Whether you accidentally put too much paint on your palette, or you mix a lot of a color to use throughout your painting, there are a lot of reasons you can end up with extra paint. Professional quality acrylic paints aren’t cheap. So, wasting any amount of paint is like throwing money away.
Over the years, I’ve come up with a few ways to save my paint (and some dollars). Here are my top 6 ways to save paint:
1. Resealable Palette: My number 1 choice to save paint is to use a Sta-Wet Masterson Palette. This is basically a “Tupperware” container for paint. It includes a sponge and palette paper that keeps your paints from drying out while you’re working AND a big air-tight lid to close it up in between painting sessions.
I have several in my studio, and they’re in use at all times.
If you want to check it out, a link is at the end of this blog post.
2. Disposable/Reusable Plastic Storage Container: Using any type of plastic storage container with an air-tight lid works great too. You can even get away with skipping the palette paper in a pinch. Spritzing your paints with a squirt bottle of water before you close it up is also a good idea.
3. Paper or Foam Plate in a Resealable Bag: Using a foam or paper plate is a great choice if you’re painting “on the road” and need to travel light. Just slide your plate into a resealable bag, zip it up, and you’re good to go.
4. Freezer/Fridge: No matter which paint storage system you choose, if it’s going to be a day or two before you can get back to painting, put your “palette” in the fridge/freezer. I’ve saved paints in the fridge for a couple of weeks and in the freezer for up to a month without any problems.
5. Glass Jars: Recycled, empty food jars make great paint storage containers. I use these a lot when I’ve mixed a special color that I love. You can pop your empty pickle, baby food, salsa, or other type of jar and lid in the dishwasher, and “voila,” you’ve got the perfect paint keeper. And clear jars are a bonus because you can see the paint color too.
6. Backgrounds: And because I’m really thrifty (this one is kind of embarrassing, but I’ll share anyway), I often keep a blank canvas handy and wipe extra paint on it. When I have extra paint on my brush, I’ll swipe it across the “blank” canvas before I wash it out. Those “extra paint swipes” often become my backgrounds and base texture for new abstract artworks.
I’ll wrap it up with this generally good rule–keep your paints out of extreme heat. Living in Arkansas, the summers are hot and humid. When I first began painting, I left my tightly sealed paint palette in the trunk of my car. A couple of days later, I opened it up to a stinky, moldy, mildew surprise. True story. Ugh!
Do you have other ways you save your paint? Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments.
Be Creative in Whatever Way Feels Right For You,