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I could have sworn there was a thread here on storing mixed paint but I can't seem to find it. I'm a little ticked right now. I have been using those Testor's 1oz paint jars to store leftover acrylic colors that I have mixed. I went to take a look at a couple I had bottled up about 6 weeks ago and both lids were loose - paint was ruined. Sure, it's possible I might have not tightened one of the lids but not both. I wonder if those cardboard seals are really worth anything?

 

Which brings up the bigger question, how do you store your paints? Not the stuff that comes straight from the store but the stuff you have to mix to get a certain color or shade. I've bought 2 different brands of paint jars. One had a cardboard seal (as I mentioned) the other had a styrofoam seal which dissolved after a few weeks.

 

The jars that Tamiya paints come in seem to keep the paint intact. There doesn't seem to be any seal on those just the plastic lid. I'm definitely saving those as I empty them.

 

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After mixing and using acrylic paint in my airbrush, I store the surplus in syringes which I seal with the end of a nail. I have stored paint this way for many months. Syringes are available cheaply on eBay and I have made stands to store them. Being transparent makes it easy to determine the colour of the paint and being stored in a syringe makes it very easy and economical to reuse the paint.

 

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In addition, also available on eBay, are plastic bottles designed for storing acrylic paint for use in an airbrush. These are also quite economical to buy. Search airbrush supplies on eBay if interested.

 

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Edited by hornet
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A trick recommended for storing Tung oil may work for paint:  add marbles, or in this case glass beads to reduce the volume of air in the jar.

 

Store the bottles in a Mason jar,  an open bottle of water in the sealed jar would saturate the environment with water vapor and greatly reduce any loss of water the paint bottles.  A similar setup with oil based paint with excess solvent in the jar environment should reduce any tendency for the paint solvent to evaporate.

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I've used a product called Bloxogen before that works okay......and then I realized the argon bottle on my mig welder was a cheaper alternative, just set it to purge and a few trigger pulls into the container is all that's needed. I used to go through a lot of Alumilite plastic in a product I made but lost alot  of it on the shelf and the argon kept it alive for a very long time.

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Giving more thought to the bottle seals -  cardboard does not seem likely to make that tight a long term complete closure, and plastic may potentially react with or to components in the paint - especially oil based paint.   Why not try to go Old School?   I am thinking that auto parts dealers may have cork veneer - thin sheets of cork used to make gaskets.  Plug disks could be cut and used to seal the paint bottles. 

 

The ultimate would be glass bottles with ground glass plugs.  In the Lab, we stored sensitive chemicals inside a large jar, with a wide lid - mating ground glass rims, coated with a silicon grease and a top port that could be connected to a vacuum line and then closed off.

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I'm kind of mixed about the seals. My experience with the Testor's bottles (cardboard seal) If you get paint on them i.e. shaking the jar or turning upside down, the seals tend to absorb some of the pigment. So I'm hesitant to reuse the seal with another color.

 

Will look into the plastic squirt bottles or syringes.

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The small Humbrol pots of acrylic have good tight press on caps - you actually have to use a small screwdriver (best all purpose tool in the world) to prise them off. I put a couple of drops of acrylic thinners in the pot to replace that lost by evaporation, a final stir, lid on, shake and store. I've had one pot of a light brown for years (very little use) and it's still good.

 

Alan

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it depends on what kind of mix you have, a mix of pure paint will keep for a while. but its not recommended to return thinned mixtures back into the bottle. you could get some gasket rubber from home depot and a circle cutter to make gaskets for the cap. other than that, reduce the amount of air in the jar and turn them every now and then.

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I have purchased cork gasket material at auto parts and farm supply stores. Might be hard to find today, I have several rolls in the shop but they were bought over 20 years ago. Needed some a while back and found that it had hardened up and became brittle, soaked it in warm water and the cork came back to life. You can get a paper type of gasket material and cut it to size, soak it in water before you use it, makes it soft so it will take the form it needs to make a seal. Might be able to find some "O" rings to fit inside bottle caps.

jud

Edited by shiloh
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