Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists

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Is The Army Painter Wet Palette any good? If you’re a miniature painter or modeler, then you know how important it is to have a wet palette. A wet palette helps to keep your paints from drying out, and helps you blend and mix paint. It’s an essential part of any serious miniature painter’s toolkit. The Army Painter Wet Palette is one of the best wet palettes on the market. It’s made of high-quality materials, and it’s easy to use. The best part is that it’s affordable, so it’s perfect for budget-minded hobbyists.

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In this article, I share my experience of using The Army Painter (AP) wet palette for over a year painting miniatures of all kinds, large and small, for wargames and RPGs like Warhammer and Dungeons & Dragons (DnD). It’s been fun! And, I’ve got a lot of nice and not-so nice things to say about the AP wet palette.

In a Hurry? Check Out 3 Other Great Wet Palettes! 🏆

Read on below for my in-depth review of The Army Painter Wet Palette. You can see some of my miniature painting in my gallery (link).


Overall Impression: The Army Painter Wet Palette Review

If you’re a novice or seasoned veteran, The Army Painter Wet Palette is the ideal wet palette to learn with. It helps you to improve the quality and clarity of your painting by facilitating good blending and mixing, and keeps your paints from drying out. The Army Painter Wet Palette is great for hobbyists who want a wet palette that’s easy to use, affordable, and high-quality.

RELATED: BEST WET PALETTES FOR PAINTING MINIATURES (TOP 15 REVIEWED)

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - opened wet palette with paint in it.
The Army Painter Wet Palette is a great size for miniature painters and hobbyists. It keeps acrylic hobby paints from drying out and helps you keep paint consistency, even if you mix your own colors.
The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - brush top down flat lay photo
Brush storage, smooth palette paper, and shallow tray with foam padding make the wet palette a pleasure to handle and use to paint miniatures and models.

Read on to learn more about my thoughts using The Army Painter Wet Palette for my professional commission painting project, as well as painting miniatures for my own collection. I also share my insights on the advantages and disadvantages of the Army Painter Wet Palette design and its use compared to the popular Redgrassgames Everlasting Wet Palette–an Army Painter wet palette vs Redgrass Games Everlasting Wet Palette comparison of sorts. Check it out below!

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - bundle pack
The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - chaos barbarian painted with acrylic paint in AP wet palette
A Warhammer Chaos Barbarian I painted using a variety of techniques, some of which required that I use a wet palette.

Pros and Cons of The Army Painter Wet Palette

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Good portability
  • Compact, decent size for almost any hobby miniature painter
  • Excellent value for money
  • Resilient and smooth textured foam pad that holds a good amount of water
  • Built-in storage tray and organizer for brushes and hobby tools

Cons

  • No rubber seal around the lid
  • The lid doesn’t snap on securely so it will not stay attached during travel
  • Shallow tray, which means not as much water can be held as a traditional wet palette due to the design constraints of being functional and compact
  • This is not an airtight wet palette, but rather a splash-proof one that allows paint to evaporate at a faster rate
  • Replacement paper can add up (though you may not need to do this often)

Introducing the Army Painter Wet Palette: Look & Feel

The Army Painter Wet Palette is a handsome, good-looking hobby palette. Right out of the box, it has a hard plastic and non-slip feel, and the raised edges and bevels make it easy to handle and hold. The outer shell including the cover and watertight tray–where you put the foam and paper palette–are black with the Army Paint logo on top. The palette dimensions are a good size, too–Army Painter Wet Palette Dimensions: LxWxH, 7.87 x 5.51 x 1.38 inches.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - unboxing photo
The wet palette comes with everything you need to get started in the box. It is well packaged, looks great, and my first impression was excellent.
The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - Wargames Delivered Army Painter bundle
This Wargames Delivered Mega Selection bundle is missing a wet palette. The Army Painter wet palette would pair nicely with this kit!

Sandwiched in between the lid and bottom tray is a red plastic tray where you can store brushes and other hobby tools. The entire ensemble fits together nicely.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - comparison with A5 notebook size
The Army Painter Wet Palette is about the size of an A5 Rhodia webnotebook (one of my favorites for carrying everyday in my work bag) with a dimension of 7.87″L x 5.51″W x 1.38″H. This makes the wet palette a good size to spread out colors, but also won’t take up too much space on your hobby table.

Excellent Build Quality with Some Limitations

The watertight tray for the foam and the palette (where your paint goes) is superior to other wet palettes I’ve used in that it’s sturdy and doesn’t bend or flex under pressure–unlike other flimsy plastic trays I’ve used.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - parts and bundle components compared with red tray and black cover and container
My Army Painter Wet Palette brand new came with the bottom tray, brush storage compartment tray (dark red plastic in the photo), a cover, and elastic band to hold secure it all together.

For example, the Masterson Sta Wet Palette is a robust, popular wet palette that most miniature painters start out using–which is no surprise, given how easy it is to find in local art stores and is super-affordable. But, the problem with the Masterson Wet Palette is that it feels flimsy.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - Masterson Sta wet palette comparison
The Masterson Handy Sta Wet Palette is another great option for miniature painters.
The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - my 10 year old wet palette
I’ve used my Sta-Wet Palette for more than 10 years and it’s still going strong!

The Army Painter Wet Palette is very durable by comparison, but you still have to take care not to drop the tray or tilt it sideways too much. Without the elastic band that holds the three part-plastic (lid, storage compartment, bottom tray), it will fall apart, as these pieces do not snap together.


No Airtight Seal on The Army Painter Wet Palette: Does it Matter?

Unlike other wet palettes, The Army Painter Wet palette does not have a rubber seal around the edges of the lid to the bottom tray. For this reason, the wet palette doesn’t hold in moisture as well as other wet palettes, such as the Redgrassgames Everlasting wet palettes.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - product photography
Who keeps their work surfaces this bright white and clean? And, nobody paints miniatures like this! Product photography and marketing at its finest. What’s my take?

Of course, the wet palette from Army Painter isn’t as expensive as the RGG Everlasting Wet Palette. And, while the Army Painter palette is smaller (less palette space) as compared with the Redgrass Games wet palette, you’ll find that there’s more than sufficient room for spreading out and mixing your paint colors.

Does the lack of a water tight or airtight seal matter for The Army Painter wet palette?

It’s important to note that, even without a rubber seal around the lid m, The Army Painter Wet Palette is still really good. It holds enough moisture long enough in the foam pad inside (more about this below) that you only have to refill it every few days or so. How often you need to do this, however, will depend on where you are keeping it, how much ventilation it gets, and the temperature of your environment.


Is The Army Painter Wet Palette Travel Ready?

The portability of the The Army Painter Wet Palette is pretty good. I would say it is similar to the Redgrassgames Everlasting Wet Palette, which I can pack up in a bag with my miniatures when I head to the game store or when I decide on painting outside of home.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - Moleskine notebook
The Army Painter Wet Palette is compact and ready for the road. Size comparison with Moleskine notebook (another journal favorite of mine). Just make sure it’s not full of water and paint. An elastic red-colored band (not shown) holds the cover and tray together.

The red elastic band is even the same as the one that comes with the RGG wet palette, which holds the cover and bottom part of the palette together. The feel of both palettes is similar with a sturdy construction and durable plastic that should handle the rigors of travel.

Of course, if you don’t want to get wet and make a mess, I do not recommend traveling with either wet palettes while there is water and paint inside. Both palettes can get messy and leak based on my and others’ experience.


How Flexible is the Foam in the Army Painter Wet Palette?

The foam inside The Army Painter wet palette is pretty resilient or springy compared to other wet palettes I’ve used. It is thin, however, and doesn’t hold a lot of water. This is countered by the fact that the foam insert is flexible and fits perfectly over the bottom tray.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - foam insert review
The foam insert in the tray is thin but holds sufficient water to get the job done.

In contrast to other wet palette foams, they can be stiff and just a tad too big or small which can be annoying when you’ve spent money on something as simple as a wet palette.

I’ll underscore that the foam that comes with the AP wet palette has a smooth surface, which is awesome for creating a nice palette surface. When you place the included paper on top of the foam, it sits flush. When saturated with water, the palette paper and foam combo make for a very pleasurable working surface for mixing, thinning, and loading paint on your brush.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - palette paper review with paint
I love how easy it is to work with any color paint in my scheme and not worry about any of it drying out.

It’s a feeling that is hard to describe when a wet palette comes together and makes the experience of working with acrylic hobby paints easier.

The Army Painter wet palette comes with two foam inserts. You have one to use right away, a second as a spare when you need to replace the first foam pad when it gets soiled or worn out. It’s a nice touch. If you need more, you can always find replacements at a local hobby store or online.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - hydropack accessory replacement pack
Replacement pack for the Army Painter Wet Palette–Easy to find and inexpensive!

Is the Included Palette Paper Any Good in The Army Painter Wet Palette?

The AP wet palette paper is really good. I have been able to use my wet palette for weeks with the same sheet of paper. The nice thing about the palette paper is that it fits really well and doesn’t wrinkle, warp, or bubble in the palette tray on top of the foam.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - new paint fresh on palette orange
The paper and foam combo works great. The wrinkles here are minor and don’t effect the function of the palette. I was also too lazy to smooth them out here.

Mold hasn’t been a problem for me because I keep my wet palette clean using a few mold-growth prevention tricks.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - warm red color painting and glazing
Wet paint I’ve been using for a few projects. I added water to my colors to thin it even more for glazing, hence the translucency.

The paper included with the AP wet palette has a nice texture to it that holds onto hobby acrylic paint really well. The paper wicks moisture from the foam underneath to keep your paints wet for a long time. In my experience, the paper did a great job keeping my acrylic paints, e.g., Citadel, Reaper, Scale 75, working for days on end.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - painting tanks for warhammer 40k
Tanks, troops, whatever your miniature fancy, I enjoyed working with the Army Painter Wet Palette.

One of the problems with some wet palettes and their paper is that they are either too thin, wear out quickly, and often over-thin your paints into a runny mess. It is also possible that palette paper can be too thick and doesn’t keep your paints wet enough to be useable.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - vindicator close up
Base coating and blending, it doesn’t matter–a wet palette performs.
The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - triple threat image tanks
I used a regular brush to paint these Imperial Fist Space Marine Vindicator Tanks for the Warhammer 40k miniature tabletop game.

The fine, smooth textured finish on the AP wet palette paper is a welcomed addition, in my opinion. It holds on to your paint very well and pulls/wicks just the right amount of water for your hobby paints. It’s a great paper and even beats out the Redgrassgames wet palette membrane in my opinion.


What are Some Uses for the Storage Compartment of the AP Wet Palette?

As mentioned above, the storage compartment in the red tray which fits underneath the cover also works as a brush and tool organizer. You can deploy the plastic tray (the storage area) on the side of your palette while you’re working on your models.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - open wet palette with brush storage
The brush storage tray is perfect for other Army Painter brushes and tools. It keeps things organized when you’re painting on on-the-go.

I kind of love it. It’s solid and big enough to hold most hobby tools and paint brushes which you can keep in the tray. Of course, it works (and looks) nice with Army Painter Wargamer brushes (one of which I review-highly in another article).

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - AP Regiment paint brush close up label
The Army Painter Regiment paint brush is one of my favorite workhorse brushes for painting wargaming miniatures.

I’ll note again that the storage tray is awesome to have because you won’t have to worry about your tools/brushes rolling away while you’re a table. This is one of those quality of life things that you kind of take for granted. But, such a convenience is so nice when you’re at a conference, or in a hotel room and don’t want to lose your stuff.

Although I don’t use the red storage tray in the AP wet palette for mixing paints or anything, I know a few other miniature painters who have doubled it as a dry palette. I much prefer using glazed porcelain water color palettes for inks, washes, and other thin-media.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - glazed porcelain water color palette for inks and glazes
This is a Jack Richeson Glazed Porcelain watercolor palette that I use for mixing acrylic inks and paints.

Did Using The Army Paint Wet Palette Improve my Miniature Painting?

Yes, yes it did. The Army Painter wet palette has made glazing my miniatures easier and faster. Sure, I used the Masterson Wet Palette as a comparison, and while both work well, the AP wet palette has a wonderful cache feel to it. Things just seem to click when I’m using it.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - model army painted acrylics
I’ve painted hundreds of models using the Army Painter Wet Palette.

The size, the feel, build-quality (maybe the paper and foam together) came together for me to make it one of the best wet palettes I’ve used.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - blending and glazing capes
Blending color using layers and glazes is a tad easier when your paint doesn’t dry out on your palette.
The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - glazing work in progress
Here, I’ve applied a fresh glaze. You can still see the burgundy color drying on the model’s cape.

What are the Drawbacks of the Army Painter Wet Palette?

Can I complain about something that isn’t perfect? The Army Painter wet palette is flawed in a few ways. As I mention above, it’s not like the Masterson wet palette.

The Masterson has a very nice simplicity to it. The Masterson Sta-Wet palette has is a plastic cover that snaps to the bottom tray. On the other hand, The Army Painter wet palette for all its “features” does not hold a lot of water, lacks an airtight lid, and doesn’t hold together without the rubber elastic band–which I do find kind of annoying, and I would be frustrated if I lost the band.

The Army Painter wet palette also is a tad slippery when you try and hold it with wet hands. A few times after washing it and refreshing the palette, it’s slipped when I wasn’t paying attention and fell into the sink–thankfully unharmed. But do be careful if you’re holding your AP wet palette and decide to move it while the paint is fresh on the palette paper.

All that said, I’m just nitpicking really. There are quite a few wet palettes on the market that don’t hold a lot of water, or have unsecured lids that don’t snap together. Here are other favorite wet palettes from other reviewers and my experience.


What Do Other Miniature Painters Think?

During my evaluation of The Army Painter wet palette, I had several friends use it and compare it to their existing palettes.

“It is very nice; I like how it fits in your hand.”

-Tomas Pappas, professional miniature painter

“I’ve been using this for a few days now and it’s great. Really, really nice wet palette… I recommend this to anyone who does any amount of painting.”

-Roscoe George, professional scale modeling enthusiast and DND nerd

“I myself have used the Army Painter Wet Palette at home for several months. Since it’s compact, it is On the flip side, I had to use a few layers of paper at first to make sure not too much water leaked through. That got annoying after some time.”

-Bryan Sola, wargamer and painter

“I own a Masterson, and I regularly use it. The Army Painter Wet Palette is good as well, but not as much as the Masterson.”

-Noe Orozco, hobbyist painter and professional e-sports gamer

Community Summary Verdict: The Army Painter Wet Palette is a great wet palette that is compact enough to fit into your purse or miniature painting travel bag. It’s solid build-quality is worth the price tag. I recommend this wet palette to anyone who is looking for a reasonably priced hobby wet palette.


Who is the Army Painter Wet Palette is for?

I would recommend the Army Painter Wet Palette to any painters who are looking to have a reasonably priced wet palette that fits into their miniature painting kit. The portability of this palette is great for painters who travel, or guys like me who paint in the kitchen while waiting for their pasta water to boil.

Overall, the Army Painter wet palette is a great palette for a very good price. It comes with everything you need to get started right away. Just add water!


How to Get Started Using The Army Painter Wet Palette

A wet palette is an essential tool for any artist working with acrylic paint. The Army Painter wet palette is no exception. It helps to keep your paints moist and prevents them from drying out, which can ruin your precious color mixes and wastes paint.

The Army Painter Wet Palette Review: The Ideal Tool for Hobbyists - whole image with wet palette and alpha legion terminator painting

Here is my step-by-step guide for how to prepare and use the Army Painter wet palette for acrylic miniature painting:

  1. Take the foam and place it in the bottom tray.
  2. Pour clean water (distilled water is recommended) into the tray until the foam is saturated. You may want to add enough water into the tray until you see it pool around the foam. This ensures you have completely soaked the foam, e.g., no bubbles.
  3. Take a sheet of the palette paper that came with the wet palette. Lay it flat on the water-soaked foam. You may need to flip it over a few times until the paper is wet and doesn’t curl.
  4. Make sure there are no bubbles under the palette paper. Smooth out any wrinkles in the paper with your fingers or using a clean, soft bristled brush.
  5. Add your paint to the wet palette paper.
  6. Enjoy your miniature painting!

READ MORE: MORE USEFUL WET PALETTE TIPS


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long will my paints stay moist on the Army Painter Wet Palette?

Paints will stay moist in the wet palette for a few days, depending on how much water you added to the tray. You may need to add more water as the water level decreases and the foam dries up. Of course, theoretically, your paint could stay moist and wet for weeks as long as there’s water in the wet palette. However, you may want to replace the palette paper (which can wear out) and clean the foam every few days to make sure mold doesn’t grow.

What type of water should I use in the Army Painter Wet Palette?

Distilled water is recommended for use in the Army Painter Wet Palette, as it will help to prevent bacteria and mold from growing in your paint. If you don’t have distilled water, tap water is also fine for use in the wet palette. Just make sure to clean it regularly (every few days) and replace the palette paper (if necessary).

What type of paint should I use in my Army Painter Wet Palette?

You can use any acrylic paint that will work on miniatures for your Army Painter wet palette. However, you may want to avoid using metallic paints since they tend to have pigments that misbehave when overly thinned with water.

Can I use other types of paper on the Army Painter Wet Palette?

You can also use other types of paper in the Army Painter Wet Palette, such as baking parchment paper. Just make sure that the paper is absorbent and doesn’t curl when wet. Here’s the alternative palette paper that I recommend and use. I have a roll of baking paper that I use for wet palettes (and oil painting) that has lasted more than 10 years!

The lid doesn’t cover securely, will it stay attached during travel?

No, the lid on the Army Painter wet palette will not stay shut on its own. You need to secure the lid to the bottom tray with the included elastic band. Just place the lid on top of the bottom tray and stretch the elastic band over it. It’s a pretty tight fit, but the Army Painter wet palette will stay closed during transport in a hobby painting kit or a box for safekeeping with the elastic band holding it together.

Is the Army Painter wet palette airtight?

The Army Painter wet palette is not airtight. It uses a foam as the water reservoir and there’s no seal on the top lid to prevent evaporation from occurring. However, if you’re going to go away for a few days, you can use a large sandwich bag to store your wet palette with paint and water inside if you want to avoid evaporation or having to refill the wet palette with clean water on a regular basis. Yes, this risks other things growing inside, e.g., mold, but this can also be avoided if you stick the bag with the palette inside in your kitchen refrigerator.

Will the foam pad last forever?

The foam pad insert in the Army Painter wet palette will eventually wear out after many, many hours of regular use, depending on how often you clean it and dry it. You can avoid wearing out the foam pad by cleaning the wet palette regularly (every few days) and making sure to dry it completely before putting away your paint for storage.

Do I need to replace the paper often?

If I’m painting regularly on a daily basis, I may change the palette paper every 2-3 weeks or so. If I have multiple projects with varied color schemes, I may change out the paper more often so I have a clean palette sheet for new paint colors. The Army Painter comes with plenty of paper and replacement packets are really inexpensive.

RELATED: EVERLASTING WET PALETTE, ARMY PAINTER WET PALETTE, OR THE “WETNDRI PAINT TRAY” FOR PAINTING MINIATURES AND MODELS?


Final Thoughts: Is The Army Painter Wet Palette Worth it?

Yes, I love my Army Painter wet palette. Compared to the popular Masterson Sta-Wet palette, it’s an upgrade in several departments.

The foam pad in the Army Painter wet palette is much more durable, thinner/smoother, and reusable. The compact size of the Army Painter wet palette is also more hobby friendly than the Sta-Wet, which is a bit too big and tall. This makes the Army Painter wet palette a brilliant choice for hobby painting in limited space or when traveling with your painting supplies.

Lastly, I love that the Army Painter wet palette is aesthetically designed with an integrated brush and tool storage compartment. I highly recommend this product to anyone who’s looking to expand their hobby painting kit!

I hope you found this review helpful! Do you own the Army Painter wet palette? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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