Artists' White Spirit


Economical all purpose solvent suitable for artistic use. Completely anhydrous, or water-free.

Ideal for cleaning brushes as it has a strong detergent action. Has distinctive petroleum odour.


Refined distillate of petroleum.

Product Application

Langridge Artists’ White Spirit may be added to oil colours, drying oils and compatible oil mediums in small quantities, used to dissolve and dilute artists’ synthetic varnish and used to clean brushes and painting equipment.

Although not recommended, it can be used as to dilute small quantities of oil colours to add extra fluidity. 

Extreme care should be taken, however, in diluting purely with Artists’ White Spirit as its over-use can easily 

underbind paint and lead to a dull, dry lifeless film with potential for dusting or flaking off.

Artists wishing to create very fluid working qualities should refer to painting mediums constructed for that purpose.

If wishing to home manufacture an artists’ synthetic varnish (Paraloid B67MT, Laropal K80, etc.) or using a varnish or a medium with a synthetic resin content Artists’ White Spirit should be used when wishing to dilute or remove. Artists’ synthetic resins are only fully dissolved in petroleum distillates.

Damar resin is only fully dissolved in Gum Turpentine, petroleum distillates only partially dissolve natural resins such as damar and prevent full hardening of the resin film.

Artists’ White Spirit has particularly good detergent action making it a highly useful all purpose solvent from  the cleaning of artists’ equipment to removal of surface dirt from paint films (Langridge does not recommend thorough cleaning, including varnish removal, of artworks except by a trained conservator).

For cleaning brushes Langridge recommends the use of brush cleaning units or containers which have an airtight lid. Reducing exposure to solvent fumes is to advised at all times as well as preventing evaporation of solvent in the container.

Artists’ White Spirit leaves no residue after evaporation.

Additional Product Information

Concerns about solvents 

If concerned about contact with Artists’ White Spirit then Langridge Low Toxic Solvent, can be used.

Damar resin cannot be dissolved in Langridge Low Toxic Solvent or any petrolleum distillate.

Using solvents to matte paint 

Artists wishing to have a painting with a matte reflective quality should use a matte medium added to their paints or apply a matt picture varnish once the painting is finished.

The use of solvents to matte paint is not recommended because the matte effect seen is due to the partial destruction of the paint film, leaving an unstable, underbound paint surface liable to crack or dust/flake.

Working Properties


Langridge Artists’ White Spirit is a clear and transparent liquid with characteristic petrolleum odour.

Clean Up

For further washing apply a small quantity of Marseille or other pure olive oil soap and massage the bristles of the brush to release any remaining White Spirit. Wash thoroughly in warm water. Leave to fully dry before using for oil colours.

Evaporation Times

10ml in 55mm wide open cup at 20o centigrade ambient temperature full evaporation after 2 hours.

Any airflow over the surface will evaporate the solvent more rapidly.

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