View Full Version : Teflon Palettes in Mid-value, Neutral Grays

04-15-2010, 09:36 PM
Just found a 9 x 13" jelly-roll pan with non-stick coating, in gray. It is shallow, like a cookie sheet, and it looks as if it might make a fine palette.

There are many other sizes and depths available, and the non-stick coatings are often low-glare, easy to clean, and gray.

Dried paint would probably come off fairly easily. It could be peeled off, in some cases, or wiped off with a damp sponge or nylon scouring pad. Wetting the dried paints and letting them sit for a while would make it easy.

These seem like widely available, reasonably priced, durable palettes, with the unusual added features of being mid-value gray, and easy to clean.

Also, many people have something like this already available, sitting in a cupboard.

Any experiences with these sorts of surfaces?

If anyone tries them, please let us know how it goes.

04-15-2010, 10:56 PM
For others I'm sure it would be a fine idea. I use mid-gray throw away sheet palettes, I'm just lazy I guess..or I scrub enough of other things. :D But the gray definitely lets you see the color as it will appear on your surface. I've tried literally everything in the past, this is just tear it off and begin again, they work great..Yes I'm a spoiled brat...:lol:

But seriously these could work but the main reason I wouldn't use them is I don't like anything with sides of any height, the butcher's tray for watercolors always made me nuts too for just that reason. But if you give it a go would like to hear how it worked out for you.


04-16-2010, 12:42 AM
One little thing you might also try to view/isolate your colour/value is a gray card with a small hole cut out of it. Place it over the colour and voila... you can see exactly what it is doing.

04-16-2010, 12:47 AM
I initialy used them to try and make paint skins but gloss medium beads up like water on a waxed car hood.

I recently used cupcake variety and i am having some success but i must first "grease" the pan with gel medium

any way...as a palette, the issue is only that metal palete knives will cut the surface a little.

Have at it and see how it works!

04-16-2010, 07:06 AM
Where did you buy this item from? Are they available in the UK?

thanks for the information.


04-16-2010, 11:45 AM
They are available in many department stores, supermarkets, kitchen and restaurant supply stores in the US. Can't speak for other countries. They tend to be reasonably priced, and you can also find them at garage sales and swap meets. Here are some examples from the many types that are available:



http://www.amazon.com/Farberware-Piece-Inch-Cookie-Pan/dp/B001UOOGMI/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1271427921&sr=1- (http://www.amazon.com/Farberware-Piece-Inch-Cookie-Pan/dp/B001UOOGMI/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1271427921&sr=1-5)

Here are three of the sizes that are easy to find:


There are also deeper versions of the same thing, if you prefer higher sides. And there are versions with no sides at all, if that is someone's preferred design.

All can be covered with a lid to keep things from drying out.

04-16-2010, 01:49 PM
This is a neat idea; I'm all for re-purposing things for artistic use! The main issue in practice that I can see is that they're not a mid-value grey, at least not the ones I commonly see. Going from memory they're a good step away in many cases and I have seen some that are even darker. Given many people use white and even brown palette surfaces this may not be an issue once you get used to it, but dark-coloured palettes aren't commonly seen.

Assuming the surface stays unscratched there shouldn't be any problems with the paint sticking to it though, I have friends who use Teflon tools with epoxies and if they don't stick then acrylic paint sure won't. I do think you'd have to make sure not to use metal painting/palette knives though to prevent scratching as much as possible.

Worst case, if acrylic paint got stuck because of mechanical adhesion you should be able to use solvents to remove it - alcohols, ammonia, acetone or even something stronger if it's all one had - since PTFE/Teflon is extremely inert.


Going with the same basic idea but a little further, slick plastics like those used for many chopping boards (e.g. HDPE and nylon) can be bought from plastics suppliers online in sheet form in different thicknesses and they're pretty affordable, at least before shipping. Can be found on eBay too.

And if you want to go the whole hog then pure PTFE can also be bought in sheet form, although it's more expensive.

They all tend to be in a natural white/off-white colour.


04-22-2010, 05:10 PM
Just wanted to add that I have looked at some additional versions, and used a value finder to determine values. Here are some of the results:

Some of these are available in darker colors; but there are also models that are in the middle of the value scale, and gray, and there are also models that are even lighter. In recent years, the non-stick coatings on these sorts of items seem to have expanded into additional ranges of options, when it comes to the color or value, and it was fairly easy to find mid-range and lighter values. With online shopping, these should be accessible to those who are not near a walk-in store that stocks them.

Walgreens, Walmart, Longs, Rite Aid, and similar stores often carry these, in addition to the other stores mentioned above.

Also, the reflectivities of these non-stick surfaces vary. Most of the finishes are within the 'matte' range; but there are still variations within that range.

The more reflective ones, even though they are not 'reflective' in the strong sense of the word, are still mildly reflective, and are affected by partial reflections (or 'matte reflections') — and they often vary somewhat in color and value depending on the color and value being partially or even subtly reflected on the surface.

So it seems best to go with the least reflective surfaces, to minimize these sorts of effects.

Also, there are silicone scrapers that are designed for cleaning non-stick surfaces. They remove moistened acrylics well, and are gentle on the surfaces.

There are other silicone kitchen tools, with handles, that can be used for mixing paints, instead of using a palette knife.

Plastic palette knives are also available, and would be gentler on the non-stick coatings than metal palette knives.

04-22-2010, 09:11 PM

Assuming the surface stays unscratched there shouldn't be any problems with the paint sticking to it though, I have friends who use Teflon tools with epoxies and if they don't stick then acrylic paint sure won't. I do think you'd have to make sure not to use metal painting/palette knives though to prevent scratching as much as possible....

This is the main problem I have with using these non-stick metal bakeware items (although my use has been restricted to actually using them for baking). As long as you are careful not to scratch them with any metal tools or other abrasives, they should be just fine. But they are not very durable. Once the finish starts coming off, it keeps coming off in small bits that could be quite annoying if they get mixed in with your paints. Oh, yes, and the exposed metal will rust badly.

The up side is that they are fairly inexpensive, so it's not a big pain in the wallet to replace them when needed.

If you take care about the tools you use with them, I think they should be at least as effective and easy to clean--even more so-- as the classic butcher's tray.


04-23-2010, 10:52 AM
I doubt peeling will be much of an issue when they're not subjected to baking temps, but one could always go with a solid sheet instead. Should in theory make for a palette that will last forever.

Despite the advantages of very slick surfaces as a palette I would still recommend a stay-wet to work from for nearly anyone working in acrylics. Just mix on glass or glazed tile and transfer, seems the best of both worlds to me.

Even with the much higher humidity here in recent years - regularly above 80% - paint still dries far too quickly for my liking at average room temps on a solid surface (glazed tile, melamine, Perspex), while with a stay-wet I can paint for six or eight hours straight without any real change in the paint's consistency. For anyone in a hot and/or dry climate I think it's a no-brainer!