Fine Art & Craft Materials to Inspire You

Each type of paint has its own range of mediums which can be mixed with the paint to enable you to achieve different effects. There is a confusing array to choose from so we'd advise you to ask in shop for more detailed information.

We also have a selection of primers to prepare the surface for painting with oil or acrylic paint, and varnishes to protect and enhance your finished work.

Mediums for Oil Paints

There is an enormous variety of products available so all we can do here is outline the most popular. Please ask in the shop for more information; you might find that the only way to find the medium that suits you best is by trial and error.

  • Diluents / Solvents - These dilute the paint and clean brushes and equipment.

    • Turpentine - Good for creating a thin quick- drying wash in the early stages of a painting.

    • Low Odour Thinner / Sansador - A low odour alternative to turps.

  • Oils

    • Linseed Oil - There are many types but in general, they are used to reduce the consistency of oil paint, increase the transparency, gloss, flow and accelerate drying time. Inclined to yellow with age so not advised for use with whites and pale colours.

    • Poppy Oils - Similar to Linseed but less inclined to yellow so good for whites and pale colours.

    • Light Drying Oil - Accelerates drying time, gives a harder finish to poppy and linseed, but darkens with age.

  • Oil / Solvent Mixes

    • Painting Medium - An all purpose mix of linseed oil, white spirit and spike lavender oil. Dries to a tough elastic film.

    • Alkyd Medium - Reduces drying by as much as 50%

    • Liquin - Improves the flow for smooth brushwork and increased transparency, with virtually no yellowing.

  • Miscellaneous Mediums

    • Japan / Writers' Gold Size - As well as using to apply metal leaf, this can be mixed with oil paint to accelerate drying time.

    • Artists' Picture Cleaner - For cleaning soiled oil paintings

    • Block Printing Medium - See Printmaking .

Mediums for Acrylic Paints

As with the oil painting mediums the choice can be frustrating for the beginner so please ask in the shop for more detailed information.

  • Impasto Gel - Matt and Gloss - Extends drying time, increases coverage, retains brush marks.

  • Glaze Medium - Matt and Gloss - Increases flow and transparency, extends drying time.

  • Slow Drying Gel - Extends the drying time

  • Pearlescent Tinting Medium - Gives a shimmering, pearlescent lustre when mixed with pure acrylic colour. Used alone it dries to an off-white pinkish pearlised colour.  

  • Texture Paste - A thick paste used to build up layers of texture.

  • Flow Enhancer - To reduce viscosity and enhance the flow. Good for large areas or flat colour.

  • Screen Printing and Textile Mediums - See Printmaking .

Mediums for Watercolour

  • Gum Arabic - Increases the gloss and transparency.

  • Ox Gall Solution - A wetting agent which will improve the flow of the paint.

  • Granulation Medium - Gives a mottled or granular appearance.

  • Iridescent Medium - Gives a pearlescent or glitter effect.

  • Masking Fluid - Forms a fast drying water-resistant film, easily removable by gentle rubbing. Enables you to produce striking white highlights and many other interesting effects. Best applied by ruling pen, mapping pen, brush or sponge. 'Masque Pen' also available. 

Primers for Oil and Acrylic Paints

Gesso primers are used to seal semi-absorbent surfaces prior to painting. They dry with a slight tooth but, if required, can be sanded between coats for a glass-smooth finish.

  • Daler Rowney Artist's Acrylic Gesso Primer - White or black, ready to apply. Suitable for use with oil or acrylic paint, either interior or exterior. The white can be tinted with acrylic paint.

  • Daler Rowney Graduate & Simply Primer - Thinner versions of the Artist's Primer.

  • Gesso Powder and Rabbit Skin Size - For the traditionalist. Suitable for oil and tempera.


  • Varnish for Oil and Acrylic Paints - We have a good range of matt, gloss, spray and brush-on varnishes which are suitable for oils and acrylics. They will give your work a good level of protection but can be removed without damaging the paint.

  • Varnish for Watercolour - Liquid gloss varnish for poster colour, gouache and watercolour.

  • Miscellaneous Varnishes

    • Decoupage Medium (Craft Seal) - Clear gloss medium with adhesive properties for papier maché, collage etc, or as a final water resistant finish for all manner of craft work. Not removable.

    • Loxley Spray Varnish- In matt, satin or gloss. Very fast drying to a water resistant finish. Can be used for all sorts of craft and art work. Not removable.

    • Sculpey Varnish - Liquid acrylic varnish developed for polymer clay but suitable for many crafts projects.

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