Art painting is such a relaxing and enjoyable activity, it’s easy to find that time passes un-noticed when you immerse yourself in this amazing world of creativity. I’ve spent many years working from my kitchen table before moving into my very own creative space- my studio. I’ve had to set up, pack up, and clean up – on numerous occasions. Through experience I’ve been able to refine the process, so I could spend more time painting and less time doing the things I dread.
Follow my tips and hints and all you‘ll need to do is wash your brushes after a painting session.
Along with time saving tips I have also included tips on prolonging the life of your equipment and some health and safety tips as well.
- Have all your equipment ready before you begin. Before I moved into a studio, I kept all my equipment in a plastic tool caddy. My old towel would always be folded and sitting on top of it. All I had to do was unfold the towel and place it on the table, fill my jar with water and I was set to go.
- I use Acrylic paints in almost all my work, so I know from experience – Acrylic paint stains- always wear a smock or old clothes when using it.
- Always protect the surface you are working on with an old towel, although acrylic paint is easier to remove from non porous surfaces you may end up leaving scratch marks when removing it from surfaces such as wood. Place a sheet of plastic under your towel as well for further protection, in case of spillage.
- If paint does get on your clothes, use a fabric stain remover and an old toothbrush, try and loosen the paint by brushing in the direction of the weave before washing. Wet paint is easier to remove than dry, so as soon as you notice paint where it shouldn’t be start the removal process.
- Paint does splatter over things you don’t want it on, and keeping your reference material close to you is really handy while working on a project. Place your reference material in a plastic pocket before you begin.
- When you’ve finished painting for a while, lightly mist the paints on your palette then wrap in plastic wrap, (or you can place it in a shallow airtight container) then pop it in the fridge. The paints should remain wet for a few days.
- Never leave brushes sitting in water as this can damage the tips of the bristles.
- Always clean your brushes as soon as you have finished painting.
- If you’re using stencils, wash these straight after use, remove all the paint that may lodge in the edges of the design. This will ensure crisp edges next time you use them. Keep them flat while washing them to avoid any bends and creases in them. Let them dry then store them flat.
- Paint bottles can last you many years, they should be stored away from sunlight. Heat and sunlight could damage and dry out the product (I still have some of the first colours I purchased many years ago from following this instruction).
- Use low tack tape such as magic tape when masking out an area on a painting.
- A dirty eraser can leave smudges on your painting, it is a good idea to keep them clean, rub over them with sandpaper and they will come up as new again.
- Always prime your surface with Gesso or Sealer, These products prevent paint from soaking through fibres, they save you on paint and they create a good tooth for your painting.
- Although some canvases come already primed, I still prefer to give them a couple of coats of Gesso using my own products. I never know what type or quality primer they have used.
- Always wear a mask when sanding to prevent dust inhalation. Always sand outside.
- Always wear a mask when using a spray paint or varnish to prevent inhalation of the contents. Spray painting should be done in a well ventilated area, best to do this outside.
- Keep food and any food preparation areas separate from paints and brushes.
- Always read the instructions before you begin a project.
Until next time…