How would you like to learn how to reconstitute your watercolors and save money? Do you feel anxious thinking you don’t have enough watercolors?
If are like me, you have tons of watercolor and it is all dried up inside the tube. Look at this box of paint! Most of it is dried up in the tube.What if there is a way to reconstitute it? Imagine how great you will feel when it is ready to be used.. You will save money when you can salvage what you already have. Start looking through your old watercolors and I bet you have a treasure chest of paint just waiting for you. In this video I go through several ways you can bring your paints back to life. I also cover the different consistencies of watercolor and what they look like. Check it out!
If you have other ways of doing this, please share in the comment section below. I will be making more videos like this so….. if you have a question or problem let me know and I will do my best to help you out.
I hope you are feeling healthy, safe, happy and creative!
Hi Mindy, I not only enjoyed all the tips and knowledge you shared to bring dried paint to life again….
But the chuckles of your down to earth you!! With the, bits of dust and cat hair, the swiss knife and your Dad,…guess I should get one ;))
I just love your mask. What a thoughtful, loving artistic friend you have..
You also stay safe and continue your artistic journey. It always captures me when looking at any of your art.
Love, peace and good health, Kathy
Thanks Kathy. So glad you enjoyed the video. I think it is important for me to get in front of the camera and make contact with other artists especially now that we are evermore isolated! I am hoping to get more comfortable and I think laughing at myself makes a difference. There is still cat hair on that palette but hey….. who cares? I just pick it out and keep going!!! I love my mask too and was glad to receive in the mail the other day. You stay safe, well, happy and creative! Virtual hugs! ~Mindy
Thank you, Mindy, very helpful. I was just able to get a huge amount of cadmium red out of my dried up tube which I had soaking in water not very effectively!
Terrific! I am so glad you didn’t throw out the tube and that you were able to find some paint!
Thanks Mindy! I SO enjoyed your video and your down-to-earth way. I too have so many tubes of paint. Especially gouache which carries over from my textile design days from Liz Claiborne! Let me know if you would be interested in a few tubes. I HAVE A TON!
Just love that mask! So fun. I know you have a lot of creepy critters in Florida!
Hi Debra, I have also been enjoying your little posts on jewelry on Facebook. It keeps us all connected. Hugs to you!!!!
SO HELPFUL! And adorable! Your friend knows you love the beauty of insects too.
Glad this helped Leslie…. and I love my mask!
Hi Mindy, It was great to see you and the idea for the paint was great. Since I’m relatively new to watercolor mine are still OK. I have done the same thing with make up tubes, toothpaste and lotion tubes. It was amazing how much is wasted!! I also went to the makeup counter and found some small containers that are perfect for small amounts of makeup. The clerks were kind to let me collect a few. Thank you for taking the time to share.
Hi Sandy! Great to hear from you. I also do this with makeup and toothpaste….squeeze….squeeze…. cut and scrap! Be well. Hugs to you!
I enjoyed very much…I, too, have those 3 for $15 tubes! Guar gum? Or glycerine ? I have used both as additives when reconstitute. I may not have needed to.
Hi Marilyn, I have never added anything other than water to my paints and they have always worked just fine. If you need to add something gum arabic is the binder found in watercolor. I would use this only if the color does not adhere to the paper after it has dried. 3 for $15! Those were the days! Happypaintng! ~Mindy
I woke up in middle of night thinking…not guar gum..gum arabic! Thanks, Mindy.
Lol! You are welcome Marilyn!
GREAT video, Mindy! (LOVE the mask, too!) This was so helpful. One additional reason I have wondered if I should throw out an old tube is that when I go to use it, I get a bunch of oily substance first. I assume it has “separated.” Do you discard that oily stuff? Mix it in? Or has the paint “gone bad”?
Hi Cathy- Great to hear from you. I would go ahead and try to mix it and see what happens. I have seen that oily stuff come out off the tube and when everything is moisture I sometimes smear it on a paper towel and then give the paint a good squirt. There are some pigments which may not reconstitute well but I figure it is worth trying…you have nothing to loose! Hope all is well with you! Hugs ~Mindy
I felt like I was back in class at the Gardens with you. What a nice feeling! I guess I can now salvage all my tubes of gouache. I tried soaking them and it didn’t work. Now I will try to use them by the method you shared with everyone. You are such a great teacher!
Thank you so much. Stay safe and well.
Hi Marie! So glad you now have a new way to get those gouache paints usable again. It works on all water soluble mediums. Glad to help and thanks for leaving a comment. Hugs to you too! ~Mindy
Thanks Mindy for all the great tips! I have a tip for getting the tops off some hard to open watercolor tubes. I use a small 1/2 inch wide rubber band like the ones that come with produce like broccoli. It usually gives you enough grip to easily open the tube and sometimes you can run the top under hot water and then apply the rubber band.
Hi Linda! Thanks for that great tip! I have tried using my teeth which I know is a very bad idea….risk chipping a tooth and/or getting a mouth full of paint! I have also used pliers and they using ruin the cap or twist the tube. I will try your tip because often the paint inside is still moist but the cap is stuck. Excellent and thanks for sharing!!! ~Mindy
This was wonderful – I too have more wc tubes than I will EVER use!
Your technology worked great, too. May I ask what your set up is for taking your own video? And what cameras are you using for the “hands-on” shots?
Cheers to the cat hair – I have lots too!
Great to hear from you and great you were able to salvage your paints. I started out using a selfie stick and iPhone. then I went to the drawing table where I have a tripod and a Canon EOS Rebel SL2. I used a 18-55mm lens. I don’t use a microphone with it because the sound from the camera is fine. I then imported both videos into Screenflow which is a video editing software and did the editing. I know a lot of people just go live but I like to make sure I get all the information in and eliminate the unnecessary stuff. I hope this helps. I hope also you are well, safe and being creative.
Take care, Mindy
Thank you! Stay well,
You too Robin! ~Mindy
Hi Mindy, Thanks for the wonderful tips on saving watercolour. I have recently attacked my dried up tubes and I found that if I cut them length wise I could open them up and scrape all the colour out. I then transferred them into plastic pill boxes with lids and pasted the name and brand of watercolour on the lid. I now have a row of greens, reds, blues and neutrals as a start to saving money. It is really easy to drop in the water and use the paint straight out of the pill box. Hope you are staying safe. Regards Susan
The pillbox is a great way to organize and save the paints. I have been using other containers I have around the house but this would also be good for organizing colors as you have done with your old paints. Thanks for sharing and laving a comment. Cheers! Mindy
Loved the before and after pictures of your well used pallet.
Cutting open the tube of dried up paint to remove and reconstitute is a great tidbit. Who knows when that last little bit of paint will save the day. It was so thoughtful for you to take the time to share this thrifty idea.
I hardly ever clean my palette and when I teach online I usually have a clean palette as to not confuse students with looking a big scary mess. This palette was on the shelf and I began to wonder how many people have palettes that look like this? It was time to get some of the cat hair out of it anyway! lol! Glad this helped with getting the last tidbit out of the paint tube! Enjoy! Mindy
This is soooo timely. I hope to begin cutting those old tubes very soon. One question: the coin on your work table looks very familiar to me. Can you tell me what it is? Thanks a million–well maybe these days I should say “Thanks a trillion”. Stay well. Stay safe, dear teacher.
So happy you are going to get those old paints to work for you! The coin on the table is a 100 Colones from Costa Rica. Use it to put my adapter onto the my camera for the tripod. It works great for this purpose. You stay safe, healthy and creative….. dear artist!
Mindy you are so stinkin’ adorable! So not only are you a fabulous teacher, (and thank you – I’ll never waste another tube of paint); it was great to see the essence of the person behind that teacher. Thanks so much for your sharing your tools and sharing you! Made my evening.
Hi Lisa….. You just made my day…. I have never been called so stinkin’ adorable before! I am trying to do more videos with me in it as it has been recommended but I fuss too much and don’t like my picture taken…. you have given me a bit of confidence…. I can handle being called “stinkin’ adorable”…. LOL! So glad you will never waste another tube of paint. Have a great day!! Cheers! ~ Mindy
Great tip. Thanks for the sharing. What do you do with used water color papers and brushes.
Hi Sabira, Ian happy you found the tip useful! If I have brushes that no longer hold a point good enough to paint detail I usually use it to mix my paint colors. If I have a lot of junkie brushes I donate them to a children’s art program where they my old brushes are usable better than the ones they buy in bulk. Normally I recycle all old paintings that didn’t work out. I just started printmaking and I had tear the edges of the paper so I always has strips of paper. When I get enough scraps I send them to a friend of mine who is a paper maker and she uses them in her paper making process. Do you have something you do special with old brushes or paper?