The most annoying thing that can happen to a craftsman at the height of his work, is to open a bottle of paint and realizing that it’s unusable.
Unfortunately this can occur with colors that you use rarely use but they are really beautiful. What are the fundamental precautions to prevent this from happening?
First of all, when buying a paint is necessary to be conscious about its shelf life and how much paint we are planning to use in that period of time.
The shelf life information is written on technical data sheets, on labels or it is provided from the Vendor. The shelf life indicates how much time the paint will remain stable and usable. The reference for this date is the packaging date.
It is important to know that the expiry date is not standard for all paints, but it varies according to the type of paint: generally solvent/alcohol based paints have longer shelf life of about 24 to 36 months, while for water-based paints, the shelf life is about 12/24 months.
However, if you do not pay attention to some simple but essential precautions, the life time can be reduced even to a few months, due to the delicacy of the paints, especially for the water based.
The enemy of paints are bacteria, which can creep into the paint and proliferate and quickly rendering the paint unusable, creating lumps inside and giving off a bad smell.
So what are the precautions that should be taken?
Follow the instructions given here, they will help you avoid unpleasant problems with paints. These suggestions are valid for both water-based and alcohol-solvent-based paints
Each paint has usually indicated a storage temperature range. Try to find a suitable place that does not have low temperature peaks in winter or too hot in summer. In particular, for water-based paints you absolutely must avoid the Freezing: in that case the paint will be completely ruined. On the contrary, if the outside temperature is too hot, you will notice that the paint becomes more liquid. Moreover, high temperatures favor the proliferation of bacteria.
ALWAYS CLOSE THE BOTTLE
It seems trivial, but the air is one of the worst enemies of paint. Not only because leaving the bottle open will cause it to dry out, but also because in the air (especially for those who work leather) there is always dust, leather dust, and all kinds of bacteria, which fall back into paint and it can lead to its contamination.
DO NOT PUT THE TOOL DIRECTLY INTO THE BOTTLE
When using an Applicator for edge painting, it may be natural to dip it directly into the bottle to pick up the color. This is something to AVOID, because applicator can never be sterile, so this can introduce impurities into the original bottle.
USE ONLY PURIFIED WATER
This is only for water-based paints. Sometimes if the paint has become a little dry, or if it is too thick for an easy application, water can be added. But always PURIFIED water.
Using tap water (or even mineral water) there is always the risk of introducing bacteria inside the original bottle, with a consequent acceleration of the deterioration process of the paint.
DO NOT POUR THE USED PAINT WITHIN THE ORIGINAL BOTTLE
Roller dye tools or automatic machines are provided with a tray in which the paint must to be poured for dyeing operations. If some of the paint remains in the tank, never pour it back into the bottle: NEVER DO THAT!
All the dirt, bacteria that are on the tray will contaminate the entire bottle of paint. The advice is to use a separate container and if the paint gets damaged, you won't have to throw away the entire bottle but only a small amount of paint.