How to Take Care of Your Art Supplies

We all know the incomparable joy that comes from dipping brushes into vibrant hues, the thrill of sketching in bursts of inspiration, and the sense of accomplishment when a masterpiece comes to life. But let's face it – once the creative process is done and the final strokes are laid, the daunting task of tidying up and caring for our beloved art supplies takes center stage. How do you keep those paintbrushes in pristine condition? How can you ensure your art supplies stay in tip-top shape for longer use?

Discover how to take care of your art supplies in this blog by ArtistrybyAltenew!

Woodless Coloring Pencils

Fear not! In this guide, we're diving headfirst into how to clean art supplies, organize art supplies, and preserve the tools that fuel our creative souls. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting on your artistic journey, we've got you covered with essential tips and tricks that will make caring for your cherished art materials a breeze. So dive in and learn how to be a more responsible artist with your supplies! 

Why Is It Important to Take Care of Art Materials?

Caring for your art materials isn't just a mundane chore – it's a vital aspect of nurturing your artistic journey and ensuring your tools stand the test of time. A finished artwork can only be as good as the materials used, so ensuring that your supplies remain their quality even after multiple creative sessions is essential. Think of your art supplies as the faithful companions on your artistic voyage, the trusty sidekicks that help bring your visions to life. Here's why giving them the TLC they deserve is so crucial:

Helps Preserve Quality

High-quality art supplies can be a significant investment, and taking care of them ensures they maintain their integrity. Clean brushes, organized paints, and well-preserved canvases mean your creations will look as vibrant and captivating as you want them to be. 

Learn about the best ways to clean your paintbrushes in this handy guide!

Artists' Gouache Set - Strolling Through New York

Consistent Performance

Artistic expression often requires precision and consistency. Regularly cleaned and maintained tools, whether it's a brush, pencil, or palette, will perform optimally, allowing you to execute your ideas with more finesse.

Shop the Best Drawing Supplies for Your Projects Today! 

Uninterrupted Creativity

Picture this: You're in the zone, the creative flow is coursing through you, and then, bam – a clogged nozzle or a dried-out marker halts your progress. By caring for your art materials, you eliminate those frustrating interruptions and keep the creative juices flowing seamlessly.

Financial Efficiency

Let's be real – art supplies can be pricey. Proper care ensures you don't have to replace them prematurely due to neglect. This not only saves you money in the long run but also reduces waste, contributing to a more sustainable artistic practice.

Personal Attachment

Over time, your tools become an extension of your artistic identity. The paint-splattered brush, the worn sketchbook – they all carry a piece of your creative history. By caring for them, you're respecting and nurturing that connection.

Find the best art supplies online here at ArtistrybyAltenew!

Fine Liner Pen Set

Health and Safety

Clean and organized supplies aren't just about aesthetics; they also promote a healthier workspace. Properly stored materials reduce the risk of accidents, exposure to harmful substances, and potential health issues.

Inspiration Haven

A tidy and organized creative space can work wonders for your inspiration. When you're not battling clutter or hunting for missing tools, you can focus fully on your creative process and let your imagination run wild.

How Do You Maintain the Quality of Your Art Supplies?

Maintaining the quality of your art supplies boil down to three major things: storage, cleaning, and usage. 

Art supplies storage and organization refer to the systematic arrangements and methods you use to store your creative tools, materials, and equipment. It involves arranging and categorizing art supplies in a way that not only keeps your workspace tidy but also maximizes efficiency and creativity. 

Proper art supply storage helps preserve the quality of your art supplies. Different materials have specific requirements. For example, paints need to be kept at the right temperature, and brushes should be stored properly to avoid deformation. When stored correctly, your supplies are less likely to degrade, dry out, or get damaged, ensuring they remain in excellent condition for longer.

Create vibrant artworks with these high-quality coloring pencils for artists!

Best Pencils for Artists

On the other hand, proper cleaning ensures that art supplies remain in optimal condition, free from dirt, residue, or dried-up mediums. The importance of cleaning art supplies cannot be overstated, as it directly impacts the quality of your artwork. Clean brushes and tools enable precise strokes and consistent color application, resulting in polished and professional-looking creations. Regular cleaning also prevents cross-contamination of colors, chemicals, and other solvent products used in painting (like oils).

Last but not least, usage is also a factor in properly maintaining your art supplies. You may think to yourself - hey, I’m an artist; I can do whatever it takes to do my work! While that is true, at the same time, we also need to be aware of how we can improperly use an art tool. For example, using the right brush for a specific painting technique or employing the correct type of paper for a chosen medium can significantly impact the final result. Remember that using tools as intended prevents unnecessary strain on them, enhancing their longevity and maintaining their performance over time.

How Do You Clean Your Art Supplies?

Maintaining the quality of your art supplies is a must if you want your artistic creations to shine. If you're wondering how to clean every single art tool that you may have in your stash, then take a look at the comprehensive guide below and save it for your future use: 

How to Clean Brushes

  •  After each use, rinse your brushes thoroughly with lukewarm water and mild soap. Gently reshape the bristles and let them air dry. 
  • Periodically give your brushes a deeper clean by using a brush cleaner or a mixture of water and mild shampoo. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the bristles.
  • Store brushes upright or flat to prevent bending or warping of bristles. Keep them away from extreme heat or cold.
  • If your brush went through more viscous pigments, such as oil paint, you’d have to use paint thinners to remove dried-up paint on the ferrule and brush.

A beautifully vibrant art journal page layout made with water-based markers

Water-Based Markers

Discover High-Quality Watercolor Supplies for Artists Here! 

How to Clean Paints and Pigments

  • Ensure paint tubes and containers are tightly sealed to prevent them from drying out. For watercolors, mist the pans with water before closing the lid. When closing paint tubes, wipe off excess paint from the lids so the paint doesn't dry and crust on the lid.
  • Clean your mixing trays and palettes immediately after use to prevent dried paint buildup. Use a palette sealant to extend their lifespan.

How to Handle Canvases and Papers

  • Always handle canvases and papers with clean hands to avoid transferring oils or dirt. Use a clean barrier (like a piece of paper) when resting your hand on your work.
  • Make sure to store unused paper or surfaces in a dust-free container.

How to Clean Easels

Regularly wipe down your easel and furniture with a soft, damp cloth to remove dust and debris. Avoid using harsh cleaning agents that could damage the surfaces.

Tips and Tricks for Storing All Your Art Supplies

  • Categorize and Separate: Divide your art supplies into categories like brushes, paints, pencils, markers, papers, and tools. This makes it easier to find what you need without rummaging through clutter.
  • Use Clear Containers: Transparent storage containers allow you to quickly identify the contents without opening them. This is especially helpful for smaller items like beads, erasers, or buttons.
  • Label Everything: Label each container or drawer with its contents. Consider using a label maker or colorful tape to create clear, eye-catching labels.
  • Drawer Dividers: For drawers, use dividers to create designated sections for different supplies. This prevents items from mixing and helps maintain order.

Discover all the ways to clean your paintbrushes like a pro!

Why You're Cleaning Your Brushes Wrong and How To Do It Like a Pro

  • Vertical Storage: Utilize vertical space by installing shelves or pegboards on your walls. Hanging items like scissors, rulers, or even canvases can free up valuable workspace.
  • Rolling Carts: Invest in rolling carts or trolleys with multiple shelves. These can hold a variety of supplies and can be easily moved around your workspace.
  • Shoe Organizers: Hang clear shoe organizers on the back of doors or walls. These pockets are great for storing tubes of paint, brushes, markers, and other small items.
  • Pegboards: Pegboards with various hooks and holders are excellent for hanging tools, scissors, tape, and even small baskets for odds and ends.
  • Recycled Jars and Cups: Old jars, cups, or tins can be repurposed to hold brushes, pencils, and other small tools. Customize them with paint or labels for a personal touch.
  • Portfolio Cases: Keep your artwork safe and organized by using portfolio cases or art storage folders. They are perfect for protecting drawings, prints, and papers.

Keep Your Art Supplies Looking Their Best for a Long Time!

Remember, your art supplies are more than just tools; they're your partners in self-expression, your collaborators in turning your visions into reality. Proper storage and cleaning aren't just about tidiness – it's a way of showing respect to your materials, as they help you make your artwork look the best!  

Learn More About Art Techniques and Project Ideas Here! 

We hope this guide has helped you discover the best ways to take care of your art supplies. For more inspiration and tips on buying and using art supplies, browse our other articles! Happy reading!