How to Store Oil Supplies to Improve Lifespan

Oil painting supplies are not cheap. In order to make sure they last as long as possible and you get your money’s worth, you need to take care of them.

In general, the best advice is to keep your supplies in a place that doesn’t have extreme dips or spikes in temperature.

Keeping them in a non-air conditioned shed during a South Florida summer won’t do them any good, and neither will an igloo in the arctic.

These things aren’t likely to happen and are usually just common sense anyway, but there are a few things you can do in your home to help improve the lifespan of your oil supplies.

The most sensitive oil supply you have is your paint. Oil paints are expensive and can last you a long time if you take care of them. While still in the tube, paints are generally safe, but once you squeeze them out onto your palette, they’re going to dry out and develop lumps if you don’t store them properly. There are many methods for storing standing oil paint, so you can choose from a few to decide what works best for you.

The first thing you can do is buy a special palette. There are palettes that come with lids so you can cover your paints when you’re done using the palette for the day. What is ruining your paints is exposure to air, so these palettes even go so far as to have special attachments that can suck out the air under the cover and keep your paints safe and unexposed.

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You can also cover your palette with waxed paper and store it in the freezer. This will keep the paints safe from lumps and drying, but does require more time as you’ll have to wait for them to thaw out the next time you want to use them.

A third option is to use a glass palette and store your paints underwater. It may seem a bit unconventional, but it works; oil and water don’t mix! Oil paints don’t dry through evaporation like water does, so the water will have no effect on the paint and if there are a few droplets here and there, they’ll evaporate quickly.

Once you’ve found a way to properly store your paints to improve their longevity, you’ll need to consider the rest of the supplies in your art kit. More than anything, you’ll simply want to keep the rest of these items in a safe place where they won’t get damaged or covered in dust.

If you have spare canvases that are already stretched, consider storing them horizontally between flat boards. Many people simply prop them against walls somewhere, but then you run the risk of accidentally putting a foot through them.

For brushes, always store them with the bristle side up in a cup or jar. This ensures that the bristles don’t get smashed or bent, which would render your brush useless.

With proper care, your supplies will last much longer and save you money in the long run. Take care of your supplies and have fun in oil painting!

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