Cold Wax vs. Hot Wax

10 x 8 inches, cold wax and oils

This painting was sold at the Artery on the opening night!

Most asked question at the Artery opening was what is the difference between cold wax and hot wax.

Hot wax or encaustics is a more involved process. It uses heat to fused the layers of wax together. Layers can be consist of  any materials that the artist wants to incorporate into their piece but heat (hair dryer or blow torch) is used to bind the wax and materials to the layers. Also encaustics has its paints that needs to be heated as well.

Cold wax is want I work with. It comes in a jar and have the consistency of peanut butter. I mixed a little wax with the oil paints and then apply with a brush or spatula. No fumes, no toxics….hardly any set up. Check out this website for more samples of cold wax and oil –

So another question was asked – why would I used cold wax instead of just the typical linseed oil/mineral spirits? Well, I’m still checking that out.  I’m still experimenting. One thing is that an extra layer of cold wax can be applied on a finished painting and the buffer for a smooth finish.  Supposedly it dries faster, thus allowed layering faster. Though acrylic is still faster drying.

I’ll definitely will be painting more in cold wax, pushing the limits….

Posted in Art

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