wax on blak

Cold Wax Painting Medium
made in the UK

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Fine Art Materials


False information about the Zest-it Cold Wax Painting Medium,
Zest-it Solvent (Citrus Free) and Zest-it products?

Answers to some of the questions we receive due to false information.

It can put the public in harms way when people write untruthful information about products.
It can cause deception, distress and mislead users about the qualities, safety and use of the product.
There are now Laws to stop this practice of writing false information on websites, blogs and social media.


cold wax painting medium on black background

Cold Wax Painting Medium

Non-toxic, non-flammable, biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

In reviews 4.9/5.0

Part of a Sylvester Stallone quote is vary apt
" Consider the source ..."

The Truth about Zest-it Cold Wax Painting Medium

The Zest-it Cold Wax Painting Medium was first made 2001 and in its present formulation in 2009, as an additive for oil painters, which of course is part of its origins. It was subjected to many required and original tests for adhesion, safety, suitability, stability and longevity.

There were other wax pastes and mediums available on the market but all were flammable.

Our ethos is about 'Safer Solutions for Artists' and we were the only company at that time with a non-toxic, non-flammable, biodegradable and environmentally friendly brush cleaning alternative.

Wax has been used in painting for thousands of years, for the last hundred-odd years 'turps' 'oms' and 'white spirit' have been the vehicle of dilution.
Artists had not had it made with a non-flammable liquid as an oil painting paste before, because none were available! It took much research and testing for it to work with our non-flammable Zest-it fluid.

Knowing the flammability of a product is important because schools, colleges and many 'workshop spaces' stopped allowing flammable products into their buildings!

We therefore, needed to make a suitable 'wax medium' to fulfill our own criteria. This we did and it was as an additive for oil painting, being well tested and recorded in workshops also with professional artists.
In 2017 we changed the name to what it is today, having been thoroughly tested for use with oil paint and our mediums, by the participants on those workshops.

Below you will find some of the false information 'out there', that you need to be aware of, so as not to be deceived or to put yourself in harms way.

The untruths about Zest-it Cold Wax Painting Medium


Is Zest-it Toxic? NO, it is not!

A concerned member of the public rang us to ask if Zest-it was toxic? She was thinking of going to an art class because they used Zest-it,
only she had read online that it was toxic!
False information is so deceitful and distressing for some readers.

The Sophie Ploeg blog on 'Busting the myths of oil painting toxicity in oils' makes the misleading statement -
"..the only toxic risk within oil painting is in the solvents and mediums you use"

Many would argue that point and where is the qualifying proof of that statement!

However, the next part is on "Safe Solvent Alternatives" and in that section is the following:-

"Low odour solvents (such as Sansodor, Zest-it or Roberson’s Studio
Safe Orange Solvent) are
still toxic but have less of a smell. They are less aggressive but can mislead you into thinking they are ok as there is no smell!"

This is false information.
No Zest-it products are Toxic or Flammable.
All Zest-it products have a smell for safety reasons.

The blog is without reference to any supporting information for the untrue statements made.
This is so misleading for the public.

Freedom of speech is not freedom to falsely inform.

Please do not trust and believe everything you read or what your art teacher says, check the information for yourself.

This blog needs to be taken down or redacted.

Note: Our webpage www.zest-it.com/zestitin.htm has been available for over 20 years and gives full, indepth information taken from the (M)SDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)

pictogram toxicThis is the pictogram symbol for Toxic substances.
It has 3 categories

health hazardThis is the pictogram symbol for Health Hazard substances.
It has 7 categories

The category for Zest-it Solvent; Brush Cleaner; Solvent (Citrus Free) Wax Solvent, is Aspiration
Aspiration - meaning - if the fluid is swallowed and then the person vomits and the vomit enters the lungs it can cause bronchial pneumonia.
back label
Back label on a Zest-it bottle showing the symbol.

Another Blog about Cold Wax
Comparing Cold Wax Mediums by Sally Hirst and Julie Caves: Jackson's Blog

In this blog the reviewer didn't bother with the correct information and instead, conjured-up the following as the solvent in our Zest-it Cold Wax Painting Medium:-

"A citrus-scented turpenoid" (false information)
Circled in blue in the snippet below taken from the blog.

This is so misleading and untruthful.
There is not a chemical solvent that is called a 'turpenoid'.
'Turpenoid' is the Registered Trade Mark of products belonging to an American company!

The stars at the end of the falsehood indicated at the bottom by the blue star say -
'actual ingredient information unavailable' - this is more misleading information.
(false information)
Every Zest-it product lists the ingredients it contains.
If it had been a researched and unbiased review, the reviewer would have put 'Zest-it Diluent' in the same way as it was expressed for Co-co Bello.

As this blog was a "product comparison", should the review have also included flammability?
It's a question workshop participants often ask, because very few buildings allow flammable products to be used. It's not just liquids that can be flammable!
Most of the Cold Waxes listed on the snippet above are flammable solids.
The exceptions are Co-co Bello Beeswax Paste and Zest-it Cold Wax Painting Medium.
Important comparison information missing for the public.

In a 'product comparison' normally same or similar products are the subject.
It was therefore unfair to include the Michael Harding and Wallace Seymour products, both of which have higher oil content than wax!
They are beeswax and linseed oil paste additives for oil painting, not considered to be a Cold Wax. Nor does the relevant product information indicate that they are designed as Cold Wax.
More misleading information and an unfair review of these two oil painting pastes alongside Cold Wax.

From the blog "Dorlands, Gamblin and SalCera are mixed with good quality odourless mineral spirits, which along with the Zest-it citrus-scented turpenoid are reportedly safer .....".. (false information)
Zest-it is not a "citrus-scented turpenoid" as stated above.
Zest-it is not "reportedly safer", it is safer.
It is not toxic or flammable, which odourless mineral spirits are.
......"mineral spirits or Zest-it dilutent"..... In the same paragraph the 'Zest-it citrus scented turpenoid' has now changed its name to Zest-it Dilutent?
A solvent can be a Dilutant or a Diluent but not a Dilutent which is a spelling mistake!
False, confusing and misleading information for the public.

When comparing products, it is usual to be on a like for like basis, not as the inconsistent comparisons in the 'Textures of Cold Wax' video.
Some Cold Waxes were moved with a strong bladed painting knife, some were moved with a flimsy plastic palette knife and some with a soft bladed knife.
How much helpful 'knowledge' did that share with anyone?
Properly structured comparisons, using the same painting knife when testing, are devised that way to allow the viewer to more easily compare the products.
Misleading information for the public.

The blog also refers to another blog, which can be found below - "Solvent Safety Guide: taking care with oil paint solvents by Julie Caves
This blog also has much false information!

The Glaze section of the review compares mixing different glaze mediums, solvents, particulates, wax mediums and painting mediums with the Cold Waxes, however, each Cold Wax was not mixed with the same media?
It is not a balanced, reasoned or fair comparison of the Cold Waxes because they are not all treated in the same manner!
In this section the reviewer uses 'Zest-it Solvent' which presumably was Zest-it Solvent (Citrus Free) and also Zest-it Wax Solvent, but gives no clear indication of how or which was used in which application?
They will both work in slightly different ways.
Such misleading information.

spray bottle

The reviewer now offers an insight into a very dangerous practice!
"I sprayed solvent on from a spray bottle wiping away the dissolved areas".
This could put the reader in not just in harms way but in danger.
Most of the solvents used in the review are flammable!
Spraying solvent into the air is against all 'Safety in the Studio' principles. Not only does the spray put the product into the air for people to breath, it also can allow the mist from the spray to contact sources of ignition, heat or flame and ignite with devastating consequences.
Dangerous practice - do not do this at home!

No matter what any blog, art teacher, article or writer puts 'out there', for your own safety's sake and that of other people, do not spray flammable solvents.

This blog needs to be taken down or redacted.


Very informative blog about solvents used in oil painting - except for the following:-
Solvent Safety Guide: taking care with oil paint solvents. Jacksons blog by Julie Caves

This blog states that Zest-it has two solvents for oil painting - the original Zest-it Oil Paint Dilutant and Brush Cleaner and Zest-it Solvent (Citrus Free) - but does not list either in its chart (snippets below)!

It does however give false information about a non-existent 'Zest-it Solvent'!

They list 'Zest-it Solvent' which we don't have as a labelled product - it's Zest-it Solvent (Citrus Free) false information

They list the ingredients as Aliphatic Hydrocarbon, Glycol Ether - they are not the ingredients in the Zest-it Solvent (Citrus Free): false information
Glycol Ether is an ingredient in Zest-it Acrylic Brush Cleaner.
 Aliphatic Hydrocarbon is an ingredient in Zest-it Solvent (Citrus Free)

They show the Zest-it product as flammable. harmful false information
No Zest-it products are Toxic or flammable.

The chart indicates that the product 'Zest-it Solvent' needs caution for the eyes and skin - the Zest-it Solvent (Citrus Free) has no such warnings - this is very deceptive.  false information
It is not an irritant to eyes and skin

This type of false information gives the reader incorrect facts and can cause harm.

This blog needs to be taken down or redacted.

Please do not trust and believe everything you read, or what your art teacher says, check the information for yourself.

solvent 1



Can I use Zest-it Brush Cleaner with my oils now I'm pregnant? This is a question we get asked and have now included the answer on our website.

But, this blog 'Oil and Pregnancy by Sophie  Ploeg' clearly has not read the information on the Zest-it website and is again telling untruths.

The section on the blog "Solvents Pose the Highest Risk" lists solvent with a comment "it is just toxic all round"
Then it states "Even low odour solvents like Zest-it and Sansodor are still toxic (in varying degrees), so just be careful when you pregnant"
This is deceitful, misleading and untrue.
No Zest-it products are Toxic or Flammable

This blog needs to be taken down or redacted.

Let the reader beware, more false information on this blog which can also be found on the Jackson's website!

All Zest-it products have been fully tested both in the UK and USA. The Environmental, Health and Safety Executive test products for personal exposure with regard to irritation of the skin and eyes; ingestion; inhalation; toxicity; ecology; stability etc.
Products are also subject to five other regulations, all of this information forms the data from which (M)SDS are produced.

The relevant snippet below from the (M)SDS. The last line in Section 11 states the following:-

This substance has no evidence of toxicity to reproduction or the unborn.



Note: Our webpage www.zest-it.com/zestitin.htm has been available for over 20 years and gives full, explained information taken from the (M)SDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)


More False information.
Yet another Sophie Ploeg blog this time "Oil Painting Mediums"

The section on turps alternatives says -"Other alternatives are Gamsol, Roberson's Studio Safe Solvent (it smells of oranges but must not forget it is still toxic), Zest-it (nearly not-toxic but still a bit) and various other brands of low-odour solvents.
This is the same false information being repeated yet again!
No Zest-it products are Toxic or Flammable


Blog Review of Cold Wax in 2019
Cold Wax Medium review by Zoe Taylor and Julie Caves: Jackson's Blog

In the middle of 2018, we sent some product samples to Jackson's Art Supplies for them to consider for their shop.

We realised there had been an error, which was out of our control, during production. On discovering this mistake, we asked Jackson's to throw the original samples away. We sent new Cold Wax samples within a few days.

However, it became apparent in 2019 that the product had not been discarded as requested, but had been sent to someone for reviewing!

So the comparison review still available to the public, about our Zest-it Cold Wax Painting Medium is just not true. (false information)
It was not Cold Wax that was tested or reviewed!

Please do not trust and believe everything you read.


This blog needs to be taken down or redacted.

image of false Zest-it Cold Wax

This is a copy of the image from the blog on the Cold Wax.

The soft creamy/ buttery/shiny look of the non-cold wax above

compared to the matt, thick, paste of the correct Cold Wax Painting Medium below.

zest-it cold wax


Freedom of Speech is not freedom to falsely inform.            



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