Saturday, 17 May 2014

Step by Step Guide - Home made Wet Pallet

I've mentioned on previous painting guides the use of a wet pallet, this a quick and simple guide to making a home made wet pallet. Firstly, you may be asking yourself what one is and why you would use it. In simple terms, its a pallet that extends the life of the paint placed on it. The paint doesn't dry up anyway as quick, lasting for days rather than minutes. This means that you don't have keep refilling your pallet as often and any mixes you've made will last between painting sessions.
Here's a selection of items you will need to create your wet pallet: A sealable container (here I'm using an old hair products tub) I prefer a smaller pallet, but you could use a food storage box or a tray sized pallet. A sheet of non porous sponge, the type found in blister packs or pluck foam from your figure cases. Kitchen roll (preferably without coloured patterns), the more absorbent the better. Finally, some greaseproof baking paper(white is preferable), here I'm using brown. In addition to these, you will need some scissors or craft knife and water dispenser (with water of course).

If you think about using the pallet, you need easy access to your paint, with this in mind were going to use the container up-side-down; the lid being the pallet and the tub will act as an air tight cover when not in use. With a pair of scissors or craft knife cut the sponge/foam so that it fits within the lid with enough room to place the lid on. You could glue this in, I prefer to leave it unglued; that way its easy to replace if needed.

Next cut your kitchen roll to size, ensuring room for the top to fit into place. I use about four layers. This layer holds the water, feel free to experiment a little with this.

Now add water until the paper is completely soaked. It's best if you use a water container has some control. I use a squeeze bottle, saves drenching the pallet with unwanted water.
Now to add the greaseproof paper, again cut to the right size. Then simply smooth it down a little with your finger, so that it contacts the kitchen paper and isn't curling up at the edges. The pallet is now ready for use.

When you've come to the end of your painting session and you have paint on the pallet you want to preserve, make sure that the kitchen paper is sufficiently damp (this can be topped up from time to time) and attach your seal/top.
In addition I also sometimes use these pots (without a lid) for single painting sessions, were preserving the paint between sessions isn't necessary. They can quickly be re-watered and the greaseproof replaced.
Note on using the pallet - prepare your paint on it as normal, adding water were needed to get the right consistency. You will notice that the paint will form a self contained puddle rather than spreading out (unless you get too near the paper's edge were it can roll off). With extended use you may need to add a little water to maintain it's consistency. You can also prepare paints next to each other to make mixing easier.

As always if you would like a closer look at any pictures above, click on them. If you have any comments or would like to ask me questions or provide feedback, please fill in the comments box below (this will be moderated before being published on this blog).

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