Grumbacher Pre-Tested Oils

Grumbacher Pre-Tested Oils is a USA-made product that combines high quality with affordable price. The name “pre-tested” comes from the notion that these oil colors where actually tested by experts in the field before they have found their way to the store shelves. The testers ensure that all oils boast good lightfasting properties, quick drying, coherent pigment dispersion, and the right value of viscosity. This means that there are many different tests undertaken in Grumbacher’s labs, and that these paints are a reliable solution for professional artists.

The Grumbacker Pre-Tested Oils are available in 99 colors in 37 ml paste tubes, or 24 colors in 150 ml tubes. All of the oil colors adhere to the ASTM D 4236 requirements so they are considered to be non-toxic if used properly. The paints are also available as sets in luxurious wooden boxes that contain 10 colors in 24 ml paste tubes.


Product Pros & Cons

Artist Likes

  • Easy to mix
  • Same quality as since many decades ago
  • Can stay unharmed for a long time
  • Low price for a professional range paint
  • Nice consistency, and rich color range
  • Predictable color behavior
  • Incredible when used for impasto
  • Grumbacher offers some unique hues that can’t be found anywhere else

Artist Dislikes

  • Some report little pigment load in certain colors
  • Some tube caps have defects and breaks, so they let the paint dry
  • Some artists find a lack of body due to too much oil content

As these paints are available for many decades, there are artists out there who have been using them since they were children and are still faithful to them. They are loved for their low price to quality ratio, their color range, their predictable chemical behavior, and their durability. However, there are quite a lot of people who report that the caps are easy to break and get things messy with wasted paint, and many also report a “soupy” consistency. Some even mention low pigment content which results in poor results when mixing.

Final Considerations

This is a unique product in the sense that it is professional grade but offered at a reasonable price. Most people who use Grumbacher’s pre-tested oil paints find them to be perfect for their artistic needs, and moreover they report that the quality remained unchanged throughout the decades which is something rare nowadays. However, and due to the reports on the caps, you should probably first order a sample pack and give them a try before you fill your palette with those. Also, the pigment load is another issue that seems to keep artists’ opinions divided. Maybe these paints are not perfect for professionals, but more like suitable for providing a taste of what professional grade feels like to starting artists, and for a low price.