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How to Refresh Dried Out Gilders Paste

Gilders Paste is a great way to add new color to metal, wood, polymer clay, ceramic, wax and resin surfaces. It comes in lots of colors and each container provides enough paste for many projects. You'll have your Gilders Paste on hand for a long time and after a while, you might notice it start to dry out. This Handy Tip will show you how to refresh dried out Gilders Paste so it is as good as new and ready to use on any project!
Fresh Gilders Paste is similar in cosistency to shoe polish. It is firm to the touch, but comes off on your finger, cloth or the object you wish to apply it to easily. Over time, Gilders Paste will dry out and become hard. As you can see, the two tins in the foreground are hard and cracked, while the two in the background are dry and have shrunk away from the sides of the tins. This doesn't mean the Gilders Paste is bad and has to be thrown away and repurchased. In fact, you can use your Gilders Paste for years! With a little mineral spirits or paint thinner you can bring it back to a smooth, paste-like consistency. If you are working on a small project and just need a small amount, break off a piece of the hard Gilders Paste and place it in the lid or a separate container, such as an empty tuna can. You will also need gloves and a spatula.Use the spatula to chop and mix the paste into small pieces. Then, use the spatula to add a drop or two of either solvent to the crumbled pieces. We used paint thinner. Work the solvent into the past by chopping, mashing and stirring with the spatula. If the paste is still crumbly, add another drop or two of solvent. Be patient with this process and sparing with the solvent, as it doesn't take much to rejuvenate the paste.
Here, we tested out our new mixture to see if it was ready to use. The smear on the left was made with the dried out Gilders Paste. The smear on the right is smoother and covers the surface better, but it is still a little dry. If your Gilders Paste is still too dry to your liking, add another drop of solvent and continue mixing. Soon, your paste will be smooth like the original consistency. We tested out our Gilders Paste yet again. Here you can see in the third smear that the coverage is heavier and smoother than the previous one.
You can rejuvenate a whole tin of Gilders Paste in the same way. If you have time, you can also add the solvent to the tin and lit it sit overnight. The amount will vary depending on how dried out your paste is and how much paste is in your container. A good approximation to start with is about 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of solvent. Pour the solvent over the top of the paste. There should be just a tiny amount of solvent in the bottom of the tin. You don't want the paste to be swimming in solvent. Put the lid back on the tin and allow it to sit overnight. When you open the tin again, it won't look much different from the night before. But, if you flip the hard paste over, you will see that it is softer on the bottom. It should now be soft enough to chop up easily with the spatula. Use the spatula as you did before to chop, mash and stir the paste until it reaches the desired consistency.
Here is an example of what happens when you use more solvent on your Gilders Paste. In this tin, we put more solvent than intended. After mixing it up, the consistency became much softer than the original consistency of Gilders Paste. Even if the consistency is softer, the paste is still usable! As you can see from this sample, the paste goes on heavier and it is not as opaque as the original consistency. Depending on your desired effect, this may even be preferable. You can even thin the paste down further and use it like a paint for very light, translucent effects. The best part about Gilders Paste is that if you apply it and it has not created the desired effect, you can remove it with paint thinner or mineral spirits while it is still wet. Don't be afraid to get creative with this unique supply!

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