Acrylic sludge build up from paintingAcrylic sludge build up from painting
Protect The Environment And Don't Pour Acrylic Paint Down The Drain

I love acrylic paint as a medium. It's vibrant and flexible enough for different techniques. Acrylic though is plastic paint. When we paint with acrylics, we rinse our brushes in a tub of water. Each time we rinse, we deposit acrylic particles in the water . If you pour all this down the drain, gradually over time there will be a build up of acrylic sludge. It's not good for your drain and it's definitely not good for the environment.

So how do I dispose of waste acrylic responsibly?

After I have finished for the day, I leave my rinsing jar complete with dirty water to one side. Over night the acrylic particles settle to the bottom. The next day, carefully, and without disturbing the sediment, I gentle pour the almost clear water away taking care to leave the sludge in the bottom of the jar. I then wipe the sludge up with a paper towel and bin it You'll be amazed how much there is.

It helps to use wide jars or tubs, wide enough to get your hands in. I always have two tubs on the go when painting, one for rinsing paint off my brush and the other for thinning, or priming my brush for fresh paint, which is clean water.

This photo is an example of just one days painting of sludge being left to dry. I scraped a bit off just to show how easy it could build up in your sewage pipes! Also, it's better in the bin than in the water course.