Today, I will recount my experiences and revelations about using wet pallets. Later, I'll get into some other painting revelations that I am sure everyone else had a long time ago. (It always seems like I'm the last to figure out the basics! LoL)
Masterson Sta-Wet Handy Pallet kit I picked up at the local craft store chain for $5 after a discount coupon. (You can make one yourself, but $5 is such a cheap price that making one is not worth the hassle in my opinion.) When I last used the pallet, the paint would get too thin when sitting on the paper, and I had a few other issues making the wet pallet experience very distasteful to my...uh...pallet. So I went back to using those cheap-o $1 pot-pallets, though I could have used plain old paper plates instead. Anyway...
So there I am Friday morning, cruising youtube and reading different bits of advice on various blogs and forums when I stumble on some wet pallet advice (and decide to reread the pallet's instruction sheet as a last resote). Hmmm.....yep....oh!....hmmm....duh! Those were the sounds my wife heard emanating from my Man Room as painting revelations smacked me in the head like a sledge hammer. So last night, I finally gave the pallet another try. Bingo! It worked great!
What Did I Do Right This Time?
I learned that using distilled water is a must. I have no idea why. Perhaps the fluoride and other chemicals dumped in tap water mess with the paper? Everyone, along with Masterson's instructions, says to use it. I didn't use it before. I use it now!
I also made sure not to overload the sponge with water. I even poured off a bit of excess water just to make sure. I think this and the distilled water made a huge difference.
I also followed the instructions for soaking the pallet paper in hot water for 15 minutes, though I used boiling distilled water out of fear of using tap water. (Our tap water in Central Florida has a ton of minerals to boot.)
When done, drain a little water from the sponge
After all of this, the pallet works perfectly! Some people said to thin the paint as you normally would, though I thinned it just a tad less because the paint will pick up a bit of the water.
The Benefits of Wet Pallets
Here is what I like about using the wet pallet:
- While using the wet pallet, I realized that I used less paint than normal because I used nearly every bit of the paint I placed on the pallet. Wow!
- I didn't have to worry about the paint "skinning over," getting that goop layer across the top of it because it's drying out.
- Dropper paint bottles are far more efficient with wet pallets than craft paint bottles because dropper bottles are more precise, allowing me to use less paint than I normally would in a regular pallet.
- I can rinse off the paint "left-overs" from the paper and reuse it.
- If you sit two colors near enough to each other on the pallet paper, you can paint with each one of them and then easily mix them for a mid-tone color, dragging the paints toward each other. (Ok, you can do this on a paper plate as well, but on a wet pallet you have hours instead of minutes to work with the paint.)
- Finally, the paints does not dry out while I'm painting.
So I highly recommend using a wet pallet. The Masterson Sta-Wet is very nice, with a tight-fitting lid. And make sure to read the instruction sheet.