View Full Version : Any concerns over using old tubes of paint?

07-29-2001, 12:13 AM
A local art supply store is going to be moving soon, so they're taking a lot of old stuff out of the back an putting it on clearance. Among the items was a bunch of old tubes of Maimeri oils. I've been looking to get my own set of oils for some time now but haven't had any money to spare (college student). So I went ahead and bought some.

Like I said, they're Maimeri oils, but they're the older Artist's Extra Fine line, not the newer Puro. The tubes have paper wrappings which the newer ones don't, and some of the labels look a bit faded. Does anyone have any idea just how old these tubes might be?

So far all I've done with them is painting some color swatches and color test mixes. The only thing I could really think of that could be a problem was seperation, which I did notice just a bit of in one of the colors. A few of the caps were a little gunked up, but I certainly didn't need a pliars to get them off. Is there anything else I should be worried about with these old paints, or am I free to paint?

07-29-2001, 05:38 AM
Hi Toe, Maimeri have a pretty good reputation, not the best but certainly not the worst. If they are listed, it might be a good idea to check the pigments used and see if they are lightfast enough for your taste. But if you're only learning to paint and you've bought them anyway it's worth using them regardless.

If there is oil separation you can choose to use the paint leaner (i.e. with less oil it in) or mix the separated oil back in, or mix in some fresh oil, it's really up to you. Some people like to paint with very fat, or oily, paints (Old Holland and Blockx for example) others prefer leaner paints, some artists have even been known to leach oil out of their paints by squeezing them onto blotting paper. Longevity issues aside there is a fairly wide range of taste with regard to how much oil is good but remember to work fat over lean unless you paint ala prima.

Other than that if the tube is in good condition and the cap provides a decent seal oils can last for a very long time. I know people who have had a colour they use occasionally for 25 years and more. Even if the tube gives up the ghost you can transfer the paint to an airtight container like a small jar (preferably coloured glass) or even a film canister and it will keep almost indefinitely if you keep the air and light from it.

Hope this helps,