How To Make a Wet Palette for Acrylic Colors
A wet palette for mixing and blending acrylic colors is so easy to make and a great improvement to the painting process of your custom toys & figures. The clue is that your colors once on the palette won‘t dry as fast as they would on a normal dry mixing ground. They will stay wet for a long time and if you keep your wet palette box closed even after a week your acrylics will be still perfect condition! This works because the color will be sitting on a semi-permeable membrane and always gets water by osmosis from the sponge beneath (just biology, sadly no magic involved ;))
Stuff you will need to build your Wet Palette:
- airtight plastic container/ box (tupperware)
- kitchen paper
- baking paper (parchement paper)
Making a DIY Wet Palette
Alright, let‘s get ready to rumble! First of all you have to get yourself an airtight saleable plastic container in the size of your choice. A cheep and good option would be a tupperware box, i had great results with it when i first used this method. Now after using a small tupperware a while i saw some details i could improve, so i decided to build me a wet palette from scratch.
- I made my airtight container out of PVC foam sheets with a dimension of 14cm x 12cm x 3cm. It has a bottom part and a slightly bigger cover which fits perfectly on the top.
- The lowermost layer is a sponge that you will cut into shape so it fits into the bottom of the box. I used a well absorbent soft sponge. The hight of the sponge block should be almost as high as the container border.
- Now we add a few layers of kitchen paper that will help to distributing the moisture better to the top layer. I suggest to use white paper so as a nice side effect you will cover the (usually) very colorful sponge and you will have a white background while mixing your colors.
- The layer where you actually mix your acrylics is a piece of baking paper, that goes on top. I experimented with a lot of options for this last layer but parchement/ baking paper was the best choice, easy to find and cheep!
How to use a Wet Palette
There you have a perfect wet palette to work with! First you let soak the backing paper for a while with water, it won’t take that much water and it’s slightly water absorbing first but a little will soak in anyway. Now fill water into the palette box bottom and let it soak up by the sponge completely, the rest of the water you can dump. The sponge shouldn’t swim but always should be fully soaked with water, that’s how i got the best results. On top you can place now the kitchen paper (i heard layers of felt works very well too) and the backing paper.
You can now pick up a small amount of acrylic color on your brush and drop it to a clean corner of your palette. There it stay wet for a much longer time as it could stay moisture on a normal palette. When you’ll spread the color to a wider part of your palette you will notice that the color will be thinned more and more, that’t because the water from beneath will be diluting it the more surface you’ll give your paint…fancy, isn’t it? ;)
I painted toys and figures for a really long time without a wet palette my own, but there is no going back after you’ve once started to use that thingy a few times! Especially to do smooth blendings it’s essential to have a wet palette. You even can stop blending in the middle of a paint job, close your palette and pick up where you were mixing and blending after a few days!
So what are you waiting for don’t hesitate and start building your own wet palette! If you have suggestions for improvements or would like to share some tips to our readers please drop a comment below!
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and don’t forget to keep your sponge wet! ^___^