View Full Version : Painting and CF ( artistic CF input):)

10-14-2018, 06:36 AM
Wondering about recommendations for paints that will not irritate CF lung? My daughter has a strong artistic streak(very therapeutic and relaxing for her ) She was asking for high quality acrylic paints to try painting on an easel. My sister went to art school many moons ago and said it could irritate her lungs from the smell etc. I have no clue about this sort of stuff. So reaching out for any person with CF and who paints and what they use? She has already used watercolors and colored pencils; she really want to try a new medium. Thinking for like a bday present so less worried about price. TIA

10-14-2018, 08:11 PM
I don't paint, however I think you should get her the paints. If it's therapeutic to her then I think it's worth it. With CF there are some things that may irritate one persons lungs and not another. It depends on the individual, so they might not be an issue for her. There are also painters/ dust masks at the hardware store she can wear to help protect her. It probably wouldn't hurt either to make sure wherever she's painting that it's got some sort of air circulation going. Just my thoughts

10-15-2018, 08:07 AM
I think, too that certain paints -- oils and oils used to clean brushes would be more of an irritant. Acrylics usually don't have much of an odor. In any event, when DS has helped his grandfather in the shop, he's used a high quality respirator/disposable mask (N95?) when dealing with dust, stains and polyurethane.

10-15-2018, 11:35 AM
Hi! Iím 44 w/CF, and acrylics have never bothered me! Oils smell strong, but acrylics are their CF-friendly counterparts! Let there be art!! :)

10-15-2018, 12:51 PM
I went to art school "many moons ago" as well (and have CF). I'm surprised your sister would suggest that acrylic paint might be harmful. Of course, anything could cause problems for people with unusual sensitivities, but in my experience acrylic paint has no discernible smell and is not considered to have harmful fumes. There are pigments used in some colors that are toxic to ingest (e.g. cadmium orange/yellow/red -- look for warning labels), but those are easily avoidable these days. I wouldn't hesitate to give your daughter acrylic paints. If you would like specific brand suggestions, both Liquitex, Winsor & Newton, and Golden acrylics are high quality and readily available.

You didn't ask about oil painting, but an FYI for those who might be interested: There is nothing inherently harmful about oil paints, either. Artists' oil paints are simply pigment in linseed oil. While linseed oil has an odor that some may find unpleasant, it's really the solvents that can be problematic. Turpentine was the traditional solvent and should definitely be avoided. More common today is odorless mineral spirits, which is not as bad, but requires good ventilation. The good news is that it is possible to avoid all solvents. You can use regular vegetable oil to get paint out of a brush, wipe the brush on a paper towel, then wash with soap and water. Several companies make solvent-free painting mediums (gel or liquid you mix with the paint to change its consistency). Another option is "water mixable" oil paint, which I have not personally tried.

As with acrylic paint, toxic pigments are sometimes used -- in fact, they are probably more common in oil paint, especially the higher-end brands. This includes lead white colors like Flake White and Cremnitz White! But rest assured there are always non-toxic substitutes and the toxic paints will always be marked (and more expensive!). I seriously doubt any prepackaged set of paints would included toxic pigments.

10-15-2018, 04:52 PM
Thank you all for your wonderful input! I think as long as there is good air circulation(outside) it's worth a try. She is so creative and I want to continue to encourage this:)