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The role of oxygen in drying paint

Folks

The question struck me this evening. If I am able to postpone or eliminate the drying of oil paint by the elimination of oxygen, surely I could hasten the drying of my oil paintings by putting them in an oxygen tent?

If anyone (medicos, techies) has the means or equipment to try this out in a controlled experimental way Artists the world over will be grateful to get the products of their labour to market swiftly.

Denis

Julianna

Comments

  • Thanks @Bob73! Very useful info.
  • How oxygen affects flammability is hard to understand but as an example: Diesel fuel will become flammable at about 115 F in normal air (21% Oxygen) increase the oxygen content to as little as 23% and it will reduce the temperature where it will ignite to about 40 F.
    Julianna
  • SummerSummer -
    edited August 1
    People.  Just thought that I'd put a reminder in here since we're on the subject sorta:  I put my oil/solvent cloths/rags in aluminum foil the same day that I use them.  I never leave them overnight to dry out.  I squeeze out all the air, package tightly by folding the aluminum in about 8 directions.  Then, I compress the aluminum further by stepping on them until they look like cow pies.  I toss them in a small galvanized pail with a very tight fitting lid and wire handle lock.  Several times a week, I toss these in the regular trash where the aluminum is eventually recycled.  Summer
  • dencal said:
    Folks

    The question struck me this evening. If I am able to postpone or eliminate the drying of oil paint by the elimination of oxygen, surely I could hasten the drying of my oil paintings by putting them in an oxygen tent? 


    Denis  I've been trying to come up with a universal idea myself for drying oil paintings.  Haven't had the eureka moment yet.  Everything I have thought of so far is too expensive to realize.  The other thing that worries me is that the idea might make me rich and I'd have no time for my studio.  If I think of something, I'll post it on DMP and maybe someone else can run with it!  :3 Hmm.  Summer 
  • I know Mark said that every 10 degree increase in temperature halves the drying rate. Not sure what is the safest maximum temperature though!!
  • Richard_P said:
    I know Mark said that every 10 degree increase in temperature halves the drying rate. Not sure what is the safest maximum temperature though!!

    I read recently that the maximum temperature should be when you begin to feel uncomfortable.  This goes for the both the high and the low.  Hmm.  Will experiment with that.  Summer
  • Will some of the people here are in very hot climates, I'm sure it's beyond uncomfortable at times!
  • SummerSummer -
    edited August 1
    Good point!  Yes, some of our paintings are at great risk.  Certainly why we have conservators.  And, here's a thought: While we protect our paintings from the dust as they are drying, they are turning yellow from the dark--mine are anyway.  Hmm.   
    Kaustav
  • Well, that also depends on the oils used. :)
  • SummerSummer -
    edited July 31
    Yes.  Certain colors certainly.  Brands?  Hope not Geneva Fine Arts oils!  :) 
  • Well.. the white does yellow - pure titanium white with no zinc and bound in linseed oil. It should be stronger than whites in safflower oil though.
  • SummerSummer -
    edited August 1
    Well, I'm still experimenting and getting pretty discouraged by what I'm finding and reading.  We have product manufacturers selling us stuff.  Conservators telling us not to use the stuff.  And neither group knows anything for sure at this time but they will in a hundred years or so.  I'm at a crossroads here and I'm almost ready to use anything that I well please and let the conservators worry about fixing it down the road.  We have to draw the line somewhere or we will all become conservators instead of painters.  Just saying.  Summer 
  • I know exactly what you mean..!

    All painting types and materials are a choice of trade offs. A lot of PR and hype and few ideas of how well paints will last as there haven't been enough studies done. 
  • SummerSummer -
    edited August 1
    Trade offs, yes.  I try to recognize where these are.  Like being thankful that Mark chose linseed oil instead of safflower or walnut oil for his Geneva paints.  Still, with the yellowing that does occur, I have to know when to bring my paintings out of storage and into the light to reduce the yellow while making sure dust doesn't enter the paint film.  And, even later how to remove the dust that has accumulated just before varnishing (Mark explained how to do this).  All these little things keeps me asking: Is there anything more that I should be doing or know?  What knowledge about being a painter am I missing?  We sure are an uncertain lot me thinks! 
  •  @Summer For speeding up drying time, Here's my formula (untried with Geneva or oils with SDM) 2 air conditioner filters + 1 40w incandescent light bulb and fixture + 1 roll of 2" masking tape + a 10" fan + a big cardboard box. I used the shipping carton for a dishwasher which I later used for a shadow box.

    I don't have a way to give you a picture. Can you figure it out.


    You need a box big enough for a 15" space between light bulb and painting inside the box. The fan stays outside blowing into the box through an 11" square hole low on the side of the box covered by a 12X12 AC filter. The light fixture is on the floor of the box. The canvas(es) are leaned against one side or on racks (that's an optional feature) the painted side should not face the bulb directly.* There should be a door to change the bulb and remove paintings. A smaller hole for exhaust air than the low side should be cut in to the top or high side opposite the low side hole. The high side or top hole needs to be smaller by half than the bottom hole but the filters can be the same size. The kind of filter I'm talking about has a paper or cardboard frame and is 1" thick. it doesn't matter if it is bigger than 10X12 I think that's as small as you can get. 12X12 is what I use. the hole has to be smaller than the filter so you can tape it down. the wide masking tape is to hold every thing together and keep out all the dirty air. Heat from the bulb and constant air movement from the fan will turn your box into an electric dryer that works similar to a clothes dryer. I hope this is all understandable. I have no idea how long different pieces will take to dry. I built it; not to dry faster but to keep the dirt out while it dried. Everything dried quicker, acrylic, oil based enamel, oil paint on wood, latex, wax, teak oil, clear coat, varnish. 92% humidity doesn't help drying but the light bulb and fan took care of that. * if you can't get 15" space by the bulb, you need to step down to a 25 W bulb. I also recommend facing the paintings away from the light bulb for the direct heat and UVA @Dencal, @MikeDerby I figure you guys can figure this out I might need help to explain this better. Safety tip: set it up so if the fan goes off the light will too.
    SummerBoudicca
  • SummerSummer -
    edited August 1
    @BOB73 ; Thanks a lot for this.  I'm going to go over it again with my husband and get back to you.  This is what I designed several years ago and have been using it ever since.  Summer

     
  • This is perfect for what I was talking about. If you can build that you can build a dryer box out of  plywood. How does the cloth do for keeping out the dust? If your panels are face down it shouldn't be a problem being covered like that. A light under the cloth might be enough.
    Summer
  • SummerSummer -
    edited August 1
    @BOB73 ; My husband thinks we can try your idea.  And, he reminded me that I had seen him many times take furniture coated with Danish oil out into the southwestern sunshine so the heat and UV rays would harden the oil.  Do they both harden the oil???  The dust cover works and the canvasses slide in face upward.  Thanks for providing all the details.  Summer  
    BOB73
  • I put a finished painting in a cardboard box and set it in the attic.  It's touch dry in a couple weeks and then I set it out for the remainder.  In winter i set it in front of an incandescent light.  
    SummerBOB73
  • heat and free air flow do the drying. the fan ensures air flow keeps the heat from building up. the box and a/c filters and tape keep the dust and dirt out. I have a big issue with dust and pollen. if you s
  • Does drying too fast cause yellowing?

  • SummerSummer -
    edited August 1
    BOB73 said:

    Does drying too fast cause yellowing?

    I doubt it.  It's the absence of light that causes yellowing. 
    BOB73
  • I'm not at all technical.  I live in Texas.  It's hot.  I put wet paintings in an old abandoned pick-up and they usually will surface dry in a couple of days, depending on how hot it is.  No dust, no cats or other critters to mess it up.  @ Summ
    Summer
  • My ford's air-conditioner doesn't work. 96F and 88% humidity today. Maybe I could take my paintings for a drive. oh yeah, I don't have any paintings yet.
    Summer
  • What are you waiting for? :p
  • @Richard_P, I still work a 40 hr week. My house is Still a wreck (fired my contractor) all my stuff is still in storage till the work gets done. I'm sleeping in the recliner. I was in Jerry's Artarama two weeks ago and was so tempted to by a whole new set of supplies but I have no where to paint except the garage which is an oven. My daughter wrecked her car and I spend a lot of time here or the doctor's office. I was there yesterday and I'll be there all day next Monday. Life is so time consuming it is hard to find time to live.
  • Oops, sorry @Bob73 :(

    Hope things improve for you soon!!
    BOB73
  • I'm the luckiest guy alive @Richard_P, I get to come here anytime I want. the hold up with my painting is we have a lot of my studio and supplies in a storage warehouse and the room(s) that I could use to set up in are loaded  with furniture and boxes (accumulated over 50 years) except for those rooms all the hardwood  flooring that I just had put in has to be removed and the concrete slab under it has to be leveled before it can  be replaced. The (former) contractor made some electrical mistakes and the sheetrock repairs he made are cracking already. That's to name a few of dozens. Also the time constraints are worse than ever and get little to no sleep. But I like getting on at 3AM to see the latest from Denis and Rob so it's all good. Monday I go for a colonoscopy. It's getting to be that going to the doctor is my only amusement. At least that's where my entertainment budget goes. Good news is my daughter's car was fixed insurance paid all but $250 but also had to get 4 new Pirellis and an alignment. $1,026.
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