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Tubing My Paint

edited October 2018 in Studio & Supplies
                                                                      Above are my 14ml aluminum tubes, below are most of the tools to be used. I'll have to come with some plunger to help. I don't have a tube crimper, so I will be doing by hand. Good method for storing paint for long periods, including leftover paint for later use.


  • Forgiveness

    Try a basting syringe from the kitchen supply store.
    Fill with a plastic bag with the corner cut off, like an icing or fondant bag.
    A pair of combination pliers will crimp the tubes.


  • I figured out the canvas pliers for crimping the tube once filled. Thank you.
  • All you need is wax paper or a sheet from a paper pallet. Lay out your paint in a narrow row close-to and parallel to the short edge stopping an inch or more from the long edge then roll the paper up into a cylinder slightly smaller than the aluminum tube. Insert the paper all the way into the tube, fold over the blank end and squeeze the paint into the tube withdrawing the paper a little at a time while filling the tube.  Where can we get tubes like that or larger?
  • This looks challenging.  Good luck.  I have yet to use mine so I hope you will update this thread.
  • edited October 2018
                                                                                     Here are my first 2 tubes filled. I also recommend wearing rubber gloves, quite messy but still very little waste, slow process, it takes a committed effort, be ready. So far so good. You can get these and more from jerry's artarama (the widest selection and greatest deal absolutely, but not so if in Canada). I got mine from amazon, not as wide a selection but adequate, and a great deal. Very nice tubes, round caps, about 1/2 size of regular 37ml tube, very satisfying!
  • Very good advice.  I will use this method that you have all provided.  Thank you.
  • edited October 2018
    Labelling them, as much detail as needed, asap before moving on. I have 2 1/2 tubes same color but very different consistencies, now labelled. Also chose to store unused empty tubes in a plastic container to avoid dust and moisture, ready for next time.Thank you.
  • A long time ago I filled clear plastic tubes with condiments and spreadable foods for camping the way I described above. They worked fine and are reusable. Perfect for Barbeque sauce, peanut butter, jelly even deviled ham but hard to clean. Be careful if you try this, shampoo and honey look alike.
  • edited November 2018
         This is the end result from my first experience tubing paint. There are 6 other filled tubes as well, not shown here. I started with 40 (14ml) empty tubes, wasted 1, and I have but 3 empty tubes left over. This labelling will not last, I will replace with masking tape. I am real glad I did this, this week and looking forward to continue painting again. Thank you.
    CJDBoudicca[Deleted User]Summer
  • Wow, that looks pretty impressive.  I wonder how economical it was in the long run?  But in any case, it's wonderful to increase your technical knowledge of paint by making your own, I'm sure.
  • What mixtures did you make? :)
  • edited November 2018
    The large group of tubes on the left are mixes for a full spectrum 12 color palette including semi-neutral palette R5, Y5, B5, and neutral palette R3, Y3, B3, and my primaries (not shown) are Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Yellow Pale. The 6 tubes on the right are my mixes for 2X 3 values of burnt umber added with BU from the original tube to make 4 values total and the white. These BU mixes are for thumbnail sketching, practise and working in monotone. This will save my paint from spoiling (too many plastic containers), make my mixing on the palette more efficient. Much of the time I have spent mixing ahead would be equal to doing it on the palette as I go, now that this is done and out of the way, now down to more serious mixing on the palette sooner, all the more fun painting. I am guaranteed the paint will not come out like striped toothpaste too, LOL! Also real handy for plein air painting and for travelling. Thank you.
    dencal[Deleted User]BOB73
  • Masking tape won't last very long. Clear polyester tape over the writing will work forever. Am I understanding you correctly that you have several tubes of the same color premixed to a specific value? Also, How are the ends of the tube  sealed, is there a tool for that?
  • edited November 2018
    I happen to have polyester tape on hand perfect for this. For crimping the tube closed, I use canvas plyers, a crimping machine is ideal, great if you can borrow one. Thanks for the tip. Because these are small tubes and as a result of over mixing, and the amount of painting I will be doing including large paintings, this requires a lot of paint. So I have some tubes doubled, mixed to a specific hue, not value. My new colors/hues and values from these will be mixed on the palette. This palette is quite efficient at arriving at this, very fast. Now that this is done I am back at painting, looking forward even more. This will be awesome when I get handle on how to paint and practise with this palette. The letters and number codes are used for communication with myself and with other artists who are using same. There is a reference chart available for orientation. It's sort of like learning musical notes, or like writing. Thank you.
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