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Jar Maintenance

After you've gone through all the paint in a jar, is there an easy way to clean all of the leftover paint on the inside of the jar to start fresh before squeezing another tube of paint in?


  • Jar?  I only have tubes, which I would imagine are more convenient, but does this mean you are mixing in SDM yourself?  If so, you're a pro.

    Spoon?  Small silicon spatula?  Paper towel?
  • When I get close to the end I just make a new batch of the same color. The old blends in perfectly. Using jars I'm sometimes tempted to dip my brush when I only need a dab rather than transfer a scoop to the pallet. Don't ever dip a brush with another color in it, it will ruin the whole jar.
  • movingalonghome

    Agree with PaulB. Dip a tissue in SDM, oil or solvent and wipe interior clean, with special attention to the lid seal.


  • Alright thanks! The paint dried in the jars faster than I anticipated (jars too big, perhaps not enough clove oil in mix) so it's not going to be easy getting it all out!
  • edited June 26
    You're right, may not be easy, but we're with ya! I've been scraping my empty jars clean, assortment of scraping tools that gets in there including spatulas, carving tools, coarse steel wool but must not scrape or scratch the glass, avoid damaging. It's a labor intensive, that's all there is. Linseed oil will keep things soft, pliable enough for a period, best before it gets to real hard dried.
  • Why don't you just get a new jar?  Sometimes it's just not worth the headache and dried pieces of paint will show up in the new batch.
  • Small jars and small batches of paint. Airspace is a killer you can put in a plastic wrap over the top and push it in to just be fore it touches the paint and seal the lid over it. that reduces the air space in the jar.
  • I've had the same problem too @movealonghome , even with small (50ml) jars - but I've found it depends on the pigment. My red and umber don't seem to dry at all and I can just wipe clean when empty. My blue, white and yellow get a bit crusty on the walls. Solvent and elbow grease for those. My jars are from an old science lab, and too cute to throw away.
  • I agree with Ronna,  no way am I spending time to scrap out jars.   Time is too valuable for me.  Too many other things to do.  I don't paint as much as I would like as it is.   thanks
  • dencaldencal -
    edited August 4

    Recalcitrant residual in jars of any shape, size or condition can be easily cleaned by adding a small amount of the commonly available, non toxic, non solvent, Graffiti paint remover.

    for the folks on the other side of the pond

    These products may etch plastic surfaces but otherwise very safe to use.


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