Friday, February 5, 2010

Paintastic conversion

So, a while back I figured out how to take apart an Elmer's Paintastic paint brush and turn it into a waterbrush much like the far more expensive brushes like Niji and other companies make for doing watercolor painting while traveling. My kids wanted waterbrushes like my Nijis and I didn't really want to spend a lot of money... so I put it off and put it off and then one day my mother gave them some Paintastic paintbrush pens and I took one apart figuring that it must be basically a waterbrush... and it is, basically, with a little modification. So, here is what I do to convert a Paintastic into a waterbrush. (this happens to be a mini Paintastic that I am demoing here, but they come in a larger version too, which can be handy as well)
Find yourself some Elmer's Paintastics like this:

Unscrew the top and you will have the two halves of the pen like this:

Then you need to pull out the blue end on the paint reservoir piece like this:

Now pull the tube off of the blue end, like this:

Pull the second, smaller tube out of the blue piece now and you should have all these pieces:

Now, throw away these pieces. You don't need them... I have tried using the brush with and without them and they don't seem to make it any better particularly, so I just take them out and throw them away. So, get rid of these:

Now, take the paint reservoir piece and pour out the paint... don't worry too much about getting it all over your sink, it's kids paint, it washes off things really easily!

Now, rinse out the paint reservoir really well until the water you dump out of it runs clear. When it's clean you can fill it with water and then put the blue end back onto the filled water reservoir like this:

Now, if your Paintastic brush has been used by your kids already then you will need to clean the brush end by running lots of water through it. If it's new and unused the brush will be clean and you can skip this step. If your brush is full of the paint though, it's best to run a bunch of warm water through it until the brush looks clean and the water runs clear

Now you can put the brush all back together again. If the brush has been used in the past I usually squeeze a full reservoir full of water through the brush before using it to paint to be sure that any paint has cleared the whole system.

Now, simply refill your waterbrush reservoir with water and you are good to go! :)

Ok, now as far as I'm concerned this is the best part about the mini Paintastic brushes. They can't do as fine painting as some waterbrushes, but for quick sketches they are fine and they fit PERFECTLY into a twelve 1/2 pan paint box! (ok, I know my twelve 1/2 pan box has 14 half pans.... but, hey, they fit, so why not!)

Hope you all find this useful... if nothing else, for those with kids who have these anyway it's a good way to re-use them and not just throw them away when the paint is used up, which I like. I also refilled one for me with black ink and it makes a nice little ink brush pen for doing quick brush sketches.

Have fun!


Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

Nifty, thanks! I tried to empty one out but it took forever--didn't think to just remove stuff...

nanke's stuff said...

What a great idea - I will definitely try it. Thank you so much for sharing this tip with us. nancy

Spinneretta said...


Denise said...

Wonderful idea. I like the size of these as well.

Dan Kent said...

Pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

I'm headed out to get some today! Carrying water has always been an issue. Love that they can carry inks too. Wow.
And a big Thank You so much for taking the time to do a show-and-tell. I'd never have understood without your photo explanations.

Minerva said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing and taking the time to make this post.

Deborah said...

Thank you for this post! I realize now that I bought the wrong thing. I bought Crayola paint brush pens. I don't know if they will work, but I might try taking one apart just to see. But tomorrow I will run out and buy the Elmer's paintastic. Do you know if they sell those at a discount store like Walmart or if I need to try a place like AC MOore?

Joanne said...

Great idea. Thanks!

ADF said...

excellent idea and perfect for those quick sketch jobs or travelling.