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Reviews and Testimonials

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Zest-it Testimonials and Reviews from websites, articles and magazines.

If you would like to read recent reviews many are available on Retailer website, here are a few -
Rosemary & Co Brushes   5/5    Ken Bromley  5/5   Jackson Art  4.9/5   Art Discount  5/5   

  Cass Art  5/5    Paper House  4.9/5    SAA  4.9/5    EBay 4.7/5.00

Reviews between 1996 and 2014 can be found below.

Full review page 9
Artist and Illustrators Magazine

State of the Art: Iona Feelman
Issue: February 1997


 " Zest-it is a biodegradable, non-toxic and non-flammable brush cleaner."   " It is also sweet smelling, but  most importantly, it actually removes paint - witness my old, clogged fan brush, thoroughly cleaned with Zest-it!"

Artists and Illustrators Magazine page

March 1997

Published Article as a triple page spread - pages 47 to 49

Tole Painting by Jacqui Blackman
Giving a little history of Tole painting and in-depth on the one-stroke techniques using oils.
V. Tait.

June '97
Renny and I have been very happy with Zest-it since we started using it about a month ago mainly for brush cleaning. We have become very sick of the smell of turpentine and breathing it's fumes day after day after day. We find Zest-it much less offensive!
I have also started to use it as a painting medium in the early stages of an oil painting where before I would have used turpentine. Again I find it much more pleasant to use than turps because of it's smell and also the fact that it's slower to evaporate. Yours sincerely,
G. Graham.

North Wales.

March '98
After trying out Zest-it for about three months, I feel I must write and congratulate you on a first class product. It seems to have all the good qualities of turpentine and a few extra for good measure. I'm particularly pleased with the way it mixes with all the usual mediums, and the paint finish is superb. All this combined with it's pleasant aroma makes it a pure pleasure to use. Thank you, George

Full Report on page 34
Leisure Painter Magazine

Report: Robin Capon

Issue: February 1998

 Extract from the Report.
  "My own experiments with Zest-it were entirely successful in the sense that it behaved exactly how I wanted it to when diluting and manipulating the paint. For example, I had no problems thinning paint to a weak wash or, contrastingly, using it in an impasto way. I also tried other techniques, such as applying the paint with a painting knife, sponge and so on, and again the response was fine. My impression was that this medium flows more freely than turpentine and, depending on the ambient temperature and humidity, it dries a little slower than white spirit. Additionally, the product is suitable for cleaning brushes and other painting equipment."

Full Review on page 43
Leisure Painter Magazine

Marketlink: Jane Stroud Issue: December 1998

Extract from article.

  "Independent laboratory reports have shown it to have proven stability with no detrimental effect on the paint quality."

Full Review on page 48-49
Artist and Illustrators Magazine
Oil Mediums and Solvents    Issue:
 September 1999 
   Extract from the article.

  " Zest-it citrus-based alternatives to turpentine............  there is also a clear painting medium and a brush cleaner."


Full Review page 32/33
Leisure Painter Magazine

Review by Robin Capon

Issue: October 1998
Extract for the 'Tole Painting' review.
"These are applied in a wet-on-wet technique using thinned oil paint" (Zest-it). "Also demonstrated is the canny art of double-loading a brush, so that when this is applied to the painting surface it leaves a stroke consisting of two bands of colour."
This video is a sound introduction to the art of Tole Painting and provides all the necessary information and instruction for beginners to make a confident start"
R. D. Nelson.


January '99
I feel I must write to you with some comments on the product "Zest-it" which I recently purchased from you.
As an artist who works mainly in oils, I use quite a lot of artist quality turps and ordinary white spirit. The drawback being the smell they have. I have used "Zest-it" for, (A) Cleaning my brushes, I feel that your product has a slight edge over white spirit in its cleaning qualities. (B) As a medium for doing initial washes over a white canvas, I found this to be excellent, even though I have found it does take longer to dry which, is not really a problem. (C) As a medium when mixed with one part linseed oil, three parts Zest-it, for slightly thinning the paint or when used as a wash on the canvas, it gives excellent results.
The extra bonus for me, is the aroma it lets off, it is far better than the smell of turps. I now do not have to burn a couple of scented candles whilst I am painting. Many Thanks.
Full Review on page 37 of Leisure Painter Magazine.
Review: by Robin Capon.
Issue: February 2000

Extract from 'Flowers in Oils' review.

" Here is a clear, detailed and helpful guide for anyone wishing to paint flowers, or indeed any other subject in oils, using a wet-in-wet technique." Zest-it Clear Painting Medium.


Soar Valley Artists
Thank you for such an inspiring and educational site, but thank you most of all for introducing me to Zest-It: This has proved the solution to all my problems with oil painting, it is BRILLIANT! No more strong [painful] odours! I now recommend it to everyone I come across who paints with oils. I am a much happier painter now...Maureen.
I'm so pleased for you Maureen, and thank you. Jacqui
Art Express Quartley

Issues: 2000 - 2004

A number of reviews covering use of various Zest-it products.
Parchment Express

Pauline Loweth 2004-5

Pauline wrote a number of articles and reviews in Parchment Express and was perhaps the main instigator of the addition of Parchment Blend to our range.
American Painter in
Issue: Spring 2005

Using Zest-it Brush Cleaner was a pleasure, tried it in many different way, it works just as good as turps, although, slightly slower drying. Highly Recommended.
I have used Zest-it thinners for the first time, & it is a huge relief not to suffer any of the unpleasant reactions that I associate with turps.
I mixed it into oil-paint without linseed oil and I really appreciate its properties - notably more even glazing, improved handling, clarity & drying time.
Once dry, the colours are a very matte. This has removed a long standing problem of reflections when subsequently photographing & reproducing. Another plus.
I have then oiled out to give a finish to the painting and shall varnish in 6 months time.
Will there be any long term problems with stability by using this method, please?
Many thanks for your help and for your product.

Thank you Alex and there will be no problems, as in my e-mail to you, Jacqui
Eric Wilson
I highly recommend Zest-it to all oil painters who dislike the smell of turps.
Eric Wilson. Wildlife Artist in Oils

Thank you Eric, Jacqui
Aileen Childs


Hi, I just needed to write and say how very impressed I am with your speedy service. From order to delivery just two days. Wonderful, thank you. I will of course be telling everyone I know in the Parchment craft world. Usually we use something called Dorso oil but I bought some of your Zest-it a year or so ago and much preferred the smell so used it sparingly not realising I could just find you online. Can you tell I am pleased by any chance?
Thank you again, Regards, Aileen Childs Parchment Tutor

Thank you for letting us know, much appreciated, Jacqui


Hello Jacqui. This is to say a big thank-you! I just discovered whilst 'surfing' that you are the founder of wonderful Zest-it! I became a convert several years ago when I found it in our local art shop being sold as a brush cleaner. Being an avid parchment-crafter, it was like a godsend, as I really hated using white spirit to blend oil-pastels. I was interested to read on your website the method for blending pencils with Zest-it. I design for Parchment Craft Magazine and also sell patterns on my own website. I always recommend Zest-it when I run courses so thanks again for Zest-it! Judith.
Thank you Judith, see my email to you, link on Stockist page, Jacqui


I've been using zest it to substitute odourless thinners with my genesis heat set paints and they have worked just as well with the added bonus of actually smelling nice too.
Thank you for letting us know, much appreciated, Jacqui


It works great. (Pencil Blend)
Many thanks for speedy and easy purchase. I received the "Zest it" safely today and it works a treat!
Super service.

Thank you very much, Jacqui
Australian Artist

Three published articles

First article in 2012 is Kevin Rogers painting portraits using pencil and graphite with Zest-it Pencil Blend and Blending Sponge.
The second article is Oil painting using Zest-it Brush Cleaner of a super outback scene. 2013 saw another article from Kevin about oil painting using Zest-it for 'Back to Basics'.

Our thanks to Kevin and S&S. Jacqui

Our thanks to everyone for their support and taking the time to express their views.

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