Important Environmental Information for Acrylic Painters
Years ago, when I first started painting with acrylic paints, I never thought much about the effect of dumping my paint waste water down the drain. I would simply wash my brushes in water and pour it down the drain. It wasn't until we bought a home with a septic system that I began to worry about what all those inorganic solids would do to our system. I did a little online research about the problem and did find some helpful information from Golden Paints. Since then, I have modified their instructions a bit and teach it to all my workshop students. I hope you find this information helpful and that you will employ it every time you paint with acrylics. As artists, we can do our part in protecting the environment.
Supplies and materials you will need:
Aluminum Sulfate - a fertilizer found at garden centers or plant nurseries
Hydrated Lime - a fertilizer found at garden centers or plant nurseries
2 empty plastic yogurt or sour cream containers
1 Large bucket to collect dirty paint water
1 large container with narrow neck for funnel
Coffee filters - 12 cup size
Measuring spoon - 1 tablespoon size
1. Assemble your materials.
2. Collect rinse water in large bucket (I use a kitty litter bucket)
3. Dissolve 1 tbsp of Aluminum Sulfate in a small amount of water in one of the yogurt containers and 1 tbsp of Hydrated Lime in the other yogurt container.
4. Stir dirty water in big bucket with stirring stick and add the dissolved Aluminum Sulfate, stir and add the diluted Hydrated Lime. Stir and begin to see the particles separate as they settle to the bottom of the bucket.
5. When all the particles have settled into the bottom of the bucket, carefully pour out the clear water. I use it to water my outdoor plants.
6. Place 2 coffee filters into the funnel and place it into the collection container with the smaller neck.
7. Carefully pour the sludgy particles that have settled to the bottom of the large collection bucket into the filters that are placed in the funnel.
8. When all your water is filtered, place the sludge into a plastic bag and discard.
Here are some pictures of my filtering system:
1. Collect dirty paint rinse water
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