding things which could make your ME/CFS more complex. Avoiding bad chemicals is a huge thing when you have this illness.

    We are lucky that we dont have to give up painting all together with this illness as there are safe paints for us to be using. (You can also get non toxic vanishes to put over the acrylic paint to protect it if you paint something like a cupboard)
  10. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

    I'm an avid oil painter for years and love the texture of oils over acrylics and watercolours. I stopped using turpentine a while ago not because of cfs but just because they made my house stink really bad. If you are a new oil painter who just starting out, turps probably won't be necessary.

    One thing to do is to make sure you have a paint brush cleaner which doesn't have to be turp. There are many chemically safe ones. I have the daler rowney green one. You can even use hand soap if you like but they're not the best for keeping the brushes durable. If you didn't spend much on the brushes hand soap works great.

    You can use linseed oil to weaken the paint. Turps can be too hard to use for beginners as I've learned. Turps are only really used for the underpaintings anyway. Fat over lean technique. Most beginner's don't bother with underpaintings because there needs to be specific techniques and so on which can take years to develop. I've only done an underpainting once. Also I'm guessing your using student grade paint?? They will need a bit more linseed but not too much or it will make the paint yellow. Let the paint dry in sunlight too (yellows in the dark) and watch out for dust.

    Also last tip. As soon as you get oil paint on fabric wash it of with soap quick! Don't let it dry up. Luckily with oils it takes longer to dry unlike acrylics but with acrylics you can scrape it of sometimes.

    I love oils and really hope you don't have to give them up. They are so great to work with if you get the right types of paints without too many chemicals but I think that'd be really hard to find with any student brand of acrylics or oils. If you want anymore tips then say. :)
  11. Hanna

    Hanna Senior Member

    Jerusalem, Israel
    I stopped to use turp because MCS. Turned to "liquin" which is a very good thinner for oil paints. It is a gel and very convenient to use. But it won't replace turp for cleaning the brushes. I use natural soap for this purpose.
  12. Allyson

    Allyson *****

    Australia, Melbourne

    there is a new kind/brand of oil paints called W oils that wash up in water and you do not use turps

    I used to be ill after my painting classes and stoped as I thought it was the turps - but acrilics do the ssame and I found out it was the OI from standing up in the class - plus sitting for the travel time - that was making me ill

    looking for a way to paint lying down now as I sta well as long as I am mainly horizontal!

    good luck

    Min likes this.

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