MSA Gel (Mineral Spirits)

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MSA GEL (Custom Product #3300)

GOLDEN MSA Gel is based on a Mineral Spirit Acrylic resin system. It dries to a semi-rigid film with limited flexibility, having excellent dust and mar resistance, along with exceptional exterior durability.


Blending MSA Gel with GOLDEN MSA Varnish and pigments will yield a mineral spirit based paint system. The more MSA Varnish is added, the better the leveling abilities of the paint.

MSA Gel can also be blended with linseed-based oil paints to decrease the drying time (see directions).


Mixing Directions

MSA Gel can be blended with MSA Conservation Paints at any ratio.

When mixing with linseed-based oil paints, limit the mixing ratios to either:

75% or more MSA Gel to Oil Paint


75% or more Oil Paint to MSA Gel

These ratios give the safest regions where proper film formation should occur. Other ratios may result in crack formation, particularly in thick applications. Resulting mixture can be thinned with our MSA Solvent or artists' grade turpentine.

Never thin or extend MSA Gel and oil paint mixture with MSA Varnish as the UVLS system can inhibit drying and cause a permanent tacky, soft film.


MSA Gel can be thinned with full strength commercial mineral spirits ( i. e. : paint thinner, or white spirits ). as needed. Do not use "odorless" or "low odor" solvents. Excessive thinning (>20%) may result in a weak film. It is recommended that MSA Gel be mixed with GOLDEN MSA Varnishes to achieve a thinner consistency with no loss in film formation abilities.

While turpentine that is specifically labeled as distilled or rectified is also a potential choice it is a more aggressive, ~hotter" solvent and so presents additional health concerns and a greater chance of reactivating previously applied layers of MSA Gel or MSA Varnish. Because of these reasons we tend to not make this one of our top recommendations for thinning.

For additional information please see our Application Sheet for Solvent Compatibility for MSA Varnish.

Removal Directions

GOLDEN MSA Gel is resoluble in such solvents as full strength commercial mineral spirits, rectified or distilled turpentine, acetone, benzene, toluene, naphtha and some alcohols and esters. However, many of these solvents can damage underlying acrylic paint, and are not recommended for removing varnish from paintings.

The solvent of choice should be full strength commercial mineral spirits or rectified or distilled turpentine. Odorless and low odor solvents are generally not strong enough. Before embarking on a varnish removal mission, carefully consider the materials that are to be used, and how to do so in a safe, controlled manner. MSA Gel removal requires the use of strong solvents, thus requiring proper personal protective equipment. Such equipment includes, but is not restricted to, an appropriate respirator with a Gas and Vapor Filter impervious gloves and aprons, and chemical splash goggles or face shield. Careful inspection of the labels on the solvents to be used should aid in determining your safety needs. Also, work in an area with adequate ventilation and guard against ignition sources and high temperatures, which could cause vapors to ignite.

First, test the solvent on a small area of the painting, or preferably on a test piece, to determine its effectiveness at dissolving the varnish. Another quick check may be made by mixing the solvent into the wet gel. A good procedure for removing the MSA Gel is to start with a soft, low lint cloth (50/50 cotton/polyester T-shirt material works well).

Saturate this cloth in solvent and lay over an area of the MSA surface. If possible, work with the painting in a horizontal position, on a table or floor. If the work must be done vertically, as on a wall, a method would have to be devised for keeping the saturated cloth in contact with the surface. In either case, to minimize solvent evaporation, use a plastic sheet to blanket the saturated cloth.

Work in areas no larger than 2 feet per application. Larger areas tend to become cumbersome and make thorough MSA removal difficult. Allow the saturated cloth to lie on the painting for 5-10 minutes, then remove the cloth and use a clean solvent-dampened cloth to gently pat the surface to remove the MSA. Excessive force may damage the paint layers below the varnish. Repeat this process until the entire painting surface has been treated.

After a single treatment over the complete surface of the painting, some residual varnish may remain. This may be indicated by an extremely tacky or gummy surface. Repeat the procedure, and continue doing so until the varnish has been sufficiently removed. Proceeding with more solvent exposure may result in some swelling of the paint layer.

Clean Up

The solvent soaked cloth and leftover solvent should be handled and disposed of carefully. Never pour solvent down the drain. Small quantities can be allowed to evaporate. Larger quantities can be saved for reuse or treated as hazardous waste. The cloth should be allowed to completely dry in a well-ventilated area before disposal or putting into storage for another use.


The above information is based on research and testing done by Golden Artist Colors, Inc., and is provided as a basis for understanding the potential uses of the products mentioned. Due to the numerous variables in methods, materials and conditions of producing art, Golden Artist Colors, Inc. cannot be sure the product will be right for you. Therefore, we urge product users to test each application to ensure all individual project requirements are met. While we believe the above information is accurate, WE MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, and we shall in no event be liable for any damages (indirect, consequential, or otherwise) that may occur as a result of a product application.