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Masterson's wet palette

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade/Accessories' started by zurek42, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. zurek42 New Member

    Recently, I have bought Masterson's wet palette. To be honest it is my first wet palette - earlier experiences with DIY wet palettes were failures - baking paper was drying out or paint was drying out on palette (I believe because that all baking paper in Poland is silicon coated).

    So, I have started painting using Masterson's palette and it is okay, although I am still learning. However, there are some things that are strange to me. I am using Vallejo paints and I am doing some mixes on the palette - sometime I add one or two drops of water and these water is absorbed by sponge (but in a container I have some 'free' water) and starts to look like mud. The paint is workable - I am just touching paint by wet brush. I am attaching photo of my palette after around 90 minutes.
    Is this something normal with this specific palette or am I doing something wrong? Also, I would love to hear any tips and tricks how to use such palette.

    KenBoyle and theBaron like this.
  2. theBaron A Fixture

    I'll be curious to hear any replies, too. I use a home-made palette. I don't have any problems, but I'm always keen to learn new tricks for it.

    I made mine from a take-out container and a kitchen sponge, and I use brown package wrapping paper for the membrane. Here's a shot of it:


    Like you, Zurek, I found that the kitchen parchment paper I had was impregnated with silicone, to make it non-stick. I read that it could be boiled to overcome that, but at that point, that is far more effort to apply than I felt was necessary to do this. The brown packaging paper works pretty well for me.

  3. frank h Well-Known Member

    I also have a home made wet palette...........sponge and baking paper ..........when I soak the sponge
    I put some washing up liquid in the tap water to break the water tension..........I then press the baking
    paper down on the sponge soaking it then turn it over and soak the other side

    I haven't had any problems with it ............and with an air tight lid on the paint stays workable for days

    Hope this is of some help

    theBaron likes this.
  4. bigtodd PlanetFigure Supporter

    Zurek, mine looks like that two weeks later. I put a cover over it and the paint is still wet and I can use it. So yes it is normal.
  5. KenBoyle PlanetFigure Supporter

    I started with a home made wet palette but later found the Masterson's palette on sale and am now using it. I was using the palette paper that came with it but found it seemed to make my paints too watery. (Maybe a personal problem but I soaked the paper in very hot water prior to using as suggested.)

    When first setting up the palette and adding water, I tip the palette to drain out any extra water. This helps a bit. I also switched to Reynolds Parchment paper (here in the States) and I like it better than Masterson's paper as my paints don't seem to be as watery but also don't dry out. The best of both worlds.

    Finally, after putting a few drops of paint on the paper I pull some from this original puddle to a different spot and mix with other colors as needed. I add a little water via the brush to the "New" puddle as needed (Glazes, washes, etc). I never add water to the original puddle. If I need more paint I only add it to the original puddle.

    As I mentioned, I don't allow any "free standing" water in the palette, just enough to be held by the sponge. If I tip the palette NO water should spill out. If so, it is too wet.

    After a while my palette looks similar to yours. The original paint puddles haven't fully soaked into the paper but the working mixed puddles have. Looks fairly normal to me.

    Sorry, don't know if this helps or even makes sense... :)

    There is definitely a learning curve but the end result is worth it. Don't get discouraged.

    winfield likes this.
  6. Kevindunne Active Member

    Looking at my pad of wet palette paper now...it says soak paper in cold water.
    I found it better to invest in commercial paper than home made.
    winfield likes this.
  7. KenBoyle PlanetFigure Supporter


    Interesting Kevin. My Masterson brand paper directions state "Using the hottest water you can get from the tap... let the paper soak for about 15 minutes. or QUICK TIP! Place the paper into a microwave and microwave it on high until the water boils. (About 3-5 minutes)."

    Perhaps yours is a different brand or a change in product has occurred...

    Anyway, I used the parchment paper for a year or more in a homemade wet palette before buying the Masterson version and, as I am more comfortable with the Parchment paper, I continue to use it. Just a personal choice.

    winfield likes this.
  8. Kevindunne Active Member

    Hi Ken,
    You are correct...thought i saw cold water???
    No more vodja with my cornflakes for a bit.
    Sorry everyone for the screw up.
    Nap and KenBoyle like this.
  9. theBaron A Fixture

    Part of the problem for me with Masterson's palette is its footprint. It needs more space on the bench than I generally have available.

  10. zurek42 New Member

    Thank you all for your answers!
    So, it looks all is fine with my palette :)
    For sure there is much learning and moving from well palette, but after few sessions I am starting getting what I want. Glad to have it.
    KenBoyle likes this.
  11. Philthy New Member

    The paper that comes with the Sta-Wet is too porous to be used with miniature paints. I would suggest picking up parchment paper instead. I use Reynolds. It should be able to hold a drop of water for days - it should not soak through into nothingness. Likewise your paints will stay beaded up or wet as you left them for a week or more if needed. You will need to mix them again as the pigments separate, but it should work fine.
    KenBoyle likes this.
  12. Eugene D. New Member

    I tried a home made method using a ziplock container for sandwiches. It worked fine but it was too small since I like to mix a lot and use up a lot of space. I had a masterson sta-wet but it warped in the middle since it's made of plastic. So I have to either push it down (which creates a crater) or pop it up (which creates a hill). I wish it just stayed flat. So, I'll be trying another home made method. I'll be getting a baking sheet with a lid which should work fine.
    Plenty of room and it's shallow and it has a lid.

    I have the masterson paper which I do not like because it dries out faster. I use parchment paper which seems better. I also use Vallejo paints but they separate too much. I'll be trying Warcolours as they advertise that they don't separate and I heard they have a slower dry time so it can be wet blended better.

    Edit: I think using the Reynold's parchment paper keeps my Vallejo paints too wet. They tend to separate rather quickly. I went back to the Masterson paper and just added more water to see if that was the issue. Nope. It just doesn't seem to keep the paint wet enough. I'm going to have to experiment with layers of parchment paper and other things to try to get the right consistency.
  13. zurek42 New Member

    Hello all,
    So it is around a month of using Masterson Sta-Wet and I am very happy and see potential for improving my skills.

    1)So its core function is great - no more wasting time for mixing colors and cleaning afterwards - I am just taking a brush, have 2 cups with water and I can paint.
    2)Masterson paper - at the beginning it is strange, but after few sessions I have started seeing advantages. So, using this palette I can thin paint as much, as I want - it only depends how much water I have on a brush. I can have more opaque paint for correcting mistakes or better coverage, or I can put more water and I have nice flow for some details.
    3)I have an impression that due to palette paper, thinned paint has better pigment distribution - in wells pigment goes to the bottom of well, sometimes I have dirty water on a brush (with any pigment).

    So, I believe that with time, I can see some progress in my painting using this palette.
  14. sippog Active Member

    I've always used a variety of palettes for different purposes. However, after attending a weekend course recently with Alfonso Giraldes, I've realised that most of my palettes are too small. Size does count apparently, gentlemen :)


    'The Fonzo" thinks that small palettes give rise to cramped painting and cramped thinking. He likes to spread his mixtures around. Most of us were converted to that viewpoint by the end of the course. I had a big Masterson palette I'd been using to store oil painting palettes in but I've since converted it to a wet palette. Unfortunately I couldn't buy a big enough sponge to line it but I glued bits together with a hot glue gun and that seemed to work.

    I found a big catering roll of baking parchment for just under a tenner and that works quite well too.
    oldtrousers and Osebor like this.
  15. bigtodd PlanetFigure Supporter


    What kind of feedback do you have now? Have you found any solutions to the "too wet, not wet enough," dilemma?
  16. martin tabony Well-Known Member

    I use baking parchment as it isn't coated, over here that's called "grease proof paper. I use air tight food containers measuring about 6"x 6" and have different ones for blues,reds etc. I wanted to see how long a paint mix would last without drying. After a few weeks it had started to smell before it dried.:)

    theBaron likes this.
  17. zurek42 New Member

    Just to let you know, after some trials I am sticking with Masterson wet palette and paper. I am currently in the middle of new painting project and I am finding great how paint behaves - especially dillution.

    Some perchament/baking papers were drying out, others were breaking easily after boiling. So, instead trying all DIY solutions and wasting time, I am prefeing to follow tested method.

    And I need to agree - the bigger palette, the better.

    Wysłane z mojego SGP321 przy użyciu Tapatalka
    theBaron likes this.

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