Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Alternative to Paint Tubes

For those artists who make there own paints it is sometimes hard to find empty paint tubes. Most local art supply shops do not carry them. While you can find them online they are usually $1.00 a piece or more, which seems a little expensive for an EMPTY tube.
The original paint containers made by Windsor & Newton before the use of metal tubes was basically just a syringe.
It is easy to make your own and they are indefinitely reusable. They are great for storing your handmade paint but are also great for saving custom mixes you use a lot.
"Irrigation" syringes are widely available at most drug stores, but you'll probably have to ask the pharmacist because they are usually behind the counter (they are perfectly legal to buy). Farmers supply stores will usually have big veterinary syringes too. They come in various sizes from the most common are 37ml, 60ml and 150ml and are usually less than 75 cents each.  Baby medicine syringes work great too for small mixes and batches of paint too. Many baby syringes come complete with a cap. For the larger syringes you'll have to add a removable cap.
Below the first picture shows the typical business end of the syringe, and the next picture shows it after carefully drilling out the inner nipple.
Next I cut the top off a old used tube of toothpaste and simply epoxied it to the syringes.

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syringe business end

center drilled out

toothpaste tube treads epoxied to syringe


top from an used up old tube of oil paint glued to syringe
  I also tried the same thing using a the nipple of an old used up empty paint tube with even better results. The great thing about these is that they are reusable, and are actually cheaper than most empty metal tubes sold at art supply stores.

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