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The Subtle Differences of Williamsburg Whites

14 thoughts on “The Subtle Differences of Williamsburg Whites”

  1. Isn’t there a negligible difference between the amount of yellowing of different oils over time? More important that paintings aren’t kept in dark?

    Will you please make a porcelain using linseed oil no SF? I’ve wanted it for years. I would use a lot of that. I don’t want SF oil melting down the painting which happened to some modern paintings

    Why does your titanium white dry so fast!? t usually dries slower?

    Thanks for all the information. Great resource.

    • Hi Bob,
      Thank you for your comment! In our testing, samples of whites made with different oils seem to stay relatively bright white when they dry and age while exposed to light. They start settling into more noticeable yellowing when they have a period of aging in darkness. So, yes it can make a difference if the works are stored in darkness or light, and we think it can depend on how long after an oil film is dry before it goes into dark storage. It seems light is important for keeping colors from yellowing. Here is a link to our article on Dark Yellowing: https://justpaint.org/what-is-dark-yellowing/
      Here is another on the Yellowing of Oils: https://justpaint.org/on-the-yellowing-of-oils/
      As for a linseed oil-based Porcelain White, we have made that on a custom basis, but have not brought it to market. It is much warmer than the safflower based Porcelain. Feel free to email us at help@goldenpaints.com or call 800-959-6543 if you would be interested in discussing the possibility of making a custom color.
      Our Titanium White does contain drier to help it dry in a reasonable amount of time. It would certainly be a different dry rate than a titanium that does not contain drier.
      Take care,

  2. Great article and needed information regarding the whites. I recently started using Williamsburg Flake White in certain areas of my paintings. I love it. I like the way it mixes with other pigments while not dulling or changing their color. And I love the way it looks when I apply a thin coat on top of a dried pigment. and it feels so good to use – it’s smooth and creamy.

    • Hello Helen,
      Thanks for your comment. It is our pleasure! We are glad to hear the Flake White is working well for you. At some point, you might also consider trying the Porcelain White. It is almost like a cool version of the Flake White – lower tinting strength and some level of translucency.
      Enjoy and stay in touch!

  3. Have you considered making a lead and titanium mixed white?

    I pretty much only use your titanium white while mixed with one of my lead whites. (If not that, lead white by itself.)

    If you did, I’d certainly use it.

    • Hello Marc,
      Thanks for your comment. I also enjoy that combination! Unfortunately, we do not currently have plans to market a blend with Titanium and Lead. So, you may have to continue making your own mixture! We do not have any reason to believe there would be issues with using this combination as a general purpose white, and the lead may even benefit the longevity of the layers in which it is used.
      Happy painting!

  4. Does Lithopone result in a soft spongy film like pure Titanium? If not, would it work adding it to Titanium White instead of Zinc Oxide to harden the film?

    • Hello Richard,
      Great question. We do not have any data on the hardness of a lithopone film, either just as pigment and oil or in a formulation with functional solids and drier, so unfortunately cannot give you an accurate answer. The real magic that comes with blending titanium and zinc is the whiteness it provides. Though the zinc will also provide a level of hardness as you know. In the article I mentioned that Titanium White forms a soft but stable film. I removed that line after your question, because it is a little misleading. When titanium is made only with oil, it does form a soft film when it dries. That said, Williamsburg Titanium White is formulated with a small amount of calcium carbonate, barium sulfate and drier which helps the film dry to a reasonable level of hardness.
      Thanks for your comment!

    • Hello Matthew,
      We use a cobalt/manganese drier. It is used in a miniscule amounts when needed and should not present any toxic hazards when the paints are used as intended. The drier stays in the paint film and does not enter the air as vapor. If you have additional questions, we are happy to connect you to our health and safety director. Just email us at help@goldenpaints.com and we will pass you question along.


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