What is a ‘Stay Wet’ Palette?

A ‘Stay Wet’ palette is something that is used with acrylic paints to keep the paints moist. Acrylics are extremely fast-drying which means they can dry and stick onto a palette.  You often end up scrapping off the acrylic paint from a palette and wasting excess paint.

Acrylic paint used on a plastic palette is very difficult to remove once dry!
Acrylic paint used on a plastic palette is very difficult to remove once dry!

One way to save this waste of paint is to buy or make a ‘Stay-Wet’ palette.  It works by having an absorbent sheet of paper (usually blotting paper) which you wet with water to make moist and a non-porous paper on top (a bit like a greaseproof paper) that the paints are placed on.  The palette also has a lid  so you can close it to keep the paints moist overnight and between sittings.

The Stay Wet Palette
The Stay Wet Palette

You can make your own homemade ‘Stay-Wet’ palette using a plastic tray, blotting paper (or I have seen sponge being used instead) with greaseproof paper on top.  I plan to write a post on how to make a Stay-Wet palette in the future.

If you don’t want to buy the palette, you could buy some ‘Tear Off Stay-Wet Palettes’ which come in sheets.   They look much like a sketchpad and last a while, the sheets have a non-porous surface that that acrylic paint can sit on and not sink into.  These tear off palettes will keep your acrylic paints moist for a long time

'Stay Wet' Tear Off Palette
‘Stay Wet’ Tear Off Palettes

If acrylics are your thing then I would recommend getting the Stay-Wet palette with the lid, they aren’t that expensive and are worth it.

Also see Which Palette for Which Paint? and What are Acrylics? for more advice.

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