View Full Version : Bad Liquitex Paint

05-20-2015, 09:09 PM
Hello all -

I have a problem, I think? I have ten Liquitex heavy body artist acrylic paint tubes that I have had for a while.... like five years kind of a while. The colors are primarily cadmium reds and yellows with a few other colors.

Now I have more free time to paint, I broke them out to use. Whenever I use them, the paint comes out of the tube in a stringy, jelly-like manner. Whenever I pull the tube away from the dollop, the paint strings out away from the tube back towards the dollop of paint. Whenever I try to blend or spread out the paint - without anything added to it - it just acts like jelly and difficult to spread out.

I also noticed where the cadmium red medium color has a tendency of wanting to dry darker than when it is wet. I know color shift is to be expected with acrylics but this seems somewhat darker than what I have seen before from this Liquitex color.

I guess my question revolves around whether this paint is not worth using for serious works or can it be saved? I have tried a gloss medium to see if it would spread easier, and it did to an extent, but there are still lumpy qualities to it. I'm going to try a flow additive next, but I'm not sure if the paint can be salvaged in the sense it'll act as it would/should if the paint was newer. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :)

05-20-2015, 09:27 PM
Sounds like the pa not is seriously compromised. If you sell your work professionally I would be inclined not to risk using it. Could you reserve it for sketches or studies?

If you don't sell your work, perhaps use it to tone the canvas and then paint with product that isn't compromised.

05-20-2015, 09:56 PM
Well, I have new acrylic paint (Sennelier) that I love very much. I was planning on use Sennelier acrylics for my serious work. I didn't want to count out my Liquitex paints because I don't want to waste any money if at all possible. I contacted Liquitex to see what their response/suggestions would be but I have not heard back from them yet. I will probably end up using the Liquitex paints for sketches and color theory ideas. Thanks for the response ColinS!

05-21-2015, 11:20 AM
My Liquitex Burnt Sienna is in the same condition, I want to use it up asap and get a W&N tube. It paints ok if I thin it with water or medium. I'm interested in what Liquitex have to say.

05-21-2015, 03:33 PM
One of the colors I have is Liquitex Burnt Sienna as well. It is behaving just like the cadmiums I mentioned earlier. When/If I get a response from Liquitex, I'll let y'all know what they say!

05-21-2015, 07:12 PM
Depending on how long the paint has been sitting it could have "gone bad." You may want to consider a replacement tube.

05-21-2015, 08:24 PM
ok I heard back from a Liquitex technical expert and this was their response:

"Thank you for your interest in Liquitex.

The shelf life of unopened art materials is about 8 years. Of course, when purchased, it's difficult to know how long it was actually sitting on the shelves before it was purchased. Once it's been openend, it's difficult to predict useable life since so much depends on how tightly it's capped, how it's stored, etc.

If it's stringy/lumpy, it definitely sounds like it's past its prime and should be replaced with fresh color. If the color squeezes out of the tube as expected, and is of even texture, without a strong foul odor, it is good to go. If you want to send me the batch codes on your problematic tubes, please feel free to do so. The code is found on the crimp of the tube, and is tiny and indented, not printed. Just give the color name and the batch code associated with it.

I wish I had better news!"

I will probably send her the batch codes out of interest, but I've only had some of my tubes for only 2-3 years old, the oldest being 5 years. Maybe they are older than I had thought. I'm not sure why all of them seem to be in the same state. I have not had them anywhere in terms of extreme temperatures, left uncapped, etc.

I can't really say there is a foul odor or that even the pigment is separating from the binder. It's just a uniform jelly-like quality. I've never seen this before, but I'll definitely keep the shelf-life aspect in mind next time I order acrylics.