20 Oil Painting Supplies List: Essential Items For Everyone

What is it that sets a painting apart?

The realistic look.

Some of the most famous paintings date back hundreds of years, yet they still look the exact same!

Well, that’s the beauty of oil painting for you!

Oil painting is more flexible than acrylic or water because of its slow drying time and luminous qualities. You can fix mistakes as long as the painting isn’t completely dry and make it look exactly like your imagination!

You can explore your creative side by oil painting.

This article contains a list of oil-painting supplies. It reveals what you need to get started, and what you can do without.

​20 Oil Painting Supplies

Essential Painting Supplies

These three essential elements are vital for every painter. We recommend trying different brands before you settle for one brand if your first attempt at painting.

1. Oil Paint

The obvious choice!

But you must choose the right color for you! Start with basic shades such Ivory Black or Titanium White.

Tip: To find the right brand for you, start with a small starter pack.

2. Brush

Oh! Brushes.

If you want to take this art seriously, you will need a lot of brushes! There are many types of brushes.

To cover the large background image, you will need a large bristled brush and a medium-sized fanbrush with sharp edges. Smaller round brushes are ideal for finer details. It helps to know a little bit about the uses of watercolor brush pens, you can get creative and make your art look a little more stylish, as we’ve done on our another post.

Tip: Start with some basic, affordable brushes in different sizes if you have a limited budget. Gradually increase your collection.

3. Painting Surface/Canvas

There are 2 options available in this department: Cardboard Canvas.

Cardboards can be stored in a smaller space and are therefore very economical. They can bend and cause damage to drawings if you apply too much pressure.

Because they preserve your painting, stretched canvas panels are better suited for this purpose.

Tip: Don’t have any option other than paper? To prevent the surface from rotting, apply a sealant before you paint!

Oil painting supplies for beginners

We don’t want the newbies to feel left out in our article!

Here are some things you can buy before you start shopping!

4. Palette

A palette is basically a surface to do the mixing work. You can make the palette out of many different materials like glass, ceramics, plastic, wood, etc.

It’s not easy to clean up a mixing palette afterward. That’s why many artists opt for a glass palette or butcher palette for ease of use. For this purpose, you can also use a disposable palette made of paper.

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Tip: You can use the paint leftovers later by purchasing an airtight palette. It will keep the paint from drying out and make it easy to transport.

5. Linseed Oil/Oil Medium

Do you want to extend your paints’ shelf life?

Linseed oil This is the way to go!

Linseed oil and any other oil medium can be used to dilute the paint, without altering the original texture. It allows the color to blend more naturally and gives the painting a smooth flow around the canvas.

Tip: Don’t go overbroad with this element! You can just dip your brush into the medium before you begin mixing different colors together.

6. Varnish

If you want to create realistic pictures, then you will need to varnish your drawings. Varnishing enhances the vibrancy of an object and provides protection from its surroundings.

Before you apply varnish to the canvas, however, ensure that it is completely dry.

Tip: Oil paints that are quick-drying will speed up the process.

7. Varnish Brush

A varnish brush is an essential tool in oil painting.

A varnish brush is essentially a soft brush with uniform, thin hairs. The brush makes it simple to apply varnish to your painting. It helps you achieve a smoother and more even look than you would’ve gotten otherwise.

Tip: Avoid brushes that have too many bristles and are too stiff. Brushes with a width of 2 to 4 inches are best if you are working on large images.

8. Palette Knife

You want to paint beautiful textures on your canvas, just like professional artists.

To achieve this effect, you will need a set palette knives!

Oil is a sticky substance that can get smeared with bristles and brushes when you mix paints. A palette knife, however, is great for mixing colors.

You can even apply paint on the canvas with one of these bad boys and create an amazing effect that wouldn’t be possible to achieve with brushes.

Tip: Instead of making a single purchase, purchase a complete set that includes palette knives of different shapes.

Professional Painting Tools

Have you got everything on the list?

Stock up on the pro collections now!

9. Pencil

It’s hard to skip on pencils when it comes to drawing!

Some artists like to draw directly on the surface of the paper to give their drawings a slightly different texture. Others use it to outline the subject and give it a final stroke. A pencil is a great addition to your oil painting tools collection!

Tip: As oil paint is not transparent, it’s better to use soft, broad-tipped pencil, such as graphite ones to outline your drawing perfectly.

10. Gesso

Guess what is Gesso?

Let me tell it all.

Gesso is a liquid primer that helps you to make your own gelso. prepare your surface Before you paint on it.

When you pour gesso on your desired canvas, It makes the surface stronger enough to hold the paint better. There are many options available, including clear gesso and colored gesso as well as traditional white gesso and black gesso.

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Tip: You might notice some rough edges when you finish the first layer with the gesso. Before moving on to the next step, smoothen it with sandpaper.

11. Quick-Drying Mediums

Just as you need some substance to thin out your colors, there will be times when you want it to thicken.

If the paint is too thin and runny, the color won’t stick properly. That’s when you need a quick-drying medium to thicken it. It allows artists to make corrections if necessary and keeps drawings wet for several hours.

Tip: To speed up drying your drawing, you can use a box/ceiling fan at low to medium speeds to air-dry it.

12. Charcoal

Charcoal is an oil painting medium that can be used to sketch.

Sometimes, traces of a pencil’s imprint can be left on a canvas. A stick made of charcoal leaves only a faint outline and disappears when the painting is done.

Tip: If you have difficulty removing charcoal outlines from your skin, you can use a soft rag/ kneaded remover to blow the material away.

Related: Charcoal art supplies list.

13. Eraser

Did you make a mistake when sketching/outlining the painting?

It’s something we all do, dear!

And that’s what erasers were invented for!

If you want to remove charcoal outlines then kneaded erasers are the most suited options to remove charcoal. Oil paintings are more difficult to remove. You will need to use medium-smooth sandpaper and/or gesso in order to remove the previous layer of paint and to repaint it.

Tip: This is why you should not use paint remover. The chemical will cause irreparable damage to your canvas and most likely, irreparable damage to the image.

14. Turpentine/Mineral Spirit

What do you do when you’re done with one color?


Unlike watercolor, you can’t clean these brushes with water! To get rid of dirt, you will need to use a thinning agent such as turpentine or an odorless mineral spirit.

Tip: Both mineral spirit and turpentine are harmful to the environment and our health. Follow these guidelines. rules of using solvents. After use, dispose these materials in accordance with the local disposal standards.

Although not essential, it is nice to have these things

You don’t have to purchase these items right away! These items make life easier for oil-painting artists.

15. Newspaper/Rags

After cleaning your brushes, you need to dry them thoroughly before you can dip them in the next color.

Newspapers or old rags work best. A newspaper absorbs liquid better than fabrics. They are great for switching between colors or drying them quickly.

Tip: Spread some newspaper on the floor before you start a new project. This will prevent accidental spillages.

16. Easel

Okay, it’s not a mandatory one, but it’s pretty useful, especially if you work long hours in a day!

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An easel is a frame that’s typically made from wood. It helps hold the artist’s canvas in a convenient way while it’s being painted on.

An easel helps you control your shoulder movements while drawing. It can also help you see the proportions and correct any mistakes.

Tip: Whatever size the easel may be, make sure it’s adjustable to your shoulder height before purchasing.

17. Oil Paint Cleaner

Oil paint cleaner is the best way to clean your brushes.

It’s basically a cleaning solution that’s less messy than turpentine or mineral spirit. This cleaner can also be used to clean acrylic and watercolors.

Tip: To get the best results, wipe off any excess paint with a paper towel.

18. Painting Cloth

Artists are often recognized by their messy clothes and colorful costumes!

When we say colorful, it simply means that it is filled with all the colors of a rainbow!

Let’s get to the point: you should only have one set of clothes for painting. It’s better if the cloth is black, that way it won’t look too bad if you spill multiple colors on it in a day!

Tip: Alternatives include a cooking apron.

19. Dishwashing Liquid

If you don’t like to use turpentine/ mineral spirit to clean your drawing brushes, then dishwashing liquid is a better option for you.

Surfactants are used in liquid detergents to remove oil and dirt from the surface. These substances make brushes oil-free and allow them to return to their original, clean state after they are scrubbed with them.

Tip: You can also use artistic soap that’s made especially for this purpose instead of dishwashing liquid.

20. Plastic Wrap

Are you done with work?

There are still many colors to choose from.

It’s time to wrap it up in plastic and store it in the refrigerator

Wrapped-up colors can be kept at a cool place. If you do it right, the colors can be kept in good condition for up to one week.

Tip: Instead of storing them in drawers, keep the unused plastic wraps in your fridge. It will stop plastic from sticking to its own surface.

Final Words

You will need many other supplies to oil paint in order to set up your own studio.

But, hey! This article gives you a decent head-start!

We hope that you will continue your journey in oil painting and discover new techniques to help you improve.

Keep practicing and having fun with your creative arts, as well as messy and colorful experiments, until then

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