Are oil paints reusable?
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Thread: Are oil paints reusable?

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    Are oil paints reusable?

    I just realized there are artist oil paints that are actually cheaper than winsor newton watercolors. So I bought some M. Graham oil paints, and I am wondering if you can reuse dried oil paint by remixing it with something? Is it normal to just use a disposable palette all the time, and should I wear gloves when painting with cadmium colors?

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    No. Use a disposable palette if you're too lazy to clean a real one. You shouldn't be dipping your fingers in the paint and licking them in the first place, but if you like gloves - no one is stopping you.


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    if you're buying oils that are cheaper than windsor & newton watercolours, it probably isn't actual cadmium.

    it might be physically possible to reuse dried paint if you could grind it to a fine enough powder, but probably isn't feasible.

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    No, but you can slow the drying by covering it with plastic wrap and/or sticking it in the fridge/freezer (the cold slows it down). Also put a drop of linseed oil on each pile of paint to keep 'em even fresher.

    Paint ain't cheap. No sense in chucking huge piles at the end of every session.

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    i'm such a lazy twat with paint.

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    Scoop it up with a palette knife onto a bit of glass and submerge it into a bowl of water if you are not going to be using it for a day or more. It'll keep for a week or two that way.

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    Watercolor dries and can be rewetted. (And, by the way, a tube goes a LONG way).

    Oil paint "dries" by undergoing a chemical change. The oil absorbs oxygen, very rapidly for the first 30 days, slowly after that. Technically, Rembrandts aren't totally "dry" yet.

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    No.
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    Not necessary...unless like Black Spot says, you just have a "thing" going on.

    M. Graham's are walnut oil based, not that it matters much, just fyi.

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    I read Leonardo Da Vinci smudges his paintings with his finger, so I thought if he used cadmium paint, can it be that poisonous? Sometimes I get paint on my fingers by accident, especially when cleaning brushes, so I guess I will wear a glove. I got some cadmium yellow watercolor on my fingers before and it dried on my finger. I feel okay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vay View Post
    I read Leonardo Da Vinci smudges his paintings with his finger, so I thought if he used cadmium paint, can it be that poisonous? Sometimes I get paint on my fingers by accident, especially when cleaning brushes, so I guess I will wear a glove. I got some cadmium yellow watercolor on my fingers before and it dried on my finger. I feel okay.
    ...he didn't use cadmium paints.

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    They used some VERY poisonous pigments, though. It's possible Goya was what he was due to lead poisoning, and Napoleon may have been offed by Paris green in the wallpaper.

    Cadmium is modern, though. It replaced vermilion, which was mercury and HELLA toxic (particularly to make).

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    Hmmm, I think I am going to buy safer paints from now on. Painting with cadmium sounds dangerous. Especially if my cadmium paint flakes off into dusts that travels through the air. I almost feel like returning the paint for safer ones...

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    You're way over thinking this. Don't eat the paint and don't go to sleep with paint all over your fingers. It is a simple responsibility. Thousands of us paint with cadmiums and lead paints and we're not dropping like flies...You'll be fine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackthorne View Post
    You're way over thinking this. Don't eat the paint and don't go to sleep with paint all over your fingers. It is a simple responsibility. Thousands of us paint with cadmiums and lead paints and we're not dropping like flies...You'll be fine!
    For a moment I thought the cadmium poisoning was kicking in, even though it was several weeks ago when I had dried cadmium yellow on my index finger. That's just to confirm that thinking negative thoughts makes you feel even worse... hmm... I feel like some of my genes have mutated .

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    The cadmium in artist's paints is bound up into stable compounds that aren't easily broken down in the body. You'd have to eat (literally eat) a LOT of paint to do yourself any harm. Spraying is more dangerous, because the exposure you get from inhalation is more than from ingestion (smoking with paint on your hands is an especially bad idea, but then again, if you're a smoker, health concerns presumably aren't high on your list anyway). But if you're not actually spraying it, the paint can't magically fly through the air and get you. Everyday things like cleaning your bathroom or pumping gas expose you to far more hazardous chemicals than painting will.


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    To go back to your original question, The M. Graham paint, because they're ground in walnut oil, are especially slow drying, so most colors should stay workable on your palette for several days. As has already been mentioned, strictly speaking, oils don't dry, they cure. The oil combines with oxygen and changes from a liquid to a solid.


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    Yeah...cadmiums, cobalts...all that other stuff is no prob...***GUUUuuuuRRRRrrrrKKkkkkkkk.......*thud*



    *Ta-Da!* Thank yew...thank yew...I'll be here all week! What Elwell said. The third time we had to call the Poison Control Center for my middle daughter was when she was about 2.5 years old, had slipped into the studio and covered her hands and arms with Cad Red Medium up to her shoulders. She was exteremely happy because she loves red and pink and stuff. It was no big deal, they said wipe off as much as you can, use baby wipes to get the rest. Thse stuff just isn't that bad - just be reasonably intelligent with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cro-magnon View Post
    it might be physically possible to reuse dried paint if you could grind it to a fine enough powder, but probably isn't feasible.
    It isn't physically possible. Oil paint dries by polymerization of oil; your "reused" paint will be embedded in what is, essentially, a kind of plastic and impossible to grind.

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    you could make pigment out of plastic if you could reduce it to a powder.

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    You're spinning hypothetical scenarios that have no bearing on the original question, or reality.


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    correct.

    he started it...

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    I also have a question about turpentine and canvas. Do artists generally use turpentine or soap to clean their oil brushes? I read that you can clean your oil brushes with oil, how does that work?

    I am using this canvas here:
    http://www.dickblick.com/products/ca...va-paper-pads/
    Do I need to do any priming or is it only reserved for cloth canvases?

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    I've always wanted to try oil. How does that type work for you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vay View Post
    I also have a question about turpentine and canvas. Do artists generally use turpentine or soap to clean their oil brushes? I read that you can clean your oil brushes with oil, how does that work?
    I clean my oil brushes with warm water and dish-washing liquid and put a bit of hair conditioner on the natural ones, no point in doing so for synthetics though.

    I am using this canvas here:
    http://www.dickblick.com/products/ca...va-paper-pads/
    Do I need to do any priming or is it only reserved for cloth canvases?
    Primed for oil and acrylic paints, the sheets are treated with a high-performance barrier to absorb oil, bonding agents and water evenly, providing superb resistance by the surface paint layer.
    I'm pretty sure the same info is printed on the actual paper package.

    It's up to you if you want to use any extra gesso (to add texture for example or whatever else).

    I really wonder what sources are you "reading" before heading off to CA with some of the most obvious and easily googlable questions tbh

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vay View Post
    I also have a question about turpentine and canvas. Do artists generally use turpentine or soap to clean their oil brushes? I read that you can clean your oil brushes with oil, how does that work?
    Yes, many artists clean their brushes with turpentine, oil, and sometimes soap.

    It works because all you need is a substance that oil is soluble in. Turpentine breaks apart oil, as do certain soaps like dishwashing soap. Oil, in and of itself, can work because the oil paints can mix with and float away into the oily solution leaving you a clean brush.

    Plain water, though, would not work because oil does not mix with water at all. Conversely with my watercolor paints, it would do me no good to try and clean them with oil since the gum arabic and water that binds the paints wouldn't react to the oil.

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    I'd say only use gloves if you have sensitive skin.. I have sensitive skin.. I have no idea what affects me in painting, but if I paint without gloves my skin gets red and weird. Just follow what the others have said in the thread, it's not too bad.

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    Cleaning (rinsing, washing) your brushes can refer to two separate things, so it's important we clarify and define our terms.
    1) When you're painting, you need to occasionally clean your brush when you switch colors, to keep from unwanted contamination. Sometimes simply wiping thoroughly with a rag is enough, but often you need to rinse the brush in something to help loosen the paint. This can be turpentine, mineral spirits like Turpenoid or Gamsol, or a drying oil like linseed or walnut. It's important that, whatever you use, it be something that isn't going to adversely effect the paint, since, even if you wipe the brush clean afterwards, some residue is going to remain in the brush.
    2) At the end of a painting session, you need to give your brushes a thorough, final cleaning, so that paint won't dry in the brush, especially at the heel of the brush where the hair meets the ferrule. First, wipe your brushes as clean as you can with rags or paper towels. Then, dissolve the remaining paint with a solvent or oil. People who prefer to use genuine turpentine when they're painting often use mineral spirits for the final wash, since it's cheaper and can be filtered and reused. If you don't want to use any solvents, you can use oil for the final cleaning (any sort of cheap vegetable oil is fine, since it will all be washed out in the next step). Finally, wash your brushes with soap and warm water. A plain bar soap like Ivory is fine, but there are special brush soaps that claim to condition and preserve brushes better. Rub the hairs in a circular motion on the soap, and then in the palm of your hand, working the lather into the heel of the brush. Rinse and repeat until the lather is colorless. Reshape the brush and let it dry.


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    I haven't tried turpentine yet because my room isn't well ventilated. I used dish washing liquid with water, and the Master's Brush cleaner. I used it for a final wash and it didn't get all of the paint out. I tried some cooking vegetable oil and it didn't get anything out either. So I am guessing the paint is just stuck, or will turpentine do a better job at cleaning?

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    the strong smell of turpentine gives me a huge headache so i use odorless turpenoid. i have the window open. i even paint outside!!!!

    once the oil paint "dries" i think its better to just leave it alone its too plasticky to grind anyway and you probably wont grind it that well without a machine

    the turpentine does help bring pigments out of the brush unless the paint dried in there. i rinse my brushes in the turpenoid before finally washing it and it really does help
    if there's paint stuck in my brushes i use cheap/stale conditioners (that nobody uses) to wash my brushes because the conditioners mix with the oil well and technically do this thing called "oil cleansing" which help get the pigments out of the brush because the pigment transfers from the paint's oil to the conditioner's oil/glycerin. i rub the conditioner on my brushes and set it on its side (NEVER let the brush sit on its hair) for a while and then come back. the paint dilutes a bit. it kind of works the same way soap does except its a lot more oily and helps bring the pigments out of the brush more and then when i am done i wash it with dish soap
    job done

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