Wet Palettes: Tips And Tricks

  • By: Richard
  • Date: September 22, 2021
  • Time to read: 11 min.

A wet palette is a paint palette with wet paint on it so that the artist can continue to work while they wait for their paints to dry. If you want your wet palette to last longer and be more durable, then there are some steps you should take. This blog post will give you tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your wet palette!

What Is A Wet Palette?

A wet palette is a way to keep your paint moist. Paint dries out in the air, so having moisture on pigment helps it stay fresh and workable longer! When you are using oil paints or watercolors, this can be especially important because they need lots of moisture for mixing colors. Wet palettes come with different materials to help them hold onto that extra moisture; some have built-in pans where wetting agents go, while others rely on absorbent paper towels as their primary humidifier.

How Does A Wet Palette Help?

A wet palette is used to add moisture and keep your paints moist for a long time. With the addition of water, you can mix multiple paint colors as well! But how do you get started with using it? The following are tips and tricks on how to maximize its use when painting:

  • Keeps Paints Moist For Long Period Of Time – This does really well not only keep your paint fresh but also allows them to stay moist longer than if they were just left alone at room temperature. This is especially good if you’re someone who likes creating fine details in all their paintings or drawing pieces because it will help make sure that none of your pigments dry up too quickly while you work on other parts of the piece.
  • Works For All Mediums – Whether you’re using oils, acrylics, or watercolors on your project, a wet palette will work with all of them because it’s not dependent upon what type of print medium is used! In fact, some artists use oil paints and mix their colors directly onto the surface instead since this mimics traditional painting methods better than other types of art supplies do. This makes it easy to get started creating if you often switch between different media too.

Now that we’ve gone over how they work in general and their benefits for any artist, no matter their skill level or preferred style, let’s go ahead and talk about some tips and tricks on making sure that one is properly used to get the most out of it.

  • Use A Larger Surface – This may be a brainer, but one thing that you want when working with wet palettes is going for something larger than what you would otherwise use on a dry palette since this will make sure that there’s more room for mixing colors and won’t run out as quickly!
  • Keep It Clean And Dry – After using your wet palette, always remember to clean it off right away so nothing gets dried up inside or left behind in any crevice, which can lead to mold forming over time if not taken care of immediately. Since the chances are high that water has been introduced into its design, having some moisture around without proper ventilation can also lead to parts rusting, so be sure to dry it completely before putting it away.
  • Store It Horizontally – Depending on the size, you may want to consider storing your wet palette horizontally instead of vertically because this will make sure that there are no air bubbles and water is distributed evenly throughout its surface; which can help prevent any separation between colors while painting with them!

Wet Palette Cleaning Tips And Tricks

Gently wipe your wet palette with a paper towel to get rid of excess paint. This helps keep the moisture in and keeps you from being covered in pigment!

Remove any leftover color by using oil painting solvent or watercolor cleaner, depending on the paints you are working with. You can also use baby wipes for this step if they don’t contain soap which could leave residue behind that will affect how well your new paint sticks to it later down the road.

Store Your Wet Palette Properly When It’s Dry Or Finished Painting For The Day

Once you have finished using your palette, ensure all the extra moisture is out before putting it away so it doesn’t start growing mold! It isn’t anything left over after wiping, place a paper towel on the bottom of your palette and put another one over the top. Seal it with cling wrap or store it in an airtight container to ensure no moisture sneaks through.

If you are using oil paints, seal them with linseed oil after they have dried out before putting them away so you can preserve their workability for later! This is especially important if you tend to paint multiple pieces at once because many different colors will require hardening agents.

Don’t use newspaper as the absorbent because the ink transfers onto your wet pigment leaving visible stains behind when dry. You also want a material that breathes well enough to let excess vapor escape without getting trapped inside, causing mold growth! Paper towels are a perfect balance.

The 3 Best Wet Cleaning Palettes For Me

1. The Army Painter Wet Palette

The Army Painter Wet Palette - Premium Brush Storing Palette with 50 Palette Sheets and 2 Sponges for Wargames Miniature Model Painting

Say goodbye to your Warpaints drying up and cracking! Impress all of your friends with the freshest paints around. The Army Painter Wet Palette is right for you if you’re always painting in one place or using colours that don’t require too much mixing as they’ll remain wet until they’re next applied over a dry layer (which can really save on paint!).
Pros
  • Packaged well and clean
  • Not damaged
  • Help keep your paints wet for longevity
Cons
  • brush holders inside the top compartment can’t hold some of the brushes from Army Painter themselves
  • design has no latching or snapping components

2. Masterson Sta-Wet Palette with Airtight Lid Keeps Paint Wet Fresh for Days

Masterson Sta-Wet Palette with Airtight Lid Keeps Paint Wet Fresh for Days, with Pack of 30 Acrylic Paper 8 1/2 in. x 7 in, and Pack of 3 Handy Palette Sponges + Bonus Gift Boutique Artist Full Apron

From the creators of Masterson, the sta-wet palette is a patented design to keep paint fresh for days on end. The kit includes 4 pieces – an easy-to-use acrylic handy palette with 30 sheets of super wet and ready for use paper leaves, 3 high quality, and long-lasting sponges yet affordable.
Perfect addition for any painter or artist looking to save time without sacrificing quality!
Pros
  • A week later? Still wet!
  • seals airtight and keeps paints fresh
  • better way to deal with fast drying acrylic paints
Cons
  • Would have liked lower sides and larger size

3. Sta-Wet Palette Keeps Paints Fresh For Days

Sta-Wet Palette Keeps Paints Fresh For Days With Airtight Lid 857

This innovative little palette is perfect for your next paint project. With its built-in sponge surface and a tight lid, it’s easy to take this portable palette with you on the go! It will give you enough space for small projects or even in your classroom art center–perfect for hours of painting fun.
Pros
  • size is a lot more convenient to carry around
  • the paper is especially surprising because it has absorbed water yet the paint stays on the surface
Cons
  • fragile palette cover

Tips And Tricks on How To Use A Wet Palette

DO
  • To keep your wet palette healthy and mold-free, it’s important to clean the sponge every two weeks. If you let this go for longer than that, there is a chance of growing mold on the paint or paper!
  • To avoid mold in a sponge, run a thin line of copper wire on top. Pennies are no longer made out of the natural anti-microbial material, so that they won’t work for this purpose.
  • If you’re planning to work on a painting for longer than an hour, check the moisture content of your sponge every few hours. A dry sponge will require extra water so add one or two teaspoons as needed.
  • I recommend distilled water for a wet palette because it prevents mold and removes any strange contaminants. Although tap water is okay, you may experience problems with it if your paint has been sitting out too long.
  • If you are using thinner paint, be cautious as it might cause the palette to become runny. Wet palettes were created with finer art in mind; they don’t work well for acrylic paints that aren’t too thick or heavy.
  • Wet palettes are great for glazing, keeping a certain richness in the colors.
DONT
  • When painting techniques, artists may have difficulty using washes and inks with their palette if the paint is too watery.
  • Metallic paints don’t do well with a wet palette. The tiny metal-like flakes seep through the paper and contaminate the sponge below, which can result in an undesirable effect on your painting’s outcome.
  • Using a wet palette in dry climates or outdoors can be beneficial, especially if painting on sunny days. Otherwise, your paint will quickly dry up, and you’ll have to find new supplies before continuing with the project at hand.

How To Make Your Own Wet Palette

Step 1: Supplies

Now, Masterson does also have a premade wet palette kit. However, after trying it myself, I found that the size you would use for acrylics is painting on canvas rather than miniatures. This takes up too much space and has more room than needed, so here’s an easy fix!

Step 2: A Sponge Container

Step 2: A Sponge Container

The first thing I did was to buy a smaller container. This will be used for my sponge painting technique, and as you’ll see, it holds two sponges or one larger-sized brush well.

I recommend finding a container with a lid to keep your sponge moist. Otherwise, the paper will dry out, and you won’t be able to use it again until after some water is applied.

Though this isn’t an issue as warm water can reactivate acrylic paint on the paper, no one wants to wait around for that when they could already be painting! So if you happen upon any Tupperware or other similar containers in good enough condition, feel free to reuse them too — make sure they have lids, so nothing dries up before its time.

Step 3: Cut the Sponge to Size

Once you have your container, cut to size the wet palette paper and sponge, it’s worth noting that it is easier if a few things are already done for when they need replacing – this way, I don’t waste time cutting them later on in my process.

Step 4: Cut the Acrylic Paper to Size

Step 4: Cut the Acrylic Paper to Size

I then place the sponge on the acrylic paper as a template and cut the acrylic paper to the same size.

Step 5: Get Everything Wet

After cutting the acrylic sheet, I need to use warm water. To activate it and make sure that all of its surfaces are wet, I place a sponge on top of it in my container with hot water before closing the lid so they can soak for 10 minutes together.

Step 6: Remove Excess Water

Step 6: Remove Excess Water

It’s now ready to use. That’s all there is to it! It’s inexpensive, simple to put together, and will significantly enhance your painting.

Step 7: Drying Out Wet Palettes

I probably reactivate the paper every few weeks, same with the sponge. In cold weather, I can go for months without doing this, though! It’s just a matter of soaking them in hot water again for 10 minutes, and they are good as new. They might be single-use, but at least you don’t have to worry about buying papers or sponges all that often because it only takes an hour out of your day to reuse them instead.

FAQs for Wet Palette

How to make a stay-wet palette for acrylic paints?

Materials You’ll Need

  • Greaseproof or baking paper
  • A white shallow tray or a plain white plate will suffice.
  • Kitchen towel
  • Water

Step by step:

  1. Cut or rip the greaseproof paper to match the plate
  2. Place a plate on the table and cover it with two or three kitchen towels
  3. Wring out the cloth gently over the sink
  4. Next, place the greaseproof paper on top of the mixture and smooth down
  5. To keep things simple for yourself, start with a new palette and arrange the paints however you like

White greaseproof paper allows you to judge your colours as they come out of the tube.

How to use a wet n wild contouring palette?

Using the water dropper, mix in some distilled water into each well until it feels like soft putty, and then let it sit overnight so that all the colors are completely soaked through with water! It should now look more like thick paint rather than clay. The next day when you open up your new favorite matte makeup product, place them back onto their tray and leave them uncovered while working – this will help keep the air away from drying out anything. Don’t forget about your last step – adding any other mixing mediums you might like to use, such as linseed oil or glycerin.

Richard

Hi! I'm Richard Baker, a miniature painter who has been painting for about ten years. My website is packed with great advice that I've learned from both books and personal experience on building and painting miniatures.

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