A wet palette is a key tool in any miniature painters arsenal. There are number in the market, including the Sta-Wet palette. If you wanted to make your own wet palette, there are many sites that show you how to make a wet palette.
However, for simplicity and ease-of-setup, the Sta-Wet palette is utilitarian. It is the wet palette that is nearby and it works. But, when it comes to what paper to use in your DIY or commercial wet palette, what can you use?
For my recommendation for best paper alternative for any wet palette read on below.
I’ve tried all types of wet palettes: the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) disaster and even the fancier “Everlasting Wet Palette” (Red Grass Games). These are either mold-farms or over-hyped and expensive palettes.
RELATED: A “DRY PALETTE” I HIGHLY RECOMMEND
How you make a wet palette requires a few items: a water-tight container, a sponge of some sort to hold the water, and a water-permeable membrane (e.g., usually a paper material).
What I discovered, that although DIY options work well, and “how to make a wet palette” instructions and tutorials are everywhere, the simplicity of a commercial system is unbeatable.
Yes, they do cost a little money, but not much.
Masterson Sta-Wet Palette (a favorite)
The best wet palette in my professional opinion is the Sta-Wet Palette. Tried and true, it’s been around for many, many years!
Why fix it?
Okay, the paper that comes with the Sta-Wet palette kit sucks (see problems below).
The solution? Reynolds Parchment Paper.
The Masterson Sta-Wet palette fills my happy middle ground for painting miniatures.
Masterson even makes a bigger sized palette if you’re looking for more paint mixing space. If I had more table space for painting miniatures, I’d get the larger size.
I tend to use wet palettes to mix colors for layering and glazing on miniatures.
Problems with Commercial Wet Palette Papers
- Not designed for miniature acrylic paints
- Did I mention expensive?
Given that wet palette paper is disposable, the use of commercially available wet palette paper can get pricey. This is true if you replace your palette paper after every session.
No matter what you do, the paper will get tossed.
The other issue with general wet palette paper, is that miniature paints are much thinner than other paint mediums.
That is, acrylics we use for painting minis are thinner and absorb into the palette paper. The Everlasting Wet Palette I mentioned has overcome this with a different kind of paper. However, the paper is pricey (relative to just as function alternatives), cut to size only for their version of the wet palette, and doesn’t do a better job.
What Do I Recommend for Paper?
I’ve discovered that you don’t actually need to buy commercially marketed wet palette paper.
I know a ton of you guys already know this, especially those who fall into the DIY palette camp.
But, what is the best substitute wet palette paper?
Here’s what I think is the best non-indicated paper you can buy for any wet palette.
Cheap, endless, and functional for all your miniature painting needs.
Reynold parchment paper comes in huge rolls. Simply, pull a sheet, cut to size and apply to a pre-wetted sponge.
Quick Warning About Choosing Wet Palette Papers for Miniature Paints
Remember to avoid parchment papers that have a hydrophobic coating, such as wax. This will make the paper useless for our miniature painting needs.
You want the water from the sponge to seep through the paper into the paint sitting above. Baking parchment or sheets usually use wax coatings to make them non-stick to cookies and stuff.
Instead, go for parchment paper.
They should not be confused with wax paper or waxed paper, which is paper that has been impregnated with wax.
Other Thoughts on Choosing the Best Tools for Miniature Painting
At the end of the day, we just want to paint miniatures efficiently and effectively. I’ve painted hundreds of miniatures using wet and dry palettes. Everything in this article is an opinion formed through experience. Your mile may vary (YMMV).
What are you looking for in a wet palette?
That means acrylic paint that doesn’t dry right away. It means a palette that allows us to mix and thin paints for our particular application.
Every tool we use for painting miniatures is a personal choice. There is no perfect instrument.
I prefer a wet palette that doesn’t break the bank over time (with constant upkeep). Disposing of old paper and sponges is required to prevent mold.
Summary: The Best Wet Palette and Paper Combination
These two products combined are a powerhouse.
A wet palette can improve your miniature painting if you know how to use them properly. You can either DIY or buy a wet palette.
If you’re making your own palettes, how do you set yours up?
Let me know with a comment below.
Thank you for reading!
I have more thoughts and editorial articles (here).