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Can Gouache Dry Out - How to fix dried gouache

Gouache Can Dry Out (Here’s An Easy Fix)

One common concern among artists who use gouache is whether or not it can dry out.

The short answer is yes; gouache can dry out just like any other type of paint. However, there are a few factors that can affect the drying time and consistency of gouache.

Gouache dries out when it’s exposed to oxygen, and gouache can dry out fast even when left out on the palette.

Not all gouache brands are the same, and this happens if the paint is made from inferior quality materials, or it could be as simple as if the caps of the tube paint are not closed properly or the paint is in dry, humid environments.

If you use a HIMI gouache set, you may discover after opening it that your paint is dried, rock-solid, and cracked.

Now, before you start panicking, don’t worry! It’s really not the end of the world.

There are ways to bring your dried-up gouache back to life!

Here’s what you need to do:

How To Fix Dried, Cracked Gouache

The Miracle Cure: Add Some Water 

When you first notice that your beloved gouache has become as dry as the Sahara desert, don’t panic-buy a new set just yet.

Instead, grab a container of clean water and start reviving those colors!

Dip your brush into the water and gently mix it with the dried paint on your palette.

how to fix dry gouache

You could also use a clean toothpick for each color and use a dropper to add a little bit of water if your gouache has dried out in a container.

The water will help rehydrate the paint and restore its creamy consistency.

Don’t go overboard with water – a little goes a long way!

Gradually add small amounts while mixing until you reach your desired consistency. It’s like giving your gouache a refreshing drink to quench its thirst!

Make Use of Other Mediums

Now, sometimes adding water alone may not be enough to bring your gouache back to its former glory. If you find that the paint remains chunky or lumpy even after adding water, don’t stress!

There’s another solution – mixing mediums into the gouache paint.

Gouache-friendly mediums like glycerin or gum arabic can do wonders for reviving dried-out gouache paints.

Simply add a few drops of your preferred medium to the dried paint and mix thoroughly.

These additives will help break down the dried pigment and make it more fluid again. You’re back in business and ready to paint.

Weirdly enough, I loved seeing dried gouache come to life and look creamy again. It’s quite satisfying.

A Good Habit To Form

To prevent your gouache from entering the realm beyond salvation, there’s one last trick you can use and this is simply rewetting the palette.

Grab a spray bottle filled with distilled water and lightly mist the surface of your dried gouache paint.

Allow it to sit for a few minutes, giving the moisture time to penetrate the dried layers.

Then, use a brush or palette knife to gently mix and blend the rewetted paint until it reaches a smooth consistency.

Do this as often as you can to keep the paint fresh and wet for those HIMI gouache sets.

See also: How Long Does Gouache Last? (Average Lifespan Explained)

Here’s How To Prevent Gouache From Drying Out

It can be easily said that prevention is better than cure, and to be honest, I totally agree.

However, it is important to mention that there are times when it just can’t be helped and the gouache still dries out.

To ensure your precious gouache paints stay fresh, here are a few simple tips:

1. Seal those tubes tight: After using your gouache, make sure to tightly seal the tubes or containers to prevent air from drying out the paint. If you have a high-quality paint set, this will solve all your worries, and generally, tube paints tend to stay fresher much longer than the ones in containers.

2. Give it some TLC: Store your gouache paints in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures can affect the quality and consistency of the paint.

3. Add moisture by misting: If you live in an arid climate or find that your paints tend to dry quickly, consider investing in a Stay Wet Palette or using a misting spray bottle during on-and-off painting sessions to keep your paint moist.

4. The cover-up: When you’re done painting for the day, cover your palette with plastic wrap or place it inside an airtight container. This will help preserve moisture and keep your gouache paint from drying out overnight.

See also: Gouache Mistakes: What Not To Do With Gouache

Closing Thoughts

Water is generally the easy fix that solves the problem for dried gouache, but the only potential downside to reactivating dried gouache is that it may slightly alter the color intensity and consistency.

But this doesn’t happen as often as you think.

And gouache can dry out just like any other type of paint.

By controlling the amount of water, working in an appropriate environment, and keeping the paint covered when not in use, you can effectively manage the drying time and consistency of gouache.

With proper care and attention, gouache can be a long-lasting and rewarding medium for artists to explore.

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