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View Full Version : Best way to clean palette


lindasarto
06-08-2008, 02:57 PM
I'm just getting into oil painting after a 30+ year absence from it am an wondering how you all clean your palettes if you are NOT using disposable ones. I am using one that has the small divided sections around the perimeter and the flat center for mixing paints as I am traveling for lessons. Now that several paints have accumulated and started to dry I am dreading the clean up process. Any hints? THANKS!

oilpainter98
06-08-2008, 03:02 PM
one way to do it is to wipe the remaining paint off before it dries, then take a
rag soaked in thinners to wipe off the rest. if you have a palette that has a grain on it (which i use mostly) i wouls wipe off the majority of the paint, let it dry, then scrape it with a razor and get most of the rest.

keenart
06-08-2008, 03:07 PM
I use the traditional wood palette, and scrap off the excess after each painting session. It goes into a jar, my mud color for later use.

For acrylics I use cermaic watercolor floral dishes and when the paint hardens I fill with tape water and after about a half hour the dried paint lifts right of of the wells.

For welled palettes, and you did not say whether plastic or ceramic, you do not want the paint to dry if possible. But you can soak the palette in 5 weight motor oil for a couple of days and the paint should lift off with a little help. Or, if like me you can use the Hardware Store paint remover. The mild version if possible.

Einion
06-09-2008, 11:44 AM
Any common vegetable oil can be used to remove oil paint from surfaces, as long as it hasn't dried. Safflower, sunflower, corn oil, rapeseed, whatever's cheapest where you are will work fine. If you feel the need to remove the slight film of oil left behind after wiping then any mineral spirits will do the job.

Einion

Naturegyrll
06-09-2008, 12:40 PM
Yeah, you only have to let it dry on your palette once to learn that lesson! HA!

I have just started to collect the excess paint as keenart suggests. I put it all in a small SOLO condiment cup and take it out the next session. I have found the nicest grays to use and it makes me feel better that I am not wasting paint!

mkayi
06-09-2008, 01:14 PM
I have used plastic pallettes so far, but they are impossible to clean so that no colour stain stays on them...

is that different with ceramic ones? Experiences, anyone?

keenart
06-09-2008, 01:48 PM
The ceramic palette or trays I use are for Watercolor, but I use them for acrylic, and sometimes for WS oils. They are called a "Ceramic Floral Tray" and can be found online and in some art stores. Although pretty hard don't drop them on a hard surfaced floor.

They come in two sizes a six inch diameter and a large 12 inch. I understand they are going to intoduce asquare version soon. They do not stain as every plastic non-stain palettes I have ever purchased in past do.

I keep six of these palettes active at any one time, and when one is filled I set it aside let the paint dry, then set under tape water and let the wells fill with water. A couple of hours later I push out the now hardened scraps of paint into the waste can, nothing down the drain. WC oils are a bit different, I do not let them dry if possible.

mkayi
06-09-2008, 03:05 PM
thanks for the detailed info, keenart!

Einion
06-09-2008, 05:11 PM
I have used plastic pallettes so far, but they are impossible to clean so that no colour stain stays on them...
No need to worry about that. Some pigments have incredibly tiny particles (phthalo blues are the classic example) and will often stain plastic palettes; you see the same thing with the bristles in many brush types. But this kind of staining is just cosmetic.

is that different with ceramic ones?
As a rule ceramic palettes won't stain.

Einion

Smokin
06-09-2008, 05:32 PM
Im surprised noone has mentioned a tabletop glass pallet. IMO the most practical way to go. Very easy to clean if the paint is dry or wet, just need a paint scrapper and whatever cleaning solution you like to use.

Is just a slab of glass that sits on some toned board or table top.

keenart
06-10-2008, 12:31 AM
Yep, I used a 24 x 24 inch one quarter inch glass palette for years when doing portraits in oils, which is still sitting over in the corner, but now that I do the small stuff using acrylics I can hold the ceramic dish in hand. I do not have to stand and reach anymore.

I put a plastic edge trim around the glass, but it always came off during cleaning, so sanded the edges down. Problem is finding a glass file or sanding paper that can take down the edges, and powdered glass is bad for the lungs.

The glass palette is nice if you want to work big.

Daniel_OB
06-28-2008, 10:56 PM
"Any common vegetable oil can be used to remove oil paint from surfaces, as long as it hasn't dried. Safflower, sunflower, corn oil, rapeseed, whatever's cheapest where you are will work fine. If you feel the need to remove the slight film of oil left behind after wiping then any mineral spirits will do the job."

Not so if a resin is used in medium. Turp is a must.

atelier_m
06-28-2008, 11:13 PM
I use a glass palette most times. But final clean-up of any of my oil palettes, after I have scraped off what I can, is with rubbing alcohol. I pour or spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes and it separates any remaining paint (wet or dry) from the palette. It just floats away. If you are on the go, baby wipes also work great to clean wet paint off the palette.

hone
06-29-2008, 12:31 AM
With a glass palette, seems to me the easiest way to clean it is with a single edge razor blade in a paint scraper holder... that's what they're for and they work great on glass...

keenart
06-29-2008, 12:51 AM
I agree for cleaning a glass palette I always used the straight bladed razor, makes the surface clean quick, a wipe with a rag cloth and it is clean.

You can use the palette knife for a wood palette, and wipe down with a rag. I rarely clean a wood palette with solvents as it dried the wood and widens the grain. If I do so I then wipe on a generous amount of Stand Oil to keep the wood grain from splintering.

rooroosta
06-29-2008, 05:49 AM
I use a palette or an old tea tray with greaseproof paper laid on top..when it's full of paint i just lay another layer of greaseproof paper on top of it..no cleaning needed :)

Einion
06-29-2008, 06:22 AM
"Any common vegetable oil can be used to remove oil paint from surfaces, as long as it hasn't dried. Safflower, sunflower, corn oil, rapeseed, whatever's cheapest where you are will work fine. If you feel the need to remove the slight film of oil left behind after wiping then any mineral spirits will do the job."

Not so if a resin is used in medium. Turp is a must.
Wet oil paint - see where it says as long as it hasn't dried Daniel?

And turps would only be a must for a resin, like dammar, that's only soluble in turpentine.

Einion