How To Preserve Acrylic Paint- Making Acrylics Last Longer

Paints are pricey. A big expense for artists who use a lot  of paint.  Finding a way to keep your paints fresh while you are working and in-between painting sessions will not only save you money but also time, as you won’t need to set your palette up every time you work. To make your paint last longer while your painting, I use a very simple technique taught to me in college by the awesome Mr. Bostic.

Fold a paper towel to fit in your container,(Viva Brand has less lint so less lint will end up in your painting) wet it and ring it out. Flatten out the paper towel. It should be as moist as a wrung out sponge. You shouldn’t be able to squeeze much of any water out of it.

Find an airtight take out container, any small airtight container will do, to keep the paint moist and useable. Its important that there isn’t to much air space above the paint as the more air there is the more apt your paint is to try out. Place the damp towel inside the container and  squeeze your paints onto the paper towel as you would on your palette. This will keep them from trying out from the bottom.

Purchase a small misting bottle used for  misting plants or in the personal grooming  section of the drug store. Find one with an adjustable nozzle so you can make the spray very fine. This is important because you don’t want big drops of water to water down your paint. Occasionally mist your paint with a very fine spray to keep it from getting hard and unusable on top.

You can keep the paper towel on your palette( mine is a sheet of thick glass) as you work. When you are ready to take a break, place your paints carefully inside your to go container, give it a very light mist with your spray bottle and  cover it with the lid. Your paint should be fresh and ready to use the next time you are ready to paint.

I recommend tossing the paint if you notice any mold or any smell coming from the paints. If you don’t over wet the paint it should last at least two week or longer.

Do you have a great technique you use with acrylic paints? I would love to hear what you do. Happy painting!