Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Preparing to Paint: How to Revitalize Old Oil Paints

Over the years, I've accumulated several tubes of various oil paints, many of the the same color of paint So in preparation for a painting commission I thought I'd consolidate and show you how to breath some life into old paints.  There are certain paints like Naples Yellow that have always been too firm for my taste and there are others I have that have just leached out their linseed oil.  Mind you, this isn't hard, chunky or starting to cure (there's no saving that stuff).  This is old paint that's lost it's pizzaz.  Admittedly I could just buy some new tubes for $5-$15, but these empty aluminum tubes are only $1.50, linseed oil is only $5 and I wanted to see if this worked.
Sart by cutting open old tubes and dumping the contents out
add a drop and keep adding drops of linseed oil until you get the desired consistency.  If you have additional pigment, this is the time to add it.

 Scrape into tube and hit the cap in he table until the paint goes to the head of the tube.

Starting near the cap start pinching the tube to eliminate air and pinch tightly on the bottom.  Cut the aluminum to length and roll the bottom. 
Flip them over and hit the bottoms of the tubes on the counter until the air pockets rise to the opening of the tube and squeeze most of the air out leaving a small pocket at the top of the tube.

For this painting I decided to use a blank puzzle from work.  The wood isn't treated so it's prime for gesso.
gob of gesso.  Spread it vertically.  Dry. Sand. Vertical. Dry. Sand. Repeat.


Next week: Landscaping

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