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How to Take Care of Your Paint (water based)

How to Take Care of Your Paint (water based)

by Alliance Games

Rule 1: Keep you jar caps, rims and threads CLEAN and tightly closed. When necessary (and it frequently is) wash out the inside of your paint jar caps after replacing as much of the useable paint as possible back in the jar. Be sure that the jar threads and rims are also clean.

Reason: The chief reason for the loss of paint is drying in the jars and that is caused by two things.

1. a build-up of paint on the inside of the cap and on the rims and threads of the jar making a tighter seal impossible, and

2. painting from open jars and not adding water to replace the evaporation.

In both cases water is being allowed to evaporate unnecessarily. In the case of the paint build-up in caps and rims, naturally occurring small holes allow the water to escape fairly quickly and especially so in low-humidity conditions.

Rule 2: Never paint from an open jar. Use a pallet (plate, coffee can lid, aluminum foil, etc.) and use only a few drops at a time. Take the paint from the jar with a fat brush, a tongue depressor, coffee stirrer, etc., and re-cap the jar right away.

Reason: As mentioned above, most painting seems to be done in nice comfortable surroundings which usually implies very low humidity. Low humidity causes the paint to dry very quickly and open jars allow the water in the carrier to evaporate quickly making the paint thicker and eventually it dries out. This happens very quickly on a palette and we tend to automatically add the necessary water as we go.

In painting single figures you will be amazed at how much paint there is in a single drop.

Rule 3: if you insist in painting from an open jar, add a drop or two of water to the paint from time to time to replace the evaporation, and be especially careful to clean your caps and rims. Open jar painting combined with clogged caps is responsible for most paint loss due to carrier evaporation.

Rule 4: Never paint from the cap.

Reason: Paining from the cap destroys the cap seal integrity and ruins the airtight seal. Too much paint will dry in the cap before you clean it and it is very hard to get out without wrecking the seal. Ideally, with the simple cap provided, it is a very good idea to wash it before you start painting especially if you are (shudder) painting from the jar.

Rule 5: If you insist on painting from the cap, you must expect paint loss due to water evaporation from the jar.

The amount of paint you throw away from washing off a palette or scrubbing out a cap is insignificant compared to losing from half to two thirds of a jar because it dried out due to faulty seals. We have Armory Paint that has lasted up to 15 years having been in service all of that time and is still perfectly good.


1. Keep caps clean and tightly closed

2. Water is cheaper than paint.

Reprinted from “How to Take Care of Your Paint” by Alliance Games Distribution 1101 Greenwood Road Baltimore, MD 21208 c1999 All rights reserved