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Hi my name is Carrie Brummer and here on Artist Strong I help artists like you build your skill and develop your unique artist voice.

Today we’ve got another question from our community. Donna asks,

“I have a question to ask which is sure to be addressed somewhere on the web, but I have yet to find the answer. I have various tubes of both acrylic and watercolor paints.

What is the best way to store these tubes to preserve the paint? Should I store them horizontally or vertically or does it matter?”

I have to admit, when I received this email I got a little self-conscious. (Isn’t it funny where imposter syndrome can show up?!) I do not do anything special to care for my art supplies except store them in boxes and try to make sure they are properly sealed. So I decided to reach out to some experts and get their input.

The first company I connected with is one I really admire: Golden. I was lucky enough to tour their facilities in upstate New York while I was a college kid and while I don’t yet buy from a single source for my paint supplies, as I use up my paints I replace those paints with Golden’s wonderful pigments.

Stacy from Golden writes,

“It shouldn’t really matter if the tubes are stored vertically or horizontally, it is more important that the threads on the neck of the tube and cap are kept clean so they are able to create an airtight seal.

If the paints are paints are sealed tightly, they should remain usable indefinitely. Any air getting to the paint could cause them to dry out. It is also best to keep them stored in between 60 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

I have an article about the shelf life of GOLDEN paints that you may find interesting linked below this video: http://www.justpaint.org/shelf-life-of-golden-acrylics/

And since Donna mentioned watercolors I figured I’d reach out to the other brand I’ve been using somewhat regularly: Winsor and Newton. Ann from W & N told me,

“To prolong the life of water colour tubes for as long as possible try to ensure:

  1. The threads on the neck of the tube are free of colour
  2. The lid is replaced tightly
  3. The tubes are stored at ambient temperature.”

Learn how to organize and store your acrylic or watercolor paints so they last artists until the last drop. Click to learn more from Windsor and Newton and Golden Paints. #artsupplies #artstorage #artideas

Temperature and proper sealing are the most important ways to care for your paints.

Of course, I know you might be a storage queen or king who loves good organization and just has to set up your studio with those binder clips to hang your paint tubes like those Pinterest images. If you want those kinds of ideas and inspiration I created a Pinterest board all about organization you can access below.

And then Go for it! Often if we stay organized it means you have more time to focus on what you want to be doing, which is making more art!

Today’s conversation really serves all of the artist archetypes. From the Curious Creator to the Activated Artist everyone is always looking for more time to make art. Do you want to know your artist archetype? Take my free quiz below to uncover your archetype and get access to a bootload of free resources tailored just to you.

Now time to go get out those acrylics or watercolors and do some art! Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time here on Artist Strong.