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Wet Palettes

Wet Palettes

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What is a wet palette? 

It is simply a box with a sponge at the bottom that holds water for the sole purpose of keeping your acrylic paints moist and workable for long periods of time. On top of the sponge, some type of semi-permeable and resistant paper is placed, so it permits the absorption of water without letting paint through, not falling apart due to the effect of water and the friction of the brushes. 


Acrylic paints tend to dry quite quickly, especially in summer and warmer countries. That's why a wet palette is good if it manages to retain the paint's moisture for many days or even months, so you won't have to remix color mixes over and over again when they dry out. The main extra feature of delayed drying, also allows you to apply advanced trickier techniques, such as blending and glazing, and most importantly, not waste paint and time anymore.


What is the Best Wet palette for Miniature painters? 


GSW wet palette is undoubtedly the best-wet palette on the market right now for painting miniatures of its finishes, price, and performance. It has been endorsed by thousands of happy painters all around the world. If you live in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, or any other European country, because it is manufactured by Green Stuff World in UE, it will be always available and ready to ship without having to pay taxes or customs fees. 


Its sponge with an antibacterial treatment that does not shrink or deform when dry, its hermetic closure container, and its low side profile facilitates its comfortable use at all times, showing unquestionable quality and reliability. 


The GSW palettes, come in 2 different sizes to fit all your needs:  


How to prepare your wet palette? 


Place the Hydro Foam pad in the bottom tray of the palette. Add water, preferably distilled water, until the entire sponge looks completely soaked with water. To make sure that the water completely penetrates the entire sponge and that no parts are left without water, you can help a little with your fingertips. The ideal amount of water will be that which completely moistens the sponge, but does not overflow.


Place a sheet of the GSW semi-permeable Hydro Sheet over the foam. Let the moisture expand through the paper and wipe away bubbles and wrinkles from the inside out pushing them to get an even surface. The extra Wet Palette is now ready for your acrylic paints so you are ready for the next painting session.


How To Use a Wet Palette with acrylic paints 


Shake your paint pot properly, by hand or using a GSW paint shaker. Some acrylic paints tend to separate when they are not in use making them have a poor consistency, especially when having extra hydration.


Place a drop of paint on the extra palette instead directly on the model, and let the controlled capillary action of the hydro paper ensure enough moisture to keep the paints from drying out for months. With a brush, spread and smooth the paint on the paper, looking for the perfect consistency. You can now also add any other acrylic colors, distilled water, or mediums you wish. For example, GSW Master medium would be great to thin your paints when painting with acrylics.


This tool will prevent new painters from making the most common mistake of placing big sloppy coats of paint on the model and covering most of the details. A wet palette will somehow force you to have your paints minimally diluted and therefore help alleviate that new painter error using too much-concentrated paint.


How much water do you need to use? 


The amount of water is determined by the water absorption capacity of the hydro foam, and therefore, it is not necessary to take an exact measure of water since it is easy to control at a glance. 


Just pour water until the entire hydro foam is soaked with water. The ideal amount will be that which completely moistens the hydro foam, but does not excessively overflow.  


Take into account that you can remove the excess simply by pouring off the excess. You will know if the amount of water is correct because when you put the paper on top of the sponge it will stick. You can help with your fingers to spread the paper, especially at the edges. If the palette has enough water, the paper will lie completely flat on the sponge. 


It is not necessary to continually add water, even if some of the corners of the paper curl up slightly. You can continue working for the rest of the surface. 


Why Should You Keep Mold from Growing on Your Wet Palette? 


Mold is a fungus and may cause problems if they grow on your wet palette for painting miniatures. Not only is it unaesthetic and sometimes a bit difficult to remove, but it can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. If you have a weak immune system, mold and bacteria can cause serious health problems. 


A palette with mold and bacteria can contaminate your acrylic paints and cause them to spoil and also smells after a while, which makes the miniature painting a bit unpleasant. 


Fortunately, the Green Stuff World Hydro Foam has a biological antibacterial treatment Sanitized® that prevents the proliferation of fungi and bacteria. This treatment does not last forever, so it will lose effectiveness against fungi with time, directly affected by the type of water used, the number of water changes, and warm temperatures, but at least you will have 6-12 months practically free of these inconveniences.

Sanitized treatment


What can you do to prevent mold from appearing? 


The obvious solution would be to only use an antibacterial Sanitized® foam such as GSW Hydro foam and change it every 6 months. 


But, if you want to use it for a little more, you can add a copper coin or perhaps a piece of wire cable underneath the sponge, which will delay the appearance of unwanted guests. 


Doing a deeper handwash in the sink of the wet palette case will help the fungus to stay away. 


Doing this will improve your painting experience with more reliable results, reduce the bad smells from creeping into your hobby space, and especially avoid any potential health problems. 


Should you use metallic paints on a wet palette? 


Yes, but only water-based metallic paints, however, you will have to have some small additional considerations. The metallic flakes can seep below the hydro papers and if the paint is not concentrated enough, overwatering may affect the performance of the metal paint which could cause metallic paints to bleed into other paints. 


Over time, hydration papers will lose efficacy so that the metallic paints could contaminate the rest of the palette staining the foam. 


How long will paint last on a wet palette? 


A wet palette with the proper amount of water and properly sealed can last up to 4-6 months, after which the paint will still be usable, obviously not like the first day, but really useful. When you open the palette you may have some fungus stains, especially if you are not using sponges with antibacterial treatments.

If we are talking about a normal painting session, you shouldn't have any paint drying problem at all even with drier paints or very hot environments like summer. 


How Do I Clean It? 


The easiest way to clean the palette case will be by handwashing it in the sink using warm and soapy water. Fully cured acrylic paint can be peeled off with any sort of scrapper. Over time, staining may appear, but this can remain without affecting performance. 


How Long Does It Last? 


They are designed to last many many years with proper care. 

However, some parts such as the hydro papers will end up running out and you will have to replace them.  

On the other hand, the hydration sponges are recommended to be changed every 6-12 months, although there are some tricks so that they can last much longer. But in no case, It will be a problem of wear but of accumulation of stains, aesthetic problems, or high fungal contamination. 

If you buy it at GSW, you will have a tool that will last you many years with which you will be totally satisfied. 


How to Build a Wet Palette? 


In the end, a wet palette is still a Tupperware box with a damp sponge and a piece of paper. It is highly recommended to make a palette out of household items as long as it is not going to be used too much, especially if the price of the palette you are considering buying is too expensive.

Over time you may feel a homemade has not had the same capability and capacity as a premium tool. Besides, Green Stuff World has been able to release a wet palette at almost the price of a DIY homemade palette, which makes it much more senseless to build at home than to buy a professional one.

There will be always things that you will always miss or dislike when comparing the homemade palette with the commercial palette, such as the height of the edges, sponges that do not deform when dry, level of absorption of water, sponges that resist fungus, papers with good transpiration that allows water to pass through, hermetic closures that allow keeping the paint moist week after week, among other things.

 Wet Palette system


Is A Wet Palette Worth It? 


When using acrylic paints for miniature painting, there are some must-have tools, and a wet palette is one of them.  

You will save time and money for your hobby in the long run allowing you to buy more colors or more wargame miniatures because you will use up less amount of acrylic paint that as you know dry extremely quickly when out of the paint pot.  

Thanks to the new drying time of your paints, you will be able to perform more advanced painting techniques like glazing and blending. Furthermore, if you wish to paint a complete wargame army, such quick drying times can really be a problem having to mix over and over again the same mix of colors.  

Because your acrylics will stay fresh for many days, the next time you sit down to paint you can start straight away, without looking again for the same colors you used last time, shaking all bottles, and pricking the tips of all bottles to let the paints out. Just remember to close your palette up between uses, that's it. 


Is Condensation Normal? 


Yes, it is absolutely normal for something that has liquid inside. It is a matter of the temperature that causes condensation which accumulates between painting sessions. 


Condensation happens when warm air meets cold surfaces, for example, a cold coke on a hot day. This is something physical that can only be avoided by leaving the lid open but will speed up paint drying out.  

If the lid accumulates condensed water, you can always pour it back. You can do this on one of the corners so as not to affect the paint you have ready to use. 


Another solution, if this bothers you too much, would be to store it in a cool, dry place, such as in your fridge to avoid any condensation that doesn’t fall into your paint. 


Can you use a medium on a wet palette? 


Yes, as long as the medium is acrylic, for example, GSW Master Medium will work perfectly. 

Some paints or types of painting techniques really need the use of them. Take into account that a medium is very similar to any other paint but without color. 


What's the right size? 


There are 2 sizes available but in general terms, you should choose the one that is big enough to hold the amount of paint you need for at least one session of painting.  


Green Stuff World palettes have 2 perfect sizes to choose from.  

The small standard version is 182x132mm and the big XL version is 190x280mm.  

The small version is the most popular because it is easily transportable, the cheapest, and easier to store away when finishing your painting session. 


In any case, since paints last much longer fresh, if there are no space problems in your desk or paint station, the best option will be to use the large palette and make sure. 


How do you clean wet palette foam? 


A simple rinsing with anti-bacterial soap and warm water will work great. Make sure that the cleaning water is clean. We don't recommend cleaning the GSW hydro foam very soon because it will partially remove the sanitized treatment. Do it only if the foam is presenting mold stains or a bad odor.  

For a deeper cleaning of the foam, just submerge it in boiling hot water or rinse it in a mixture of water to vinegar 50%/50%.