If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTnews may receive an affiliate commission.

Slow down the drying time of your paint and increase the workability of your composition by mixing your oil paint with an oil-based medium. If you use oil paint, you’re probably familiar with linseed oil, a substance used to increase viscosity. Stand oil is simply a thickened version of flaxseed oil. The name of the product dates back roughly to the 17th century, when oils needed to “rest” for a period of time to allow impurities to settle. Today, the medium is a heavy oil made by heating linseed oil under vacuum for an extended period of time. The result is greatly improved color retention compared to untreated linseed oil. The process also increases paint flow and provides a hard, durable, enamel-like finish once the paint is dry. Because of these attributes, many artists prefer stand oil over refined linseed oil. Browse our selection of the best stand oil options below.

1. Winsor & Newton Flax Seed Oil Stand, 75ml

Winsor & Newton oil has a rich, low-flow consistency that improves paint workability. When dry, brush strokes are evened out and yellowing is minimized. The oil, made in the USA, can be used in conjunction with other Winsor & Newton natural oil carriers like the company’s thickened linseed oil, which works much like stand oil but dries faster and darker. The main flaw with this oil is the packaging: the cap is made to prevent leaks, but it can be tricky and frustrating to open. Available in 75, 200 and 500 milliliter bottles and 1 liter cans.

To buy:
Winsor & Newton Flax Seed Oil Stand, 75ml


2. Old Holland stand oil, 100 ml

Old Holland borrows from recipes from Dutch masters like Vermeer but introduces contemporary technology to eliminate inconsistencies and speed up the production process. The company doesn’t share details of the process it uses to create its stand oil, but it does say it starts with alkali-refined linseed oil. What is certain is the result: a medium with a thick, honeyed consistency that mixes well with paint or pigments and dries to a strong, glossy sheen. Available in a 100 milliliter bottle.

The Best Carrier Oils for Oil

To buy:
Stand oil Old Holland, 100 ml


3. Lukas Stand Linseed Oil, 125ml

While paint thinners speed up drying times, oils that add body do the opposite. This is perfect for alla prima painting. This medium quality oil not only prolongs the life of your oil paints, but can also be used to increase the translucency of their colors. 125 milliliter bottles and 1 liter cans available.

The Best Carrier Oils for Oil

To buy:
Lukas Stand Linseed Oil, 125ml


4. Daniel Smith Oil Stand, 236ml

If you rarely use retarding mediums or are looking to experiment, this affordable oil comes in an 8-ounce (236 milliliter) bottle with an easy-pour cap. You only need a small amount of this solution at a time; just one drop will increase shine, minimize visible brush strokes and extend drying time.

The Best Carrier Oils for Oil

To buy:
Daniel Smith Oil Stand, 236ml


5. 3M Gamblin Carrier Oil, 236ml

Gamblin’s stand oil is less viscous than others, not because it is of lesser quality, but because it was intentionally heated for a shorter time. Therefore, you may need less solvent, which some believe is unhealthy to breathe in, when mixing your paints. Note that this oil, produced from North American flaxseeds and priced similarly to the Daniel Smith product, is still quite viscous compared to refined flaxseed oil. It will thicken your paint and limit yellowing when drying. Available in 8 ounce (236 milliliter) bottles.

The Best Carrier Oils for Oil

To buy:
3M Gamblin Stand Oil, 236ml



Poetry on canvas: Sudanese artist Rashid Diab discusses the inspiration behind his work


Paris Hilton and baby sister Nicky make the perfect pastel pair at Gitano restaurant

Check Also