Are you looking for a worthy wet palette for your model painting hobby? As a miniature painter, I know that a good wet palette should not only be affordable but offer other conveniences as well. For example, a hobby wet palette with accompanying dry palette can help you layout your colors and have more space to mix different mediums according to their uses, e.g., glazes versus inks.
In this article, I review my use of the WetNDri Paint Palette from the D’Artisan Shoppe for painting miniatures and models.
In a Hurry? Check Out 3 Other Top Wet Palette Picks! 🏆
- Masterson Sta Wet Palette (Most Popular)
- The Army Painter Wet Palette (Top Favorite, see the Full Review)
- Redgrass Games Everlasting Wet Palette Painter Lite (Best Compact)
Summary (TL;DR): Review of the WetNDri Paint Tray Palette for Painting Miniatures and Models
The Redgrassgames (RGG) Everlasting Wet Palette (the smaller Painter’s Lite version) and Army Painter Wet Palette had caught my attention in the past because of their price points and other features. But, for the full size, feature rich version of the RGG wet palette, I decided to look for other alternatives that were less expensive but had similar utility and flexibility for the serious hobbyist or commission miniature painter.
The WetNDri Paint Palette from the D’Artisan Shoppe was one of the first Google search results that met my criteria for a good wet palette alternative. I liked that it had an included dry palette, similar to the Army Painter Wet Palette (a sandwich tray design). I also found that the price point was more attractive than the RGG wet palette. So, I decided to give it a try.
Read on for my review of the WetNDri Artist Palette.
What is a Wet Palette, and Why Use Them for Painting Miniatures?
A quick note for those who are wondering whether they need a wet palette for painting miniatures and models. As a tabletop gamer, and later a commission miniature painter, I admittedly shunned the wet palette as a gimmick.
But, as I increased the number of minis and models that I painted as well as my skill level, a good wet palette became an indispensable part of my painting supplies.
A wet palette is an enclosed (usually plastic) case that has a moistened sponge or fabric to keep the paint from drying out while you are working. The lid helps to keep the moisture in and the paint from evaporating.
With a wet palette, you can easily thin your paints with water (or another medium) and have more time to work with them on the palette before they dry out. This is especially helpful when working with glazes or with color blending for those smooth color transitions that we all hold in high regard (e.g., non-metallic metal painting style, anyone?).
A miniature painter’s wet palette can also help you achieve a consistent paint application by keeping the paint at a workable consistency (not too thick or too thin).
Though, if you’re not careful a wet palette with too much water in it can also be prone to over-thinning paint. So, it’s best to start with a little water in your wet palette and then add more as needed.
Key Features in a Good Wet Palette for Painting Miniatures and Models
There are a few things to consider when choosing the best wet palette for painting miniatures and models. Some factors will be more important to you than others depending on your painting style and preferences.
Here are some of the key considerations for a good wet palette:
- Size: Wet palettes come in a variety of sizes. Some are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, while others are large enough to accommodate multiple brushes and paint pots. Consider the size that will best fit your needs. If you travel with your painting supplies, a smaller wet palette may be more convenient.
- Design: Most wet palettes have a hydrated sponge, foam, or even fabric to keep the palette paper moist. Some palette systems have a built-in dry palette, as you’ll see below with the WetNDri Paint Tray or RGG Everlasting Wet Palette, while others require you to use your own separate dry palette. Consider which design will work best for you and your painting workflow.
- Lid: A lid helps to keep the moisture in and the paint from drying out. Some wet palettes have an airtight lid using a rubber gasket that keeps moisture in for long period of time. These are secured by an elastic band, magnets, or with a snap, friction fit, like the Masterson Handy Sta Wet Palette. Other wet palettes have a simple hinged lid that helps to keep the palette moist but is not airtight.
- Portability: Some wet palettes are designed for portability with carrying handles or compartments for storing brushes and other painting supplies. If you plan to take your wet palette with you when traveling, consider one of these designs .
- Price: Wet palettes range in price from around $10 to $70. More expensive wet palettes usually have additional features (as mentioned above).
Now that we’ve gone over some of the key features to look for in a good wet palette, what does the WetNDri Paint Palette offer the miniature painter looking for the “whole package”. Well, let me show you!
First Impressions of the WetNDri Paint Palette
My WetNDri palette arrived in a light blue-green box, e.g., sea-foam color, and was nicely packaged. Sometimes you can judge a product by its packaging and I was impressed with the care that was taken in the presentation of the WetNDri paint tray when I opened the box. More about this below.
The WetNDri Palette comes with everything you need to start painting:
- 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
- 1 Safety strap elastic band to keep palette securely closed
The D’Artisan Shoppe: Makers of the WetNDri Paint Tray
My impression is that you’re in good hands shopping with D’Artisan Shoppe, which if I understand correctly, is a small family-run business. They’re also artists and hobbyists themselves so they should know what works and what doesn’t.
From my brief interaction with customer service–I had some questions about them for this review–I got quick responses and polite personable emails. I’m not sure if they currently sell their products outside of Amazon. But, so far, I’ve gotten synthetic brushes from them, which are highly-regarded for fine detail painting, and the WetNDri palette reviewed in this article.
Build Quality, Design Utility, and Durability
The WetNDri paint palette is a durable, ABS plastic construction. The sea foam green color of the top and bottom tray accent nicely with the gray middle dry palette tray. The tolerances of its construction are also very tight with no sharp plastic edges and it is a pleasure to hold in the hand.
Although I’ve fortunate enough to avoid dropping the palette, I’m sure it could survive minor bumps and scrapes. I’m confident this palette will last me for many years of painting enjoyment.
Its feel, construction, and durability seem comparable to the Army Painter Wet Palette and RGG Everlasting Painter’s Lite palette. The trays are inflexible, in contrast to the Masterson Handy Sta Wet Palette systems. I kind of prefer the solid palette construction as it feels more premium.
The top lid, middle dry palette tray (brush organizer), and bottom tray stack together and is thicker than any of the palettes I’ve tested before. What is neat is that the wet palette is a shallow tray, while the dry palette is tall, which gives room for the decent capacity mixing wells. The top lid appears useful as another mixing palette if you needed more space to spread out.
The WetNDri lid is a thick, airtight, silicone seal that presses down on all four sides of the tray to reduce evaporation and leaking. I was curious about this so I tested it. I turned the tray upside down, squeezing the trays tight for a minute and very little, if any, water leaked. Impressive.
There is also an elastic safety strap that goes over the lid to further secure it during travel or if you accidentally drop your palette. I would not trust the strap, however, of snuggly keeping the lid tight down enough to provide a complete airtight seal.
I do wish the bottom tray had rubber feet or some rougher texture to prevent the palette from slide around on my hobby table. Though, I’m sure this would have added some cost to the palette’s construction.
Finally, the sea foam green/teal color is also a fun pop color, and not as clinical looking as the black and red accents of Army Painter wet palette. So, if you’re looking for a more whimsical, artsy appearing palette system, the WetNDri might be a better option.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the build quality and fun design of the WetNDri palette.
How Portable is the WetNDri Paint Tray Palette System?
The WetNDri palette is one of the bulkiest wet palettes I’ve tested to date. It’s nearly twice as thick as the Army Painter, RGG Everlasting, and Masterson Handy Sta wet palette systems. The extra thickness is due to the addition of the middle dry palette tray, which also houses a brush holder.
If you wanted to travel with the WetNDri palette, then I think you’d want to remove the excess water and paint from the wet palette compartment first. This would reduce the risk of water leaking or spilling from the palette, or your paints getting messy during travel. The size of the palette is not too big or too small. It would fit in a backpack or a number of portable painting workstations.
I also think you could safely stack other items on top of the WetNDri during transport without too much worry. The trays seem quite sturdy and would be resilient to compression.
How to Use the Wet Palette
The WetNDri Paint Tray wet and dry palette combo came with a very well written set of instructions. They are easy to follow:
- Rinse the new sponge to remove any residue. The sponge will expand to fill the tray.
- Place sponge in the tray with distilled/purified water until sponge is fully saturated.
- Remove excess water by tipping tray. Wet the palette paper, then place the dampened paper on the sponge. When fully wet, the palette paper should stay flat. Ensure there are no bubbles under the paper. Use a paper towel or soft cloth to remove excess water on the paper surface. Tip the tray back and forth to make sure water is distributed evenly under the palette paper. Depending on the humidity and temperature, you may need to refill/saturate the sponge periodically.
- Place paint on the paper and mix/blend directly to start your painting session. Some paint brands may get too thin, and may be due in part to specific brand formulations or your ambient room conditions, e.g., humidity/temperature. You may need to adjust your workflow to achieve the desired results with your paint using the WetNDri palette (which is true for any wet palette).
- Although the trays are sealed using gaskets, they are not completely airtight and moisture will evaporate over time. Keep in mind that closing the lid will greatly delay paint from drying out, but not completely eliminate evaporation.
- To transport the paint tray, you will want to tip out all excess water and keep the palette flat at all times. This will avoid paint/water spillage or leaking.
- When not in use, allow the sponge to dry. Simply rewet the sponge and follow the above steps to use the palette again. To prevent mold and mildew from forming in the palette, drain and clean the trays occasionally.
RELATED: HOW TO AVOID WET PALETTE MOLD
Miniature Painting With the WetNDri Paint Tray Palette
What’s it like to use the WetNDry palette for painting miniatures and models? In a word, it’s great! I had no issues with the palette whatsoever. The paper stayed wet and my hobby acrylic paints kept in workable condition.
For my testing and commission painting with the WetNDri palette, I used a bunch of hobby brand paints including Reaper Paints, Scale75 Color, Citadel Games Workshop paints, as well as a few of my favorite Vallejo paints.
A good wet palette should be confident-inspiring, and the WetNDri definitely is. I had no worries about my paints drying out and was able to focus on my painting. The sponge was easy to saturated and there was very little paint seepage through the palette paper (which can be an issue with some wet palettes).
The dry palette tray is a great addition and works well for mixing paint or storing inks or other paint media, e.g., oil washes or glazes, that you’re not currently using. It’s also a good place to keep a wet brush while you’re working on something else.
The WetNDri palette is a great all-in-one solution for the miniature hobbyist, tabletop wargaming painter.
The WetNDri Palette is Easy to Clean and Maintain
Another great thing about the WetNDri is that it’s easy to clean and maintain. The trays are sturdy and can be rinsed with water (mild soap if needed). The sponge can be removed and rinsed out, which you should on a regular basis anyway. It’s durable and you can wring it out to remove excess water.
Regarding the palette paper itself, I prefer to just start over with a new sheet each time after I clean out the palette trays. It is possible to reuse palette paper if you’re careful to wipe off excess paint on it. Thin parchment paper and wet palette paper does get torn easily after its wet.
I will note that the Masterson Sta Wet palette uses thicker, reusable palette paper, though some people have complained that it doesn’t keep paint as workable or thin, as palette paper from other brands.
In general, the WetNDri Palette is very easy to take care of and you shouldn’t have any issues keeping it clean and in good working order.
Possible Limitations of the WetNDri Palette
The WetNDri Palette does have a minor limitation that I noticed and think you may want to be aware of. First, it’s not a large palette. It’s compact (not too much larger than the Army Painter Wet Palette). If you’re looking for a larger wet palette working surface, you’ll have to look elsewhere. For me, the size is perfect for spreading out my colors for painting miniatures. Any larger and the palette would crowd out my limited hobby tabletop space.
The compact size makes the WetNDri easy to take with you when you travel or go to conventions. It is also a really good fit for those of us who don’t have a lot of hobby table space.
Another small niggle I noticed is that WetNDri palette may be unwieldy to open for those of us with small hands. The thickness of the palette (lid and dry palette tray combo) and the snug fitting trays could require both hands to open. This is something I didn’t have any issues with, but I can see how it could be a problem for some people.
In general, I find these “issues” to really only be a minor inconvenience and something to be aware of, rather than a deal-breaker.
Pros and Cons of WetNDri Paint Tray Palette System
- Comes with built in dry palette (elegant sandwich design)
- Low profile tray and gray hydration sponge work well for hobby miniature painters who want easy access to the palette colors
- Brush storage and organizer tray
- Use the lid cover as an additional dry palette or mixing area
- 18 dry palette wells and more usable space for mixing colors
- Lid seals and covers both dry and wet palette trays
- Easy-to-find replacement sponges and palette paper
- Included horizontal brush rest
- Convenient, simple, versatile design is compact and easy for storage or travel
- The snug fitting lid may require two hands to open (could be good though as it prevents moisture from evaporating)
- Elastic band may stretch out, get lost, etc.
- No larger size palettes available at this time
- Cost more than other single feature artists’ wet palettes, e.g., Masterson Sta Wet, but much less than the RGG Everlasting Wet Palette
The WetNDri Tray Palette is an excellent wet palette for tabletop miniature painters. It’s feature set and performance are equivalent to the much more expensive RGG Everlasting Wet Palette. I recommend it for anyone looking for a quality wet palette with dry palette well accessories. It’s not a cheaply made palette system either. All of its components are solid, durable, and I expect will last a long time.
If you have the extra cash to spend and want the name recognition that comes with the RGG Everlasting Wet Palette, go for it. Otherwise, save your money and try the WetNDri Tray Palette. I think you’ll be happy you did.
Is the WetNDri Palette a Good Alternative to the RedGrassGames Everlasting Wet Palette?
Let’s do a feature comparison between the two wet palette systems: The WetNDri Paint Tray Palette and the RGG Everlasting Wet Palette.
The WetNDri Paint Tray Palette is similar to the RGG Everlasting Wet Palette in several ways. Both the WetNDri palette and the Redgrass Games Wet Everlasting Wet Palette use a plastic container tray to hold the sponge and palette paper. For the RGG wet palette, there are two sizes, the standard size and the XL studio (a larger palette area). The WetNDri only has a single size which is closer to the standard Everlasting wet palette size (which has a palette size 8.6 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches).
Both palette systems use a plastic lids and seals in moisture with an airtight rubber gasket around the edge. Similarly, both systems use an elastic band fits to snuggly hold the lid on the tray together for a tight fit. I expect the elastic band is a potential limitation in both palette systems as this band has gotten loose over time.
For those like me, I am also prone to losing these items. I keep my elastic band for the wet palette in a drawer and never use it unless I’m taking my wet palette on a trip (a rare occurrence). Note that a conventional office rubber band can solve the problem of a lost elastic band.
For fluid mediums, such as inks, glazes, and washes, the RGG Everylasting Wet Palette system uses a dry palette accessory, e.g., the Wavy. The Wavy has five round bottom wells and slides into the side of the wet palette tray. The Wavy also serves as a horizontal brush rest. Cute. For those using spill prone Citadel Pots, the RGG has an Anti-Spill Pot Holder that also attaches to the side of the palette tray.
Previous versions of the Everlasting Wet Palette used magnets to attach the dry palette accessory, but this became problematic if you wanted to pick up and move the palette (e.g., magnets weren’t as secure as mobile users needed).
The WetNDri also has its own version of a dry palette for using thinned art media built into the tray itself. Similar to the Army Painter Wet Palette, a plastic dry palette system sandwiches itself within the lid and tray. In contrast to the RGG Wet Palette, this is a more elegant system in my opinion, as you’re not deal with separate “parts” that you need to keep track of.
When using the WetNDri dry palette, simply set it next to your wet palette tray. The dry palette here is also much larger and gives you more wells (18 of them) for mixing more colors. Because the dry palette fits into the palette itself, you can use the cover to keep media protected, too.
For those working with oil paints or watercolors with your acrylics (in the wet palette), I will emphasize this is amazing. Additionally, in the dry palette tray you’ll find space to organize and store brushes or other small tools. The WetNDri Palette even comes with a horizontal brush rest. Cool!
All-in-all the 3 part lid, dry palette/storage tray, and palette container (bottom tray) in the WetNDri Tray Palette work together in a more functional, minimalistic design than the RGG Wet Palette.
How Does the Wet Palette Ability of Each Palette Brand Compare?
Both work great as wet palettes. Both the WetNDri Tray Palette and RGG Everlasting Wet Palette use low-profile trays for easy brush access. They also both use a gray colored hydration sponge for you to place your palette paper over the top.
(Noted: The Painter’s Lite Everlasting Palette uses a white sponge. Only the standard and XL RGG Everlasting Wet Palettes use neutral gray sponges, similar to the WetNDri Artist Palette. For comparison purposes, I refer to the standard RGG palette).
The gray hydration foam is a neutral gray in both systems that has excellent color mixing capabilities. Unlike white or yellow sponges, e.g., check out the review of the Masterson Handy Sta Wet Palette, it eliminates distortion from reflecting shadows or highlights, allowing you to see your paint colors more accurately. I would say that using good quality overhead hobby lighting helps with this, too.
You can easily get replacements for the sponge and more palette paper for the RGG and the WetNDri palettes, too.
When it comes to usability, I found no differences in how well each palette system worked. The wet palette kept acrylic paints wet for extended periods, assisted me in keeping the medium thin, and facilitated paint color mixing. They’re both great wet palettes!
Where Does Each Brand’s Wet Palette Stand Out?
While both the RGG Everlasting Wet Palette and the WetNDri Tray Palette are great at what they do, each has their own unique feature set that stands out.
The RGG Everlasting Wet Palette is a bit more versatile in the sense that you can get additional “dry palette” accessories to use with it. For example, the Wavy is a great horizontal brush rest and five round bottom wells for mixing colors. The Anti-Spill Pot Holder is perfect for those using Citadel Paint Pots (or other paint pots that are prone to spilling).
The WetNDri, on the other hand, comes with a built-in dry palette and has more mixing wells (18) than the RGG Everlasting Wet Palette (5). The tray is also a tad more shallow, making it easier to access your brushes while painting. Though, you may find the WetNDri palette requires water refill a bit more frequently.
Which One Should You Buy: The RGG Everlasting Wet Palette or the WetNDri Tray Palette?
The RGG Everlasting Wet Palette and the WetNDri Tray Palette are both excellent wet palettes for miniature painting. They’re both on the higher end for cost for hobby wet palettes (as compared with the Masterson Sta Wet or Army Painter Wet Palette).
Of course, the RGG Everlasting Wet Palette is the most expensive of any hobby wet palettes on the market. I’m not 100% sure it’s worth the extra money when compared to the WetNDri Tray Palette.
The WetNDri comes with a built-in dry palette is just as versatile and feature rich as the RGG Everlasting Wet Palette. The exception of course is that the Everlasting Wet Palette does have a larger XL size. But, this costs more, too!
So, which one should you buy?
I say, it depends on your budget. If you’re looking for a quality wet palette and have the extra cash to spend, go with the RGG Everlasting Wet Palette. It has name recognition and for hobbyists who want reliability, this can mean something.
If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, go with the WetNDri Tray Palette. It’s feature set and performance are on par with the RGG Everlasting Wet Palette, but it will cost you much less (and even less money over time, if you consider the lower upkeep cost for replacement sponges and palette paper).
Still Not Sure? Here My Other Top 3 Palette Picks! 🏆
- Masterson Sta Wet Palette (Most Popular)
- The Army Painter Wet Palette (Top Favorite, see the Full Review)
- Redgrass Games Everlasting Wet Palette Painter Lite (Best Compact)
Overall, the WetNDri Paint Tray Palette is a great wet palette for tabletop miniature painters. It’s feature set and performance are equivalent to the more expensive RGG Everlasting Wet Palette, but at a fraction of the price. I recommend it for anyone looking for a quality wet palette with dry palette well accessories. All of its components are solid, durable, and should last a long time.
So if you’re looking for an affordable wet palette that performs just as well as the more expensive options, the WetNDri Paint Tray Palette is a great choice.
As a commission miniature painter, I’m always on the lookout for products that help me do my job better, more efficiently, and make the already enjoyable experience more fun. The WetNDri Paint Tray Palette definitely falls into that category. It’s great for the causal hobby painter, the serious miniature painter and wargamer, as well as the artist looking for a versatile and portable wet palette solution. I highly recommend it.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.
Happy miniature painting!