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.
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.
After being told in high school that she was so bad at art that she should switch to another subject, Deby didn’t paint again for 35 years. Then a stroke released a new wave of creativity and she began exploring with dot painting, abstract and eventually acrylic pouring, and at last the joy of working with color returned. You don’t need ‘talent’ to be an acrylic pouring artist – just enthusiasm, some basic instruction, and a willingness to try, fail and try again. Paint along with her and learn from her many mistakes, and you’ll soon make great art together.