Dorland's Wax Medium is a select artist's painting medium compounded from a scientifically balanced formula. This formula was painstakingly evolved from an intensive review of painting techniques. Dorland's Wax Medium is especially intended for artists who desire to insure the greatest possible longevity and permanence fo their creations while at the same time preserving quality of tone and quality of conception. It contains pure fossil earth reinforced with additive waxes, resins, and oils. This translucent, colorless and permanent medium has the plasticity of tube oil colors. It mixes instantly with oil colors, powdered pigments, powdered metals, colored sands, dyes, plastic colors, and other compatible fine art materials. THe tremendous "locking up" and isolating powers allows the artist to exploit a great variety of coloring agents with complete freedom of style, technique, and control.
Dorland's Wax Medium is undoubtedly the choicest fine arts medium in its field. It's adaptabilities and technical applications are practically unlimited. It is superior as a painting medium for its translucency, compatibility and permanence. Light is allowed to penetrate the surface, and colors transmitted to our eyes take on qualities of luminosity and clarity not possible with other mediums. When mixed with artist's oils and colors, Dorland's special blend of non-yellowing fossil waxes and resins prove to actually strengthen the paint film against shrinkage and cracking. Dirt, air and moisture are sealed out. When fully dry, the artwork is resistant to heat and abrasion. because of the tremendous "locking up" and isolating powers found in Dorland's Wax Medium, there is little or no chance of muddiness of tone. Even the palette scarpings will possess intensely beautiful tonal values with surprising clarity. Wax paintings have inherent qualities of brilliance and luminosity. These valuable virtues are apparent to a marked degree in paintings executed with this medium.
Dorland's Wax Medium Instructions
The pure medium is first thoroughly mixed and blended with each individual color
(tube oil colors or pure pigments). Mix with a painting knife or spatula. This is known
as tempering. After the virgin colors are tempered by the medium, they may then be
intermixed and used in any fashion that the artist dictates. The proportions of medium
to pigment depend largely on the characteristics of the pigment and the desires of the artist.
Oil Painting: Mix 10%-25% wax medium to 90%-75% color.
Cold Wax Painting: Mix 1/3 to 1/2 wax medium by volume with oil colors, dry colors,
or desired colors. Apply at room temperature. It is fine for brush painting and excellent for
knife techniques. The translucent wax allows light to penetrate into the paint body giving
richness and vibrancy of tone. Cold wax paintings dry and cure faster than pure oil
paintings, usually in one to three months. They may be polished when dry if desired.
For a final varnish, use wax varnish only. (Wax medium thinned to liquid, see
Wax Coating Paitings.)
Hot Wax Painting: Mix 50% to 90% wax medium by volume with oil colors, dry colors,
or desired colors. Panels are usually preferred to canvas. Paint the picture cold in
knife technique and then heat it to melt and fuse the wax colors. To heat, lay the painting
level and suspend one or more heat lamps above it. Adjust the distance to keep the wax
colors melted but not hot enough to boil or bubble. Additions and changes can be made
during heating. One to six hours heating is sufficient to cure most hot wax paintings.
Always guard against fire and fumes in heating wax or paints.
Mixed Media: Wax is unlimited in this technique. Thinned washes or thick translucent
impastos of Dorland’s Wax Medium may be applied over drawn or painted artwork, or combined
with a wide variety of media; dry or dispersed pigments, metallic powders, tempera powders,
wood, etc. A Masonite panel with a painting gesso ground makes an excellent support. Canvas,
wood, aluminum panels and masonary can be used. One rule is, wax will lie over other materials
but other materials will not usually lie over wax. Use the wax for overpainting, glazing,
finishing, as a “resist,” etc. Some artists use egg yolk and wax medium mixed 50/50 as a
variant in standard egg tempera formulas.
Use only turpentine and/or poppy seed oil for thinning to desired consistency. Adding
damar or other good quality artist’s varnish will increase gloss and improve brushability.
Thin the tempered color with turpentine to glazing consistency. Additional amounts of the
pure thinned medium produce increased depth and luminosity.
Other Uses for Dorland's Wax Medium
Dorland’s Wax Medium is a museum-quality protective coating. Unexcelled for cleaning and
preserving antiques, woodcarvings, bronze, plastics, and other items worth protecting.
Wax Coating Paintings: For oils, cold and hot wax, caseins, tempera, etc., rub
wax medium over painting, brush off excess, smooth with brush (soft horsehair shoe
brushes are excellent) and let dry several days or weeks before final polishing with
a soft lint free cloth. Use directly from jar. For brushing or spraying, thin wax medium
to liquid with turpentine or mineral spirits. For more gloss, add damar or modern
water-white synthetic varnishes that are turpentine soluble.
As a Final Picture Finish: Dorland’s Wax Medium seals artwork with a clear, tough
satin finish. It will not yellow or turn brown with age like some resin picture varnishes.
Apply unthinned, brush smooth, and let dry several days if polishing is desired. Never
varnish a wax-oil painting.
Cleaning Wax Paintings: Use water or water with a mild detergent to remove dirt
and grime. (Wax paintings only. Do not use water on oil paintings.)
Frame Finishing: Use gold, silver, or other metallic powders, dry pigments, oil
colors, dyes, etc., mixed with wax medium. Rub on frame, wipe off excess, and polish.
For spray or spatter, thin to liquid.
Photo Sealing: Rub wax medium over photo, brush off excess, smooth surface with
brush, polish immediately to desired surface.
Basic Cleaning Formula: Mix 1 part Dorland’s Wax Medium to 6 parts turpentine.
Rub on with cloth or swab, wipe off, repeat as necessary. (For more “bite,” add alcohol,
diacetone, or acetone to the above formula. CAUTION: These solvents may work faster, but
are extremely flammable, toxic, and may remove paints and varnishes.)
Wax Coating Rub wax medium onto surface, brush excess out of cracks, brush smooth.
To receive full benefit, let harden several days before final polishing. For spray coating,
thin wax medium to liquid, spray on, air blast excess from crevices, let dry and harden.
Wax Polishing: Mix 1 part wax medium with 2 parts mineral spirits for a basic
polishing wax. Rub on, wipe off, and polish immediately. (Heat speeds mixing, avoid fire
danger by using a hot water bath or double boiler on an electric hot plate to warm formulas.)
Wax Stabilizing: For porous and weakened pieces, worm eaten wood, weathered and
decaying objects, repeatedly coat the surface with wax medium while using heat lamps to keep
the surface warm and aid in penetration. For increased stability, heat wax medium to liquid
and inject with hypodermic wherever possible. For hard to move garden sculpture, apply wax
medium in hot sun.