One of our members submitted a great question about the use of paint thinners. She was interested in not using solvents to clean and didn’t know that the original paints from Bill Alexander needed turps to clean.
The fact is, Alexander oil paints never needed turps or solvents to clean brushes. The paint today is the same Bill used on his television show over thirty years ago.
In Bill’s day, cleaning with thinners was the traditional practice. Bill wasn’t crazy about using thinners, though. We have a video clip of Bill talking about looking for an alternative to thinners. He just couldn’t find one that would work as fast as paint thinner.
Bill used odorless thinner in his studio – we know that. Had he known about vegetable oil, soap, and water he probably still wouldn’t have used it on his television show.
Another big concern back in those days was worrying about using water to clean brushes. If the brush is not completely dry, it will splay at the ends – kind of like hair when it gets wet. As hair (and brush bristles dry) it/they return to their regular shape.
Today we know better. We can paint safer and with no risk to our health. When we know better, we do better.