Cold Pressed Safflower Oil


Natural drying oil used as a traditional binder for grinding oil colours. 

Has increased wetting power and imparts flexibility to paint films. 

Made by crushing the safflower seed under great pressure, Low yield of oil from the seed using this extraction method. Safflower, like all artists’ drying oils, harden by absorbing oxygen. As it oxidises, it also polymerizes at a molecular level being changed into a non-reversable film.


Safflower Oil. Extracted from Safflower seed 

(Carthamus tinctorus) using cold pressing method.

Product Application

Langridge Cold Pressed Safflower Oil may be used for the grinding of oil colours. It may also be added to oil colours and oil mediums at the discretion of the artist.

Safflower oil is used extensively for grinding pale pigments because of its’ very light colour that will alter minimally the colour of the resulting milled oil paint. It is considered, alongside poppy, to be the most desirable drying oil for making white, blue and other pale coloured oil paints. Paint films using safflower oil have very minimal yellowing with age. For more information on the grinding of oil colours.

As a medium, Langridge Cold Pressed Safflower Oil adds a loose, slippery quality when added to oil colours. Safflower oil however, does not dry to as tough a final film as linseed and the use of safflower should be kept to a minimum as a medium to aid fluidity or transparency. Use sparingly, and if wishing to employ glazes or washes Langridge recommends the use of Stand Oil, a virtually non-yellowing oil which dries to a tougher, more resilient film than safflower, as the basis for painting mediums.

Cold Pressed Safflower Oil is very slow drying. The paint film will stay open and is easily moved or reworked for up to 72 hours, the surface of the paint film staying wet for up to a week. 

This can be problematic in severely slowing down the painting process. Cobalt driers may be introduced to accelerate drying rates, but the potential for increasing the yellowing of the paint film when driers are incorrectly added should be noted.

Langridge Cold Pressed Safflower Oil should be considered a slow drying ‘fat’ medium. It should not to be used for underpainting if oil colours with no additional safflower oil is to be applied on top.

Dries to a gloss finish.

Additional Product Information

Altering the drying rate of existing paints and mediums.

Added in relatively small quantities (5% approx. replacement of paint, 10-20% replacement of medium), safflower oil can be utilised to slow down the drying rate of oil paints and mediums.

As noted earlier, safflower oil does not dry to as tough a film as linseed, but if mixed in sufficiently small amounts with linseed or stand oil based mediums, these problems can be obviated.


For best results thin with Distilled Gum Turpentine. However, Artists White Spirit or Langridge Low Toxic Solvent may be substituted. The use of the latter solvents will tend to reduce the fatness of stroke and the oil film will dry with less richness due to the partial destruction of the paint film.


Langridge Cold Pressed Safflower Oil is a very pale straw colour liquid with characteristic oil odour.

The colour of the oil will not effect the oil colours with which it is mixed.

Clean Up

Clean brushes with any artists’ solvent (eg Gum Turpentine, Odourless Solvent, etc.).

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 colour. Wash thoroughly in warm water. Leave to fully dry before using for oil colours.

Drying Times

48-72 hours to touch dry. 

Full film drying 3-6 months

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