Friday, 18 April 2008

How to make a wet palette for acrylic paints

I have often heard complaints from artists who say their acrylic paints dry out too fast on the palette and they waste a lot of paint because of it. Of course, this would be more of an issue in hotter climates so I thought I would share pics of how I make my own wet palette for use with acrylic paints. I LOVE working with wet palettes as I can leave my paint in the container for at least a week and the paint remain workable. I usually make up several palettes at once because when I'm on a roll, I'm on a roll. lol


Some examples of suitable containers below.
Make sure they have lids so they can be sealed
when not in use.

Flat Kitchen Sponge 
These measure about 17cm x 21cm 
equivalent is approx. 7" x 8"

Greaseproof Paper (NOT the waxed kind)


Wet the kitchen sponge and wring out excess water leaving sponge damp. If it's very hot weather, I will leave a little more water in the sponge than just damp. Wrap damp sponge in TWO sheets of greaseproof paper.

It's very important to use two sheets of greaseproof paper as only one sheet will result in your acrylic paints being a runny mess within 24 hours. I have found that the puddles of paint hold their shape perfectly with two sheets of the paper.

Three palettes now assembled, sealed, and ready for use 
over the coming week.

Here is one of the palettes in use. After a painting session, or if you get called away to the phone, simply pop the lid onto the container to avoid the palette and paint drying out. As previously stated, these palettes (and paint puddles) will remain workable for up to week or a bit longer depending on climate.

Click on images to enlarge

Some artists like to keep their wet palettes in the fridge but I have found this causes beads of water and a lot of condensation to build up inside the container so I prefer to just leave my palettes sitting at the ready in my studio. There are no big messes to clean up as, after I have finished with the palette, I just toss the paint-covered paper into the rubbish bin. I then rinse out the sponge in fresh water, re-wrap in fresh paper and place back in the container ready for the next use. Easy peasy ~ :)