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Kannan Fodder

Distilled water vs purified tap water

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I keep forgetting the purpose of the grocery store run - distilled water. I see it recommended by just about everyone for paint mixing recipes. However, in all the years I've been painting, I've never used it.

 

I usually dilute my paint at the time I'm using it, so often just mix in tap water. I clean up my tile after painting, so usually only mix what I'm going to immediately use. As of yet, I've had very little trouble.

 

I have a Brita pitcher for drinking water, and in theory, it filters out all the bad stuff that's added to tap water.

 

What I'm wondering is: Is filtered tap water good enough to use, or is distilled water better?

 

Thanks all!

 

~M

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I only use distilled water if I find myself in an area that has hard water. It can really chalk up glazes.

If you dont have hard water then I really dont see a pressing needd to get distilled. The brita filtered should be

just fine.

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The water filter systems should be ok but there might be a bit of residual minerals that the filter didn't get. That said, I had no problems using filtered water so you should be ok.

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Out of curiosity, how have people found straight tap water to affect painting? I always use water straight from the tap. The quality is good enough, it's not hard water or anything.. I drink the stuff straight out of the tap too. I've never had any issues with painting that I attributed to the water, but now that this conversation is happening I'm wondering if I'm missing this whole new wonderful world of better painting!

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I am guessing that whether or not distilled water is better than tap water for painting depends on where you are and what the tap water is like.

 

Some mineral content is fine most of the time. Too much is probably not so helpful most of the time.

 

That said, distilled water is pretty cheap. ::):

 

The whole bottled water industry is pretty amazing in some ways. The idea of having this multi-billion dollar industry around taking water from one part of the world and shipping it to another or taking tap water, running it through a filter, adding a few minerals, and then selling it in bottles would have been mind boggling not that long ago.

 

Ron

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I know that our water tends to be alkaline, and one of the municipal water sources here in San Diego has recently started adding fluoride to the tap water.

 

I've been using a Brita system for years, but I've also seen distilled water recommended over regular tap water. I was just wondering what others had to say on this subject. Personally I haven't had any serious problems with tap water, but I usually don't add water directly to my paints. I mix everything on the spot for immediate use. I was wondering about how this may or may not affect a "gunk" mixture.

 

Regarding bottled water - yeah, I've found that a bit humorous myself. 90% of the bottled water I've seen has been "filtered tap water with minerals added for taste." My mom only drinks bottled water, which was on the recommendation of her oncologist, so we buy water for her while the rest of us use the Brita.

 

~M

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I vaguely recall seeing something that said tap water will not flash boil while distilled water may... but that really shouldn't have anything to do with mini painting...

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I use only water from my purifier for thinning paint and rinsing brushes. The water here is very bad unless it's purified. With my painting style of many super thin layers, any crud in the water ends up building up on the mini. I noticed this problem soon after I started painting minis and switched over to only purified water (PUR) since then and have had zero problems other than having to replace the filter 3 times a year.

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I prefer distilled water for painting, although I do use straight tap water for rinsing and cleaning.

 

A gallon of distilled for approx $1.00US is a small investment in relation to $3.00 paints, $5-25 brushes, and minis of all sorts of prices. I tranfer the water into a 20 oz soda bottle (cleaned) and mix with 1/4 oz of flow improver (Liquitex recommends 1:20, I find less is more with RMS and P3). I have an old dropper bottle with straight water for primer and varnishes. That still leaves well over 3/4 gallon fromthe oroginal gallon, and the transfers go a long way. Purification systems are a bit more at start up, but like I said, I've had no problem using them neither; additionally, using filtered water for rinsing and cleaning might be better for brush care, but I'm not sure.

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I have never in all my years of painting used distilled water. As far as I know none of the painters in my regular group do, that would include painters that were recently imported to teach classes at ReaperCon.

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Try leaving a few drops of your tap or filtered water somewhere clean and waterproof to dry, like on a piece of black plastic maybe. When you come back, is there a visible residue where the water was? If not, you probably don't need to bother with the distilled water. If so, it's still not the hugest deal in the world IMO but maybe something to think about in case that stuff shows up in your paint when it dries.

 

My wife uses a CPAP machine for her sleep apnea & she has to fill it with distilled water daily so we have the stuff around the house anyway and I do use it; our water is a bit hard... but I probably wouldn't go too far out of my way to use distilled if it didn't happen to be handy.

 

Kang

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I use distilled water in my wet pallete after a horrendous mold event due to the somewhat low quality of the local tap water. As diluting paint and mixing, I use regular tap water.

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I use distilled water in my wet pallete after a horrendous mold event due to the somewhat low quality of the local tap water. As diluting paint and mixing, I use regular tap water.

 

Put a penny in your pallet. That's all you need. I don't understand the chemistry, but it totally eliminates mold growth. Mine's been in there for like 2 or 3 years and I've been mold free ever since.

 

On the subject of distilled or tap, I think it really depends on your local water. If your tap water is nasty then I suppose it could effect the paint, but I personally have never needed it. I tried it once for the sake of experimentation, but saw no practical difference at all.

 

But hey, if it boosts your confidence go for it! There's certainly no harm in using distilled!

 

Jenks

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Put a penny in your pallet.

 

A copper penny, or one of the copper plated zinc pennies? I ask, because I've seen the zinc core corrode out of the plated ones.

 

I'd also heard to put a couple drops of ammonia in the wet pallet, but I was afraid that would alter the paint chemistry. I've had mold problems when the paint has bled off into the sponge. Was made worse then I tried to wash the paint out of the sponge with soap.

 

As far as water quality goes, our local water supply is now fluorinated, as well as being doctored with chloramine - that chlorine/ammonia combination. (Sometimes to the extent it smells like a public pool.) That's why I asked about distilled vs tap. Wanted to get some opinions.

 

Thanks!

~M

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