20 May 2024Mont Marte

Whether you’re a professional artist or exploring a new hobby, learning to store your creative materials is a must. We’ve put together a Q&A to address some commonly asked questions when it comes to storage. We’re here to help keep your paints, brushes, and canvases in top form so you can focus on unleashing your creativity!

1. How to organise art supplies?

Brushes in a wallet next to a painting, paints, and palette


Keeping your art supplies organised is a great way to stay focused and inspired. Think about investing in storage options like Art Boxes, Portfolios, Brush Cases, Marker Wallets, and Studio Tidies so your stuff stays in easy reach. We also have Box Easels with built in drawers for convenient access while creating.


Try making labels for your containers and drawers so you know what goes where to save time and keep on task. You can even make a ‘project container’ where you keep all the supplies you need for you current artwork close at hand.

2. How to store canvas paintings?

Two canvases stood up on their edges in front of each other


Paintings on canvas should be stored upright and stacked side by side, not on top of one another (think books in a book case). It’s a good idea to use baking paper to separate the canvases if you notice them sticking together or you’re in a warmer climate.


To protect against dust and moisture, keep painted canvases that aren’t on display in a cupboard or airtight container, away from sunlight. Avoid storing them in humid or damp environments as much as possible, as the moist air can cause mould or mildew to grow.


When it comes to unused canvas, you can store them flat but just make sure there’s even pressure on the canvas to avoid warping the wood. Keep the packaging on to keep dust and moisture out so they stay in the best condition for painting.

3. How to go about storing paper?

Recycled Toned Drawing Paper surrounded by coloured pastels and art supplies


For paper-based art supplies like Sketchbooks and Paper Pads, it's important to store them flat or upright to prevent creasing or bending. Keep them in a dry space to avoid moisture, and maybe invest in a Portfolio or storage box to keep your completed works protected. If you're working with delicate paper, be extra cautious about humidity and exposure to sunlight so your art surfaces stay in top condition!


You can also store finished paper artwork behind glass to help protect the colours and details. This will do a good job at keeping dust and moisture off the paper, so the piece stays vibrant for longer. Plus, hanging your art in a frame is totally chic!

4. How to store paints?

Box Easel with paints and supplies in the drawer and a palette on top


When it comes to storing Acrylic and Oil Paints, the key is to keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Exposure to heat and sunlight can cause paints to dry out or degrade over time. Try storing them in a dedicated art supply box or airtight container to protect them from moisture and dust. If you have tubes of paint, store them upright so they don’t dry out at the cap. We also recommend regularly cleaning your paint tube threads so the lids can fasten securely and keep air away from the paint.


Be aware that oil paints may separate over time, which you’ll notice when you squeeze the colour out and the pigment is separate from the oil. This doesn’t mean the paint has gone bad, the pigment is simply heavier than the binder which causes separation over time in storage. All you need to do is mix the oil back into the pigment when you squeeze it out and the colour is good as new. If you really want to avoid this happening, try storing your paints cap side down so the pigment and binder settle in the same spot, near the tube opening.

5. How to store paint brushes?

Studio Tidy with brushes, markers, and pencils in the stand


To keep your paint brushes in tip-top shape, store them with the bristles facing upward in a container, jar, or Studio Tidy. This helps stop the bristles from bending or losing shape. If you have a variety of brush sizes, consider using separate containers or dividers to keep them organised so you know what’s where.


Avoid leaving brushes soaking in water or solvent for extended periods, as this can damage the bristles. You can use conditioner to reshape the bristles after your clean them, and rinse before the next use to remove residual conditioner. This keeps them soft and pointed so they perform their best!

6. How to store gouache?

Airtight Watercolour Palette with gouache paints inside


Gouache and Watercolour paints are vibrant mediums that are extra handy because you can reactivate them if they dry out. Reactivating does affect the water to paint ratio though, because you end up adding a fair bit more water than when you use fresh paints.


To keep your paints fresh and ready to use, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Regularly clean the threads so your lids can fasten securely and keep air out. If you mixed colours that you want to keep using, grab an Airtight Watercolour Palette to keep your watercolours and gouache fresher in between sessions.

7. What’s the best way to store charcoal?

Oil pastel drawer filled with colourful pencils and pastels.


Charcoal sticks and pastels can be fragile and easy to damage, so it’s important to store them right. Use a sturdy box or container with compartments to keep them from rolling around and bumping into each other when you put them away. We’ve got the ideal solution – just check out our Pastel Storage and Art Boxes to level up your at-home studio!


You can also use foam inserts, paper towel, or tissue paper to cushion your dry media and keep them extra secure. Try to avoid storing charcoal and pastels in humid environments, as this can cause them to become brittle and easier to break.

8. How should markers be stored?

Art markers displayed in parallel lines on marble background


Let’s talk about the best way to store Paint Pens and Art Markers. These handy mediums can dry out quick if not cared for properly, so here are some tips to make them last as long as possible:

-    Keep them flat: Store pens and markers horizontally to make sure the ink or paint inside doesn’t pool at one end, leaving the nib to dry out faster.

-    Avoid extreme temperatures: Keep your markers away from heat and direct sunlight to make sure the ink/paint stays in good nick!

-    Replace caps: Always cap your pens and markers securely after use to stop the nibs drying out. Cap any colour you’re not currently using just to be sure!

-    Organise: Use Marker Cases or Stands to organise your collection by colour or type. We also have Paint Pens and Markers that come with their own cases to save you the hassle!

9. What should I keep in mind when storing art supplies long-term?

Cleaning products around the frame of the picture


If you're planning to store your art supplies for an extended period, there are a few extra precautions you should take. Firstly, make sure your storage area is clean, dry, out of sunlight, and well-ventilated to help prevent mould or mildew growth. Check in on your supplies from time to time for any signs of damage and replace any items that seem a bit worn or aged. Keep open products in airtight containers, particularly if you live in a tropical place. With a little bit of TLC, your art supplies can last for years to come, ready to bring to life your next creation!



We hope you’ve learned a couple of handy hints for storing your different art products. If you do spruce up the home studio or give your storage cupboards a tidy, #montmarteart or tag us @montmarteart on Instagram or Facebook. We’re excited to see your creative storage solutions!

For art ideas, explore our Projects and How-tos. If you’re looking for more answers to commonly asked questions, jump into our FAQs collection.   


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