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1 hour ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

I've been cleaning after each session as well.  I also have started using smaller pieces parchment paper.  I've noticed that since I've been painting in short bursts, I would only be using a quarter to half of the sheet.  So I cut a piece small big enough to cover a third of the sponge.

Me too!  Which makes cutting the parchment paper so much easier.  I used to stress about it and try to get it as large as I could without hitting an edge.  Now, I just kind of try to keep the edges in a straight line and if it ends up smaller than half, no big deal.  Actually, I like it to be about half as that seems to be my best working area.  If I run out of room on the paper, well, I needed to have taken a break anyway (usually several) and should get up and do a quick clean and put down new paper if I really want to keep on going.  

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interesting topic never heard of the penny/copper trick

 

I didn't see it posted, but I didn't read quite as thoroughly as I normally do, so if I missed it I apologize. When cleaning my palette (sponge and box) I usually soak it a little while in some bleach water. Being in a highly humid area, even with indoor AC I see stuff growing easily.

 

I also let the parchment paper and sponge sit completely immersed in water overnight usually (recommended time is like 15 min, I'm just lazy). Then I take the paper out, drain the box and sponge (not squeezing anything, just letting the water drip out). Then it's ready for use again.

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I was taught by my HS art teacher to make wet palettes using old tupperware.. What he showed us was to take an old flat container like a sandwich container or similar, cut out a piece of plastic or really anything rigid. Wrap that in paper towels and wet it with tap water (yes tap water). Use it for your blending, seal up the container to preserve your mixes, then toss it (or peel off the paper and re-wrap for a fresh palette). I know this doesn't help with your current issue but I think the problem with any sort of long term wet anything is that regardless of using any sort of purified water is that time and exposure to any foreign element is going to introduce microorganisms into the environment. Putting a sponge in a wet container is literally how you make a petri dish.

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The Tupperware wet pallet is actually pretty popular here.  I tried one myself almost two years ago, but gave up on it.  Not because a mold issue; just didn't like my built and went back to a standard dry pallet.

 

I am now using a Masterson's wet pallet, not because there is any superiority to a DIY model, but I really like the form factor.  The tray is really thin, and I couldn't find any Tupperware that flat to build my own.

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Oh yeah, and word to the wise.

 

If you have a Masterson's (or any of the other plastic brands) don't run it through the dishwasher!  Mine was warped for about a year afterwards.  I finally fixed it by boiling (actually I baked it in a pan of water in the oven) and cooling.

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Mine came malformed from the factory; it had a concave convex bottom where the center was higher that the perimeter.  Made everything run out toward the edge.

 

Baking in a pan of water while weighting down the center fixed it and haven't had issues since.

Edited by hdclearman
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Here I was scoffing at the idea of mold when I looked at my wet palette last night as I painted and found some :blink:! It's on the outside of the container on the paper towel that sticks out beyond the lid so it's not technically on my palette, but it's too close for comfort. We shall kill it - with fire!

 

Anyway, I made my own from an old Tupperware container, paper towel for a sponge (using only distilled water - er, spring water right now), and then a piece of parchment paper to put the paint somewhere. It "seals" by way of a lid that doesn't really snap on correctly. I don't care about saving mixes or anything - my paint dries too quickly on a regular palette so I switched to the wet palette and don't have that problem anymore. Washes, glazes, and tints are mixed on a regular palette still because I'd rather not have my paint become sullied by other, quick-spreading, thin paint.

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On 4/4/2017 at 2:47 PM, Grayfax said:

After Aaron Lovejoy's video (Miniature Monthly), I completely changed how I do my Wet Palette.  He said he ran into mold problems and now just cleans up after every session.  Considering he uses lots of blending, it's more of eye training on getting the colors right anyway and is a very fluid process, so storing it to try and keep the same colors isn't as important.  Liz Beckley also blends her Wet Palette in a similar style and after trying how they have been doing it, I find that trying to preserve colors is definitely not as important anymore.  If I'm lazy, I have left the mess sitting in there for too long a couple of times since changing because I though I would be back the next day and still had room on my parchment paper for more (not because I was trying to use the same colors again).  Then when I didn't get back to it the following day, I dumped it all when I got back anyway and should have just cleaned it the first time.  I'm learning.  I may be getting rid of 25-50 cents worth of paint on some days, but most days I'm not.  Overall, this has been a significant improvement for me.

 

Also, I have found that putting the parchment paper down to the nearly-too-soaked sponge and just weighting the edges till they curl back down solves the problem of thinning my paints too much.  They stay as long as I want them to without drying out but they aren't picking up water I'm not intentionally adding.  The masterson's paper was letting too much water in, so I just went back to the Reynold's parchment which is certainly inexpensive enough and works wonderfully well.

 

I do not pull water from my sponge though... I'll leave that to Aaron.  My water jars work just fine for handling that, thank you very much and my sponge doesn't turn nasty enough that you can't tell whether it is mold or paint.

 

On 4/5/2017 at 7:50 AM, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

I've been cleaning after each session as well.  I also have started using smaller pieces parchment paper.  I've noticed that since I've been painting in short bursts, I would only be using a quarter to half of the sheet.  So I cut a piece small big enough to cover a third of the sponge.

 

 

I think I'm with you two.  Fussing around with copper and fungicides and such seems a lot of bother when it's simpler and cleaner to just clean up the palette at the end of the day.

 

It's not like I do precise color matching or anything like that.

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I do get a whiff of fermentation when opening my homebrew wet palette after a time but that usually clears within a minute. The sponge I use are cellulose sponge cloths from the cleaning products aisle. They're under $3 USD for a 2 or 3 pack, depending on the brand (I've found Mr Clean, 3M, and Cleaning Solutions) and have some kind of fiber mesh reinforcement. I used to use pennies but I've since found a scrap of romex wire and stripped the insulation to serve as my copper source. Sometimes paint does penetrate the parchment paper, and I have experienced stains and sponge rot as a result, but the sponges are cheap enough that changing it out after a few cleanings isn't a big issue.

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On 04/04/2017 at 8:47 PM, Grayfax said:

I do not pull water from my sponge though... I'll leave that to Aaron.  My water jars work just fine for handling that, thank you very much and my sponge doesn't turn nasty enough that you can't tell whether it is mold or paint.

 

I've found that a drop or two of water will 'float' on the parchment paper, which I find is enough to thin the paint as and when I need to. It reduces the amount of too and fro, but I'm lazy!

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On 3/30/2017 at 1:00 PM, uncas said:

This is exactly what I use. I get mold after a few months, but then I just toss the paper towel and parchment paper and wash the plastic lunch meat box with dish soap and start over. It's worked really well for me. 

I used this for a year and everything was fine then a bought a fancy smanchy "real" wet palette and I can't keep the mold out with copper and bleach.  I think I need to obey lessons learned and go back to the original configuration...

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On 3/28/2017 at 11:41 AM, NecroMancer said:

This is a little off topic but don't want to start a new thread so please forgive me.

 

When using a wet palette I still need to thin the paints, correct?  The wet palette is only to keep the paints moist and does not thin the paints on its own?

i think it would depend on how wet you keep your parchment. If the parchment is real wet that will blend in with the paint

 As for the mold tĥing i have never encountered it using a paper towel instead of sponge but i also change paper towel every few days 

Edited by Tjrez
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You can also put a drop or two of vinegar into the palette, then fill with water.

Soak the sponge, put copper underneath, and set up as normal.

The acetic acid is a natural disinfectant that will help prevent mold and bacterial growth, and won't affect your paint if diluted.

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