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My Geneva oil paint dried on my palette

edited April 2019 in Painting
I mixed my colors to do a painting.  Three days later, some of the mixed colors dried our. What can I do to moisten the paint?


  • PaulBPaulB mod
    Nothing.  Oil paint doesn't "dry" by losing moisture, it polymerizes in an irreversible reaction.  Remix, cover your palette, and add a cotton ball that has a couple of drops of clove oil in it.
  • The paint will dry quicker when it is very thinly spread on the palette like you have pictured here
  • edited April 2019
    Boudicca said:
    The paint will dry quicker when it is very thinly spread on the palette like you have pictured here
    Ok I see. Do I mix more color in the dried paint?
  • I always clean dried paint off my palette- I don’t mix wet paint on top of dried. I use isopropyl alcohol and a bladed paint scraper to remove the dried paint.
  • @lavenderrose17   I don't know what the weather is like where you live, but I usually get a week out of the lighter colors but anything with Burnt Umber in it will dry sometimes within a day. 
    Unfortunately when they've dried, just scrape them off and start again. Annoying. It does help to discipline you, however, to painting soon after color-mixing :/

  • mixing new over dried splotches can sometimes soften the dried or partially dried paint enough to pick up a little skim that will stick out on your canvas. It's best to scrape away the dried stuff as explained above. mixing bigger globs will help them last longer too. Everyone who already commented is right.
  • edited April 2019
    Scrape off your palette and remix. If you try to mix fresh paint with half dry paint you'll get a lumpy mixture that will drive you crazy and ruin your work. As painters we just have to accept that not every molecule of pigment is destined to be part of a masterpiece. There's always waste. It's entropy. For every bit of order  we create on the canvas a greater amount of disorder in the universe at large is the result  It's inevitable. That's 2LTD.  :)
  • SummerSummer -
    edited April 2019
    Some of us are deciding to mix only one string or line at a time to conserve on paint.  Just mix those colors and values for the area you will be painting the next two days.  Only you can decide if the paint can be remixed or tossed.  It takes experience to know how to proceed.  And, a drop or two of clove oil on a cotton ball under a large plastic lid when a painting is in progress works for me in the short term and saving a few tiny plastic containers filled with the main extra colors and values works for the long term.  Just the other day, to my horror, I noticed a painting that has been damaged that I was just about to varnish.  A complete mystery as to how it happened but fortunately I could color match without any trouble because I saved some of the values.  The downside is that now I have to wait another six months before varnishing.  Hmm.
  • I've never understood having great piles of dried, crusty old paint on the palette.   I understand that wood doesn't scrape clean like glass, but layer on layer of old curing paint?
  • @TedB , you mean like this:

    @TedB are you related to @PaulB ?
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