Coping with a constant flow of wet paintings which all need to be dried before children go home is often the most difficult problem of all. There are some commercially-produced stands to buy and sometimes a clothes airer or shirt rack might provide enough space for a small group. One of the lightweight multiple indoor clothes-lines would be useful. Ropes strung across classrooms are common but where this is not possible ‘line posts’, made from dowelling posts embedded in a large paint can with quick-setting concrete, work well. Where ropes are slung against a wall a sheet of plastic behind the rope prevents wet paint getting on the wall. All too frequently it is adults who end up finer brushes which would be so inappropriate if they were used to the exclusion of all other sizes.
Where possible, it is a good idea to provide a separate brush for each colour and children soon learn the ‘ put it back into the same pot’ rule. Even better is to have two sets of brushes so that one can be thoroughly cleaned and dried off while the other set is being used. There seems to be no efficient way of sealing the wooden handles of the cheaper brushes to prevent them be-coming stained with paint. None of the various varnishes, paints, sealers or oil finishes withstand the cleaning process very long. Equally, more expensive brushes which do have varnished handles soon lose their surface. Nevertheless this is not a wholly bad thing. If the handle of a brush is looking grubby and worn perhaps it is time to look at the business end to see if it needs replacing.