Looking After Your School Paints:

School paints that are designed for use with children can easily become contaminated with bacteria or mould, this also can lead to a very strong sickening odour.
Looking After Your School Paints:
Some school paint I found for sale in a shop that was contaminated. The paint is seperated in the bottle.

School Paint is very different to crayons and pencils as “all children’s liquid paint is an alive product” until it dries on your paper.  No matter what brand type or colour it will need some care to prolong its workable life.

Just like canned food in the supermarket a preservative is added to a paint formulation to keep the paint in top condition.    As this type of paint often contains organic materials that can decay if not stored properly or if stored for a long period of time.

School paints differ from house paint as it is used once for one project but using School Paints we are using the same paint day after day and again and again.   Extra care is needed to keep your products in good condition.

Here are some tips to help you store paint safely and keep it usable for as long as possible:
http://www.schoolpaints.com/2012/07/how-to-thicken-school-tempera-paint.html  http://www.schoolpaints.com/2012/07/what-is-tempera-poster-paint.html

Don’t pour used paint back into the bottle:
Paint can easily get contaminated by dirty brushes, pots and surfaces.  Do not return the unused paint to the original container this can contaminate the remaining paint.
Pour paint into painting trays:
Avoid painting directly from the original bottle. Even stirring the paint with a stick can contaminate it. Pour into trays only the amount of paint you will need for that day's activity. This will keep you main bottle of paint separate from anything children have been using.  
Oldest First:
Use up the oldest paint bottles first.  Some schools mark a date on the bottle when you first open it.

Clean your brushes:
Dirty brushes can easily contaminate paint. Clean your brushes after use.  Brushes can be soaked overnight or let them rest in very hot water.  We often boil a jug to let the brushes sit the hot water for a while.  This is a good thing to do if you have been painting with leaves or anything from outdoors that could hold bacteria in the brush hair.
Keeping very old paint colours:
If you have some half used colours that you don’t paint with very often you can pour these into a smaller “clean” air tight container.  This reduces the head space of air in the bottle and helps prolong the paints life.    It is important to make sure the container is clean.

Storing Paint:
Keep paint stored in its original container in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
If you have any questions on paints and storage please use the comments below
I hope this was helpful
Share and enjoy
Tony Parker
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  1. Thanks this was helpful.
    Joyce G.

  2. Thanks, I have had paint go bad like this before a few times but never knew why..... Tony, could you blog more about this? Thx Jude

  3. Hey Jude... I had the same thing happening here. It was a whole bunch of colours and more than one brand... it really did not smell nice. Another thing. Why do some paints smell of strong chemicals? I have Crayola here and it smells like a car wash wax... very strong. Deb

    1. Hi Deb,
      It doesn’t take much to allow school paints get contaminated and across a lot of colours. I will get more into this kind of thing in another blog. But the smell you mentioned can be strong from brand to brand and this can be an issue with larger size bottles and in smaller classes. School paints designed for use with young children should really have a low odour or even a no odour to them at all. It makes art in the class unpleasant to not mention any health risks there might be.
      By the way I loved the “hey Jude” Thanks Tony


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