Materials Needed to Start an Encaustic Painting

By Nicole Tinkham

Encaustic painting is hot right now and believe it or not, you probably already have most of the supplies needed for your first encaustic project. We will get into the process in a later blog but for now, let’s discuss the materials you will need to begin this trending hobby.


The medium

Medium used for encaustics is made from beeswax and damar resin crystals. You can find encaustic medium pre-made in tins, blocks or sticks in a variety of colors, in plain form (you would have to add oil paint for color), or in the form of raw materials in which you would make the medium yourself.

Oil paint (if you are adding color yourself)

If you are adding color to the medium yourself, you will want to have a variety of different color oil paints. Make sure to read the paint labels. You don’t want anything with health warnings! When adding paint, don’t add more than 25% to the wax. If you want more of a glaze, just add less paint.


When doing encaustic painting, you want to dedicate at least two natural hair brushes to the project. Don’t use synthetic brushes, they will melt! Your encaustic brushes can be reused on other encaustic projects but you don’t want to use them on anything else.


Your encaustic palette will probably be very different from any other palette you have used in the past. For encaustics, your palette has to be hot in order for the medium to melt. A griddle or hot plate will work fine as your palette.

Metal bowls & tins

You will need metal bowls or tins to melt the encaustic medium in.

Fusing tools

To fuse the layers of wax, you will need one of the following tools: heat gun, encaustic iron, or blow torch. Each fusing tool produces a different surface texture so if you can, it might be interesting to try a few out.

Scraping tools & collage elements

You can use just about anything with a metal tip as a scraping tool including clay tools, dental tools, or workshop gadgets. You can also embed just about anything into encaustic medium so it’s a good idea to have some collage elements handy.

Hopefully you can find most of these items around the house so you can start your encaustic project as soon as possible! Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on the encaustic process.

Image used under Creative Commons from Artotem


For more information about our art supplies stop in, give us a call or visit! For a list of our upcoming workshops, check out The Artist’s Corner.

3 thoughts on “Materials Needed to Start an Encaustic Painting

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