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DixonGrfx

Reverse wet palette experiment

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I got to thinking about how to keep my paint from drying out while in my paint wells. What I need is a humid micro environment to set my well pallet in while painting. So I had the idea of using an ultrasonic mist maker to "pour" humid air over my pallet. The proof of concept works.

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An alternative would be to use retarder and keep the welled palette in an airtight container. 

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An alternative would be to use retarder and keep the welled palette in an airtight container. 

Why would he do it his way? Because SCIENCE!

 

Of course. I just wanted to give him an simpler, although I have to admit this is my own opinion, alternative.

 

But if you want a more sciencey alternative, how about pykrete palette. Made one using sponge about 6 mm thick with a sheet of styrene as my palette. Paint remained workable for approximately 4 hours with just the condensation. My next step was to use medicine/gum/candy blister packs and cotton (so it would conform to the bottom of the blister packs) pykrete. Lost interest because it was too much hard work, condensation meant it was hard to control the dilution and freezer space was a premium (the wife would kill me).

Edited by junex
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I have put my welled palette into my covered wet palette overnight, and had the paint stay usable.

I have a large wet palette. . .

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The climate here and the house AC running almost constantly dries my paint in the well very quickly. It wouldn't bother me much except that when the paint starts to dry in the well, a slight film forms and the paint doesn't flow well off my brush. Plus, this gives me the excuse to play mad scientist! My personal nod of the hat to Mythbusters in their last season, "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing."

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This actually gives me the idea of running a cool mist humidifier while painting. I have one I haven't used in years. :huh:

 

I must try this!

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I got the proof of concept working last night, but haven't had a chance to test how well it my help/hinder while actually painting. Tonight I have duties at church, so it will be tomorrow at the earliest for me to test how it works practically. 

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The climate here and the house AC running almost constantly dries my paint in the well very quickly. It wouldn't bother me much except that when the paint starts to dry in the well, a slight film forms and the paint doesn't flow well off my brush. Plus, this gives me the excuse to play mad scientist! My personal nod of the hat to Mythbusters in their last season, "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing."

It's cold and dry (well, getting warmer) here in the frozen north. I am thinning my paints with pure retardant and not noticing them to take particularly long to dry. I wonder how different my experience will be when summer comes along and it gets hot and humid instead.

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Here where I live it's not unusual to see the humidity drop into the 20s for long periods during winter.

The fact that I heat my apartment using an air-air heat-exchanger(think aC, only running in reverse) really doesn't help, either.

On the coldest evenings I light up my woodstove, and them I place a pot of water on top to add some humidity back.

 

I have a humidifier, but really, I never really noticed a difference with it.

 

The only thing I've seen that really made a difference in the humidity was when I had my windowfarm running. All that water circulating and dripping down from pot to pot... (Check out windowfarms.org Hydroponics on the cheap... )

 

Now, the issue to focus on when trying to keep paint 'alive' for longer seems to me to be surface area.

What's the diameter of the wells of a normal welled pallette?

20mm maybe?

 

And how much paint do we actually put into them?

1 - 10 DROPS...

 

I'm thinking that if you take a piece of HDPE plastic(IKEA cutting boards are good) and use a 1/4" ball-end endmill to make wells, it just might be a good start.

And even if it doesn't work, it should still be an awesome pallette...

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I'm thinking that if you take a piece of HDPE plastic(IKEA cutting boards are good) and use a 1/4" ball-end endmill to make wells, it just might be a good start.

And even if it doesn't work, it should still be an awesome pallette...

You could make something like that very easily if you can find a vacuum form machine. My high school had one, and I imagine "makerspaces" likely have them too. I actually helped my Dad build one from a baking tray, a vacuum cleaner, and a paint stripping heat gun. You just need a suitable shaped negative mold and a piece of acrylic sheet to suck onto it.

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I painted Thursday. Placed a porcelain tile over my ceramic "flower" palette. Sat down today (3 days later) and paints were still wet. Just added water and went at it.

 

It did rain and we had high humidity this weekend. Also lots of wind and big temp drop. YMMV

 

Still going to try a cool mist humidifier. I think it will help in a small room.

Edited by Kheprera
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fwiw, here's an "ice palette" for high temperatures. It uses water *condensation* to keep the paints wet. More work than a wet palette, but it's another option : http://www.coolminiornot.com/articles/8388-the-ice-palette

The "pykrete" palette I mentioned is more accurately an ice pack palette. I wanted to try an ice palette but being klutzy transporting an ice tray filled with water wasn't appealing. Researching ice packs led me to diy ice packs made from sponge. As the water melts it is retained by the sponge hence less mess.

 

I used that with a flat styrene sheet so I can mix colors much like a wet palette. When I wanted to try welled palettes I turned to super absorbent polymers since it will conform to bottom of a welled palette. Never got around to testing it because it was too much work, I'm not only a klutz but a lazy one.

 

The 4 hour working window per ice pack was manageable by having more than one ice pack set up but the deal breaker for me was that the condensation was not controllable(?). I often take breaks while painting, unfortunately the condensation does not.

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