The 6 Best Oil Paints of 2019

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Our Top Picks

Best Slow-Drying Paint: M Graham Oil Paints at Amazon

"High-quality, traditional-style oil paints."

Best Fast-Drying Paint: Gamblin Oil Paints at Amazon

"Has a lower evaporation rate and higher flashpoint."

Best for Beginners: Winsor and Newton Oil Paints at Amazon

"Strikes a good balance between price and quality."

Best Stiff Paint: Sennelier Oil Paints at Amazon

"Has a stiff-butter consistency, spreading and blending easily with a brush."

Best Paint for Even Drying: Schmincke Oil Paints at Amazon

"Mixed with linseed oil and dammar resin for even drying."

Best High-Quality Colors: Michael Harding Oil Paints at Amazon

"You're paying for the intensity of the colors and lasting quality."

  • 01 of 06

    Best Slow-Drying Paint: M Graham Oil Paints

    Artist's oil paints
    Steve Allen/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    M. Graham is a small paint manufacturer in the USA created by an artist to produce high quality, traditional-style oil paints. Walnut oil is used as a binder instead of linseed oil; it's a slow-drying oil with less tendency to yellow. It also has a lower viscosity (is freer spreading) so works well for glazing and thinner applications of paint without adding turps. 

  • 02 of 06

    Best Fast-Drying Paint: Gamblin Oil Paints

    Gamblin 1980 Oil Color Exclusive Set
    Photo from Amazon

    Gamblin Artists' Colors is a USA paint company founded by colorman Robert Gamblin that aims to produce quality paints that are safe to use. Its turps replacement or solvent, Gamsol, has a lower evaporation rate and higher flashpoint than turps, making it safer to use in the studio. A wide range of colors is available, including various grays, a flake white replacement with working properties like lead white, and a chromatic black. Gamblin also produces an alkyd-based medium, Galkyd, which speeds up the drying time of oils.

  • 03 of 06

    Best for Beginners: Winsor and Newton Oil Paints

    Winsor & Newton Winton oil paint
    Photo from Amazon

    W&N is one of the most widely available brands and its oil paints, like its other paints, strikes a good balance between price (not quite faint-on-the-spot range) and quality. If you're on a tight budget, save money by selecting select your colors from the series 1 pigments in the range. 

  • 04 of 06

    Best Stiff Paint: Sennelier Oil Paints

    Sennelier Oil paint
    Photo from Amazon

    Sennelier's oil paints have a stiff-butter consistency, spreading and blending easily with a brush but liking to hold its shape and brush marks. The company's history of making oil paints dates back to 1887 when Gustave Sennelier set himself up as a color merchant in Paris. Artists that used Sennelier oils include Monet, Gauguin, Matisse, and Picasso. Today Sennelier has more than 140 colors in its range of artist's oil paints.

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  • 05 of 06

    Best Paint for Even Drying: Schmincke Mussini Oil Paints

    Schmincke Mussini Oil Paints
    Photo from Amazon

    Made in Germany, Mussini is Schmincke's artist's quality grade oil paint. The pigment is mixed with linseed oil and dammar resin (and sometimes other oils) to give a paint the manufacturer says dries more evenly from inside and reduces the risk of the paint wrinkling as it dries. About 100 colors are available, including a range of grays.

  • 06 of 06

    Best High-Quality Colors: Michael Harding Oil Paints

    Michael Harding Oil Paints
    Photo from Amazon

    These oil paints were created by an artist in London and are definitely not cheap. You're paying for the intensity of the colors through the high pigment loading and lack of fillers. If glazing is your preferred oil painting technique, a tube should last a while. Harding offers a good range of colors, including traditional favorites such as lead white. At least once, treat yourself to a tube in a favorite color, compare it to what you usually use, and see if you think it's truly better or just celebrity paint-manufacturer hype.