How To Store Your Acrylic Paints For Later Use

Like all art supplies, acrylic paints will keep best if they are stored correctly. They will deteriorate more quickly than oil-based paints but can last for years with a little care.

Firstly, do not store them at too high or too low a temperature. A comfortable room temperature is ideal. Acrylic paints can freeze if they get too cold or dry out if they are too hot. Either way, this can result in the component parts of the paints separating, which will make them unusable. This is probably the most common reason for acrylic paints to deteriorate.

You will also need to keep your paints dry. Storing them in a damp area can cause mould or mildew to form on them. Don't keep them in a room with running water, where droplets can splash on them, or near bathrooms where water vapour can condense on them. If your art room itself is damp and mouldy, your paints and other materials will probably go the same way, so choose the location for your studio carefully.

Make sure also that your storage location is away from direct sunlight, as this could cause your paints to fade. It is best to keep them in a cupboard rather than in an exposed space.

Once you have found the right spot at the right temperature for your paints, you will need to consider the storage container. The best option will be the manufacturer's container that the paint originally came in - as long as it is undamaged and airtight. If air can get to the paint, it can dry out or become mouldy, so check the container carefully before storage. Otherwise, you can buy specialist storage containers for acrylic paints or use household items such as jars and bottles. Just make sure they are airtight—wrapping them in plastic film can help here.

These tips should be fine if you are keeping your acrylic paints for the short term. If you want to keep them for longer—for years, perhaps—you should take a few extra precautions. You can add a mould and mildew inhibitor to the paint before you store it—just make sure it is suitable for this purpose before use. You can also keep moisture away from your paints by storing them with packets of silica gel.

By storing your acrylic paints for later use, you will be saving money as well as cutting down on waste. If you want more information, contact an art supplies retailer.