Floetrol Alternative Thin-X Test & Review

I know that depending on where you are in the world, you might not be able to get Floetrol(or the European version of Floetrol) or that it might be prohibitively expensive. So when hurricanes disrupted supplies this summer and I couldn’t get any Floetrol, I decided to try an alternative and see how it compared.

Testing DIY store alternatives to pouring medium for use with acrylic pouring and fluid acrylic paintings. Video test and review.

I found this Thin-X latex paint thinner, conditioner, and brush cleaner. I think it’s very similar to others I have seen painters using such as the XIM Latex Extender and Zinnsser Flow Control. The consistency is like water, completely different to Floetrol. There is no color, no smell, and the bottle say it is biodegrable, no odor, non-toxic, safe for septic systems etc. so that I all good news.

Mixing my paints was a bit more challenging. After spending a lot of time mixing Floetrol, I wasn’t sure how much to add. I used a ‘dollop’ of paint and then added the Thin-X a few drops at a time using a dropper. In the end, I would estimate that I added about almost as much thinner as I had added paint. It varied a lot between colors with my white paint being the thickest and needing the most thinner adding. As this is already like water, I didn’t add any extra water to my paints, just this additive.

The paints did feel a bit different. Less honey-like, less plasticky and stretchy than when using Floetrol. Their weights felt different and a couple of them bubbled quite a bit although the other two didn’t bubble at all, so it was most likely my mixing that created the bubbles.

I created 4 flip cups on 4 ceramic tiles, all with the new paint additive, plus silicone oil in each color. The colors looked the same when wet as they did when dry, because the Thin-X is colorless, unlike the Floetrol which tends to make the colors look a little lighter when wet.

Materials used in this project:
Art Alternatives Acrylic paint in titanium white and Magenta
Blick Student Acrylics in Chrome Yellow and Cobalt Blue
Thin-X Latex paint thinner from the DIY store (Try also the XIMor the Zinnsser)
Treadmill belt lubricant silicone oil
4 inch ceramic glossy tiles
2 oz mini shot glasses – super cute!

Wow, that was quite different. The results out of the flip cups didn’t have so many cells right away as when I used the Floetrol, but torching created an explosion of cells. Two were torched before tilting and the cells didn’t break apart and stretched out nice and big. The two that were torched after tilting were covered in some really nicely formed small defined cells. So it works well both ways.

Conculsion – yep, this stuff really works. I’d not hesitate to use this again. I might even try some future experiments mixing a bit of both Floetrol and the Thin-X to see the effects. Or mixing Floetrol with half the paints and Thin-X with half the paints.

Stay tuned for a future video where I will use these 4 tiles in an experiment to see if I can get good results with resin without cleaning off the silicone oil!

Here is a quick slideshow of some closeups of the tiles and the results with this product.

15 thoughts on “Floetrol Alternative Thin-X Test & Review”

  1. Nice stuff! I’d have to find out a bit more about the ingredients myself before I would trust it. As usual, you do beautiful work.

  2. Fantastic information and demonstration!
    Thank you so much!!
    This is an exciting finding!
    Will definitely give it a try!
    I live in FL and recent hurricanes have also had various affects here. My current bottle of Floetrol was one of 2 left at my DIY store, so I ordered online for in-store pickup to be sure it would be there when I arrived!
    The things we do for our beloved addiction! 🙂
    Love your videos & willingness to share!

  3. Shirley Tyldesley

    Deby, love your blog & YouTube channel & I have your ebook. I was wondering about these alternatives you’ve had to use in place of Floetrol. When I use the Floetrol, my pourings are matte after drying. Do you find that these alternatives products leave your paintings matte or are they glossy? If course, I know it depends on the paint whether or not the paint is glossy or matte to begin with. To me the matte doesn’t matter as I use Minwax polycrylic to seal, I’m just curious.

    1. Mostly I get a matte result. I have had something more glossy using the Liquitex PM or the Sargent Art Gloss Medium in place of Floetrol, but not enough for me to pay the extra money for them. The paintings still need sealing so I get my shine back using the glossy varnish instead.

  4. I love your videos and your accent. Just lovely.
    Question: I mix my paint with flotrole and add a couple of sprays of silicone, combine colors and do a dirty pour; but, for some reason get very few cells. I don’t have a torch, is that why? I see you have cells even before you torch; but, certainly a lot more after torch. Should I get a torch and what kind of torch (not too expensive). thanks in advance for your attention.

    1. It’s hard to say from the description why cells don’t form. Typically it’s more to do with getting the recipe and the paint consistency right than it is anything else. Are you in our Facebook chat group? If you come and share details there, your products, ratios, and a photo of a typical pour, the members and I can try to help you figure it out.

  5. Would you know if that’s a product available in the US?? I’ve not seen it. Those cells are lovely!?

    1. Yes, it must be because our stores here stock US products. Try the DIY stores, one of them at least must have it. But never get too concerned about using the exact same products you see someone else using. It’s always best to use what you can get and develop your recipe from there, rather than try to hunt down difficult or expensive products.

  6. Jeanine Glynn

    Dear Deby
    Thanks for your lovely programme – is thin x available in the uk please?

    1. I don’t know Jeanine. Sorry, but I’ve not been in the UK for 12 years now. You could try googling for it and see if you can find any UK suppliers or look up the manufacturer website and ask them for a UK suppliers list. Good luck.

  7. Hi Deb!
    Love your blog! So informative. Thank you!
    I am a newbie at this but love it! I noticed that after a few days of not being used, the floetrol gets a little lumpy. Is there a way to get rid of the lumps? Or is straining it the best option?

    1. Always make sure to give it a good shake before use. Then I strain from the original bottle into a separate squeezy bottle which I keep on hand to use as I mix up the paints, and once strained, it seems to be just fine. There are a couple of options for straining on the Amazon Pouring page here.

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