Paint storage - how.

How do you store your paint? I have heard that paint should be stored/kept with the tube end up and lid down, vertically, but does it really make any difference???


  • Mikep

    A tube of paint is 40 to 60% oil. The contents will separate to a degree over time. The pigment being heavier settles to the seam and the oil accumulates at the cap.

    The oil is easier to remix with the pigment if the tube is stored cap down by manipulation.

    This example (not mine) is good practice. Opening a tube gets paint not a gush of oil.

  • It depends on the paint, @Mikep. And on how quickly you use the paint. Geneva paint has medium mixed with it so it is much more fluid than regular paint and so there is a greater chance of the pigment settling out. Regular paint is much thicker and, in my experience, the pigment doesn't separate. If they were left for years you might see it but mine are used long before that could happen. I just keep my tubes lying flat in a box.

    If ever I run out of ideas for paintings I might waste some time doing something similar to what's shown in the photo above that @Dencal posted. But I doubt my studio would stay as organized as that for long.  :)
  • Folks

    One more important point on paint stored in tubes.

    Allowing paint to accumulate around the cap prevents the tube from sealing, allowing oxygen into the pigment. In dire cases, such as shown above, the accumulated paint hardens and splits the plastic cap.
    In a week or so the entire tube is unusable.

    After squeezing out a line of paint, a quick paper towel wipe of the tube thread and the inside cap thread will prevent the unnecessary waste and expense.


  • There's a life lesson right there folks.
  • I mix my own slow-drying paints using Mark's formulas for slow-drying mediums, then I store them in reusable baby-food storage pouches:
    Because the medium tends to separate, I store the pouches with the seals up so I can open them and stir the contents easily.
  • SWEET!!!, Thank you.
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