Making a stay-wet palette

Find a tray palette. I use this type for printing. They are very inexpensive, but if you don’t have one, alternatively look for a large plastic lid or a shallow sandwich tub.

Soak the kitchen paper with water. It should be wet, but there shouldn’t be pools of water in the tray so pour off any excess.

Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to size so that it fits just inside the tray. It should stick nicely to the wet kitchen paper. And there you have it – a stay-wet palette!

So long as the kitchen paper stays damp, the paint will stay workable too. At the end of the painting session, cover the whole thing with a plastic bag, or cling film, or form a lid using a second tray, and it’ll all be fine for the next day.

Hope you found that useful. Thanks for dropping by and happy painting!


If you’re working along with the Sketchbook Challenge then you might have spotted the stay-wet palette that I use for my acrylic paints. When painting with acrylic, I think a stay-wet palette is essential, particularly if you’re working in a warm, dry environment. There’s nothing worse that investing in expensive paint only to have it dry up while you work.

The palette you’ve seen in the video workshops is a purchased one, but it’s very easy to make your own. These might be the dullest photos ever to grace the internet, but here’s what I do:

Place two or three sheets of kitchen paper in the tray, folding it to fit.