A Discussion About Acrylic Waste Water

Contributed by Jim Richards

During our monthly meeting in June, we had a virtual round table and asked the question: How do you properly dispose of acrylic waste water and paint. Artists offered up several methods they personally use. One was to use excess paint as part of the underpainting of another work. One used small amounts of excess paint to create a separate abstract painting that evolves over time.

One clever idea was to use extra paint to create abstract paintings on salvaged styrofoam plates then hanging them on the wall as a sort of artistic insulation. Another method was to dry the acrylic waste water in tubs then collect the remaining film as bits of material to be used in mixed media art creations. Bottom line: Evaporation seems to be a popular method for attending to acrylic waste.

Washing Soda

Also mentioned: using Washing Soda (also known as sodium carbonate, soda ash, or soda crystals) to neutralize the acrylic paint into a soap, which would be safe for the environment. That sounds interesting.

Washing Soda, Be an Earth Friendly Artist (PDF)

More Guidance on Acrylic Waste

Here are some curated links on the subject that you may find useful.

Cleaning Your Acrylic Waste Water Made Easy

Removing Water-Based Paint Solids from Rinse Water

How To Dispose of Acrylic Paint Rinse Water

Don’t Pour Acrylic Paint Down The Drain