Miniature painters have a wide variety of wet palette options to choose from. In principle, all wet palettes serve the same purpose. A wet palette keeps model acrylic paint from drying out and helps a miniature painter thin and mix paint. With a wet palette, a painter can take their time working out their color palette before applying it to their working surface on a miniature.
Are you looking for the best wet palette for painting miniatures? Which one is best for your hobby needs? In this article, I list 15 of the best wet palettes for miniature painters, along with my review of each one.
Overview of Wet Palettes for Miniature Painting: What is a Wet Palette?
A wet palette has two layers: a sponge or absorbent material in the bottom layer, which serves as a water reservoir, and a semi-porous material on top that you use to lay your acrylic paints on.
The top layer is often a commercial wet palette paper or baking parchment. In my opinion, the best wet palette paper is Reynold’s baking paper, which is a durable, semi-water porous surface that works great for keeping acrylic paints moist for long periods of time.
If you’re curious about what I use my wet palette for, you can check out my painting gallery. Many of the miniatures I paint lately require techniques such as glazing that are best performed with the aid of a wet palette.
Why Use Wet Palettes?
The genius of a wet palette construction is that it doesn’t require much effort to maintain. All a miniature painter needs to do is keep the sponge wet, which in turn keeps acrylic paint wet on the surface palette layer. If you’re making your own wet palettes for miniature painting, this is all you need to remember. The longer your miniature paints stay wet, the easier it is to mix colors, while keeping the colors in the right consistency, e.g., thin viscosity.
With a good wet palette, you can extend your painting sessions, too, because your model paints won’t dry out as they would on a conventional dry palette. I often waste a lot of paint and time transferring paint from the bottle to my dry palette, and the paint dries fast anytime it is exposed to air. Sure, dry palettes have their unique benefits, too, which I discuss in another article.
But, when it comes to certain painting styles and techniques, a wet palette is an important hobby tool. Whether you’re painting tabletop wargaming models, e.g., Warhammer 40k, Age of Sigmar, Conquest, or miniatures for your favorite RPG, like Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder, a wet palette can help expand your skillset, give you time and space to explore techniques, and enhance your overall enthusiasm for the hobby.
Of course, not all wet palettes are constructed the same. Read on below to learn more about some of the subtle differences you can find in store bought wet palettes.
Common Materials in Hobby Wet Palettes
For the most part, all commercial wet palettes use a water tight container, usually plastic, and a synthetic sponge material. Some use thick sponges, whereas other wet palettes have thin, absorbent foam that comprise the bottom layer.
If you’re a new or experienced miniature painter, or someone who wants to apply advanced painting techniques, any of these palettes would be helpful to extend your painting session and prevent paints drying out.
Can You 3D Print a Wet Palette?
Yes! Sure you can use household components to make your own wet palette. But, if you’re a 3D printing enthusiast, as many of us are, you can find 3D printable files for wet palettes online. Check out Thingiverse for wet palette designs you can 3D print. There’s even an alternative Redgrassgames Everlasting Wet Palette you could 3D print for much cheaper if you wanted to try out the design first (before you buy the original).
Note that some 3D printing materials, such as PLA or ABS, may not be water tight right away. You’ll have to seal the 3D printed parts with epoxy resin or something similar before filling your printed wet palette with water. Of course, if you’re printing with an SLA or DLP resin printer, you may be okay, since these 3D printers create solid, manifold parts straight off the print bed.
For those unfamiliar with 3D printing, I will say that it’s not a simple plug-and-play process. 3D printing anything, including a wet palette, takes a bit of work and technical know-how. While it can save you money, 3D printing alone is a hobby by itself. And, a fun one at that!
Important Features to Look for in a Wet Palette
For painting miniatures, the key to a good wet palette is keeping paint moist. For experienced painters, the ability to use a wet palette for advanced techniques, like glazing and loaded-brush blending (a mind blowing skill) is unmatched. 🤯
Before the surge of wet palettes appearing on the hobby painting market a few years ago, almost every hobbyist learned how to make their own wet palette. The smooth, clean painting style that you see in almost every non-metallic metal (NMM) miniature painting often requires the use of a wet palette.
If you’re looking for the best wet palette for help you for your miniature painting, here are a few things to consider:
- Palette Size
- Water Tight Container
- Hydration Sponge or Foam (bottom layer)
- Paper Palette Material (top layer)
- Air Tight Cover and Seal
- Mold Resistance
1. Palette Size
When it comes to the size of a wet palette, bigger is not always better. I find that a wet palette that is too large becomes cumbersome to work with and can be difficult to clean. Conversely, a small wet palette can be limiting if you’re trying to mix a lot of colors. So, what’s the ideal size for a miniature painter?
In my opinion, the ideal size for a miniature painter’s wet palette is one that is around 6×9 inches. This is about the size of an A5 webnote book, one of my favorite EDC journals.
This provides plenty of space to mix colors without being too large or small. Additionally, when it comes to the size of the watertight container, I prefer something that isn’t too big or bulky, as it becomes difficult to handle when it’s full of water.
If you’re making your own wet palette, I recommend starting with a Half Sheet Pan with Lid. This size is a tad larger than I would prefer for a wet palette, but the depth is perfect. This is a good starting point for making a versatile and flexible DIY wet palette for most miniature painters. You can check out this tutorial for another instructional for making your own wet palette, too. For the most part, the size of a wet palette is the easiest consideration for anyone looking for a good wet palette.
2. Water Tight Container
A lot of hobby wet palettes are made with acrylic or clear plastic. Some higher end commercial wet palettes use glass, too. This is an important factor to consider when purchasing a wet palette for painting miniatures, because you want the paint on the bottom layer to be kept moist at all times.
Hobby grade plastic wet palettes are the most common of all. The Army Painter wet palette is one such offering, which in my opinion is a amazing palette for any miniature painter. They are so good that I nearly purchased two of them so I could keep a clean spare! But, I ran out of space to store my hobby stuff, so held off.
The Army Painter Wet Palette is affordable and fairly easy to find in almost any store. I also think they are one of the best looking wet palettes with its black and red hard plastic and stretchy enclosure band. There’s even room for brush storage inside the cover if you’re traveling with your hobby supplies.
Several people complain of paint leaking through the plastic container and spoiling their work surface. Although this can happen, it generally doesn’t unless you overfill your palette container. The AP wet palette starter pack includes paper, and you easily purchase bundled refills with the hydro foam (sponge for holding water).
The bottom layer of sponge material prevents excess water from evaporating, and allows the overlying paper palette to wick moisture to keep paint wet as necessary. The thickness of the bottom foam or sponge isn’t as important as its texture and capacity to hold water. Some palettes come with a thin foam material that expands when it absorbs water.
This is good as it helps secure the foam to the container and keeps your palette surface flat. But, the drawback is that thin foam or sponges do not hold as much water. You’ll need to refill your palette with water on a fairly regular basis. For example, the Army Painter Wet Palette uses a thin hydro foam that saturates quickly and then dries up almost daily. I have to add more water to the palette to keep my paints wet for longer than a day or two.
On the other hand, the Masterson Sta-Wet palette uses a thicker yellow sponge. The white plastic container and accompanying sponge holds much more water, but the sponge tends to wrinkle and shrink, depending on the amount of water in it. If you’re a new painter and unsure if a wet palette is for you (and don’t want to make one), the Masterson Sta-Wet Palette is an excellent starter palette. It is super affordable and does the job well enough for miniature painters.
The best combination of sponge material and water capacity, in my opinion is a thin textured sponge that wicks well without being too dense. Many hobbyist take a DIY approach for wet palettes as an attempt at this balance. The best commercial palettes for miniature painters should allow you to choose the amount of water you need, and retain it there.
Another point you should consider about the sponge or foam material in your wet palette is how easy it is to keep clean. As you use your wet palette, some of the paint will seep down and stain the sponge. This can taint subsequent paints your use in the wet palette, so you should keep your sponge clean. Most store-bought wet palettes have durable sponges you can wring out and scrub. But, after a while, you’ll need to replace them for best results with your wet palette. More about this below.
4. Paper Palette Material (top layer)
Although wet palette technology has been around for ages, the paper used in a wet palette is always short-lived and will need frequent replacing. This is especially true if you paint a lot of minis.
I know from experience that you can reuse the included palette paper with the Masterson Sta-Wet Palettes (i.e., there are three models). The Masterson palette paper is durable enough clean and you can buy refill packs whenever you need to have a clean sheet.
To reuse these palette sheets, you can run it under warm water with a bit of soap and apply a light scrubbing action. This removes unused, semi-dry paint from the paper. When one side of your Sta-Wet paper wears out, you can flip it over and use the other side. Sure, the paper will stain, but this doesn’t affect other model paints on top.
Some people don’t like the Masterson Sta Wet Palette paper that comes with the set. But, I think this is because they haven’t prepared the paper properly: It requires exposing the palette paper in boiling water before use, which opens up the paper fibers and makes it more porous. I’ve had no problem with this paper. But, as an alternative you could combine the Sta Wet Palette with generic parchment paper, which also does a decent job holding paint and wicking water up to keep your colors from drying out.
5. Air Tight Cover and Seal
A useful feature that many wet palettes have is a cover with an air-tight seal. This does two main things: First, it prevents your paint and water from drying out. Second, it keeps dust and other debris from contaminating your paint when you’re not using the wet palette.
In my experience, a cover or lid does not really help you travel with a wet palette that has paint and water in it. Even if the air-tight seal prevents water leakage during travel, the residual paint on your palette will run an mix if your palette moves around too much. In general, I don’t think wet palettes are very portable.
You may get away with moving a working wet palette around your home from one table to another. But, any tipping or sideways motion can ruin your carefully laid out colors and slosh water about. This can even happen if you don’t over-saturate the sponge in the palette.
Although my current favorite wet palette is The Army Painter wet palette, I much prefer using the Sta Wet palette because it has a better air-tight seal for a lid. With my Army Painter wet palette, the sponge and palette paper tends to dry out fairly quick and needs a refill of water every other day to keep paint wet.
Some wet palettes have a rubber gasket around the edge of the cover and palette, which would prevent air and water leaking. But, again, because there is liquid inside the wet palette, any movement or tipping can mess up your paint palette inside. Overall, I do not recommend traveling with a wet palette that has paint and water inside, even if the cover and seal is water tight. A good cover, however, will make a wet palette work longer without refilling the sponge layer with water.
6. Mold Resistance
Mold and fungus love to grow in humid environments, especially warm places. All wet palettes are prone to mold growth if they are in the right environment. No marketed wet palette can prevent mold entirely. Seeing mold growth on your wet palette is not only gross, it can make your paint behave poorly. If you’re sensitive to mold because of allergies or asthmatic like I am, then preventing mold on your palette is also extra important. Definitely don’t lick your brushes if you’re using a moldy wet palette.
So, how do you prevent mold from growing on your wet palette? There are three easy things you can do to stop mold and fungi from growing on your wet palette. You can also see this full article about how to prevent wet palette mold.
First, try and work in an environment that doesn’t have a lot of ambient humidity. If your hobby room or space is often humid, this may be a place where mold is already primed to grow and thrive. Use a space dehumidifier if you live in a humid climate, for example. This could help reduce the risk for mold growing on anything moist or damp, like your wet palette.
Second, use clean water to fill your wet palette sponge. Dirty, soiled water may already carry the germinating seeds of mold or start the process of bacteria growth. When I prepare a wet palette for the first time, I use distilled water to soak the palette sponge. You can also use boiled water or filter, like a Brita, to remove any contaminants.
Finally, replace your wet palette paper often and thoroughly wash the sponge or foam. Keeping your wet palette fresh will prevent mold and bacteria from finding a foothold and getting out of control.
I replace my palette paper almost every week with regular use. If the sponge or foam in my wet palette feels slick or slippery (e.g., a sign of mold or fungus growth), I will wash the sponge with anti-bacterial soap and rinse it with clean water. A good clean wet palette sponge should have a matte, rough kind of texture when you touch it.
There are other tricks to try and prevent mold growth, like leaving a copper wire or nickel coin in the palette. Copper or zinc metals are thought to prevent mold and bacteria growth. I’ve not tested this, but the tip to use copper, nickel, or zinc metal in your wet palette comes from many wet palette users in the miniature painting community. Apparently, this does slow down the development and appearance of mold and bacteria in wet palettes.
I may suggest using these other tricks ONLY IF you’re really having trouble with mold growth. This is because additives, like metal coins or anti-bacterial soaps in your wet palette may do undesirable things to your paint, such as introduce rust or change water surface tension. These side effects could adversely affect your model acrylic paint by changing its color or the way it behaves on your brush or model.
Another useful tip to avoid and prevent mold growth is to stick your wet palette in the kitchen refrigerator after your done. The cold temperature will prevent anything from growing on your palette paper, and doesn’t harm to your paint. You can come back the next day to your fresh paint and use it immediately. Note that because refrigerators work in part by removing moisture from the air, you may need to add more water to your wet palette before using it again.
Wet palettes from in all shapes and sizes. They also arrive with a variety of prices, and it is not always clear why one wet palette is more expensive than another. If you’re unsure if a wet palette is right for you, then I recommend just making one out of an extra kitchen sponge or wet paper towel with a sheet of parchment paper on top as the paint palette. You’ll know pretty quickly if you l like the process of using a wet palette or not.
In general, a good wet palette for painting miniatures that you buy will cost around $10-20 USD. You can see some of these below. For the more expensive wet palettes, you start seeing other neat features like stronger build materials, or extra features like built-in brush storage or better air tight covers. Some wet palettes from with elastic bands or magnets to secure the wet palette lid when not in use.
The Redgrass Games wet palette has an accompanying extra palette accessory (the “wavy” dry palette) that lets you use washes or mix inks right next to your wet palette. It even acts as a brush rest or holder. Of course, this brand of wet palette is the most expensive on the miniature painting market.
In my opinion, this is a great wet palette for miniature painters looking for all the bells and whistles for their hobby. For the more pragmatic painters, this is luxury purchase if you compare it with some other similar and affordable wet palettes. Overall, I tend to recommend hobbyist “buy only the quality and features they need”.
Can You Paint Miniatures Without a Wet Palette?
Yes, you can paint miniatures really well without using a wet palette. I wrote an article about the benefits of a dry palette vs a wet palette. Most miniature painters still use wet palettes to protect their acrylic paints from drying out. This lets them create perfectly blended color schemes before painting on the model with an airbrush or paintbrush.
To use a wet palette, you place a water soaked sponge or foam inside the palette container. Place a piece of palette paper or baking paper on the sponge, allowing the paper to saturate and lay flat. If the paper wrinkles you may need to flip it over and press it flat. Massaging the paper to remove bubbles will help as well. Once this is setup, all you need to do is place a tiny bit of paint on the damp paper surface and start your project.
The wet palette will keep your acrylic paint from drying out for a very long time. This gives you easy access and opportunities for painting with advanced techniques as well as playing around with color mixtures that stay fresh. When you’re finished painting, you cover the wet palette with its lid until your next session.
Will a Wet Palette Work with Metallic Paints?
Yes, but it’s not recommended. Metallic paints have tiny metal flakes or pigments suspended in an acrylic polymer. Adding a solvent thinner or water to a metallic paint drastically changes the way these metal pigments behave when applied to a model. For example, if you over thin metallic paint, you won’t be able to cover your miniature surface. The resulting reflective sheen you wanted to create may appear splotchy and streaky.
A wet palette will naturally thin paint. So, using metallic paints on your wet palette will keep them wet longer, but will mess up the way the metallics look on a model. If you want to keep your metallic paints wet longer, you can add a drop of slow-dry additive, like Liquitex slow drying medium, to your metallic paint on a dry palette.
Top 15 Best Wet Palettes for Painting Miniatures and Models
Here are my recommended top 15 best wet palettes with review of the pros and cons, and some of their notable features that make them useful for beginner or veteran miniature painters.
- Palette dimensions: 8.5″L x 7″W x 1″H
- White plastic container
- Includes several sheets of paper and sponges
- Replacement paper and sponge avaiable at local art stores or online
- Air tight lid works well to keep paint workable for a long time
The Masterson Sta-Wet Palette is the gold standard wet palette that nearly every miniature painter buys first until they find another palette they like. It’s affordable, works great, and easy to upkeep.
I used my Sta Wet palette for nearly 10 years before I bought 2nd spare, and tried out other wet palettes that came onto the market. The Masterson Sta Wet Palette is the perfect size for any hobby desk and miniature painter. It has enough space to spread out your paint colors, a durable plastic container with a decent air tight cover that snaps shut with friction.
The Sta Wet palette comes includes a few sheets of white palette paper and a yellow (or blue) sponge to hold water on the bottom. I wish the depth of the palette is a tad shallower to make it easier to reach for paint with my brush. But, the dimensions aren’t a deal breaker by any means.
Some painters have complained that the paper that comes with this palette doesn’t work well to keep paint well. I’ve not had this problem, but that’s because you need to prepare the paper before using it. To get the best use out of the included paper with the Sta Wet palette you need to boil the paper in water first before using it. The Masterson wet palette comes with instructions for doing this and it helps the paper wick water moisture and keep your paints from drying out.
Of course, you can use other palette paper materials, like baking parchment with this palette. You just have to cut them to size to make them fit the internal dimensions of the container.
Overall, this is one of my favorite wet palettes that I recommend to new painters and those wanting to skip using DIY wet palette. This is a popular wet palette for miniature painters of any skill level.
- Great size for model and miniature painting
- Great starter wet palette
- Valued by experienced and new acrylic painters
- Easy to use and maintain
- Included palette paper requires boiling before use, but you can use your other paper with this palette
- The sponge and plastic container tends to stain easily with paint over time
- Palette dimensions: 12.5″L x 13″W x 1″H
- Comes with palette paper sheets and sponge insert
- For oil painting miniatures, you can substitute a normal palette for the paper/sponge
- Six slots hold removeable cups for water or mediums
- Airtight lid extends acrylic paint open time
The Masterson Sta-Wet Painter’s Pal Palette is a larger version of the popular Sta-Wet Palette shown above (see #1). It uses a similar lightweight plastic construction with a 1 inch deep container for the sponge insert and palette paper. The yellow cover distinguishes this wet palette from the other Masterson wet palette models. As with the other wet palette, all you need to do is moisten the sponge, layer inside the palette tray, and put the included paper palette on top.
When setup, acrylic paints will remain wet and have an extended working time. Because of the larger size, you can mix a wider variety of colors and keep them open/wet until you finish your project. The palette paper, as with other Masterson brands, is washable and reusable.
The cool part about this bigger palette size is that you can use it for oil painting by inserting a conventional flat, dry palettes instead of the sponge and paper palette. There are also 6 slots for cups to hold water or other mediums, e.g., solvents, additives. The lid for this palette also covers these cups when not in use.
The only additional drawback to this palette (as compared with the normal Masterson Sta-Wet palette) is the extra size, which can be too big for miniature painters with limited space on their hobby desk. It may also be unnecessary if you don’t need the extra palette space. It is better to refresh, clean out a palette on a regular basis, and you may be tempted to avoid doing this with the room you have on the Painter’s Pal Palette.
- Larger palette size for miniature painting with more paint colors
- Valued by experienced and new acrylic painters
- Six replaceable cups with built-in slots in the palette tray
- Easy to use and maintain
- Same as #1
- May take up too much desk space for those with a limited hobby work area
- Prone to mold growth, if not maintained properly
- Palette dimensions: 8″L x 5.5″W x 1.4″H
- Durable hard plastic tray and cover
- Elastic band enclosure (e.g., non-locking lid)
- Compact, notebook size
- Brush storage and holder tray built-in
The Army Painter Wet Palette is one of my favorite (if not MY ONLY favorite) palette for working with model acrylic paints. For the record, I’m not sponsored by Army Painter, so my opinion is entirely from objective experience working with this wet palette. Here’s my full in-depth review of the Army Painter Wet Palette.
There are certainly better wet palettes than the AP wet palette with fancier bells and whistles, more air tight lids, and arguably better foam inserts. But, the overall package of The Army Painter Wet Palette is superior when you consider the sum of its parts. It checks all the boxes for what I’m looking for in a hobby accessory that improves my productivity with miniature painting.
The Army Painter palette is ergonomic, sized perfectly for travel and is about the size of an A5-sized classic Moleskine notebook. There is a built-in red brush storage and holder tray. The black cover and bottom tray sandwich together to create a compact package that you bind together with the red elastic band you see in the photos.
The AP wet palette starter bundle comes with several sheets of a palette paper (which I really like) and a thin foam insert. As with other wet palettes, you use this palette by wetting the foam, placing it in the tray, and laying the palette paper on top. It all fits nicely without any trimming.
In my use, the Army Painter wet palette keeps extends paint for a few days. Because the lid isn’t air tight and does not snap fit to the bottom tray, this palette will need a water refill every so often (2-3 days). I don’t mind, as this works as a reminder that I should either continue painting, or wash out the palette entirely. I’m never allowed to let mold grow 😉. It’s wonderfully practical and thoughtful.
Note that if you’re looking for a direct comparator to the Army Painter Wet palette, the Everlasting Wet Palette Painter Lite is probably a slight upgrade in functionality and cost (reviewed below).
- Best overall utility wet palette for general miniature painting
- Built-in brush and tool storage tray
- Compact, notebook size for portability
- Premium-feeling hard plastic enclosure with elastic band
- Includes everything you need to get started and painting for a long time
- Cover is not water- or air-tight
- Not recommended for travel while foam is wet
- Elastic band may get lost
- Palette dimensions: 13.75″L x 8.5″W x 0.75″H
- Uses proprietary Keep-Wet paper with membrane paper (thin construction)
- Tight sealing cover
- Keeps paint moist for days
- Well-reviewed by other artists
The SAA wet palette is a great tool for miniature painters. The palette is designed to keep acrylic paints moist for days and days, which is great for painters who don’t have a lot of time to paint. The SAA wet palette also comes with special SAA ‘Keep-Wet’ paper, which helps to keep the paints moist.
The palette is made from a hard-wearing plastic (though some think it is a bit flimsy feeling) which should keep this palette working for a long time. The overall build is lightweight, so I think if you’re careful, you can certainly travel with this palette.
The lid is tight fitting and will keep your paint and water from drying out. The proprietary moistening paper has the advantage of being thin, so the overall height of the palette is short. This is great for accessing paint.
A deep dish wet palette is annoying to use when you want to load a brush with specific amounts of paint. Angling your bristles carefully into your palette is required for some preparing some advanced techniques, like loaded brush blending.
As with all wet palettes, you can either continue using the included palette paper from the same brand or use alternatives like baking paper as the top sheet. Overall, if you’re looking for a medium-sized palette for painting miniatures with acrylics, this is a well-regarded option. Check it out!
- Tight fitting lid
- Works great to keep acrylic paint moist
- Wetting paper and membrane refills available
- Medium-large size palette to spread out colors
- Thin construction (i.e., low height) make paint access easy
- Thinner, flexible white plastic is less durable
- A tad pricey
- Palette dimensions: 11.8″L x 7.9″W x 1.2″H
- Includes hydration paper (top palette paper)
- Two foam pads
- A wavy accessory (e.g., dry palette for inks other media)
- Elastic band enclosure
I’ve reviewed other Artis Opus products before (unsponsored), including their premium Series S brush sets. Artis Opus means “work of art” in Latin, which is a cool moniker for a miniature painting and hobby supply company. Admittedly, I think Artis Opus has a powerhouse marketing team that has gotten ahead of itself in many respects. Artis Opus products feel great, work well as expected for high quality instruments; but they are similar in terms of utility to other expensive artist-grade products. For the hobbyist with money to spend, you get what you pay for.
Interestingly, this Artis Opus wet palette is in fact the Everlasting Wet Palette XL size that is made by Redgrassgames, another hobby product company. Artis Opus is using its brand to distribute this product. Does it matter? Nope. Just an observation. More about this below.
Are you getting a good value from the Artis Opus Studio wet palette bundle? I think so. Maybe. It’s expensive.
The overall construction and feel of the Artis Opus Studio Palette is similar to the Army Painter wet palette (shown in #3). It uses a hard plastic (blue and gray) for the bottom tray and lid, which is held together by a plastic band. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative than any of the Everlasting wet palette models with the same contruction feel and quality, the Army Painter Wet palette is the one I recommend.
Of course, the Artis Opus Studio XL wet palette (aka RedgrassGames Everylasting Studio XL wet palette) is also a good bit larger than the Army Painter wet palette. So, if you want more space to spread out your paint colors (or want to use larger volumes of paint), this may be a better choice for you.
This palette also have an advantage over other palettes because of a rubber gasket that runs around the edge of the bottom tray and cover. This does a good job sealing the lid to the bottom tray when the elastic band compresses the two parts together. This ensures less water and air exfiltrate from the palette when you’re not using it. This may also help keep mold and other contaminants from growing in your palette–though, a lot of factors contribute to this problem. You can find out more on the product’s website.
The included wavy accessory is a dry palette with five (5) round bottom wells that functions well for inks and other thin viscosity media applications. The wavy attaches directly to the side of the wet palette using powerful rare earth magnets–it simply snaps together. The wavy also serves as a brush rest, which makes the overall package a cute and elegant way to keep your palette and brushes organized during a painting session.
- Solid, hard plastic construction
- Rubber gasket forms a good air-tight seal between the lid and bottom tray
- Shallow tray with foam pad and paper makes it convienent for miniature painting
- Wavy accessory serves as a dry palette and horizontal brush rest
- Larger palette size is useful for more involved, prolonged miniature painting projects
- Branded paper refills are pricey (close to $1/sheet)
- May be too large for those with limited hobby work space
- Most expensive wet palette kit on the market
- Palette dimensions: 12″L x 8″W x 1.2″H
- Air tight palette for mixed media, including acrylic paint
- Cover and bottom tray serve as two palettes
- Easy-to-clean claim with “peel-off” method with acrylics
- Travel friendly, folding clam shell design with snap lock lid
The Soho Urban Artist Air Tight Mixed Media Color Palette is a unique palette in that it doesn’t use the foam or sponge pad with hydrating palette paper top sheet. This means that it is designed to keep your paints moist in-between sessions, and not during sessions. Paint will dry out as you are painting while on this palette without the lid on top.
Yes, you could argue that this is a dry palette with a lid. But, in using this for my own painting sessions, I found there are times when you may want a palette like this one that works as a hybrid wet and dry palette. A wet palette can often overly thin acrylic paints, which makes some colors misbehave on your brush or miniature working surface. For more control over the viscosity of your paint, which affects coverage and your ability to leverage mass tone, a palette that doesn’t automatically thin and add water to your acrylics is advantageous.
In my use, this is the perfect palette for those looking to speed paint and blend colors with layering methods; whilst needing the ability to keep unused paint wet for longer periods of time in-between painting sessions. If you’re painting miniatures with oils, this also comes in handy because the ABS plastic construction isn’t affected by mineral spirit solvents, which can degrade other plastic materials.
Take a closer look and think about whether something like this could help you paint models, while keeping your unused paint usesable for longer periods of time.
- Keeps paint wet between hobby sessions
- Works well with a sorts of acrylic and oil media
- Top lid and bottom tray are palettes
- Airtight, snap locking cover keeps paint from drying out
- Dry acrylic paint peels right off the surface (easy cleaning)
- Not a true wet palette
- Paint will dry out during painting
- Requires cleaning to “refresh” the palette surfaces
- Palette dimensions: 13.6″L x 8.3″W x 0.9″H
- Shallow wet palette with a water permeable membrane over keep wet paper
- Includes 12 membrane paper and 3 keep wet paper sheets
- White plastic tray and container
- Lightweight construction
The Frisk Acrylic Keep-Wet Palette is almost identical to the SAA Acrylic Keep-Wet Palette except for size. This is a tiny bit smaller. It comes with Keep Wet paper, i.e., which acts as the resouvoir for water, and the permeable membrane sheet you place your acrylic paint on. As water evaporates, the paint wicks moisture from below and stays wet.
This mechanism is no different than other wet palettes and will keep acrylic paints moist and usable for a painting project for days and weeks. Of course, you’ll want to monitor the paper for any mold and bacterial growth, which is a risk if you’re not cleaning your palette often. Its fairly moderate size will allow you to store it in a refridgerator to further prevent any gross things from proliferating through your palette.
- Works well to save paint from drying out
- Keeps acrylic model paints usable for a long time
- Light weight and moderate size is useful for storage/travel
- Shallow tray makes paint more accessible
- Tight fitting lid forms a fairly air tight seal
- Generic wet palette with potentially cheaper options
- Unclear where to find refills
- Questionable long-term durability
- Two palettes in one: a dry and wet palette
- The dry palette is a mixing tray with wells
- Wet palette keeps paint wet for a long time
- Snapping lock for the closing lid
- Travel ready size
I really like the idea of this 2-in-1 wet/dry palette kit! The Scale 75 palette is a clam shell plastic construction with a dry palette on one side and a wet palette on the other. The dry palette has two open flat mixing trays and smaller wells that is reminiscent of a watercolor palette layout. I personally find dry palettes with this design, wells and mixing space, useful for gouache media (which you can use as a wash for painting miniatures) and oil painting.
The wet palette size of this palette works like any other: a moist foam pad keeps an overlying paper membrane wet to keep acrylic paint from drying out.
With a dry palette and wet palette in a single kit, you have the both of best worlds at the your fingertips. You can travel with your wet palette and dry palette without playing tetris inside your hobby storage/travel case. I know from painting all sorts of miniatures with different methods that there are times when you absolutely can’t live without a dry palette, and other times when a wet palette is a god-send.
The drawback that I see with this palette is that you probably can’t close the lid when you’re done unless the paint in the lid is dry. If you don’t clean the top lid or dry it out first, you risk contaminating the paint on the wet palette size. This inadvertently limits the full use of this palette to your hobby desk. If you’re constantly using the dry palette side with thinned media, e.g., inks, acrylic washes, or oil paints, you may not able to fully use the wet palette side since you can’t close the lid.
Finally, because of the hinges and moving parts, this may not be the easiest palette to keep clean. I find these all in one palette systems difficult to upkeep. Of course, all of these “issues” are based on how you plan to paint. Some people may find the organizational compactness of this palette a huge boon. Think about it!
- 2-in-1 system is versatile
- Meets the flexible needs of any miniature painter
- Solid, plastic construction with durable lock for lid and tray
- Wet palette works well
- Dry palette well and mixing tray layout is familiar and useful
- Closing the lid with paint in it may contaminate the wet palette side
- Wet palette side will only keep paint moist on one side
- Elongated palette shape may be inconvienent for using alternative palette papers, e.g., requires trimming
- Hard to clean
- Palette dimensions: 14.2″L x 8.7″W x 0.8″H
- Hard-wearing white plastic construction
- Cover and bottom tray snap tight
- Moisture absorbant Keep-Wet paper with permeable top palette paper
- Keeps acrylic paint wet for prolonged use
The Atelier Interactive Acrylic Keep-Wet Palette is a generic wet palette with an average-moderate cost. It is affordable for most hobbyists and does the job well of keeping acrylic paint moist and useable. It comes with 3 sheets of Keep Wet paper and 12 sheets of membrane paper. To use this wet palette, you simply moisten the keep wet paper and place the membrane paper on top.
For best results, make sure you remove air bubbles from the Keep Wet paper and overlying membrane. This prevents wrinkles and bumps from distrupting your acrylic paint. If you’re price shopping, this palette is essentially same as the Frisk Wet Palette. Take a closer look!
- Simple, easy to use wet palette for acrylic paint
- Useful for miniature painters and artists
- Good size for any working space
- Shallow tray for easy color access
- Air tight, snap fitting lid
- Generic plastic construction
- Paper refills may be pricey
- Competitors may offer more utility for less cost
- Palette dimensions: 8.6″L x 6.2″W x 1.5″H
- Sea foam green lid and bottom tray with neutral gray mixing well, storage tray
- Low profile neutral gray hydration foam
- Includes 50 paper palette sheets, two sponge pads, and brush rest
- All-in-one wet and dry palette system with storage compartment for brushes/tools
The WetNDri Palette (D’Artisan Shoppe) is a wet/dry palette combo that is designed for miniature painters and artists working with acrylic paints. It comes with a wet palette tray, dry palette paint tray with 18 mixing wells, brush holder, 2 anti-bacterial hydrating sponges (neutral gray colored), 50 pieces of pre-cut, durable wet palette paper, and 1 safety strap elastic band to keep palette and trays securely closed.
The WetNDri Palette is an excellent alternative to the Army Painter wet palette or RGG Everlasting Wet Palette, sharing similar features with a minimalist, practical design. Notably, unlike the Army Painter palette, which requires you to use your own dry palette, the WetNDri Palette comes with a built-in dry palette, making it more convenient and portable than other wet palettes.
It is also priced much lower than some of the more expensive options on the market, such as the RedGrass Games Everlasting Wet Palette, making it an affordable option for miniature painters. If you are looking for a good wet palette that is affordable and comes with everything you need to get started, the WetNDri Palette is a great option.
The size of the palette is ideal for those of us with limited hobby desk space. In fact, I do wish there was an option for a larger, studio size, given that sometimes I like spreading out my colors. But, for painting miniatures, the overall working area is more than enough.
For a full review and more details about this palette, check out this article about the WetNDri Artist’s palette for painting miniatures and models. Overall, if you are looking for a good wet palette that is affordable and comes with everything you need to get started, the WetNDri Palette is a great option.
- 2-in-1 wet and dry palette combo (layered, tray design)
- Brush storage and organizer compartment
- 18 dry palette wells and a lot of space for mixing colors
- Lid seals and covers both dry and wet palette trays
- Included horizontal brush rest
- Elastic band may stretch out, get lost, etc.
- No larger size palettes available at this time
- May require two hands to open
- Palette dimensions: 11″L x 6″W x 1″H
- Includes an elastic “Bento” box band for closure
- Smooth foam pad and paper keep acrylic paints wet
- Neutral gray aesethic with orange accent
- Mold resistent foam claim
If I didn’t already have The Army Painter wet palette, I could have taken a much closer look at the Redgrassgames Everlasting Wet Palette Painter Lite. In fact, the direct competitor of the RedgrassGames Everlasting Wet Palette is The Army Painter Wet Palette (a cheaper alternative). The only thing you don’t get with the Army Painter brand wet palette is the rubber gasket that seals the lid to the bottom tray. This makes the Everlasting wet palette better at keeping paint moist for a longer period of time, than compared the AP wet palette.
Of course, the Everlasting wet palettes including the Painter Lite model, are much more expensive even if the materials and function are the same as the Army Painter Wet Palette. Which should you choose between the Everlasting Wet Palette and the Army Painter Wet Palette? If you’re trying to get the same functionality, ergonomic design, and thoughtfulness but working on a budget, the Army Painter Wet Palette is superior. If you have some extra money to spend, then I would say there are benefits to the Everlasting Wet palette that would make it a better value, e.g., rubber sealing.
The Redgrassgames Everlasting wet palette does have an advantage over other palettes because of a rubber gasket that runs around the edge of the bottom tray and cover. This does a good job sealing the lid to the bottom tray when the elastic band compresses the two parts together. This ensures less water and air exfiltrate from the palette when you’re not using it. This may also help keep mold and other contaminents from growing in your palette–though, a lot of factors contribute to this problem.
Overall, this is a good palette for those looking for a smaller, mobile ready wet palette that is easy to take with you whereever you go. Just remember to remove as much water from it as possible before moving it around sideways. The rubber gasket isn’t perfect and could leak. And, even if the palette doesn’t leak, pooling water can make your paint run on the palette paper.
- Smooth foam and paper make paint easier to handle, e.g., less bubbles, no wrinkling
- Foam is mold resistant
- Comes with replacement foam and 50 sheets of hydration paper (not reusable)
- Compact, A5 notebook size is handsome and practical
- Good value
- Hard plastic lid and tray requires the band to stay tightly closed
- Palette dimensions: 10″L x 6.9″W x 1.5″H
- Includes 100 sheets of palette paper
- Thick foam insert has a huge water capacity
- Keeps paint wet for days even without the cover
- Good size for hobby miniature painters
The Codirom Wet Palette is a very affordable wet palette for acrylic miniature painters. The palette surface area is a really good size for a lot of miniature painting projects where you want to mix a bunch of colors and keep them wet for a long time.
The foam is thick and will hold a lot of water, which is fairly unique from the other palettes on this list. The vendor claims that this will keep your palette and paint moist for days even if you don’t cover the palette. While I may believe this, I think this could open you up to having to deal with mold and bacteria growth.
It’s probably a good thing that this comes with 100 sheets of palette paper and extra foam. You may need it to keep this palette clean and fresh. If you’re someone who lives in a dry climate (cold or hot), this wet palette could work really well. It’s got all the functional parts you need and will do the job at a good price. Check it out!
- Includes 100 sheets of acrylic palette paper
- Foam pad has huge water capacity
- Air- and water-tight cover
- Medium size is perfect for all-purpose miniature painting
- Very affordable compared with competitor palettes
- Tray tall
- Excess water capacity may spill or support mold growth
- Palette dimensions: 6.3″L x 5.1″W x 1.5″H
- Includes two foam inserts and 40 palette sheets
- Includes cloth fiber to level the sponge
- Compact size
- Lid snaps down and forms an airtight seal
The AK-Interactive Wet Palette is another small, compact wet palette from a well-known, respected hobby game company. AK-interactive sells all sorts of incredible hobby model painting supplies, including primers, paints, and weathering products. If you have brand loyalty or want a wet palette that you know will perform, this is a good choice.
At first glance, the AK interactive wet palette is simlar in construction to other hard plastic palette containers, except it seems to use a much higher quality polymer plastic found in marine or medical containers. The lid locks down tight and forms an airtight and water tight seal to keep paint and water contained. Your paint will stay dry and protected for days, even weeks.
It has a snap locking system for the light blue cover, which seals down on top of the bottom black hard plastic tray. Inside there is thick sponge that is similar to the P3 wet palette which holds a lot of water, but may have air pockets. AK Interactive does have an ace up their sleeves, however, as this wet palette also comes with a cloth layer that you place on top of the sponge, before your paper. This fiber cloth smooths out the sponges texture and levels out the palette. This keeps the paper palette from forming dry spots and prevents wrinkles for air bubbles from forming under your paint.
The included palette paper has a film of silcon that prevents paper fibers from getting into your paint and ruining your paint job–this can happen with cheaper, fibrous palette paper materials. Of course, you can use alternative palette paper if you want. This is often out of stock at many vendors, so shop around if you’re keen on picking this up!
- Small size for medium or light duty painting sessions
- High capacity foam holds a lot of water
- Includes a cloth fiber leveler to smooth out the paper and sponge interface
- Water tight seal around the lid and tray
- Hard, industrial plastic construction
- Often out-of-stock at many vendors
- May be too small for power users
- A tad expensive
- Palette dimensions: 9″L x 5.5″W x 0.8″H
- White plastic construction
- Folding lid with snapping closure
- Shallow tray for easy palette access
- Easy to clean and maintain
The Jucoci Wet Palette is a shallow tray with all the functionality of your typical wet palette system. It is an ideal size for small projects with acrylic paints. It uses foam pads to hold water and a permeable paper palette to keep paint moist through its use.
The durability of the paper is questionable and I may suggest using your own alternative paper palette with this kit for more reliable use. On the bright side, this is an affordable wet palette that does the job of saving your unused paint and allowing you to mix paint before applying it to your model.
The palette comes with 100 sheets of palette paper, two foam pads and the palette container. The paper itself is coated with a hydrophobic chemical (some wet palettes have this), so it does not absorb too much water and warp.
Overall, I recommend this as a good starter wet palette if you want to dabble without investing too much. It will certainly work for those working on light duty project. But, for those looking to work with heavier body paint (which require more water to stay wet), or mix a lot of paint, this wet palette may not hold up to the rigor.
- Simple and practical
- Shallow tray with decent palette space for spreading out colors
- Plastic construction with integrated lid
- Keep acrylic paint wet
- Budget friendly
- Questionable palette paper durability
- May be better with alternative paper membranes (e.g., baking parchment)
- Limited water capacity, prone to wrinkles in the palette
- Palette dimensions: 16″L x 12″W x 1.25″H
- Largest studio wet palette on the market
- Snap tight lid seals air and water in for long-term use
- Great for large painting projects
- Sponge stays flat and smooth
The Masterson Sta-Wet Premier Palette is the largest wet palette you can find that works reliably. It uses a moderately deep tray to hold the yellow sponge that you moisten to keep your paper palette moist for your paint. Once the red flexible lid is closed, the seal will keep moisture in and maintain your paints in a workable condition for days or weeks. Because of the depth and size of the palette, you can also use the container to store a conventional flat glass palette for oil painting.
In general, I only pull this out if I have multiple commission projects I’m working on at the same time. The extra size allows me to lay out entire color palettes at the same time for different miniatures. The ability to spread out is awesome. Of course, the side effect is that this only works if you have the hobby space for such a large palette.
I’ll note that this functions the same as the popular Sta-Wet Palette (shown above #1), which has more utility due to its size and minimal upkeep. For this Preimier palette, although it holds a lot of water, you will need to constantly monitor for any dry spots that tend to creep in from the sides. This is especially true if there’s a slight tilt on your tabletop so water pools to one side, or if there is a warp in the plastic tray (which I’ve not experienced, but heard about).
The palette includes the larger sheets of palette paper that you fit snugly inside the tray. You’ll have that the fit is really tight after you wet the paper, so you may need to push the edges down a bit so they don’t crinkle. As with other Masterson Sta-Wet palette systems, make sure you boil your palette paper first. This opens up the fibers and allows the palette to properly wick moisture up into your acrylic paint.
For those wondering, the palette paper is resusable! You just need to wash off the residual paint–I use running faucet water and tiny bit of soap–and you can place the paper back into the tray and move forward with a fresh color palette. Replacement sheets are available and not too expensive. Though, like with any palette, you can use your own palette paper alternatives, like Reynold parchment paper.
Overall, this is one of my favorite palettes for larger hobby painting projects, e.g., terrain, large vehicles, or multi-batch model paint jobs.
- Large, studio sized wet palette
- Huge water capacity
- Water and airtight lid (friction fit)
- Durable plastic that is easy to clean
- Great value
- Requires some preparation to properly keep palette paper wet and flat
- Takes up a lot of space
- May not be necessary for most miniature painters
Summary: 15 Best Wet Palettes for Painting Miniatures and Models
|Masterson Sta-Wet Palette With Airtight Lid||Great starter wet palette, affordable|
|Masterson Sta-Wet Painter’s Pal Palette||Larger palette size for miniature painting with more paint colors, inexpensive|
|The Army Painter Wet Palette for Acrylic Painting||Great value, do-it-all wet palette for serious hobbyists and miniature painters|
|SAA Acrylic Keep-Wet Palette||Medium-large size palette to spread out colors, thin construction with shallow tray for easier paint access|
|Artis Opus Studio Wet Palette Bundle||Wavy accessory serves as a dry palette and horizontal brush rest, premium palette kit with high price|
|Soho Urban Artist Air Tight Mixed Media Color Palette||Works well with a sorts of acrylic and oil media, top lid and bottom tray are palettes|
|Frisk Acrylic Keep-Wet Palette||Light weight and moderate size is useful for storage and travel, shallow tray makes paint more accessible|
|Scale 75 2-IN-1 Wet Palette||2-in-1 system is versatile, meets the flexible needs of any miniature painter|
|Atelier Interactive Acrylic Keep-Wet Palette||Simple, easy to use wet palette for acrylic paint with a good size for any working space|
|D’Artisan Shoppe Wet/Dry Palette||All-in-one wet and dry palette combo for versatile miniature painting|
|Redgrassgames Everlasting Wet Palette (Painter Lite)||Small, A5 notebook size is handsome and practical, top of the line compact palette for miniature painting|
|Codirom Wet Palette Paint Palette for Acrylic Paints||Deep dish wet palette holds a lot of water, medium size is perfect for all-purpose miniature painting|
|AK-Interactive Wet Palette||Small size for medium or light duty painting sessions, includes a cloth fiber leveler to smooth out the paper and sponge interface|
|Jucoci Wet Palette Paint Palette for Acrylic Paints||Shallow tray with decent palette space for spreading out colors, budget friendly|
|Masterson Sta-Wet Premier Palette||Massive sized wet palette for studio painters and power users, durable plastic that is easy to clean, great value|
I hope you found this article helpful about find the best wet palettes for your minature painting needs. There is quite a lot of information about the pros and cons with wet palettes, and how best to use them. There is also a lot of marketing hype about which palettes are better for particular projects, e.g., miniature painting, traditional art.
If you’re unsure of what wet palette to get, I would recommend the Masterson Sta-Wet Palette. It is the most effective at keeping your paper wet for hours on end and really excels at that task. While it doesn’t have a big water capacity, you can easily refill the reservoir and keep it working well.
For an upgrade, The Army Painter Wet Palette gives you a bit more pizzazz with a stronger, higher quality plastic tray, lid, and even a brush/tool storage compartment built-in. The nearest competitor for the Army Painter wet palette is the RGG Everlasting Wet Palette Painter Lite, which is also a good compromise between function, size, and build-quality. As with any wet palette, you can substitute the included palette paper with less expensive alternatives.
Do you use a wet palette and want to ugprade? Have a question or feedback on any wet palettes, or any I missed? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.
Thank you for reading, and happy miniature painting!