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Gel & Med Differences
Gel & Paste Properties / Differences Between Gels & Mediums / Size Chart /
Using Gels & Pastes
/ Gel Applications / Product Review / Back to Index Page

Gel & Medium Differences

With so many products of which to be aware, it does become quite a task to keep them all straight. However, there are a few general distinctions that once remembered make the whole group of gels and mediums seem much less difficult to understand.

The main property that differentiates a majority of products is viscosity - that is, how thick or thin a product is. This is what actually separates the gels from the mediums. The mediums are the thinner products, while the gels are thicker, having higher viscosities. The mediums are thin enough to be pourable, while the gels are not.

Within the gel grouping, the names reflect the scale of viscosity, and not any differences in feel of dry films. Soft Gels are thinner than Regular Gels, which are thinner than Heavy Gels, which in turn are thinner than Extra-Heavy Gels. Heavy Gels do not weigh more, and Soft Gels do not feel spongier or more flexible when dry.

The second key property is reflectance or sheen. This is the most important difference between Polymer Medium Gloss and Matte Medium. In the gels, nearly all are available in Gloss, Semi-Gloss and Matte finishes. Hence, a Heavy Gel Gloss and Heavy Gel Matte will feel very similar in consistency, but will dry with different sheens. The Semi-Gloss gels dry to yield a similar appearance as wax, and this aspect has been used extensively to create wax-like impressions.

Then there are the specialty products that do not fit into the above differentiations. These products have a unique property requiring a different naming convention. In such cases, GOLDEN has tried to assign a name that has significance to the products most unique feature. For instance: High Solid Gels have higher levels of polymer solids than the other gels (approximately 60%, versus 45-50%); Light Molding Paste allows for thick film build without being correspondingly heavy in weight; Pumice Gels are composed of pumice (volcanic lava) and are ideal for creating rough, granular surfaces; etc.