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When your paint gets old

edited June 2013 in Studio & Supplies
What do you guys(and girls) do when you reach the end of a jar of paint premixed with SDM? I think I may have made a mistake by adding fresh paint and SDM to the remainder of the first batch of paint. I go through these boom and bust cycles of painting where I may not get to paint for weeks and even months at a time. I kept checking the paints when I was not able to paint and added a couple of drops of DELQ and or clove oil to the jar and mixed it up. It seemed to work well but I am noticing the pallet time is really shortened now to only a few days.

Do you fellow painters clean out the jar before mixing more? Or just toss the jar (they are cheap enough)? I hate the idea of all that pigment ending up in a landfill and would rather clean the jars with OMS and let the pigments settle in one bigger jar. Our local dump has a facility for chemical pollutants that would otherwise end up in the ground, so that part is easy. I guess this gives me a good reason to just paint my you know what off and experiment a little too and use up some of these cheap canvasses I have. Two of which date back to the 80's with the price still attached.

I was fortunate enough through dumb luck to stock up on clove oil and DELQ from the old site and have a fresh round of paint tubes waiting in the wings. I would rather use this old stuff up first than to have twice as many jars around. What do you do?


  • newb

    When my jars are nearing the end I combine the contents to tone a few canvasses that I can leave to dry for a few weeks. This puts expensive paint to good use without throwing any away. Then clean out the jars and mix fresh.

    On another thread I described combining my one oz, value string, plastic capped cups to tone canvasses. These too are cleaned out ready for a new set of values.

    Yes, I also use end of life paint to experiment with palette knives and texture effects.

    Adding fresh paint to old stuff just introduces lumpy bits, scraped off the side of the jar - not a huge problem as these can be sandpapered off the canvas when dry.


  • newb, don't toss the jars. I clean my jars out with a plastic kitchen scrubber and some sunflower oil followed by soap and hot water. Cleans up like a charm.
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