Twee' Art LLC, Vermont
Artist’s Hack- Waste Acrylics No More!
Susie E Caron © 7/17/2020
Versatile acrylic paint provides hours of fun. However, those frustrating, wasteful tubes of acrylic paint can make this artist cranky. My search for a solution may save you time and money.
The Problem with Tubes
Small tubes never last. The large ones dry out too soon. Large or small they clog or squirt out more than wanted. The small opening design makes it also impossible to put any unused paint back inside for later. Plus, it always feels like more should come out of the tube. I thought maybe paint in jars might solve the problem.
The Problem with Jars
I discovered not all acrylic colors come in jars. Of artist’s acrylics that do, jars range from 4 – 16oz sizes. However, acrylics tend to dry out quickly. The frequent opening of jars to remove paint means the tops and inside edges dry out, so nasty lumps form. Perhaps jars commonly found at home could help?
The Problem with Household jars
I knew smaller amounts of acrylic paint could be placed into assorted 2-4 oz jars
So I tried empty containers like these, which were used for the following:
medication (didn’t seal well)
bouillon cubes (too hard to remove the label)
tiny jelly sized canning jars (flat lids stuck fast to the jars)
dark empty yeast jars (dark was no fun)
and face cream jars (a possibility but how many????)
Face Cream Jars presented one problem
The face cream jars seemed useful. They were just the right size for small amounts of paint and sealed well. The wide top made it easy to take paint out and to put back in any unused, uncontaminated amounts. I topped off the paint inside each one before closing with a light water spray at the end of a day’s use. This worked very well. My paint remained fresh. I wasted very little because I could use what I wanted and put the remainder back. However, being an impatient artist I wanted more jars quickly.
Where Oh Where to Find Perfect Jars?
I searched the web for glass jars and found them in 2-4 oz sizes with white screw lids on dickblick.com and bought two. These seemed perfect but they only sold as singles. Amazon.com carried them in boxes of 24 - 2oz clear glass jars with white screw on lids, at a much better price, so I bought those.
When they arrived, I put paint into each and dabbed a bit of the color and labeled the lids for easy identification. The lids sat tightly so my paint never dried out. After each use I wiped the glass rims with a damp paper towel or tissue before tightening down. Every now and then I misted the inside top for added assurance. To refill, remove or return paint to and from jars I used a pallet knife. I haven’t struggled with clogging, squirting or waste.
If I could just figure out how to get that last bit out of the tubes when emptying them……..
I hope this acrylic painting hack helps you.
Perhaps it may have inspired you to solve a different problem you’ve encountered.
Let me know either way. I’d love to hear from you.
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Susie Caron, acrylic artist, creates realistic paintings of pets, animals, and selected scenes. Her love of and experience with many pets and farm animals throughout her life, enables her to capture the unique feeling and expression of each subject. In her commission pet and livestock portraits, Susie also works with each customer to discover and then reveal the personality and special bond between pet and human.
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