I first saw this idea on There’s a dragon in my art room which is a fantastic art teacher blog created by Phyl . She has now retired from teaching art full time in elementary school but she is still teaching, is incredibly creative, and her blog is still very active and full of great inspirational stuff.
Can you see the funny little ends on my paint pumps?
I have always used paint pumps as I do think they allow you to get the most out of your paint bottles BUT the paint dries up in the end of the pump and disasters occur! How many times have I squirted paint all over myself, even after I have dug around the end of the pump with my finger and dug out as much dried up paint as I can? My students are well aware of this and stand well back whenever I go near the paint pumps so only I get covered in paint. And don’t let me start on my story of my lovely Grade 6 helper who came in to assist me early one morning and I squirted bright red paint sideways out of the pump all over her face, all over her hair and all over the front of her navy blue Cambridge Primary School uniform jumper!!!!!! AAAGGGHHHH!
And I have been told, time and again, that just a blob of blutack on the end of the pumps solves the problem BUT I never remember to do it – and then there was Phyl’s post – and my problem was solved!!!
The funny little bits you can see on the end of the pumps are PENCIL TOPPERS. Those little rubber/eraser thingys that you can get virtually anywhere. I had some on my desk from whenever, they are the rather fancy shaped cupcake and ladybird pencil toppers but the other ones I bought from my local $2 shop in a packet of 24 for, you guessed it, $2!
They have totally solved this problem and all I do is remove the pencil topper, pump the paint with out squirting it all over the place, and put the pencil topper back on the end. My students were fascinated by the change and since I explained what it was all about some have even donated spare pencil toppers to my now growing pile!
And, in case you were wondering, when the paint in the bottle gets low and won’t pump properly I pull out a new bottle in the same colour so I don’t have to wash out the pump, put the pump into the new bottle, put the lid from the new bottle on the old bottle, turn the old bottle upside down and put it into a bucket just in case it leaks. An ordinary bucket holds up to 3 or 4 of these large bottles. When next I need this colour I grab the old bottle from the bucket and use up the paint in it first, which gravity has pulled down onto the lid. Once opened the paint gushes out of the old bottle and depending on how long it has been standing upside down, you truly get just about every drip of paint out of the bottle.
So thank you Phyl! This little trick has stopped the airborne paint blobs from landing all over my clothing as they always manage to magically land where my art smock isn’t covering me. Now I just have to deal with all the 1.924,924,456,753, 402 other reasons I have stuff all over my clothes….. and shoes,,,,,,,,and hair…..and…….
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