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"The Range (UK): Wet Palette" Topic

14 Posts

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vexillia30 Sep 2016 8:59 a.m. PST

New blog post:

Have you seen the various posts about wet palettes? I have but was put off by the need for special paper to line the palette. I also wondered if the colours would stay separate. The latter is a particular problem as I nearly always dilute my paints.

Whilst looking in The Range for something else I found a small well palette for £1.00 GBP. I was going to use it as a regular palette but when I got home I realised it would fit nicely in a takeaway food container. So I decided to try it as part of a wet palette:


Martin Stephenson
The Waving Flag | Twitter | eBay

acatcalledelvis30 Sep 2016 9:47 a.m. PST

Will look into this – seems a good set up!!

Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2016 2:26 p.m. PST

In the US, the arts and crafts chain Michaels has a wet palette with case, sponge, and 5 sheets of paper for around $12. USD They also sell replacement paper and sponges.

Mithridates30 Sep 2016 3:40 p.m. PST

Thanks Martin

Will try this option. Paint on the baking paper/wet towel version tends to get quite 'runny' after a day or so.


Ivan DBA30 Sep 2016 7:23 p.m. PST

The "special paper" is just parchment paper for cooking. You can get w whole roll at the grocery store for a few bucks.

Bowman01 Oct 2016 6:13 a.m. PST

Wet palette paper and parchment paper are not the same. The former is thicker and has to be soaked before use. Different painters have different preferences. Some only use parchment paper which is cheap and found everywhere. My biggest issue was having mold grow in the container during the summer months. I'd have to drop chlorine drops into the water to stop that.

jwebster Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2016 1:50 p.m. PST

bowman speaks truth

You can buy the palette paper separately, and the sponge if you want. The artists' wet palettes are too big for me so I use a small sandwich container

Read the instructions for the palette paper. Seriously.


I think the paper is an osmotic membrane, very different from wax paper


Ivan DBA03 Oct 2016 5:02 a.m. PST

I read those instructions and though I've never used hot water for the initial soaking, it otherwise sounds just like parchment paper. (Which obviously is nothing like wax paper).

1815Guy03 Oct 2016 6:00 a.m. PST

Loads of how to make a wet palette on You Tube. mine is simply a plastic Chinese takeaway container with a damp flat kitchen sponge lining the bottom and greaseproof paper lying on top of it. works great. Costs pence.

jwebster Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2016 4:02 p.m. PST

I have palette paper. I think it is an osmotic membrane (says he remembering something from O level biology in a different millenium). In other words, water passes through but paint molecules are too big. So as the water dries in the paint, it sucks water through the membrane from the sponge, extending working time. Note bowman's comment about mold …..

The hot water presumably activates the membrane. Wax paper doesn't have that membrane so hot water won't help. I doubt the paper would work without a hot water soak.

Note in the instructions that they tell you to squeeze out the sponge before sealing the box, this would stop too much water flowing into the paint, and the damp atmosphere in the sealed box would stop the paint drying out.

I have used wax paper, but find the palette paper to be better. Using a small palette (kids' sandwich container) and cutting the paper to fit the palette, the paper ends up not being too expensive


Ivan DBA03 Oct 2016 9:46 p.m. PST

Jwebster: that is what parchment paper does too. Water permeates through it, enough that the paint does not dry out. But the paint does not bleed through, it stays on top of the parchment paper.

And to be absolutely clear, I am not talking about wax paper. Parchment paper is not wax paper.

VicCina Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2016 8:29 a.m. PST

I'm confused. The palette that is in the original post is just a plastic painting palette correct? Really all that is being done here is sealing the container and allowing the humidity of the damp towel to keep the paint wet, right? There's nothing special about the palette, correct?

SteelViscount22 Nov 2016 11:01 a.m. PST

Not certain. It's certainly interesting, although as someone who has relatively short sittings it's not immensely useful. I've generally just used a small plastic pot with a flexible plastic lid to store specific mixes across sessions. I can't find the exact thing online, but I recall finding it a Muji somewhere.

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