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Old 07-01-2019, 03:41 PM
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Sta-Wet palette issue

Hi everyone,

Greetings from a beginner acrylic painter!

I recently decided to try my hand at acrylic painting and ordered a Sta-Wet handy palette and some Liquitex basic paints to put in there.

I prepped the palette according to instructions, and then squeezed out small amount of paints onto the paper. After a day, the paints had all spread out into thick/viscous puddles, and what is worse is that these puddled paints were much more watery than what comes out of the tube. i.e. the paints had clearly absorbed water -- either through the palette paper, or through the air.

My question is: Is it possible to get paints in the Sta-Wet palette to to stay workable/moist for a few days, but not completely lose their body and become water-logged like this. How do I achieve this?

Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:22 PM
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

I have trouble calibrating the moisture in the paper of the Sea-Wet-Palette. Either the paper dries too fast as we have low humidity, or the paint puddles as you describe.

I now lay out modest amounts of fresh paint for each session on a damp paper towel. I also spritz the paint occasionally. This approach might be easier for me than some, as I paint small and use a limited palette. Gary
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:37 PM
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

I took one of those cheap plastic placemats and cut it down to fit over the sta-wet sponge. I do have a couple slices in it to let the air flow.

I then put a piece of paper (usually wc paper) over it and use that as a palette.

I've also heard of people putting a piece of glass over the sponge too.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:54 PM
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

I decided against the stay wet palette simply because it's big. I'd have to toss out the chair to fit the palette in but, like someone else mentioned, I paint small for the reasons already specified.

Since I've gotten more comfortable painting I've been utilizing the misting bottle and all's been well. I am going to go for the glass and a box with some sort of hydration when I move.

Has anyone tried those florist beads? They absorb water but slowly dry out in a potted plant allowing the plant to slowly absorb water. I was thinking about having these in a plastic container with a sheet of taped glass..... maintain humidity without puddles.

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Old 07-01-2019, 06:18 PM
theBongolian theBongolian is online now
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

I have two smaller sta-wet palettes - I don't use them often but have had no issues with them. To state the obvious - you have too much moisture.

I would experiment with different moisture set-ups - putting just a few small dabs of paint for the trial. I think it's just a matter of finding the right moisture. It works for thousands of people, so experiment before you give up on it.

I use parchment paper (not wax paper) - used for baking and it works just as good as the sta-wet paper.
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:26 PM
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

Thanks, everyone, for the feedback.

I clearly have too much moisture in there. Also, I think the paper that comes with the palette is intentionally meant to be permeable to moisture, and in my case, that is not helping. I intend to experiment with a couple of variables:


- Alter the amount of water in the sponge. This is easiest to control/alter.

- Use a different type of paper/surface for the paints. Maybe the surface needs to be less permeable (or not permeable at all).

Thanks again.
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:56 AM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

I rarely spray water on the top of my acrylic palette. I try to just moisten the sponge underneath. An Atomizer works better than a spray bottle to help in dry weather to lightly mist the surface so the paint doesn't get soupy.

Also, you may see mold growing on your palette over time. The only thing that works 100% for me is to mist it with alcohol when putting it away. I have gone 3 months now with a Masterson palette using their yellow sponge and supplied top sheets without even a tiny spec of mold. I mist the entire surface lightly with alcohol every time I put it away and keep it in the refrigerator when not in use.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:23 AM
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

I learned to use my acrylics by using just the colors and dollop size I need for a given area. The only time I'll set up an array of colors (palette) is if I use Golden open paints or atelier.
Oils are another story.... No problem with drying....so full palette.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:43 AM
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcam
I learned to use my acrylics by using just the colors and dollop size I need for a given area. The only time I'll set up an array of colors (palette) is if I use Golden open paints or atelier.
Oils are another story.... No problem with drying....so full palette.

That is what I do as well - sort of - I never lay out all my colors, only as needed. I use the stay wet feature to keep whatever is on the palette fresh until I have used them up and to carry over mixtures until the next day when wanted. I mix in three areas on the largest Masterson palette, light colors, cool and warm. As needed I rinse off the top sheet and the sponge. Top sheets (the Masterson ones) last a very long time for me and I like the way they feel when mixing better than anything else I have tried. Glass or a non moisture permeable surface for me is a pointless mess to work with. The paint dries way too fast around the edges and if I try to keep it from drying with a spray bottle it gets too soupy. Again, spritz with alcohol before closing it and you are set for months if needed as far as mold growth goes.
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Old 07-02-2019, 12:17 PM
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by contumacious
That is what I do as well - sort of - I never lay out all my colors, only as needed. I use the stay wet feature to keep whatever is on the palette fresh until I have used them up and to carry over mixtures until the next day when wanted. I mix in three areas on the largest Masterson palette, light colors, cool and warm. As needed I rinse off the top sheet and the sponge. Top sheets (the Masterson ones) last a very long time for me and I like the way they feel when mixing better than anything else I have tried. Glass or a non moisture permeable surface for me is a pointless mess to work with. The paint dries way too fast around the edges and if I try to keep it from drying with a spray bottle it gets too soupy. Again, spritz with alcohol before closing it and you are set for months if needed as far as mold growth goes.

I can't stand the sponge and palette paper setup. To soft and uncooperative for me. I use a piece of plate glass in the bottom of my sta-wet palette keeper. I lay my basic palette colours on damp paper towels or cotton strips. Then add colours as I go if necessary (Usually isn't). When I do big mixes I store those is empty tubes or small jars. I scrape the palette down at the end of the session. Wet colours go into a "used" paint jar and mixed to make a chromatic grey, the rest goes into the rubbish bin. I spritz my paint piles and seal it up.

Andrew
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:55 PM
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

I don't bother with the sponge in mine. I put in several layers of paper towel and wet that. I then have a glass chopping board on rubber feet that sits over the top. It's just slightly smaller than the box so there's room for moisture to move around the edges. With that setup, I've successfully kept acrylics and gouache workable (at the original consistency) for days at a time.

Edit: I should add, I mist the paints while I'm working.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:05 AM
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

Thanks for the additional comments and suggestions.

I am convinced that this is essentially a moisture control/calibration issue. I need to experiment with the amount of water in the sponge and types of surfaces on which the paints sit. I feel like I'll zero in as I try various approaches. From what I have seen, a lot of people use this palette successfully, so apparently it does work.

Re: mold. I put a couple of copper pennies in the bottom under the sponge. Found this tip while reading these forums. I have no idea if this works though ... I guess I'll find out. I'll try the alcohol spray if the pennies don't work (thanks for that tip).
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:42 AM
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBorde
Hi everyone,

Greetings from a beginner acrylic painter!

I recently decided to try my hand at acrylic painting and ordered a Sta-Wet handy palette and some Liquitex basic paints to put in there.

I prepped the palette according to instructions, and then squeezed out small amount of paints onto the paper. After a day, the paints had all spread out into thick/viscous puddles, and what is worse is that these puddled paints were much more watery than what comes out of the tube. i.e. the paints had clearly absorbed water -- either through the palette paper, or through the air.

My question is: Is it possible to get paints in the Sta-Wet palette to to stay workable/moist for a few days, but not completely lose their body and become water-logged like this. How do I achieve this?

Thanks!




I made my own stay wet palettes and the best I got was using a plastic film as place to deposit the paint. THe paint doe snto need to ABSORB water from the surface it is in.. it just need to not lose water trough it!


The important is that the atmosphere inside the palette stays very wet. So I have a base of paper towels with quite a bit of water.. over it there is the film where the paint is placed (with the film a bit smaller than the area covered by the towels so water can evaporate from the towel into the air.
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:22 AM
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcam
I learned to use my acrylics by using just the colors and dollop size I need for a given area. The only time I'll set up an array of colors (palette) is if I use Golden open paints or atelier.

This is how I operate.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:41 PM
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Re: Sta-Wet palette issue

Regarding mould; I found a world of difference when I switched to using filtered or distilled water instead of tap water.
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