2018 Williamsburg Handmade Oils: New Data on Zinc Oxide

April 03, 2018

2018 Williamsburg Handmade Oils: New Data on Zinc Oxide

​The use of Zinc Oxide in oils has received heightened attention over the last few years regarding its potential to cause embrittlement and cleaving in oil paint films.  These issues do not extend to water-based paints, such as acrylics or watercolors.  After careful study over several years, Golden Artist Colors has concluded that artists should be informed about these risks, and should weigh the risks against the benefits.  Starting in February 2018, GOLDEN is removing all but two Zinc Oxide colors from its Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors product line, and launching a multi-pronged approach to help artists make informed decisions about the use of Zinc Oxide in their artwork.

First, GOLDEN is removing Zinc Oxide from all color blends that contain it (12 in all) where the company believes the risks presented by Zinc Oxide outweigh the benefits.  In these blends, the Zinc has already been reduced to relatively low levels, and these blends can be reformulated with Titanium Dioxide to match the originals very closely.  Colors affected are Brilliant Yellow Pale, Canton Rose, Jaune Brilliant, King’s Blue, Montserrat Orange, Naples Yellow, Naples Yellow Reddish, Persian Rose, Provence Violet Bluish, Provence Violet Reddish, Sevres Blue, and Turquoise.

Zinc free reformulations ship on all orders starting February 12, 2018.  Zinc free reformulated sets ship on all orders starting February 28, 2018.  In Williamsburg Basic Painting Sets I & II, Titanium White replaces Titanium-Zinc White on all orders starting February 28, 2018.

Next, GOLDEN is discontinuing all sizes of the following colors, which contain Zinc Oxide: Silver White, Zinc Buff (new replacement is Titan Buff), Zinc Buff Yellow, Safflower Silver White, and Safflower Titanium-Zinc White. 

In the end, the Williamsburg Oils brand will maintain only two Zinc Oxide colors, Titanium Zinc White and Zinc White, as no viable alternative with similar performance is available.  However, these colors will only be available in 150 ml and larger sizes that allow for a clear warning label to inform artists of the risks. 

If interested in learning more in depth information about the research surrounding Zinc Oxide and the formulation change for Williamsburg Oils, please visit www.justpaint.org as well as www.williamsburgoils.com.  All technical questions should be directed to GOLDEN Material & Application Specialists at 800-959-6543 or at help@goldenpaints.com

2018 Williamsburg Handmade Oils: New Data on Zinc Oxide