Gamblin Cold Wax Medium


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Cold Wax medium is made from naturally white, pure beeswax. Formulated to knife consistency, Cold Wax Medium makes oil colors thicker and more matte. Cold Wax Medium can be used to make Gamblin mediums and Gamvar more matte. It can also be applied alone as a matte varnish.



Dry Time*
Slow ● ● ○ ○ Fast

Soft ● ● ● ● Stiff

Matte ● ○ ○ ○ Gloss


  • Quick-setting beeswax paste
  • Best for use on panel supports
  • Matte varnish for oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings

Gamblin Medium Guide

*Dry Time
The dot indicators are relative and intended for comparison purposes. Dry times vary depending on colors used, absorbency of the painting surface, thickness of paint layers, and environmental conditions (e.g. temperature and humidity).

Approximate drying rates:

●●●● – 24 hours
●●●○ – 48 hours
●●○○ – 48-72 hours
●○○○ -4 days or longer

Cold Wax uses

Painting Medium

As an oil painting medium, Cold Wax Medium can be used to make oil colors thicker and more matte. Its soft paste consistency can be thinned to brush consistency by dissolving in a small amount of Gamsol. The surface of paintings made with Cold Wax Medium will become only as hard as a beeswax candle. Please note, painters who are using more than 1/3 cold wax medium to 2/3 oil paints should paint on rigid supports (e.g. wood painting panel) or paintings may crack when moved. By mixing 1/2 Cold Wax Medium and 1/2 Galkyd Gel, painters can paint on flexible supports like stretched canvas.

Matting Agent

You may add Cold Wax Medium to Galkyd oil painting mediums or Drying Oil (linseed/Stand) to reduce gloss. Use up to 25% wax to reduce gloss in a painting medium without adversely affecting the strength and flexibility of the medium.

When adding wax to thicker mediums like Galkyd Gel, Neo Megilp or Solvent-Free Gel, blend directly with a palette knife.

When adding Cold Wax to a fluid medium, thin it first with Gamsol. On a separate palette, add a small amount of Gamsol into some Cold Wax and blend thoroughly with a palette knife until you achieve a very soft paste, nearly slurry consistency. This is your matting agent. Add the desired amount of Cold Wax slurry into a premeasured amount of fluid painting medium. Mix/shake thoroughly until you can hold the jar up to the light and it looks uniformly cloudy (no wax bits floating about).

Wax Varnish

Straight Cold Wax Medium can be applied to a dry painting as a removable, matte varnish. Once applied, the Cold Wax can be left to dry for a matte finish or gently buffed for a soft luster. Cold Wax Medium can also be used to reduce the gloss level of Gamvar Picture Varnish.

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