The Waving Flag: Two Painting Tips

Tuesday 12 February 2019

Two Painting Tips

Today's post is all about saving money! I've found a source of cheap mixing pots and a really cheap brush cleaning soap.

1. Cheap Mixing Pots
I often need to mix washes and such like which wouldn't sit well in my normal palette.  I also like to keep "special" paints, like metallic & Plaka paints, away from my regular acrylic paints to avoid accidentally mixing them on my palette.

Up to now I've been using any small pot I can lay my hands on.  I was using my last two pots, and getting desperate, when I saw these in my local Aldi (UK):

They are sold as disposable shot "glasses" and were £1.25 for a pack of forty (40).  I suspect they were left over from Christmas and were reduced to clear. Problem solved and for quite some time to come.

2. Brush Cleaning Soap
I bought some special brush cleaning soap some time ago. It was expensive but worked well.  However, whilst it cleaned my Kolinsky sable brushes it didn't really do much to restore the points. Under my magnifying glass the bristles were clearly showing signs of wear.

When I'd used all the brush soap I contemplated buying more but baulked at the cost of the soap and postage. In the end I decided to try using a sliver of cosmetic soap from the bathroom. To my surprise it worked really well:

There was some method in my choice of soap.  Firstly, we use a lot of Dove so if it worked I would always have a ready supply.  Secondly, the Dove Beauty Cream bar claims it is "1/4 moisturising cream" so I hoped this would do some good and help condition the brushes.

As the chemists amongst you can see it does contain a lot of long chain fatty acid salts:
"Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate Or Sodium Palmitate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate Or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Edta, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)."  Ingredient listing from
I've been using this for a couple of weeks now and I'm happy with the results.   Cleaning my brushes at the end of each painting session has restored a point to my well used sable brushes.  It's not a miracle worker but I noticed a difference.

To be fair I don't know if Dove is better or worse than any old bar of soap: the restored points could simply be the result of improved cleaning. Then again who cares? It's cheap and it works.

Leave a comment if you try this especially if you try another brand of soap.

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