Revive Dried Acrylics: Reconstitute & Reuse Paints

Since paint has no expiration date, you can reconstitute dried paint. However, if improperly stored, acrylic paint can dry out and become difficult to reuse. 

In certain cases, adding warm water to dried-out acrylic paint will restore it. This approach is not always effective. The kind and vintage of the acrylic paint will determine the reconstitution of the paint. 

How Can Dried Acrylic Paint Be Reconstituted? 

Reconstituting the dried-out acrylic paint is the simplest method. Water can be added to a color to rehydrate it. Since acrylic paint is water-soluble, reusing it with a little water should be possible. 

A paint thinner or retarder will restore the color to its normal strength if you add water to your paint, which might weaken it a little. Please note that this technique only works with paint with moisture in the tube or container. 

Acrylic that has dried on a surface outside and become water-resistant can be revived. For advice on how to keep your paint moist and reusable, read on. 

Use a spray bottle of water 

A water spray bottle is a useful tool for maintaining the moisture level of acrylic paint. Even if you frequently open and reopen your tube or container, you can occasionally spritz a little water to ensure the paint doesn’t dry out. The best results are obtained with warm, distilled water, while tap water can still be used. 

Spraying too much water will dilute the paint, affect the texture, and cause the pigments to break down. 

Use a Stay-Wet Palette 

A stay-wet palette sold on Amazon maintains paint’s moisture both above and below the surface. You won’t have to spend as much time constantly spraying your paint, and color mixing will be simple. Store the palette in a cool location with the lid tightly fastened to ensure durability. 

Please refrain from opening it until absolutely necessary to prevent air from escaping and risk your paint drying. 

Use a Retarder 

Your acrylic paint will stay wet for a longer period of time if you add a retarder. No matter how long it takes to finish painting, acrylic paint will always stay wet if you utilize slow-drying mediums to get the same result. 

A retarder can be added to acrylic paint that has already been used to keep it moist for later usage. 

Stir Your Colors 

Stir your acrylic paint consistently after adding a retarder or thinner. Stirring will produce a smooth, creamy texture and eliminate any lumps that developed after the paint dried.   

You can use an agitator, a sphere-shaped item that you place in paint containers with dried paint, in addition to manually churning the colors. This mixing tool will assist in blending the colors and removing any lumps to produce a smooth, wet consistency. 

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Last? 

Depending on how you store it, it can last for years. But if you don’t store it properly, it will deteriorate and become unusable. 

Pigments are suspended in a polymer emulsion to create acrylic paint. The paint’s color is a result of the pigments. 

While the polymer emulsion lends the paint its durability and aids in binding the pigments together. 

The sort of storage containers you employ is one of the most critical elements in figuring out how long your acrylic paint will survive. 

Storing paint in glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids is best since these will shield it from oxygen and humidity. 

To keep the paint from drying out, if you must use paper or cardboard containers, close them tightly. 

The temperature is another crucial element. Acrylic paint should be kept at a normal temperature to prevent degradation from high heat or cold. 

How Can Acrylic Paint Be Prevented from Drying?  

Jars and containers should be sealed 

When not in use, make sure to shut all of your paint containers! Only 1 or 2 paint containers should ever be left open. 

Analyze the environment  

Avoid painting outside or in direct sunshine, as these conditions may hasten the drying out of your paint. The same goes for painting in extremely dry or arid locations. 

Maintain Proper Paint Storage 

Store your paint in a dim, moist area once you’ve completed painting and sealed the jars or containers. 

How Should Acrylic Paint Be Storied? 

Acrylic paint should be kept in a dry, cool environment. The consistency and color of the paint can alter under extreme temperatures. 

You should close your paint tubes or bottles tightly when not in use. By doing this, the paint won’t dry out. Paint should ideally be kept in an airtight container. 

This will help keep the paint from drying up and degrading even more. Keep your paint out of direct sunlight. The pigments in paint can be harmed by ultraviolet light and fade. 

Transfer a particular color to a smaller paint container if you won’t be using it all to reduce exposure to air. This will lengthen the paint’s shelf life and prevent it from drying out and becoming worse. 


Acrylic paint that still contains even a little amount of moisture can be reconstituted. The reconstituted acrylic paint won’t be archival quality, and rehydrating or reactivating acrylic paint is not simple.  

Taking care of your paints before they dry out is the best course of action. After each painting session, clean the paint tube holes, and avoid keeping acrylic paints at high temperatures. Always choose to avoid problems.