In this section you will find an overview of the most frequently asked questions to our laboratory.


The cleaning agent for oil paintings (50018) is a paste-like emulsion and contains water, white spirit and a wax component. This mixture is pH-neutral and allows gentle cleaning. The soiled surface is treated in small sections with cleaning agent and cotton buds by careful rubbing. The agent can also be left on the surface for 1 or 2 minutes before removal to allow the dirt to soften. The paste is then thoroughly removed with a cotton bud or a textile cloth and, if necessary, carefully cleaned with turpentine substitute (50019).

This frequently asked question can only be answered when information about the condition of the painting and the composition or state of the paint layer is known. Interventions of this kind on a painting should be left to the restorer.

Tempera is a homogeneous mixture of an aqueous binder and a dry oil, known as an emulsion. Possible aqueous components include borax or ammonia casein, gum arabic solution, or egg yolk/whole egg. The non-aqueous components may include linseed or sunflower oil, dammar solution, or a mixture of oil and resin solution.

Example of egg tempera:

Take 1 part by volume of whole egg, shake it well, and mix in 1 part by volume of linseed varnish (50014). Usually, this mixture is further combined with another part by volume of water and can then be processed, such as by rubbing in a corresponding colour with powder pigment.

Example of casein tempera:

Soak 40 g of casein in 125 ml of water for 12 hours, then dissolve it by stirring with 12 g of ammonium carbonate (hartshorn salt). This salt is pre-dissolved in 50 to 100 ml of cold water and then mixed in, stirring until everything is dissolved. To this ammonium casein mixture, add 25 ml of linseed varnish (50014) or linseed stand oil (50005) plus 25 ml of dammar varnish (50008 or 50064) or dissolved Venice turpentine and emulsify by further stirring.

In most cases where crackle does not form with the products base coat, ox gall, and crackle lacquer, it's likely that the crackle lacquer was applied too late. The base coat must be slightly soft when applying the crackle lacquer for the principle to work. Detailed instructions can be found in our information sheet on the processing of crackle lacquer.

The cotton fabric must be washed and ironed before applying AERO TEX and airbrush paint. The T-shirt is stretched onto a firm surface and sprayed with a mixture of AERO COLOR Professional and AERO TEX in a 1:1 ratio. The paint should not be applied too sparingly, especially in gradients. After application, let the work dry for 24 hours and then iron from the back for 2 minutes for cotton, 4-6 minutes for silk and wool, and 8 minutes for polyester and acetate.


Yes, this is possible. IMPORTANT! The varnishes must be based on a similar foundation. Preliminary tests are recommended!

For example:

  • 50008 & 50064
  • 50585 & 50588
  • 50044, 50065 & 50083.


"100% pigment" is our commitment to offering only pure, undiluted artist pigments.

Pigments, unlike dyes, are insoluble colorants in painting mediums. They significantly determine the characteristics of colour, including hue, strength, opacity, lightfastness, and colour durability, depending on the pigment used. There are two main groups of pigments: inorganic and organic. 
Inorganic pigments are considered stable and lightfast. Natural inorganic pigments include earth and minerals, mechanically processed. Synthetic inorganic pigments are products of synthesis, such as cadmium, cobalt, ultramarine, and other metal oxides. 
Organic pigments have higher colour strength and vibrancy. Natural organic pigments include animal and plant colours like indigo, gamboge, Indian yellow, lampblack, etc. Synthetic, lacquered pigments are dyes converted into water-insoluble salts through chemical reactions, e.g., carmine lake; they have low lightfastness and tend to bleed.

Oil colours

Yes, that is possible without issues. The more "regular" oil paint used in the mixture, the fewer advantages of the resin-oil paint.

MUSSINI dries more evenly, even from the inside out, due to its largely compensating chemical and physical drying process. The volume increase in the initially surface-only drying process, driven by oxygen supply, is largely compensated by the solvent component of dammar solution evaporating from the inside out. Oxygen reaches the deeper layers better through microscopic evaporation pores, ensuring more uniform deep and surface drying. This, in turn, reduces the risk of wrinkling and surface tension during the drying process. The dammar particles finely incorporated into the colloidal solutions are encapsulated by drying artist oils, enhancing the brilliance of the paint layers.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to accelerate the drying of oil paint after the fact.

MUSSINI is a unique finest resin-oil paint worldwide, featuring highly lightfast pigments and a range of particularly transparent colours. Another outstanding characteristic is its drying to tension-free, durable paint layers. 
NORMA Professional is also a finest artist oil paint without resin, containing highly lightfast pigments in high concentration. 
AKADEMIE Oil Color is designed as a paint range for demanding beginners with balanced pigmentation. The pigment concentration in this series is slightly lower than in the afore mentioned finest artists’ paints. AKADEMIE Oil Color does not include cadmium and cobalt colors.

Water colours

"Staining" refers to the different behavior of applied watercolour pigments when attempting to smudge them or lift them from the paper with a wet brush or sponge. The Schmincke Horadam watercolours are categorized into three "washability levels":

  • Easily liftable from the paper (non-staining)
  • Partially liftable from the paper (semi-staining)
  • Difficult to lift from the paper (staining)

Schmincke watercolour is poured into half and full pans in liquid form. Half pans have a volume of 1.6 ml, and full pans have a volume of 3.2 ml.

Artists’ watercolour and artists’ gouache are both made with gum Arabic as a binder. Due to the stronger binding of the high pigmentation in watercolour, they shine slightly less and appear more luminous and delicate in thin glazes. Watercolour flows much more easily than gouache, and its flow is harder to control. An opaque technique from dark to light is impossible in watercolour painting. Gouache and watercolor are fully compatible.

Both products are surfactants based on oxgall and are mainly used in watercolour painting to "defat" fingerprints and improve wetting. Oxgall or Onetz can be added to water, which is then used to dilute or dissolve the paint, or the paper surface can be wetted with a solution containing oxgall before painting.

The main components of our watercolours (AKADEMIE and HORADAM) are gum Arabic as a binder, pigments as coloring agents, and water. Additional additives are included (e.g., surfactants: synthetic for AKADEMIE, oxgall for HORADAM), etc. Honey is not used in any of our products due to its undefined composition and the scent that insects find interesting.

Schmincke tube and pan colours in the HORADAM AQUARELL Series 14 are formulated with the same pigmentation and pan colours do not contain any additives for strand formation, so there is no colour or quality difference between the two forms. In terms of content, the ratio is as follows: Schmincke watercolours in small pans have a capacity of 1.6 ml, and large pans have a capacity of 3.2 ml.

While the dried form contains less water than the tube form and is not directly comparable, a general rule is to assume 5 ml of liquid colour per small pan and roughly double that for a large pan. The key parameter in choosing the packaging is the user's preference and what suits their painting style better. For example, if the user works a lot on the go, the half pan might be more practical, while for painting large formats, tubes might be preferred. The user's habits and preferences play a significant role. Additionally, the economic aspect is complemented by considerations like keeping the colour clean (tubes are less prone to dirt), longer shelf life for pans, and the potential for more waste with tubes. Therefore, the "wrong" choice of packaging can make the application much more expensive than calculated based on the content volume.

Gouache colours

Due to the opposite pH values (acrylic is basic, watercolors are acidic), the compatibility when mixing gouache and acrylic is poor. However, using the AQUA medium series from the watercolour range is completely problem-free (see Watercolour). Overpainting dried acrylic pastes and primers, or underpainting acrylic with gouache, is possible.

The choice of the surface significantly influences the result. The absorbency, colour, thickness, and surface texture of the substrate all affect the character of the painting. The surface should have some roughness to allow better anchoring of pigments. Therefore, paper, cardboard, boards, and absorbent primed canvas are recommended. For opaque gouache techniques, a white substrate is not mandatory; grey tones and coloured substrates can be used for their visual impact. More absorbent surfaces like raw linen or wood can be treated with size/pre-primer (50510) (apply thinly twice, dilutable up to 1:1 with water). It dries clear. Gesso (50518) or Schmincke Primer 1, highly absorbent (50512) (white, tintable, apply 3-4 times, 10-20% dilutable with water, absorbent character) are also suitable as a primer. The primers and pastes of the AQUA series also work well as a substrate for gouache colours.

By definition, gouache is an opaque watercolor. Designer's Gouache (formerly known as "Poster Paint") produces an opaque, uniformly drying matte colour layer. In contrast, our artists’ gouache, specifically containing pigments with high lightfastness, offers opaque or semi-opaque tones. HORADAM Gouache is designed so that pigment properties (opaque or transparent) are showcased without the influence of extenders (fillers). It does not contain white pigment. Both types of colour remain water-soluble after drying.

Airbrush colours

  • Lightly sand the paint - from 1000 grit or with a fine sanding pad. Smooth any resulting "scratches" with a filler (available in specialized stores).
  • Prepare a dust- and grease-free surface (with warm water and detergent), then wash with silicone remover (also available in specialized stores).
  • Spray a thin layer of AERO GRUND (50601), let it dry thoroughly (possibly overnight).
  • Design with AERO COLOR Professional (Spray it so that the colour is immediately surface dry. AERO COLOR Professional can be diluted with distilled water if needed, up to +20-30% for non-absorbent surfaces. For stronger dilutions, use AERO MEDIUM (50602).
  • Let it dry thoroughly (possibly overnight).
  • Spray a thin layer of AERO GRUND or AERO MEDIUM over the design (protects the design during transport, improves adhesion, and provides some protection against the paint).
  • Apply a solvent-based 2K paint (best obtained from an auto body shop) - 2-3 very thin layers, followed by 1-2 gloss layers (allowing short airing between each layer).
  • After sufficient drying, the paint only needs to be polished.

We strongly advise against it. AERO COLOR Professional colours are not dermatologically tested. Please use products specifically designed for body painting.

Only on artificial nails, as AERO COLOR Professional is not dermatologically tested.

For iron surfaces, provide rust protection primer; for non-ferrous metals, use a primer with wash primer. Depending on the surface, apply putty, possibly an adhesion promoter in the form of an acrylic dispersion or alkyd resin-based paint, and finally execute the design with airbrush colour. Finish with a 2-component acrylic paint. 
For plastic surfaces, fine sanding or complete removal of existing coating may be necessary. Use a primer for plastics like polyurethane, polyester, solvent-based alkyd resin paints, or water-based polyacrylate or polyurethane dispersions. For larger objects or models, putty may be applied if necessary. 
When working with leather, stretch it gently on a firm surface and clean with turpentine substitute or alcohol. Spray a thin layer of AERO COLOR varnish and then apply the airbrush color. After drying overnight, spray AERO COLOR varnish again for color protection. Further instructions can be found in the "Introduction to Airbrush Technique," which we can send you upon request.


The bronzes are formulated from real metal bronzes. In the remaining colour series, imitations (e.g., mica) are usually used.


No. The opacity of colours does not indicate their quality. Opacity is a property of pigments in combination with the binder.

No. Cheaper qualities can be thickened with additives.

Unfortunately, removing paint stains from most materials is usually not possible as the pigments used anchor and cannot be removed. For oil paints, immediate cleaning with water and soap (and possibly a washing machine) might work. For pastels, gently vacuum or tap the surface; do not rub or moisten!

"-tone" indicates the replacement of traditional pigments with modern ones, e.g., 16224 Cadmium Yellow Tone contains a benzimidazolone pigment (PY 151), while 14224 Cadmium Yellow Light contains cadmium zinc sulfide pigment (PY 35).

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