UPDATE JULY 15, 2017:
A big Thank You to Christine Teeter for her investigative work and testing to come up with another DIY Blending Solution Recipe that really works as well as the store bought version. Again, we were looking for a less expensive alternative because we use so much of it. If you don't go through it as quickly, it's probably a better value to buy the store brand. Alternate recipe is at the bottom of this post.
I go through a lot of Alcohol Blending Solution. A LOT.
Not only in my own painting, but I teach many workshops each month and am always running low and looking to buy it on sale. I've searched out recipes to make my own, and have tried a few, but with little success.
Several posts I found recommended adding Glycerin to Isopropyl Alcohol. So I ordered up some Glycerin from Amazon and tried a couple different batches using different amounts of glycerin...but none acted like the store bought Blending Solution. Instead it acted almost identical to straight Isopropyl Alcohol.
Then I read it was Propylene Glycol, not Glycerin, that should be mixed with the alcohol. So into my Amazon cart went a big old bottle of Propylene Glycol. I tried several different volumes mixed with the alcohol. Too little and it really had no blending effect. At larger amounts it did blend well but was a bit slimy and didn't dry well.
My husband was wondering why I was ordering bottles of strange materials and I told him I was trying to make my own Alcohol Blending Solution. He took one look at the list of ingredients on the bottle (Ethyl Glycol) and said, "I think that's in anti-freeze."
What?! Anti-freeze?! "Hey, Honey... do you have some that I can test?" That sweetheart of a man brought me a mason jar full of the fluorescent green liquid... and it worked! I tried a couple of different "recipes" but here's what I found worked the closest, if not identical, to the store bought brand:
DIY Blending Solution
2 oz. 91% Isopropyl Alcohol
5 ml anti-freeze (full strength, not 50/50 type)
I use an empty 2 oz. Ranger brand Alcohol Blending Solution bottle to mix mine up.
PLEASE TAKE CARE WHEN HANDLING BOTH OF THESE INGREDIENTS. Do not inhale fumes or drink it! Wash hands and measuring equipment immediately after handling.
I am not responsible for mishandling or accidents using this recipe or these materials.
1. Take pointy top off of 2 oz. Blending Solution bottle
2. Fill with 91% isopropyl alcohol stopping about 1" from top of bottle.
3. Use a medicine syringe to measure 5 ml of Antifreeze .
4. Add the antifreeze to the alcohol in the bottle.
5. Put the needle top back on.
The chemical in the store bought version (in addition to alcohol) is Propylene Glycol Methyl Ether (PGME). That's not the same as just Propylene Glycol. And PGME is not readily available to purchase - not even through chemical companies. However the Dow Chemical Materials sheet for this chemical indicated several other names for this substance. Once of them is 1-Methoxy-2-propanol. I don't know how she did it, but Christine discovered a product (that is readily available to purchase) that is 99.5% 1-methoxy-2-propanol:
Recollections Stamp Cleaner
Christine's DIY Blending Solution
In a 2 oz bottle, combine:
91% isopropyl alcohol (full up to 1" from top of bottle)
1ml denatured alcohol solvent (not the same as isopropyl alcohol)
3ml Mod Podge (gloss)