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Lets talk about Paint Pallets


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Like qwyk, My 'pallete' is a simple 6" x6" white ceramic tile from home depot that cost me all of $.50. A little hot water and sponge work and everything comes right off, and there's plenty of space that allows me to use it for a few days to a week of heavy painting at a time before it becomes necessary to clean it for empty space again.

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I have this pallet. Its the only porcelain one I own, and usually the only one I use. I am bad about cleaning my pallet and I find a hot water soak and then the hand sprayer on my sink gets almost all of the paint off. The wells on the out side are just the right size to hold two largish drops of paint and 10 to 15 drops of gunk for a wash. If I have to make a mix for a large area I tend to use the paint cup stips to mix them. Having used reaper blisters, paper plates, news paper, my hand, and random other things to mix paint on this was a high power send.

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I had lots of trouble with palettes too for a long time. I hated using the plastic ones, as they were hard to clean. The ceramic ones are great, but expensive and there are not a lot of wells in them. I also like to be able to mix two colors on the fly for layering and such, and there is not usually space to do that.

 

I tried wet palettes too, but got discouraged because I was using the paper for water colors, and two things would happen: the fluid in the paint would just get sucked down into the sponge (I never did quite get that osmosis thing) and little fibers would come off the paper and get stuck in my brush and on the mini. I threw away that set up in complete disgust.

 

I got together with a local painter (you know who you are) and as soon as I saw his set up, I nicked it. It's a disposable aluminum cake pan that is 9X12X1.5. It's a shallow pan so it's easy to use. The sponge part is a disposable kitchen towel, usually sold in packs of 3. It holds enough water for it to be useful but not so much that it floods the paint. For the paper I use wax paper. I tried parchment but found that the edges would curl up in the corners at first, and then eventually it would dry up in such a way that the paper no longer had contact with the towel. Wax paper seems to stick to the towel really well, and you can buy a roll of it so that the edges will fold underneath the towel, avoiding curl at all.

 

It's all disposable stuff but I have been using my cake pan and towel for 6 months. I just throw away the wax paper after the towel dries out. This gives me a great big surface to mix paints on. There is usually enough space to even mix washes and glazes, though if I have big job I'll usually mix those in my ceramic palette.

 

By using this I've been able to stop using retarder, as the paint stays open for a long time on the palette, but dries quickly on the mini. Great for layering, not so great for wetblending. But then, the RMSs are optimized for layering, so it all works out well for me. I love my set up now! ^_^

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I have the little seven-well thingie now, but I used to use the plastic cheap ones from Michaels. I love my ceramic one. It's easy to clean and it doesn't scoot around when I'm mixing or thinning my paints.

 

But...I have a confession.

 

Back when I was still using the plastic kind, I was painting on some orc or other and needed a seventh colour. The six wells on my old cheap plastic palette were all dried up and gacky and I was feeling too lazy to go wash it out, SO I just dripped a tad of paint right on my desktop which is covered with a sheet of glass that was once the cabinet door for a rack stereo system.

 

I should be ashamed..but at least I don't paint out of the lids *cough* like SOME people I know. :lol:

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Coffee can lid. Cheap...ie stolen...replaceable. That is what I have for travel.

 

I hope by "is stolen - replaceable" you don't mean you nicked the lid off the coffee from the break room at your job, paint a bit in the lid, then replace it on the coffee can. :lol: I'd think some of those metallics would make Maxwell House taste more like Sherwin Williams.

 

I have just been informed by Mister-Painty-Lids that old scraps of plaster from HirstArts projects are excellent palettes for one to use when dry-brushing. Makes sense, being that plaster drinks up paint the way it does.

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I'm currently using the cheap plastic pallette. I've tried wet pallettes, but I must have been doing something wrong because the paint never lasted. I am thinking of moving to a ceramic/porcelain one mostly because the plastic one I have is scratched and gouged.

 

I supposed it all comes down to trying different things and finding what works for you. Some people swear by wet pallettes; others don't use them. Some prefer ceramic tiles; others like having wells of some kind.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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I use the cheapo plastic palletes. I have about a dozen of them and I stack up the gunked up ones when they fill up as I'm painting. When I'm done with a painting session and notice I only have 2 left that are clean, I take the gunked up stack, bring them to the sink, spray the tops with simple green, let them sit for an hour or two, then simply rinse them off. Yeah, I may have to push a little with my finger to get the globs out, or use a toothbrush real quick on the edges, but it goes pretty fast and they're cheap, so I don't mind if I lose one when I'm out painting or something.

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Hm, I like the look of that eastman. If you know, how would you say the size of the wells on that compare to the size of the wells on a petal ceramic palette?

 

they are considerably smaller (I'm 600+ miles away from my palette though, so I'll give a better answer in a few days)

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After having used AOL CDs for years and years, and experimenting with wet palettes, I've settled on using the same 2 ceramic palettes Ron posted. I use the smaller for traveling, and the larger for home. Theyre easy to clean, have all the area I need for mixing, and have a consistent smooth surface to evaluate paint consistency. I don't anticipate any changes in my palette choice in the forseeable future.

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