Over the years I’ve used all sorts of surfaces as a palette for my paints- heavy glass plate, palette paper, and old phone books.
All were messy to clean up and I wasted a lot of paint. So when a student taking a class with me a few years back showed up with a palette that keeps acrylics and water based paints moist in an air tight container I was all over it.
I quickly purchased my own Masterson Sta-Wet Palette. Packaged with a sponge and special permeable paper I was able to use and reuse my paints for quite a while. At one point when I used the same paper for a considerable amount of time (month or more), when I did go to change the palette paper, the sponge underneath that keeps the paper and paints moist was not only still wet but smelly and literally falling apart.
After calling Masterson’s, I received a complimentary replacement sponge. Not soon after, despite following their recommendations of using distilled water, the new one started to get funky and fall apart.
Then I decided to try Sham-Wow! That’s right – just like the late night info-mercial claims, wet or dry, there’s nothing like it. These days you don’t have to stay up late to get a pack of the bright saffron colored cloths, you can order online, or check out your local hardware or pharmacy. Cut it to size, and you have a great way of keeping your palette moist. When you change your palette paper, rinse it out and begin again.
It’s a beautiful thing.
What’s a favorite art tip of yours?
Wonderful tip. I am ordering right away. I wasn’t even aware these existed.
So glad Linda, it has saved me time- and paint, a.k.a. money!
My fav-o-rite tip is to put my oil paints (on the palette) in the refrigerator when not painting on the canvas. They come out great ready to use and do not dry up. Overnight wrap with waxed paper. Keep on painting!
Thanks for sharing your tip Cathy, I’m working with water based oils these days. Have you tried them yet?
Wow, Nanci, I have been using the Masterson palettes for at least 12 years, maybe more and have purchased umpteen spongehs, all of which eventually rotted. Just ordered some sham wow! Thanks!
Glad to help Liza- you turned me on to listening to audio books which I love!!
For my acrylics, I use a glass palette / paper combo. I take a paper towel, fold it into quarters longways, place it on one side of the palette, get it very wet, and portion out my colors onto that. The wet paper towel stays put on the glass.
Acrylics dry so quickly on a glass palette that I only use the glass area for mixing. I frequently wipe it off with a wet rag. So easy to clean!
It’s not super-portable and it won’t keep paint wet overnight, but with spraying the paper towel will stay wet all day. I can re-use it several days in a row. It’s perfect for my needs.
I love how we all have these specialized tools that we’ve developed over time. Thanks for sharing yours!
Thanks for the tip Sarah. I was using either the glass slab or phone books before the sta-wet palette – never thought about misting it. That’s good to know if I am ever without the palette.