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Old 07-21-2011, 02:15 AM
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How do you store your paint?

How do you store the paints on your palette between painting sessions? When I used regular oil paints I used the method of putting them in a dish and submerging them in water. Obviously that doesn't work with water soluble oils.

Nowadays, I use plastic storage containers as my "palettes" and just seal them and toss them in the freezer between sessions. Since I like turkey sandwiches, I usually have a few of these floating around to recycle for my painting needs.



It seems so tacky and cheap. But it actually works fairly well. Since I now only paint with 3 primaries and white I don't need a lot of palette space. But, if I do need more space, I can use a few separate containers, one for my blues and greens, another for reds and oranges, etc.

How do you usually store your paints? And what are some of the crazy ways you've tried that may, or may not have, worked?
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:10 AM
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Re: How do you store your paint?

Whatever you can come with that prevents air from hitting the paint, or as little air access as possible, is good.

My palette is a large pizza pan with a slightly curled lip. I usually just place a large sheet of plastic across the top, flip it over, and place a heavy object on it to press it down. That will keep even the fastest drying paint workable for an extra day or two. Any large container will do, but it's best to have one that has short walls so it contains less air. Another friend of mine uses small metal cups that she places over each dab of paint. A drop or two of clove oil on the palette (not in the paint) will also help prolong the open time.

I'm not one to recommend freezing oil paint. Wet oil may not be that much affected by extreme cold, but I'd rather not risk it. My freezer is crowded enough as it is. Paints anywhere near food is also not wise. I think a better approach is just not squeeze out too much paint in the first place.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:29 AM
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Re: How do you store your paint?

Storing unused paint is something I have done a lot of. I have used styrofoam plates most of the time and put them in plastic freezer bags or I make a flying saucer sandwich with two of them and tape them together. I have tried small screw cap containers from the art store and those plastic daily labelled medicine containers, you know Sunday through Saturday with the flip top lids. But I wind up maybe not painting for a while and throwing it away anyway. So If I know I will be painting again the next day, I will still do it.
But having done it now extensively, I agree with David, it is something I want to avoid and not do if possible. I also tend to get inconsistent paint piles, some of it stiff, some producing very annoying small paint skins, I like working with nice fresh stuff, and doggone it, I deserve it (said in a stewart smalley voice) .
There are a couple of things that help, like he said, try to estimate beforehand how much you may need and don't just put out a big pile of red if it isn't going to be used much. Then when done I mix them up and utilize this leftover paint for oil priming/toning canvases or even underpainting others that have been drawn and mapped out.

Last edited by sidbledsoe : 07-21-2011 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:33 PM
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Re: How do you store your paint?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbclemons

I'm not one to recommend freezing oil paint. Wet oil may not be that much affected by extreme cold, but I'd rather not risk it.

Freezing paint is not good for it, no. But you're not actually freezing the paint by putting it on the freezer. The oil in the paint does not freeze at the temperature of the average house freezer. It needs to be several degrees colder than that to freeze. So, since the paint does not reach the freezing point, it's not harmed by the lower temperatures. Here's an article that talks more about it.

http://painting.about.com/od/oilpain...ezing-oils.htm





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Last edited by CSForest : 07-21-2011 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:57 PM
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Re: How do you store your paint?

I use a sheet of Press N Seal plastic wrap -- seal it down around the edges of the palette, but leave it lifted up somewhat where the paint is so it's not pressing down on the paint dabs. I find it works better than regular plastic wrap.
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:45 PM
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Re: How do you store your paint?

I find to keep paint lasting longer, first use slower drying pigments. Some to avoid are raw umber and prussian blue for example, those dry very quickly. There are lots of lists of how fast paints dry. W&N has a nice little listing of its colors drying properties in its brochure. Cobra paints also dry more quickly and consistently than some other brands. If you want your paint to stay wet longer, use a different brand. (I love how it dries faster tho).

Then mix a slower drying oil into them, like safflower oil or walnut oil.

Finally, put a bit of clove oil on a cotton ball and set it in the middle of the palette and freeze it in a seal container in the freezer. It will last as long as a week that way.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:52 AM
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Re: How do you store your paint?

Concerning using plastic storage container for storing your paint, I just found some at Walmart that are the right size for a disposable palette. School supplies are just in and these made by Sterlite and are called "notebook size" because they fit a spiral ring notebook. They are also good for carrying wet paintings back and forth to class. Don't think they are airtight, but you could always tape the seam with painter's tape. Perhaps putting a small damp sponge in with the paints would help keep them moist (old watercolorist's secret).
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:40 AM
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Re: How do you store your paint?

Would you upload a picture of this, please? Thanks, I'd like to see it.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:47 PM
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Re: How do you store your paint?

Sorry to be so late with the photos. The case has an interior size of about 9 X 12 and is about 1.5 inches deep. I made the pins by using airplane glue and gluing two push pins together. The pins hold the painting to a plastic "cardboard" cut to fit. So it doesn't move in the box. Also the pins are tall enough to touch the top of the box when closed. So the wet painting won't touch the top of the box when closed. Pretty neat! Also I have used blue tape to hold a paper palette in place to carry paint back from class. I think I am going to buy several more! I got them at a super Walmart. Hope this helps.
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Last edited by Artsy Me : 07-28-2011 at 10:09 PM. Reason: forgot the pictures
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:27 AM
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Re: How do you store your paint?

Thanks, Susan! Great idea. Hope you get to the store before all the kiddies buy them up!
Shirley
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