How (not) to clean watercolour pans

Let’s just say that this Whatsapp conversation happened between two friends….

Gouache Girl:  How do you get the nasty old pan watercolours out of a cute little travel set?

Watercolour Knowall:  Um, soak it with water and then grab the edge with pliers?

Gouache Girl:  Oh ok, no really clever way then!  Like…. add a drop of…. nail varnish remover and they come clean away?

Watercolour Knowall:  Could try that but I doubt it’s glue – just sticky ole paint.  At lease watercolour dissolves – eventually!

Gouache Girl:  Just in case anyone else wants to know:  Soak watercolour pans for at least one hour, not half.  Do not remove with a scalpel, rather a blunt knife.  Do not have dog (or cat) in area, running after the bits flying out and eating them.  Cover floor and kitchen area completely to save walking in bits which then stick to your shoes.  Put rubber bands on sleeves so that when a piece of Burnt Sienna shoots up your arm, it doesn’t look completely disgusting when you find it.  Last but not least, look at face in mirror. 


Before pic.  I’ll upload an ‘after’ pic when I’ve finished cleaning it  Gouache Girl sends me a pic.

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It may have taken a week of soaking and scrubbing with a toothbrush but I’m pleased with it now…..


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About Helen

The plan was to leave Tripoli in 2012, head home to Malta and set up a calligraphy business but it's all happened a bit quicker!
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