Monday, November 16, 2009

Gloves for painting outside

Above: A pair of 17th century gloves from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The Boston Art Show is over . I enjoyed seeing those of you who stopped by the Guild of Boston Artists booth where I worked as a volunteer. There was a lot of great art to see. It was as good as a lot of museums and cheaper than the big one up the street. I like going to shows like this because I see a lot of things that are rattling around outside of the museums. I am going to do a short post tonight on painting gloves.

Some of you have remarked that I seem to be wearing some form of gloves in the profile picture on this blog. They are nitrile gloves. I wear those just to keep the paint off of my hands when I am working outside and not to stay warm. They can be bought at auto parts stores as mechanics wear them. I can buy a box of 100 for about ten dollars.They wear well and a box lasts me for months.

For outdoor painting I buy ordinary winter gloves off the rack at Walmart or one of those sorts of stores. I do look for those lined with thinsulate though. The cheap gloves seem to be fine for my purposes. They get gummed up with paint that makes them stiff so I throw them away after a season. I have found that unless it is very cold, if I keep my core temperature up by using good winter gear, I may not need to wear gloves until I have been working outside for a while.

Painting in gloves is not a problem , the action is of the wrist or the arm. It can be difficult to turn the top of of a paint tube but the brush is not a problem. It is a stick, you hold on to one end. It doesn't really bother me to paint in gloves, although if I can take them off I do.


Philip Koch said...

Love the illustration of the gloves- exactly what I use too.

I remember when I was a young painter I swore golves were for sissies and I'd never wear them. Even came up with some high sounding rationale that one needed "to feel the paint" Then I passed thirty and my skin started to dry out. Have been using disposable gloves since I was about 35 and the chapping and split skin is held in check. How on earth did the older dudes paint in days before disposable gloves?

willek said...

Ocean State Job Lot has pretty good $5 gloves every year. THey are leather and thinsulate. Some don't last very long, but who cares at the price. Hunters have mittens that have hinged tips that fold back from the knuckle. So you have easy trigger access. I have not used them for painting, but they might be worth a try. I would like to know how Aldro dressed. His pictures turned out pretty well, so that should be good enough for us. Aren't there pictures of him in action.

Tim said...

Man, that pic of the frilly gloves almost made me spit my cereal over the screen there.

I got the gloves that fold over the knuckles too (well I did until I drunkenly misplaced them last weekend)

Another good option is to just have a big fat woolly knitted sock on your hand, and the stick the paint brush through it. Works a treat, keeps the hand warm and you can actually hold your brush as per usual.

Robert J. Simone said...

My toes are getting cold just thinking about it.....Why not just get an oversized Pope-mobile with chains on the tires and paint from inside there?

I'm gearing up for winter painting , here in Fla, too...going to Stein Mart to buy some long sleeve tee shirts. Truth be told...I'm jealous of you all! said...

Gloves, boots..hat...these are all things anyone without a car thinks about all winter in New England.

I love the idea of carpet under the feet while painting for insulation. Woman's boots are typically not as well made or insulated as men's so the carpet is a good addition.

I am lucky, in that I can wear latex and I can get them in extra small special order. (I also do a lot of my gooey cooking in gloves now). They fit like a skin. I also bought a very good insulated "glove liner" at REI.The latex glove stretches OVER the inner glove. The outer latex cover keeps the glove liners clean too. In addition, I wear another cheap liner over my left hand that I use as my rag (three layers here) because that hand is not moving around as much as the right hand and gets colder. I paint with a pallet knife and it's amazing what you can get used to when you want to paint. Where there is a will there is a way. (I've painted with a broken wrist and torn thumb ligaments, etc.).

Cold is OK. I have decided that wind is the artist's worse enemy.

Deborah Paris said...

HMMM. I'm thinking I could just sew some lace onto my regular figerless gloves that I use for winter painting.....

Connie said...

Gee, I have gloves just like the ones you posted. I'm better prepared that I ever imagined! We just don't have much snow in NC.

Stapleton Kearns said...


The fleet out of Gloucester is out for a week or more at a time in the winter, it is not only cold, but wet out there. Painting is no where near as severe as that.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Good to see you at the Boston show. I will post a picture of Aldro in his winter gear.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The socks work too, but below about 10 Fahrenheit I think thinsulate really shines. Its a wonder product.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I know where there is a paint mobile that is a restoration of one from the 30's. I think it is a nuisance. I will try to get a picture of it.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I believe that Cabelas makes the same boot for women. The carpet is a good trick. Cardboard works or a sheet of plywood.
Boy that's a lot of latex. Have you tried Nitrile. I think it makes my hands sweat less, but maybe its my imagination.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Put the lace on the boots too.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Every woman replying on this blog seems to have those lace gloves.I thought I was so clever with that. Shows what I know. I have lace on my paint tubes, do you?

Marc Dalessio said...

I must say, the 'Hibbard mitten' or big-woolly-sock trick works really well if you're not used to wearing gloves while you paint.