You may have noticed while perusing the shelves of paint in our stores that there are several different types of white paint available. Oil paints tend to have the widest range of white paints available so that is what we will focus on in this blog post. While Titanium White may be the most popular, there are many other whites to choose from – in order to help you find the right white for you we’ve put together a list of the basics.
– Titanium White
It is the whitest and most opaque white, and has a soft consistency and good covering power. It is the most commonly-used white paint and can be used for most purposes. It mixes well with most other colours, although transparent colours will become much more opaque. Although the drying time is slow, it is flexible when dry which means it is less likely to crack.
– Zinc White
It is a cool, semi-opaque white making it a good choice to use when mixing subtle tints and for glazing. Can be used to successfully lighten transparent colours without losing their transparency too much. It is also useful when painting over sketch lines as it allows the artist to see through the paint to their work underneath. Its consistency is quite stiff with a slow drying time, and when dry it can be fairly brittle so should be used in small quantities.
– Flake White
Traditional Flake White oil paint contains lead and is therefore toxic, so artists should work with care when using this paint. The positive properties of the paint are its strong opacity, durability, flexibility and fast drying time. It has a stiff consistency and a warmer tone compared to other whites. When mixed with other colours it maintains pure, clean tints.
– Flake White Hue
The pigment base for this paint is titanium as opposed to lead which makes it a much safer paint to work with. Like traditional Flake White it was a lower tinting strength and a fast trying time.
– (Soft) Mixing White
A cool white that is similar to Titanium White but with a much softer consistency and a lower tinting strength. Great for mixing precise pale tints.
– Transparent White
Very similar to mixing white, it is a Titanium-based white with a high transparency and low tinting strength. A good white to use for creating pale white glazes.
– Underpainting White
A very stable and opaque white that is excellent to use for underpainting and work in the early stages of a painting. It has been specially formulated to resist cracking and shrinking. The drying time is fast which allows artists to move onto the next layers of their artwork more quickly.