How to make a wet palette

****Updated 18/07/2017 – recommending sponge dish cloths instead of toilet roll****

Hi Everyone,

I see you’ve found my How to series!

Today I’m going to talk about wet palettes. What the hell are they, you might ask? Well, they serve all the same functionality as a traditional paint palette, with the addition that they also keep your paint thin and prevent it from dying out.

I’ve been using one for about 3 years now, and the difference it made to my painting was like night and day. The primary advantage of thin paint is that it’s much easier to control, goes on much smoother, and allows you to use advanced techniques such as blending and highlighting. Likewise, paint that doesn’t dry out can be left on the palette and reused later on in the session.

So hopefully I’ve got you convinced?

What you’ll need

  • A small plastic box, roughly the size of a sheet of toilet roll. I find the GW static grass boxes to be perfect for this, but I reckon you could get away with a margarine box too.
  • Sponge Dish cloth
  • High grade baking paper (AKA parchment paper). You don’t want the low grade brown stuff.
  • Water
  • A hobby knife

GW Static grass box

First thing to do is empty out your box, I’m going to assume you’ll be using a static grass box like me, so you can easy stash your grass (hehe) away somewhere safe.

Next you want to measure the dimensions of your box. Take this measurement and cut out a large bunch of rectangles to this size from your baking paper.

Sponge dish cloths

Sponge dish cloths

Then you want to cut a sheet of your sponge dish cloth to the same size as your baking paper so that it fits perfectly in your box. Too big and you should trim it down. Stick it in your box neatly, it wants to be pretty much flush against the sides.

Pour in a little water. Maybe three or four tablespoons – that’s just a guess, play it by eye. You don’t want so much that you’ve created a pond, but you do want to ensure that the dish cloth is plenty wet.

Final stage it to pop your baking paper on top of your wet Dish Cloth. Tadaaa! This is your wet palette. Make sure all the baking paper sits flush with the sponge, if it starts to rise in the corners, your sponge is probably not wet enough.

My Home Made Wet Palette

My Home Made Wet Palette

To use it, take a couple of brush loads of paint and transfer this onto your palette. over time you should see it mix a bit with the water, and you’ll note it stays wet much longer. Some of my paints have lasted a few days using this method, as long as you seal the box after use.

Top tip – if you notice your paint on the palette is starting to separate, don’t panic, just mix it back up with your brush. If the consistency is too thin, you can always add a little extra paint to thicken it up again.

I hope you’ve found this useful, please drop me a message on my Facebook page (link below) with a picture of your wet palette, and tell me how you got on. If you have any questions, drop them below the line 🙂

Jimmi Waz ‘Ere




11 thoughts on “How to make a wet palette

  1. I have used everything from a seal tight sandwhich container to a small static grass container! Great minds think a like!


  2. I swear the paper I’ve been buying recently has such a poor quality and seems to dry out almost the same night I’m using it.

    What baking paper are you using?


  3. Pingback: 10 Top Tips for Beginner Painters | Jimmi Waz 'Ere

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