After far too much time in the computer over the past couple of months, I knew it was time to get back into the studio. What I didn’t know was that I would be getting a lesson in Working with Old Paintstiks.
As I was preparing to put the “primer” coat on my next project. I pulled this Titanium White Paintstik out of my paint box. You can imagine my surprise when I noticed the date on the Paintstik. Really? 10 years old? Was this still useable?
Testing a 10-year-old Paintstik
I peeled the film from the end of the Paintstik and got started – and promptly thought to myself “oh my god, this paint is incredibly stiff!”
Now I have to say that stenciling with matte colors is never as easy as working with Iridescent colors. While the shiny (iridescent) colors glide on fabric, the matte colors have a definite drag.
I wasn’t sure how long I would make it working with a really old Paintstik, but I kept going…
As I continued painting, I realized the paint was not quite so stiff. It took me a while to figure it out. (Surely my hands were not getting stronger!) It had to be the paint.
As I reached the midpoint of this “primer” layer of paint, it dawned on me that I had used up the end of the stick. It couldn’t have been much more than a half-inch of paint, but what a difference!
The Paintstik color didn’t drag so hard when I applied it to the palette paper, and it was oh-so-much-easier to add the paint to the fabric with the brush. Happy me!
The lesson in all this? Well, when you’re working with old Paintstiks – particularly matte colors – give yourself a break. If the paint at the end of the stick is really stiff, cut off a small chunk to see if it gets better.
In the future, I’ll cut off a quarter inch off the end of the Paintstik to see if the paint is better. If not, I’ll cut off another chunk and try again.
Yes, there is a limit. Paintstiks don’t last forever. (I’ve had students bring 30-year-old Paintstiks to class that were totally dried out.)
But that does not mean that Working With Old Paintstiks is impossible. Give them a try. Cut a generous amount off the end to see if you find good paint. You may be surprised!
Why Titanium White?
If you’ve been with me a while, you’ve heard me talk about using Titanium White as a base layer for my Extreme Stenciling technique. If you’re new to our community – or want a refresher – here are a few links you may find interesting.
Titanium White is a Stenciler’s Best Friend
Extreme Stenciling with Paintstik Colors
Got a question or a comment? Chime in below. I’m always curious to know what you’re thinking about.
Jean Frogner says
Hi, All of my plantations are old. Thank you for the information. Jean
Jean Frogner says
Sorry about the typo, I ment paintstiks.
You’re most welcome. And I totally understand about the typos. I swear that typing on an iPad will senD me to an early grave. I’m going to break down and buy a keyboard for this crazy thing…
Viola M. Gray says
Best wishes on your new venture. I am looking forward to following your blog.
Gracias, Viola. It’s good to have you here with us!
Suzanne Beavis says
The info on Titanium white is very helpful. Thank you.
I’m hope you found it helpful. It took me a lot of years to put all the bits and pieces together. Because I love working with dark fabric, starting with white is a treat trick for those times when you want a truly opaque image.
Janet Bedford says
This newsletter was very informative and exciting, can’t wait to start on a project. I went to order a white paint-stick but you were all sold out, same with your short brushes, so I just ordered the soap and one of your e-books this time.
Ah, I didn’t think to add a correct link for purchasing the T. White Paintstiks. Check with your favorite art supply website or have a look on Amazon. No that I’m living in Mexico, I no longer ship physical products.