The Ultimate Liquin Vs Linseed Oil Comparison!

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After publishing a number of different articles going over popular oil paint mediums recently, we have noticed a spike in people reaching out for a direct liquin vs linseed oil comparison. Due to both liquin and linseed oil being very popular oil paint mediums all around the globe, we have decided to publish this article to try and help our readers understand when they should be going with one medium over the other.

Now, before we go any further, we just want to say that for many of our readers who are beginners in the oil painting space, you should be fine with either liquin or linseed oil for your oil paintings. They are both great options that should easily be able to meet the needs of most beginners with ease.

It is when you get to an intermediate or professional level with your oil paints that the differences between the two becoming important. That is what we will be covering throughout the article below to try and help you understand when you should be using liquin and when you should be using linseed oil.

Liquin Vs Linseed Oil

To be clear, we are specifically talking about a high-quality liquin product as well as a a high-quality refined linseed oil product for this article. Liquin is of a similar quality no matter the product but there really is sweeping differences between raw, burnt, and refined linseed oil as well as from brand to brand so keep that in mind.

Linseed oil is by far the most popular oil painting medium all around the globe due to its low price tag, great performance, ease of use, and great reputation. The majority of beginners tend to go with linseed oil right off the bad due to it being cheaper but it also has a relatively fast drying time.

Liquin can tend to be a little more expensive than linseed oil as well as having a longer dry time but for outer coats, it does tend to offer a better finish. Liquin does tend to be a more specialist medium though where as linseed oil can be used in almost all use cases with your oil paint scoring it more points over liquin.

The Advantages Of Liquin!

Although liquin is not as popular as linseed oil, it is still one of the top three most popular oil paint mediums and for good reason. As we touched on above, liquin does tend to be a better medium to do for with your outer layers on your oil paintings as it tends to have a better natural surface to it once dry when compared to linseed oil.

Although a high-quality liquin product can technically be used for all layers of your oil painting, it does tend to take between five and seven days to dry fully so it is less than ideal for base layers. The majority of people tend to want their base layers to dry as fast as possible so they can start to build up their other layers so a medium such as distilled turpentine tends to be a more popular option than liquin for base layers.

Although many people incorrectly think that liquin is a non-toxic paint medium, this is not accurate and liquin is toxic with it clearly being labelled on the bottle of liquin products. Due to this, you should always use it in a location that is well ventilated. We have a dedicated article online going over how to use liquin for oil painting that may be worth reading if you are looking to use liquin for your oil paintings.

The Advantages Of Linseed Oil!

Provided you go with a a high-quality linseed oil and not a raw or burnt linseed oil product, you really can get a ton of usage out of your linseed oil with your oil paints. It is a much better jack of all trades than liquin due to it having a much faster drying time that can dry in less than two days in most situations.

Although linseed oil does tend to have a slightly duller texture than liquin, the majority of beginners usually won’t care due to being able to keep their costs as low as possible. Although you are able to use linseed oil as a hybrid medium by mixing it with other mediums in different ratios to get slightly different effects but we usually don’t recommend our readers try this if they are beginners.

The versatility of linseed oil does score it a ton of points over pretty much every other potential option though. We go into much more detail in our article on using linseed oil for oil painting though that is definitely worth reading due to so many people choosing to use linseed oil with their paints.

Should You Go With Liquin Or Linseed Oil?

If you are a beginner or are on a tight budget then we would recommend that you consider going with linseed oil over liquin. It tends to be cheaper and you can use it in a wider range of use cases and get solid results. The shorter drying time of linseed oil helps to score it points over liquin too allowing you to build up your layers in your oil painting quicker.

If you are an intermediate or professional oil painter or have a higher budget available for your equipment then liquin is an excellent medium to have in your collection though. The majority of more experiences oil painters tend to carry linseed oil, turpentine, and liquin as well as a few less common mediums.

Taking that approach ensures that you have everything you need for all layers of your oil painting while getting a great finish no matter the layer you are working on. If you do have the budget available then this is definitely the route that we would recommend you take to help ensure you are prepared for all eventualities.

What To Use Your Liquin Or Linseed Oil With?

Both liquin and linseed oil perform at a very similar level with the majority of things that most oil painters will be looking to use with their medium. Although most people just use a tube of oil paint, especially if they are beginners, you are able to open it up by using any of the following pigment options:-

Although many beginners do tend to try and put off integrating pigment into their oil paintings, the quicker you start the process the better. It is quick and easy to mix any of the pigment options with your liquin or linseed oil with the majority of people being able to do it with ease.

The main tip we can share is to add your pigment to your liquin or linseed oil in small amounts and mix it thoroughly after each stage. This allows you to build up the color of your homemade oil paint in your medium without going too dark right off the bat. A common mistake that we see time and time again is that people add far too much pigment instantly and end up with their color being way too dark with it being hard to lighten.

Other Popular Mediums

As with most things in arts and crafts, you can use more mediums than just linseed oil and liquin with other options offering some solid advantages. We go into much more detail on the other popular mediums in our article on our ultimate guide to oil painting mediums that may be worth reading if you are looking to take your oil painting seriously.

Although you have some great options outside of linseed oil and liquin oil, we usually recommend that you stick to one of the following five mediums:-

There are other options out there but the majority of them tend to underperform when comapired to the five above with liquin and linseed oil added to them. We tend to recommend that our readers avoid the other mediums due to them being poor options and often over priced.


That brings our article going over our liquin vs linseed oil comparison article. We hope that we have been able to help you and in our opinion, the majority of our readers who are beginners should be going with linseed oil. As your skill set progresses you can look towards using liquin in addition to other mediums for different layers on your oil painting to help ensure that you get the best possible results.