Walnut oil keep?

How long does walnut oil keep?  Do you keep it in a fridge?  


  • GTO

    About a year if protected from light, heat and oxygen. But that is for food use, a slight taste of rancidity will not deteriorate its art benefits. A fridge will assist in slowing the oxidation. Keeping air out of a well sealed bottle is important.

    The addition of clove oil (2%) is an antioxidant preservative for the walnut oil.

    A new bottle is only a few dollars in the supermarket and I have no problem buying a new supply every year.


  •  @dencal do you buy artists grade or just what’s at a grocery store?
  • GTO

    A new bottle is only a few dollars in the supermarket and I have no problem buying a new supply every year.

  • I heard that food grade walnut oil has drying inhibitors so we are not supposed to use it for art. Is that correct?

  • Trytopaint

    Many of the reasonably priced walnut oil brands claim to be free of additives and 100% organic.
    Shop around to find the good stuff. Look for expeller pressed or cold pressed.


  • I get mine from a health food store for about $15 a bottle. It's said to be cold pressed with no additives. I use it as a brush dip and as a medium because my body doesn't like solvents any more than my brushes. It dries just fine. I don't even refrigerate it. In a sealed bottle it won't go off or dry. It needs oxygen for that.  :)
  • I found it went rancid very quickly after only a month or two, and it gave my painting studio a really bad smell coming off the drying painting. I have switched to safflower oil and it’s much better. I wish I’d heard of the clove oil trick dencal mentioned above. 
  • Walnut oil used to dry like varnish, and we would use it on wooden bowls and other food items.  They started to add vitamin E to it, and it became impossible at the time, to get it without in my area.  Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant, so guess what happened.

    I had a 1 liter bottle of walnut oil sitting around for years. No problems.

    If your climate or supply is giving you trouble, here is my little trick.  I top off the bottle with bloxygen (also sold in wine stores), or if you have it, argon from the welder.  That blocks oxygen, and forms a blivet over the oil.  Helps a lot.  if you buy the bloxygen, it is pretty expensive, so you do not want to pour it off with every use (it is heavier than air).  So I drill a 3mm hole in the lid and insert a PD-Dose syringe.  Then when I want some oil I upend the bottle as in the movies when they are preparing a hypodermic, and I pull out what I want.  You right the bottle before you remove the syringe, and you never loose any bloxygen.  You can use bloxygen to preserve your palette, but it does get a lot more involved.

    Pd Dose syringes are also sold as O-ring feeding syringes, and they are essential because they keep working almost indefinitely,
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