Archive for February, 2009

How to Store Oil Paints, part I: Those Tricky Tubes

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Being an artist is not the easiest way to make money; the people who most rely on having their paints in good condition are typically the ones who can least afford waste. Reliable paint storage is not a glamorous topic, but the more serious you are about being an artist, the more important it becomes to do it right.

The screw top paint tube is an important invention and it might seem simple to use, but it is not trivial. Every time paint is removed and the top is screwed back on, a bit of paint will find its way between the plastic top and the metal screw part of the tube. As this paint builds up, and time passes, bad things can happen. There are two basic categories of bad things. One is that the paint builds up in a way that makes it hard to close the tube properly. When this happens, there is the danger that the paint in the tube will dry, as in this photo.

When paint dries in the tube, it is worse than throwing money out of the window. It wastes time, it makes me feel stupid, and I’m stuck with the tube (who knows, maybe there is some good paint in there somewhere). (more…)