Re: How long do oil paints last?
20, 30, or more, year old paints can be just fine to use providing they were sealed but you will know when you squeeze them, like say if there was a pinhole in a tube then it could be partially or fully hardened. Soft is fine. The other problem with old tubes like that is that the paint around the caps really ages and gets hard and the caps may be hard to unscrew. If this is the case, heat the caps and threads with very hot water or if you are careful, wave over a flame but be ginger about it before you roast the plastic, then they will come off just fine and clean them up while off.
There are no harmful fumes emitted from ordinary oil paint. Some of the paints are or could be made with metals and components like cadmiums and lead. They are considered toxic but only if they are ingested or you spray paint them and inhale the aerosol created, as I said, no harmful vapors from normal usage. These are in normal widespread artistic use and not a problem providing you don't ingest them. So the prudent usage of these paints includes good hygiene, clean your hands, keep away from food, pets, children that may squeeze out a dab to see if it tastes as good as it looks, Good luck and if you are like the rest of us you won't be able to put them down.
Last edited by sidbledsoe : 07-06-2009 at 11:00 PM.