How To Make Liquid White If You Want To Save Money

Liquid White is a popular choice used by most oil painting enthusiasts. After being popularized by Bob Ross, Liquid White is all the craze among artists.

However, this fantastic liquid white for oil paint tends to be a tad expensive, especially for beginner-level artists.

So, if you are someone who plans on indulging in a wet-on-wet painting technique, you might benefit from a homemade Liquid White. And you need to use the right ingredients without fail to ensure that you save up on your hard-earned money. 

So, without further ado, let us check out the best and the easiest way to prepare Liquid White at home.

Make Liquid White


Magic White or Liquid White is basically a white paint pigment that features a cream-like consistency. It is also termed Fluid White by several artists. Using Liquid White involves mastering a trick that has been popular among painters for decades and centuries.

Using Magic White allows artists to blend the oil paint properly on the canvas instead of blending on the palette. 

The recipe for Liquid Clear can differ depending on the texture or blending ease you desire for your painting. It is essential to understand that Liquid White is merely a medium prepared from blending different painting materials.

However, if you wish the paint to adhere to the base coat, you must mix the paint using another medium like stand oil or linseed oil. 

Although Liquid White is mainly applied with the help of a brush, several artists find that it is easier to apply it with the help of a cloth. Regardless, you need to apply a thin coat and avoid the canvas from getting too wet. Keep in mind that it is an oil painting medium with mainly linseed oil, so use it in such a way only.

Proper Way To Make Liquid White at Home

For artists that love the wet-on-wet oil painting technique, Liquid White is an essential part of the process that makes the painting look exquisite by making the process easier.

However, the signature Liquid White by Bob Ross can be a tad expensive for new artists. So, the key is to prepare your very own Liquid White. 

Let us check out this homemade medium recipe for Liquid White.

Things You’ll Need

  • Titanium White
  • Linseed Oil or Safflower Oil
  • Palette Knife or Spatula
  • Turpentine
  • Tempered Glass

The first thing you need for the Liquid White preparation process is to get some titanium white paint that is water-soluble. An ideal choice in this context is the Winsor Newton Titanium White. However, the choice of brand is entirely upon you. The only thing you need to make sure of is to check whether the color is water-soluble or not by looking through the labels. 

Next, you need a medium to help the paint mix and obtain a creamy texture. Here, two mediums tend to work readily. The first is water-soluble linseed oil, and another is safflower oil which shares the same properties. Once you have all your ingredients in place, select a smooth surface for the mixing purpose.

Now, get a good-quality palette knife or spatula to start mixing the color pigment in linseed oil. 

You can use tempered glass as an ideal surface for mixing purposes. Generally, each artist has their requirements for Liquid White’s consistency. You can either prepare some soft peaks with a cream-like consistency or make them as firm as you like.

An ideal choice is to make it similar to egg white meringue consistency or liquid egg whites consistency. Most artists mix this recipe to a 50:50 ratio to achieve this texture. 

Once the peaks start to hold and do not fall, you can store the prepared mixture in an air-tight can or container. The best thing about this homemade Liquid White is that it isn’t as toxic as the commercially sold ones.

Another way you can create Liquid White is to add some turpentine to the mix. Turpentine helps dilute the thicker paints with ease. It will help achieve the consistency of the cream faster. 

However, with turpentine, make sure you work in a well-ventilated room as it releases toxic fumes that could be harmful. 


Liquid White tends to lighten or white out the colors painted above it. Several artists do love this effect, especially in landscape paintings. However, if you don’t need this, you might be better off skipping the use of Liquid White. 

Given its effect on the hue of colors or its white out effect, it is better to avoid using fluid white in the areas you plan on painting as a foreground. Allow the Liquid White to dry out a bit. A general goal is to let it dry for 24 hours. 

Liquid White leads to a slower drying time of the paint. So, you might have to keep your painting in a protected area for a long time to ensure a glitch-free drying process.

If you plan on using the turpentine-based formula, make sure you use a safety mask and work in a well-ventilated space.

How To Make Liquid White Without Linseed Oil

1. Making Liquid White With Olive Oil

Oils serve as a popular medium for the mixing of colors. This is why olive oil can be an excellent medium for preparing Liquid White if you do not have access to linseed oil. Artists generally prefer the use of linseed oil, given its versatility.

However, in the absence of the same, olive oil would work fine. When preparing this mix, you need to keep in mind that olive oil can be a bit on the greasy side and non-drying type.

So, the key is to use it on the lesser side instead of the 1:1 ratio that you follow with linseed oil. First, take a mixing palette and squeeze out a layer of titanium white pigment on it.

Now, start by slowly adding a few drops of olive oil to the mix. And start mixing the two and see if it forms a peak with a cream-like consistency. If it does, stop adding the oil and store the prepared mixture in an air-tight container. 

However, if your Liquid White doesn’t show any egg white peaks, you have to add more olive oil to the mix until you achieve a creamy consistency.

2. Try Using Some Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil might not be the best choice for preparing Liquid White. However, if you don’t have any other option, it would work just as fine. In addition, vegetable oil helps slow down the drying process of oil paint. So, it is perfect for artists that love to blend the colors right on the canvas itself. 

To prepare Liquid White from a vegetable oil of your choice, you need to select the right vegetable oil. Do not select the oils that are too heavy or greasy to work with. The mixing process won’t work well if you do this, and the Liquid White won’t achieve a creamy consistency. 

Some great options you can select from the list of vegetable oils available are:

  • Walnut oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Poppy Seed

However, when using walnut oil, you might have to practice caution. If you suffer from a nut allergy, you might be better off using the alternatives. An ideal choice is to use cold-pressed oils as they don’t contain any additives used for the extraction process. To start preparing the Liquid White:

  1. Mix equal parts of vegetable oil and titanium white.
  2. Mix them all and check at regular intervals if they form a peak.
  3. Stop once you achieve this fluffy egg whites consistency and store the prepared mixture in an air-tight jar.

3. Don’t Forget To Try Paint Thinner

In a regular homemade Liquid White mixture recipe, you need to use terpenoid or turpentine to thin out the titanium white color. However, terpenoid tends to have some harsh and strong odors, which might not be ideal for artists working in a closed environment without any safety masks.

So, an ideal alternative to the same is paint thinner. It mimics the properties of the terpenoid, such as the drying time. However, it doesn’t produce any strong odor. 

Start by mixing linseed oil and terpenoid in a 1:1 ratio. Next, dilute a layer of white or titanium white color using this mixture. Finally, repeat the process mentioned earlier and store it in an air-tight container once you achieve the right consistency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What Oil Can You Use To Make Liquid White?

To make liquid white, you have to dilute the titanium white color along with some linseed oil. Then, mix the two until a cream-like consistency is obtained. Some artists tend to mix linseed oil and terpenoid in equal parts to create a high-quality homemade medium.

Q: Can You Make Liquid White With Cooking Oil?

Yes, you can make Liquid White with the help of cooking oil like sunflower oil. However, with sunflower oil or safflower oil, you might see that the painting would take almost forever to dry out completely.

Q: Can I Use Olive Oil Instead Of Linseed Oil?

Olive oil is an excellent alternative to linseed oil when preparing Liquid White as a fluid base coat. It tends to tolerate heat better and is way more versatile than other oil variants for medium mixing purposes.

Q: Why Does Bob Ross Use Liquid White?

Liquid White functions as an essential part of the wet-on-wet method of oil painting used by Bob Ross. It is one of the three liquid basecoats that is important for the oil painting technique. It allows the artist to easily blend and mix the colors on a canvas instead of mixing on a palette.

Q: How Do you Make Acrylic Liquid White?

Acrylic Liquid White allows you to delay the drying process for perfectly mixable oil paints. To prepare Acrylic Liquid White, you need to mix acrylic paint (Titanium White, White, or Gesso) along with a slow drying gel medium for blending purposes.

You also need to add a blending gel that has a clear color. Mix it until it achieves a cream-like consistency. To get a thorough insight into the preparation process.

Q: What Can You Use Instead Of Liquid White?

If you don’t have Liquid White, you can prepare your very own mix. Simply mix linseed oil and diluted titanium white to achieve a cream-like consistency or one similar to a buttery paint. You can change the ratio as per your requirements to ensure it attains creamy consistency.

Final Words

Liquid White is no doubt a fantastic option for budding artists that need time to create their masterpieces. It allows them to blend the colors perfectly in the canvas when using the wet-on-wet technique. The only downside of it is the cost that can now be tackled with some homemade Liquid White.

These recipes for homemade Liquid White would work best for beginners and mimic the exact nature of commercially available Liquid White by Bob Ross.

Maria Tanish

Hello World! Tanish here, a student of Fine Arts. Drawing was my passion from an early age but I also love to do some DIY projects to spend my leisure. Even I work as a writer, to share my knowledge about the ins and outs of drawing and the art industry itself. As an artist, I always wanna share my experiences with you all.

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