Jump to content

Sophie was taken

How long will old paints stay usable?

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone!

 

So I had to move cross-country about 2 1/2 years ago and had to box up all my hobby stuff. But now, circumstances require I get back into things (and I still have all those unpainted Bones IIs). So I managed to track down all my supplies and paints, but some settling may have occurred in transit - nearly all of my paints had fallen over from their upright positions and sat that way for the entire time. 

 

I have almost 40 bottles; most have been opened and used at least once, but none leaked at least. When turned upright the paints didn't immediately run down to the bottom, but they still slosh around when shaken. I haven't tried using them yet. 

 

Would they still be good, or should I take the loss, or is there a way to save them? Most are basic colors but a few were special promos that aren't being made again, and it would be a shame to lose those ☹️

 

Edit: I should clarify these are all Reaper paints.

Edited by Sophie was taken
Clarification
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have many Reaper paints that are much older than 30 months old. They have been stored in a variety of ways, but have generally been kept fairly close to room temp. As long as the paints are still liquid and haven't been frozen or heated too much, they should be fine.

 

To check, try painting with them. If they seem to paint alright, you should be golden.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they are still sloshing they should be okay, although they may need a lot of mixing.

 

Even under normal circumstances miniatures paint needs a good shake before every use.

 

Try shaking one vigorously for a minute or two and test it.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The metallic paint might need a stir too. But effectively, if you shake it smooth and it brushes nicely on a test piece, it is fine. I have some bottles that are 7 years old and still running. Happy painting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a few that are closer to 20 years old. And some that went bad within a short time of me buying them. The only way to know for sure is check them out.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have Ral Partha paints that still work just fine and a few that don't. For the most part most should be fine after some vigorous shaking and mixing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Zink said:

I have a few that are closer to 20 years old. And some that went bad within a short time of me buying them. The only way to know for sure is check them out.

 

Same here.

Today I used a Citadel paint I have had for more than 20yrs no problem.

I also have had paints ruined after a few months

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Pingo said:

If they are still sloshing they should be okay, although they may need a lot of mixing.

 

Even under normal circumstances miniatures paint needs a good shake before every use.

 

Try shaking one vigorously for a minute or two and test it.

 

What Pingo said.

 

You can always thin the paints a bit with water or acrylic medium if they are too thick (assuming they actually come out of the bottles! :poke:).

 

I've still got paints bought in the mid 1980's like this one from Citadel which is still viable some 30 years later....

 

59b4194a7189e_BloodRed.thumb.JPG.cf807cd71540ccc77e4fc75e6ceb1148.JPG

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have Polly S paint from 1979 that I use....

It really depends on each bottle, but as long as they are not dry, a good long hard shake should fix them up...

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on a variety of environmental factors, but so long as it is at least the consistency of cheesecake (i.e. - not turned solid or mostly solid) then it can be revived. 

 

Assuming they have spent most of their time in a cool and relatively shady space away from UV light, paints may last a very long time.  I have "fresh" (i.e. never used) paint from 1988.  Beyond that, if the above storage conditions are met and they are periodically tended to so as to make sure they are not evaporating water, the theoretical lifespan of some miniature paint may in fact prove to be longer than the owner's complete lifespan.  Only my descendant relatives will be able to answer that. 

 

The prime paint killers:

 

1.  Direct sunlight for extended periods

2.  Insufficient seal/evaporation (some containers are mildly porous and allow slow evaporation)

3.  Freezing cold (paints that freeze appear gritty or grainy and are dead)

4.  Heat (especially if also dry)

5.  Contamination (organic, as in mold; or inorganic, as in reaction - never use copper or zinc as agitators)

 

As a note on #1, I wish I had kept it as an example but I did have a bottle that had been stored with one side exposed to a large window and the other in shade and it was left there long enough that the exposed side turned a different colour. 

 

As a note on #5, water quality or unknown additives can influence contamination.  Sometimes this is solvable.  I have some paints from... somewhere... (I source old paint stocks) that when left for some time separated so that they had a mliky-white liquid layer atop the pigment.  This was solved by pouring off the separation and replacing it with new water.  Whether that was additive or overly hard/soft water from the prevous owner I don't know, but at least it was an easy fix.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a Blick employee in the past; and we sold a lot of Liquitex.

At the time, it was owned/manufactured by Binney and Smith (the Crayola people).

 

We had asked what was the shelf life of their paints.

The answer was... for acrylics (which are in those foil lined plastic squeeze tubes); about 5-6 years.

For oils (in the metal tubes); 40 years.

 

Why the difference? Water vs Linseed Oil.

 

Sure, paints last longer than that; you have to consider if you used half of a tube of acrylic, and say it's contaminated with mold, then you seal it up for 2-years to have plenty of time to turn into a biology experiment. Molds won't grow in oil like they do in water; and the pigment is easier to remix with the oil.

 

The biggest killer of acrylics we had to deal with was shipping in the winter. Once they freeze (and the pigment turns into a rubbery lump), it's game over.

 

I had some old Armory paints that were still good (well... and a bunch that went bad). Depends a lot on the seal of the bottle.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Lord_Ashenwyte
      Hey everyone,
       
      Having spent the last 4 weeks away from any sort of miniatures (Fun vacation tho!), I'm super eager to paint again, and with my return flight being tomorrow, I thought I'd make this thread as a sort of documentation/to-do list. I want to clear my backlog because I'll be frank I'm sick of staring at unpainted plastic every day and I want to do something remotely productive in these remaining four weeks I have free. I have mostly Warhammer miniatures, though there is some Mantic and Reaper stuff in there. 
       
      First of all to be done is this charming fellow. 

       
      A Stormcast chap who I first tested sculpting fur on, which I'm reasonably happy with. A closer look at the fur, which does look like guacamole in this picture.
       

       
      Right now it's a standard basecoat and drybrush fur, but I will re-doing the fur and wet blend it to something like what this fellow has.
       
       
       
      Have a nice day! 
       
    • By sumbloke
      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/picolor/picolor-any-color-anywhere-anytime?ref=discovery
       
      Sounds like an interesting paint mixer. Not sure I'd get it myself, but some people on this forum might be interested...
    • By DocPiske
      I haven't seen this posted anywhere else on the boards and did not find anything by searching, but RealmSmith has posted an interview from GAMA on YouTube with Ron and Ed. If this has already been posted, please feel free to nuke this post with extreme prejudice. As YouTube is a commercial site, no link but searching RealmSmith and Reaper will get you there.
       
      Here are my notes:
       
      Pathfinder Paints (!) - 56 new colors, Golarian specific colors, ETA October.
       
      Learn to Paint kit expansions, 6 additional colors each and instructions, 4 expansion sets, ETA June or July.
       
      Pathfinder Learn to Paint kit being worked on.
       
       
    • By WhiteWulfe
      Ordered a reasonable amount of paints from an online store that carries Reaper here in Canada....  All of the other paints come across as normal, but this one....  Well, uhm...
       


       
      I'm going to venture a guess it's a goner, or can it be saved?  There isn't even a liquid sound when shaking the bottle, just the sound of the agitator stuck in the bottom moving around somewhat.
    • By SparrowMarie
      After a poll this seems to be the best place to put this thread. For the most part I'll stick photos under spoilers because my phone likes to make them large.
       
      So I bought a sketchbook today with the intent to catalog and show off all of my paints. I thought it was quite the appropriate book to get.
       
      First I made a grid on a page. Then added the title to each column: Name & SKU, None, Base, Wash, Brown Liner, Blue Liner.
       
       
      That's as far as I've gotten. Next I plan on starting to fill out paint names and SKU's. Then I will prime the squares with some plain white brush on primer (Vallejo in this case). I'm really hoping that the paper is thick enough to avoid the water from just being absorbed. If it isn't I will go to the craft store and buy a better book with different paper and can use this for something else later. 
       
      Each column is a different thickness of paint/what I'll be putting it over. So None is straight out of the bottle, Base is thinned enough for a base coat, Wash is thinned down to a wash consistency, and Brown and Blue Liner will have each of them put over the primer and then a base consistency paint over that. 
       
      I'm going to spend some time filling out the names and SKU's and then I'll get to priming the squares. Might go back and go over the lines with a sharpie or pen to make them a little more apparent where the lines are for my sake. 
       
      ETA: I already have a spreadsheet of all of the paints I own and then sub-sheets broken down by line/company. I think there is a way to put color samples into the sheet but I've yet to figure it out. So I'm making this so I don't have to pull out all of my paints when I need to color scheme something. I can just pull out the book and go from there. It'll be much more efficient for me.
  • Who's Online   15 Members, 1 Anonymous, 0 Guests (See full list)

×