Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Color Me Wonderful - Day 21 of 31 days of organizing

Sorry if I am shouting but it is just excitement.
When I organize, one of my most common means of sorting is using color, so organizing my paints is no different.
I am talking about acrylic paints.  I prefer Ceramcoat if I can get it. But lately stores have started carrying their own brands and pushing Ceramcoat out.  I haven't resorted to ordering it online but maybe I should.  I would be voting with my dollars telling the hobby stores what I don't want at least.  But I digress.

Storing acrylic paints
I have been doing this in shelves and boxes for years.  The boxes are laundry detergent boxes cut down and then covered in contact paper.  

When I set up my adjustable shelves, I set one set so these boxes fit like drawers.  For a long time, I just pulled on the boxes, but last year, I cut holes in the front to make them easier to pull out.
When I moved to my new studio room, I got fancy with labels.  These don't have the holes.  I used a paint bottle to draw a circle and then cut the hole.  The hole was a thumb hole if you like.  I got the idea from shoe boxes.  

Now I am trying another system.  Still boxes, but using used small priorty mail boxes. Fortunately I have collected a bunch so far. The purpose of these is to separate by related colors and in smaller bunches.  As I buy more colors, I need more boxes.  My problem with the laundry boxes was how they fit in the box.  This lets me be more selective - pull out fewer colors. 

Other options of course are out there for holding paint bottles,  examples like wire racks, turntables and shelves that are narrow only allowing one row of paint on them.  I wanted a wire rack or turntable rack for a long time but never brought myself to buy one.  I might have gone the wall rack route if I had the wall space in my old studio area, but had already switched to these boxes.  Probably the reason I haven't really considered it in my new studio area and putting up wall racks although I now have the wall space.  It sure would look pretty to have all that color on the wall though. lol

One consideration about racks and boxes, is that some like to store paint on it's side.  I don't.  I am a flip it method person.  I turn the bottle up or down and then rotate them about ever six months or so.  I can't say this has fixed the drying up problem I deal with it. I have read that a paint manufacturer recommends to remove the air and then seal the lid. Well, my problem with that is that I keep it too long - or rather don't go through it that fast.  So the air thing would just mess up the bottles.  My answer is to just open up the bottle, remove the blob of dried up and go on.  If it dries up too much, I throw it out.

While we are talking paint, let's talk about brushes.
I have a bunch of brushes and I admit to being hard on them.  I am trying to do better.  I store the brushes I use most in my toolbox
I try to keep the ends of ones that are tiny (10 0 or smaller) in tubes.  These tubes usually come with the brushes.  This helps to keep the brushes from getting smooshed in the box for one.  I have replaced these tubes using small drinking straws when the tubes disappear.
I keep my spare brushes in a drawer in a cabinet.  These are mostly ones I have ruined, but also just some larger sizes that I don't use as often.  I also keep spare paint palette in this drawer.
I ruin my brushes by not properly cleaning them or by leaving them too long in water.  My attitude now is to not leave a brush in water.  Often what happened is I just forgot they were in the water.  I leave my studio and come back days later.  Could be the water has even dried up.  Very wasteful I know so hence my trying to never leave a brush in water.  

Random Painting tips

  • Use thin coats,
  • Sand between coats
  • Rinse brushes - don't soak them.  Rinse and wipe on paper towel until no more color. Or use soap to get acrylic out of a brush.
  • Use smaller brushes for smaller spaces
  • Hold a piece in multiple ways so can see all the angles.  Maybe it is the perfectionist in me, but I paint even where it won't show.
  • Watch for paint build up on edges, wipe it away or sand it.
  • Use quality materials
  • Take time to do it right - it will be reflected in your quality overall.
  • Use magnification if you need to, you won't get a shock so much when you take a photo that shows the mistakes you missed without it.

Come back tomorrow for another organizing idea during my 31 days of organizing.

Happy Miniature Organizing!


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