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Tips on keeping your
school paints fresh

Take extra care of your school paints:

Download the Free PDF guidesheet below

Colorful Abstract Painting

Take extra care of your school paints:


School paints are very different to crayons and pencils as "all children's liquid paint is an alive product" until it dries on your paper. 

No matter what brand type or colour, it will need some care to prolong its working life. Like canned food in the supermarket, a preservative is added to a paint formulation to keep the paint in top condition.    This type of paint often contains organic materials that can decay if not stored correctly or if stored for an extended period of time.   Extra care is needed to keep your paints in tip-top condition.

Don't pour used paint back into the bottle:
Paint can easily get contaminated by dirty brushes, pots and surfaces.  Do not return the unused paint to the original container; this can contaminate the remaining paint.

​Pour the paint into painting trays:
Avoid painting directly from the original bottle. Even stirring the paint with a stick can contaminate it. Pour into trays only the amount of colour you will need for that day's activity. This will keep your main bottle of paint separate from anything children have been using.  

​Oldest First:
Use up the oldest paint bottles first.  A good idea is to mark a date on the bottle when it is first opened.

Clean your brushes:
Dirty brushes can easily contaminate paint. Clean your brushes after use.  Brushes can be soaked overnight, or let the brushes rest in very hot water.  Try boiling a jug to let the brushes rest in hot water overnight.  This is an excellent thing to do if you have been painting with leaves or anything from outdoors that could hold bacteria in the brush hair.

Keeping very old paint colours:
If you have some half-used paint colours that you don't paint with very often, you can pour these into a smaller "clean" airtight container.  This will reduce the headspace of air in the bottle and helps prolong the paints life.   It is essential to make sure the container is clean.

Storing Paint:
Keep paint stored in its original container in a cool, dry place that is not too hot and out of direct sunlight.

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Download the Free PDF guidesheet

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