Extending the life of citadel paints

I love my Citadel paints, but the current pot design does tend to result in a build up of dried paint crust that prevents the lid closing properly and will ultimately lead to the whole pot drying out.

I’ve seen plenty of people advocating decanting the paint to dropper bottles but this sounds like far too much hassle to me, not to mention potentially very messy.

The problem with the current design seems to be related to shaking the paint just before opening it. Shaking results in a lot of paint collecting in the lid, then when the pot is opened some of this excess tends to collect on the rim of the pot where it causes trouble down the line. Some colours are more susceptible to this than others (I’m looking at you, Mephiston Red).

Of course I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t shake your paints. Shaking is an important ritual that appeases the painting gods (and may also do something vaguely useful like evenly distributing the pigment). This being so, it seems to me that you have two options if you wish to avoid the dreaded crust of doom:

  1. Give the rim of the pot a wipe before closing the paint
  2. Leave the pot for a short while after shaking before opening

I favour option 2, since it’s less effort and less messy. How long exactly to leave the pot before opening depends on how thick the paint is but it shouldn’t need more than 10-20 seconds. You can assist the paint in returning to the pot by banging it on your desk if you like, although be warned that this behaviour can be considered annoying by the unenlightened.

This approach works particularly well when you’re mixing multiple colours, since you can shake one paint and leave it to recover while you shake another one, then return to open the first.

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2 thoughts on “Extending the life of citadel paints

  1. I take your 2nd approach, but I also only open the lid about half way and use an older brush to remove the paint on to a wet palette and then close the pot again. The paint dripping down the back of the lip of the fully open lid is what causes the problem.

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