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GOLDEN Retarder: Slow-Drying Additive for Acrylic Painting

14 thoughts on “GOLDEN Retarder: Slow-Drying Additive for Acrylic Painting”

  1. Good article. Here in Santa Fe NM, taking advantage of acrylic drying characteristics requires a learning period. I have found that most of the time I can use Retarder with my Golden heavy body paints to achieve what I need for my painting style. I also mist the paints a bit sometimes. For extended painting sessions and Plein Aire I do use Golden Open acrylics successfully.

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing, Eric.
      The American Southwest has such low humidity that the use of Retarder, OPEN Medium, and OPEN Paints makes a difference. And as the article discusses, the use of a water-misting bottle to keep the paints hydrated and workable is equally important. Sealing the surface of Gesso canvases and panels with a layer or two of an acrylic medium also helps with this. – Mike Townsend

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    • Hello, Franne.
      Thanks for your question. Normal acrylic mediums such as Fluid Matte Medium or Gloss Medium can extend the paints and modify the feel but they do not provide any additional working time. Glazing Liquid is different, as this product does contain Retarder. GOLDEN OPEN Medium has Retarder and other slow-drying additives that keep the Retarder from immediately following the water that evaporates out of the paint layer. OPEN Medium also has a unique binder that further increases painting times compared to just the Retarder or Glazing Liquid. – Mike Townsend

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  2. Figure 3 shows changes in drying time at various retarder levels. Last paragraph says about OPEN acrylics: „there are other slow-drying additives in their formula that holds onto Retarder, providing even more working time.“ I wonder; what if pure OPEN medium is added to Heavy Body instead of retarder? What drying times could one expect at same proportions as with retarder (7:1, 3:1 etc.)?

    Ivan

    Reply
    • Hello Ivan.
      Thanks for your questions. Retarder is a component of the OPEN Acrylic products. The OPEN formula also contains additives that slow the evaporation of the Retarder, and also contains a unique acrylic binder that responds to these additives and provides the longest working time with you using just OPEN products. That said, I would highly suggest using OPEN Medium with your Heavy Body Acrylics as you find the limitations when just using Retarder with the paints. The OPEN Medium contains an acrylic binder so that it will help maintain a stronger paint film once it’s all dry, and that means you can use as much as you want to use when you paint. This is also a great introduction to working with OPEN products without having to buy an entire set of OPEN Acrylic paints. – Mike Townsend

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    • Hello David.
      Thank you for your question. GOLDEN Glazing Liquid is a medium (contains acrylic binder), whereas Retarder is an additive. Retarder is part of the formula for Glazing Liquid, so it will take more of it to achieve the same effects as when using Retarder direct. So, you’ll add less Retarder than you would compared to Glazing Liquid. However, because Glazing Liquid contains acrylic polymers, you can add as much as you want to your paints. You can even use it neat without any paint. I like using Glazing Liquid as a “couch” or layer of clear medium, that you can blend paints wet into wet. This can really help create soft, subtle blends or vignettes while painting. – Mike Townsend

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  3. What are the health considerations for retarder. I’m asthmatic and it’s a concern using many paints but I’m careful as possible. Retarder I know really nothing except its influence on keeping acrylics longer to work with. Thank you. Rosee Ph

    Reply
    • Hello Rosee. I asked our Health & Safety Director Ben Gavett to chime in about your question. Here’s what he said: “GOLDEN Retarder is exclusively comprised of materials common to our GOLDEN Acrylic lines, so if our paint can be used by an individual without triggering asthmatic reactions, the Retarder should be fine as well”.

      – Mike Townsend

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    • Hello Helene.

      Thank you for your question. No, Retarder is an additive and wholly evaporates from the paint as it dries. Assuming you do not over-add Retarder (or other additives like water) there’s no reason to be concerned with the artwork’s longevity from using GOLDEN Retarder. – Mike Townsend

      Reply
    • Hi Walter.

      OPEN Medium will provide more working time than just Retarder, but it also takes much longer to set up and not remain sensitive to water or additional paint layers. If the time between coats isn’t critical to your painting process, then you may well find that OPEN Medium and also the OPEN Acrylics are the better paint system for you.

      – Mike Townsend

      Reply

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