Color Code Your Paint Tubes – Save Time and Frustration!

By Joanie Springer in Art Business Advice > General Art Advice

Chaos makes me crazy. I’m not one to rummage through a drawer or shelf full of paint tubes every time I need to lay out a new color on my palette.

So of course I had to come up with a system. My initial method was to use several ziploc bags and organize my paints by the following colors:

– Yellows and oranges
– Reds and purples
– Blues
– Greens
– Neutrals

That worked for awhile, but I started to go nuts with all that digging around inside the ziploc bags!

I knew my system needed updating, so here’s what I did: I took each of my acrylic paint tubes and “painted” the color on top of its lid. Then I stood them up in a couple of inexpensive buckets I picked up from Home Depot.


Easy-schmeezy. Just dab a bit of paint on the caps and you’re done.

You can see that I have divided my tubes up by warm (reds, yellows) and cool (blues, greens) colors. But whatever works best for you, go for it!

I did the same thing with my oil tubes. . . they just have their own container, a pretty ceramic planter that they happen to fit nicely into!


I have saved A LOT of time (and my own sanity) since switching to this color coding system. It’s also really fun to glance over and think of all those colors waiting to be squeezed out.

Try it out for yourself, and ENJOY! :)

To read more from Joanie, or to view her art, visit


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