Full Guide For Cold Wax Painting

Table of Contents

What is Cold Wax Painting?

As a painter, I have always been drawn to the creative potential of cold wax painting.

This unique technique allows me to create richly textured and layered works of art that stand out from traditional paintings.

Cold wax painting is an exciting way to express my ideas, feelings, and stories in visually captivating ways.

The process involves using a variety of tools and materials, including oil paints, solvents, mediums, pigments, cold waxes, and other additives to create incredibly detailed pieces that capture light in interesting ways.

With this technique, I can build up multiple layers with different textures and colors while manipulating the surface for dramatic effects.

Each layer adds depth as it interacts with the others beneath it, creating fascinating visual compositions that are truly one-of-a-kind!

Cold wax painting is an art form that involves mixing cold wax with oil paints onto a surface of any kind.

The painting medium is applied to the canvas in layers until the desired effect is achieved.

Once it has hardened, the artist can manipulate the paint and blend different colors for a unique look. Cold wax painting allows for great depth and texture in the artwork.

What are the Benefits of Cold Wax Painting?

Cold wax painting has several advantages over traditional oil painting. It is a great way to create textured, layered paintings without having to apply multiple layers of paint to the canvas.

It is also easy to mix colors for interesting effects, and it can be used on any surface, including wood, paper, and fabric.

Additionally, cold wax painting requires less drying time than other forms of oil painting.

What Tools do You Need for Cold Wax Painting?

To get started with cold wax painting, you will need some basic tools such as an easel, palette knife, or brush, as well as a solvent such as turpentine or mineral spirits.

You will also need cold wax, oil paints in various colors, and a surface to paint on, such as canvas, wood, or paper.

When it comes to the actual process of painting with cold wax, you can use either a brush or a palette knife.

How do You Create Cold Wax Paintings?

The basic technique for creating a cold wax painting is quite simple. First, mix the cold wax and oil paints until you have reached the desired consistency that you want for your painting.

Next, apply the mixture to your chosen surface with either a brush or a palette knife.

Build up layers of color until you are happy with the look of your painting, and then let it dry completely before adding more layers or manipulating it.

Finally, if desired, you can finish your painting with a layer of varnish to seal in the colors and protect the surface.

Types of Cold Wax Mediums to Use in Your Artwork

There are many different types and kinds of cold wax mediums available in your artwork. These include cold wax paste, beeswax bars, oil pastels, and more.

The cold wax paste is a mixture of oil paints and cold wax that can be used to create textured effects in your painting. It is also great for creating layers and blending colors for unique effects.

Beeswax bars are solid blocks of beeswax that you can melt down and mix with oil paint to make a malleable mixture for painting.

Oil pastels are sticks of pigment-based oils that you can use to draw directly onto the canvas or mix with the cold wax mixture. This is great if you want to create a painting with bold colors and line work.

No matter which type of cold wax medium you choose to use, you will be able to create beautiful paintings that are unique and full of texture.

Preparing the Canvas for Cold Wax Painting

Before you start painting with cold wax, you will need to prepare your canvas.

This means cleaning it with a damp cloth or paper towel and then applying a layer of gesso or another primer to the surface. This will help protect the canvas and make sure that the paint adheres properly.

Once the gesso has dried, you are ready to start painting with cold wax!

Applying and Blend the Cold Wax Medium onto the Canvas

Once the canvas is prepped and ready to go, you can begin applying the cold wax medium. Start by applying a thin layer of the mixture onto the canvas using either a brush or a palette knife.

Pay attention to how thickly it is applied, as this will determine how much texture you get in your painting.

Once you are happy with the layer, let it dry completely before adding more layers or manipulating it.

Adding Color to Your Artwork with Pigment Sticks and/or Acrylic Paint

If you want to add more color and texture to your cold wax painting, you can use pigment sticks or acrylic paint.

The pigment sticks are oil-based and contain high levels of pigment that will blend beautifully with the cold wax mixture.

So draw directly onto the canvas with the stick, or mix it into the cold wax for a softer effect. Acrylic paints are also great for adding bold colors and details to your painting.

Finishing Touches – Texturing, Glazing, and Other Techniques 

Once you have created your painting, it’s time to finish the piece with some final touches.

You can use a variety of techniques and materials to give your artwork more texture or depth.

This includes using sandpaper on the canvas for subtle texturing or glazing with an oil-based glaze for a smoother finish.

You can also add elements such as leaves or other objects into the painting for a three-dimensional effect.

Once you are happy with the look of your painting, you can seal it in with a layer of varnish to protect it from dust and moisture.


Cold wax painting is an amazing art form that allows artists to create stunning masterpieces full of texture, color, and depth.

With the right tools and techniques, you can create beautiful paintings that will last a lifetime.

Follow these steps to get started with cold wax painting: prepare your canvas, apply the cold wax medium, add color with pigment sticks or acrylic paint, texture and glaze if desired, and finally, finish it off with a layer of varnish.

Cleaning Up After a Session of Cold Wax Painting

You can’t avoid it, it’s time to clean up!

Cleaning up after a session of cold wax painting is relatively easy.

Start by cleaning off the excess wax from the canvas with a damp cloth or paper towel.

Then, use soap and water to clean your brushes and any other tools you used during your painting session.

Finally, dispose of the wax scraps in an appropriate container that won’t attract insects or other pests.

After your art session, it’s essential to store all of the tools you used correctly, from brushes and palette knives to pigment sticks. Doing this will ensure that they last longer and be ready for use next time.

With some practice and experimentation, you’ll be able to create amazing artwork using this unique technique!

More Of The Same Category

Josh Cohen

Josh Cohen

I love to paint, mostly nature and I dabble in some abstract paintings. Here I will share some tips and tricks I learned over the years.

About Me

I love to paint, mostly nature and I dabble in some abstract paintings. Here I will share some tips and tricks I learned over the years.

Recent Posts

Weekly Great Jumps!