Environmentally conscious recycling, cleaning the utensils, disposing of used material, painting materials, how to obtain material economically, etc.


I'm absolutely against waste pollution and am all in favour of reducing the amount of plastic in the oceans. Accordingly, I recycle. For example, I re-use cups, wooden spatulas, containers, etc. several times. Members of my circle of friends now set aside for me their empty plastic cups, spray bottles, pipettes bottles?, yoghurt pots and empty cosmetic containers, and medicine bottles, as well as discarded cotton clothing, bed linen and towels. The last-mentioned I cut into handy cloths, about 30 x 30 cm.
When these materials are no longer usable, they go into the trash bin. By the way, never put used and badly stained cloths in your washing machine because they will cause a build-up of a very sticky color film which will eventually ruin the machine.
Now, you might think: Well, residual waste is not welcome, either. Where I live, that remaining waste is incinerated and powerful filters take care of what’s left.

2. Cleaning the painting utensils and disposing of soiled materials:

ATTENTION! When drying, acrylic paint develops an extremely tough and thick, almost indestructible film and ceases to be water-soluble. Consider what this compact film does to the plumbing: over time the accretion clogs up the pipes and then, only an expert using extremely aggressive chemicals can help - if at all! If it reaches that far, this residue may also cause damage to the water treatment plants; so it should not make it there in a first place.
As a means of preventing this, there is a plastic bowl in my studio, half full of water, with a little liquid soap and into this bowl I throw all used tackle such as used spatulas, cups, brushes etc. before they can dry out. I then rinse those things (put on rubber gloves!) and dry them off with old cloth. In my garage is a box with a sliced ? garbage bag and cheapest cat litter (7kg bag for about 0.99 €) onto which I pour the used water, if it is really dirty. When the cat litter is saturated, the whole lot also gets put into the trash bin.

3. Protective covering:

Firstly, on my work table I spread an old plastic tablecloth. Then I put a layer of very absorbent painter's fleece (it was left behind by the painter during our last apartment renovation) and on that I place a reusable, thick painter's film ?. This film is very cheap from any hardware store. Cut it to approx. 60 x 80 cm, as this size is sufficient for most pictures. For larger paintings, you can put two pieces side by side.
After painting, I distribute? the dropped ?color on the foil and let it dry for about 24 hours. After repeated use you get a really thick layer of paint, which can be easily peeled off, the thicker the better. What is peeled off is then used for further processing, e.g. for jewelry, bookmarks etc. or you can throw it into the residual waste, which is incinerated and filtered. And the foil can, of course, be reused immediately.
Incidentally, I recently found a very cheap lot of large sheets of thick glazed white paper from a printing firm which was going into liquidation (150 sheets, 100 x 80 for 5.00 CHF). These are also very suitable as a base. Of course, you cannot peel off the color from this paper but you can still use a spatula to remove the spilled paint and put it into a cup or on a different support. But you can simply use several layers of old newspapers or large garbage bags for the same purpose.

4. Buying cheap material:

I live in Switzerland and here everything is between a third more to almost twice as expensive as in the rest of Europe. As a beginner, of course, I steer clear of the extreme costs of superior mediums, colors and canvases, but I still want to do high-quality work. So, what can one do if one does not (yet) have a sponsor who provides you the utensils for free against a bit of advertising here and there in the videos? Quite simply, go on the Internet and search for leftovers, studio and / or business liquidations and cheap lots. Do not worry, even older high-quality colors and mediums of reputable brands have virtually no expiry date. But if they are a little dried out, they can easily be "revived" with a little water. If necessary, lumps or crumbs can be filtered out through a sheer stocking.

Alternatives to expensive painting materials:

- Pouring medium

Many professionals work exclusively with Floetrol, Liquitex and similar products. I'm still a beginner and it breaks my heart (and my purse) every time I ruin a picture with a lot of Liquitex and very expensive colors.
As a medium, I therefore use a 70:30 mixture of very cheap craft glue, water and 1 to 3 drops of Silicone for practice purposes. To the water used for diluting I add 20% Floetrol / Liquitex etc. and with this mix I already achieve very nice results.
Mixing ratio:
1 part color
2 parts medium-water mix (70:30)
Water Floetrol Mix (80:20) to dilute if needed
1-3 drops of Silicone.

- Paint:

Here everything is permissible, as long as you use water-soluble acrylic paint.
For beginners, for example, the acrylic colors from the 1-Euro shops, as well as special offers from the hardware store, lots from the Internet and as an alternative even cheapest wall paint will do.

- Silicone:

Again, there is a very wide range of different consistency, large price differences and quite different reactions.
Here is one component very important, namely DIMETHICONE, which is an essential component in hair oils, latex care products and lubricants. Therefore, pay attention to the ingredients in the various products and then just give them a try.

Here some examples

Silicone spray from the DIY store:
Negative: expensive, smelly, difficult to dose, contains toxic propellant gases
Positive: none for me.

Silicone gel – lubricant agent:
Negative: very expensive
Positive: nontoxic, easy to dose (when in a dropping bottle), high viscosity, very economical.

Hair oils, latex care products and lubricants from the drugstore:
Negative: None, so far
Positive: really low-viscosity, very easy to dose as a pump spray, as a liquid in a pipette bottle (very cheap in any pharmacy) or use a dropping bottle

Produits de soin pour le Latex :
Négatif: Jusqu'à présent, aucun
Positif: Moyennement liquide, facile à doser, relativement bon marché

Lubrifiant :
Négatif: haute viscosité, difficile à doser
Positif: Relativement bon marché